Are anger, anger and rage the same feeling? What does it mean that our child is angry? If he is angry, can he also be angry? How to effectively help your child express these emotions?
What is anger?
Anger is one of the basic emotions of every human being, along with happiness, shame, sadness, contempt, surprise and fear. Emotions tell us if our needs are being met and our personal boundaries are respected. When our child is angry, there is something going on in his mental life that requires our parental attention.
The child gets angry when….
Something went wrong – different from what it was expected, expected or thought it would be,
His need or needs were not noticed, respected and then satisfied,
Experiences hurtful behavior or messages from others – anger triggered then serves to survive and take care of oneself,
Others violate his self-esteem,
Others violate his personal boundaries.
We cannot control our anger, neither is the child. It is the body’s reaction, which is expressed in an increased release of adrenaline, a rapid heartbeat, the blood rushes to the arms and legs, the body prepares to run away or to defend itself. This is why children beat, kick, bite, etc. in anger.
What is anger?
Anger is an emotional reaction to failure or emotional agitation. It has three components:
This is why the outburst of anger, which can turn into rage, depends on our will. Because we have an influence on what we think about a given event and how we interpret it. However, a child needs to learn it from an adult. It also takes time to mature its frontal lobes in the brain.
A child who is angry communicates something very important to the parent. These are messages about the child, not about the parent. This means that it is difficult for him, not that the parent is raising them poorly. If we do not allow a child to get angry and we do not take care of the emotions he or she experiences, there is a high probability that anger, rage will become an expression of anger.
Must Read: How to teach your kid to be respectful
Why it is difficult for parents to take care of their child’s anger and what can help them?
- We read anger and interpret it as manipulation, an attempt to extort or govern us. This results in a test of strength and a fight with the child. If this happens, anger begins to appear in the parent, making it impossible to care for the angry child. A change of perspective helps – what a child says and does is information about him and his difficulties, not about the parent. This vision allows us to be longer in the role of a supporter, that is, someone who sees the child.
- In our society – although less and less often – there is still a belief that beauty anger is harmful, that is, you must not get angry. If we, as adults, were not allowed to be angry, it will be difficult for us to support our child in anger. Then the anger expressed by the child contacts our inexpressible, undisclosed and untreated childhood anger. Therefore, when our child’s anger drives us to a white fever, pisses us off, maybe it’s worth taking a freeze frame and thinking about what really moves me and whether my story is behind it, which requires taking care of.
- Parents are afraid of anger, because it is associated with aggression, which is only a step away from violence. This is why we attribute to anger rather negative moral judgments. If a child is angry, it means that he or she is going through a lot of tension and a lot of stress. He then needs help to deal with it, because it is anger that says that his ability to deal with a specific situation has been exhausted. The child then does not need discipline, shame, isolation, ridicule, punishment, but parental quiet accompaniment so that it can get some of this balance and peace from us.
- Since we are afraid of anger, we think that if we give children a space to express it, it will become stronger and that this way of reacting will be permanent for the child forever. Meanwhile, it is quite the opposite. When we show the child that we are not afraid of his anger, he also stops being afraid of it. And when we do not give space to express it, the child has two options:
- Taking care of yourself and entering the freeze and survival mode,
- Increasing your rage, increasing your anger with the unconscious thought that maybe someone will finally notice it.
- Another reason is the lack of social acceptance of anger, as evidenced by various proverbs:
- Beauty anger is bad.
- Good girls don’t get angry.
We are convinced that if I let my child experience anger, it means that I am a bad, ineffective and incapable parent. We are not helped by the words – often heard from family members – such as “how to do this, it will come on your head”. What can help us is learning about emotions, consulting with various specialists, etc.
- It is very easy to get infected with anger. Whether or not a parent becomes infected depends on what they think about the child and how they react. If the thought arises: he doesn’t respect ,Therefore, knowing that a child screaming “you are stupid” is really screaming about himself, about his difficult situation, disappointment – about the fact that he has no influence on something, and that he would like it very much, can help a lot.
Why is insulation not helping
One of the educational methods, the so-called “Punitive language”, that is, isolating an angry child for as many minutes as he is old. Personally, I consider it a bad educational method. It is worth knowing that an isolated child is deprived of our help in the most difficult moment for him. It is also a conditional acceptance and this is how children read that mum or dad loves me only when I am “polite”, which in turn lowers self-esteem. The child – although not directly – receives a message that he has to deal with his problems on his own. Today we know that even from a biological point of view (immature frontal lobes) it is impossible. The child being sent back thinks that he or she does not deserve help and support when something bad happens. Later, in adulthood, he also has trouble asking for help when something difficult happens and accepting support.
What is rage
When we do not cuddle and support a child who is experiencing anger, the tension will build up. If it remains in this state for a long time, the level of the brain’s arousal processes will significantly outweigh the inhibition. Parents call it hysteria or rage. This means that the capabilities of our child’s nervous system have been significantly and repeatedly exceeded, and strongly experienced frustration makes it difficult for the child to regain balance, even if we offer our support at that time. That is why it is worth reacting earlier, even at the stage of anger. To give the child the message “I see that you are a boy who is now very difficult / I see that you are a girl who is very difficult now, and I am an adult, I am your parent who will stand it for you”.