Dealing with an angry child

Anger is a normal and useful emotion, it can tell children that things are not right or fair. But watch out for children’s behaviour becoming out of control or aggressive because of anger.

Don’t be afraid to explore the causes of angry emotions. Helping your child learn to deal with anger in a healthy manner has many benefits. In the short term it stops anger from causing your child and your family distress. In the longer term it helps them learn to solve problems and cope with emotions.

Don’t judge children for their anger

Team up with your child to help them deal with their anger. This way, you let your child know that the anger is the problem, not them.

With younger children this can be fun and creative. Give anger a name and try drawing it. For example, anger can be a volcano that eventually explodes.

How you respond to anger can influence how your child responds to anger. Making it something you do together can help you both.

Find the anger triggers

Work together to try to find out what triggers the anger. You’ll learn to recognise the early warning signs that anger is starting to rise.

Talk together about strategies you and your child can use against anger. You could encourage your child to count to 10 or walk away from the situation.

When you see the early warning signs, give your child a gentle reminder that anger may be trying to sneak up. This gives them the chance to try their strategies.

Have a specific goal

Have an agreed goal to work towards, with a way of recognising what you’re achieving together. You could have a star chart on the wall and reward your child with stickers for keeping anger away for a whole hour, then gradually move to half a day, then a day and so on.

Praise your child

Positive feedback is important. Praise your child’s efforts and your own efforts, no matter how small. This will build your child’s confidence in the battle against anger. It will also help them feel that you’re both learning together.  The more time you spend on praising their efforts, the less time there is for punishment for failing.

How to recognise anger in children

Changes in your child’s thoughts and feelings will lead to changes in their body language and their behaviour. These could include:

  • clenched fists
  • tightness or tenseness in their body
  • verbal outbursts
  • a particular facial expression
  • hitting out

When anger takes over, it can come in different forms, from a verbal outburst to being physically aggressive and causing damage to furniture.

Anger can sometimes make children act in a way that’s harmful to themselves or others. For example, punching walls or hitting out. Try to make the surrounding environment as safe as possible if this happens.

If you’re concerned that anger is taking over your child and your family please contact me.

Panic Attacks

What is a panic attack?

A sudden rush of physical and emotional symptoms that can occur apparently without warning

Physical symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Increased sweating
  • Clammy hands
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, faintness
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea

Psychological symptoms include:

  • An impulse to run away
  • Fear of dying, going crazy, going out of control
  • Feeling of unreality

What causes it?

Physiologically the body is reacting to a perceived threat – a similar reaction to the need to escape from a physical danger eg a fire or an accident. The body produces large quantities of a hormone – adrenalin which causes increased heart rate, breathing, muscle tension.

With panic attacks normally there is no apparent or immediate danger and they frequently happen in the most ordinary settings, on a train, in a shop, lecture etc. The lack of obvious explanation can make them more frightening. Sometimes they occur in settings that are more obviously stressful eg in an exam, in a crowd but soon the attack may become more frightening than the situation itself.

Your panic attacks are likely to make you feel out of control and dependent; the victim of your bodily reactions and outside circumstances. The first step along the road to recovery is recognising that you have the power to control your symptoms.  

If you would like to learn ways of managing your panic please contact me.

What is Spiritual Wellness?

Spiritual wellness is not:

Being a deeply religious person.

Attending a place of worship on a regular basis.

Forcing a set belief system on one self and expecting others to follow.

Living life according to rigid rules and cultural norms.

Doing what you want to do, and not caring for what others think because your way and belief system is the right way to live.

Is not a one fit for all approach to life.

 Spiritual wellness is:

Developing a life purpose

Having the ability to spend reflective time alone

Spending time reflecting on the meaning in life

Having a sense of right and wrong and being able to act accordingly

Having a relationship with yourself, your heart, and your soul (essence of your being and life purpose).

Caring and acting for the welfare of others and the environment

Being able to practice forgiveness and compassion in life.

Being authentic.