Here's a quick little piece of knowledge that is SO intensely powerful it can change your whole perspective on how to respond to your child's expression of anger.
Actually it can change your whole response to anyone's expression of anger - including your own!
One of the most important things we can do in ANY relationship is to meet that other person right where they are at. As we strive to do that, it is essential to really look at that whole person and the whole experience.
Often times, our children act out in anger and aggression and it really gets in the way of a healthy relationship between us because we are focusing on the anger. The key to really meeting him where he is at, the way to decrease the anger episodes, is to understand fully that anger is a secondary emotion and that we need to understand and work to heal the primary emotion, the one that anger is covering up!
Many times that primary emotion isn't even recognized or realized because it is below the surface. It is hugely important that we address the root of the anger and that we teach our kids to do the same...and that root is typically made up of sad, scared, rejected, disrespected, frustrated and humiliated... emotions never attended to.
When something happens that you would typically say made that child mad, they were first experiencing a different emotion like sad or scared. But sad and scared keep a person vulnerable so anger quickly rises to cover or protect them from being vulnerable -so quickly that it is experienced as the primary emotion.
Anger pushes people back and even holds them back. SO...as a parent who is trying to help your kids heal, you are responsible to look past the anger and not only meet them at ALL of their emotional struggles but also help them to identify ALL of them as well.
When you are being confronted with anger...
dig deeper within you,
look wider at the whole situation
and your child's whole person to be able to name the primary emotions and parent from there.
What are they afraid of?
What could be making them sad?
Are they feeling rejected or humiliated?
What is REALLY happening?
Remember mad is "covering up" emotions like sad and scared. Re-frame it for yourself. Meet them there. Parent them from there.
Soften. Forgive. Understand. Redirect. Start over. Shift expectations. Restate.
Use this technique in any of your relationships. Use it when you are angry. Is it that you are mad or are you sad? What can you do to take care of those REAL emotions? Be honest. Self Care. Surround Yourself With Others That Get It. Go to Where Change Is Happening.
This is BIG STUFF.
When you wrap your head around it, it can change the whole way you parent and the whole way your child reacts.
You can do this!