Many parents are completely unprepared for the moment when their child gets angry. Most children begin to exhibit signs of child anger when they are very young. When a two year old gets mad, it may seem cute and most people will not take the actions of the youngster very seriously. But, the behavior will not be cute as the child grows up and following a couple of quick tips to resolve issues and teach your child about choices will help your youngster through adulthood.
One of the first things that most kids get mad about is sharing. Sharing is a very hard concept for children to understand, especially if they do not have siblings or are introduced to a younger sibling. While the first instinct of many parents is to take the toy away and tell their youngster “No!” This really doesn’t solve the issue.
While the youngster will learn quickly that they cannot “show” they are mad, they will begin to develop other ways to exhibit their feelings. One of the reasons that many adults do not deal with their anger appropriately is because they did not learn how to effectively solve problems when they were toddlers.
When sharing is an issue, it is important for parents to remember to give their children choices. This only takes a minute and removes the need to use the often over used “No!” word. Most sharing issues begin with a swipe. The child doesn’t really want to “hit” the offender; they just want them to get away from their toy.
This is usually when a parent will go on alert, grab the object and say, “No hitting!” Well, hitting really wasn’t the idea, but now that you mention it. Children are little sponges and respond very well to suggestion. There are some easy ways to diffuse the situation and teach the youngster basic problem solving skills by giving choices.
Identifying the issue will let the youngster know that you understand. This doesn’t have to be a long or drawn out discussion, just a simple, “You don’t want to share.” You are not asking a question, you are making an observation. When a parent turns observations or statements into questions, it confuses the youngster.
After identifying the issue gives the child a choice, “Do you want to share this toy or that toy.” Again, this is not a question – it is an alternative. If they had a choice, they would not share any toy. If you have never used this technique before, your youngster may try to select a third toy or negotiate. However, stick with the “this toy or that toy.” Once they get used to the fact that there are two choices, not three or none, they will begin to select two toys before they begin playing.
As adults, most people have a very difficult time learning to share. One of the reasons is that they have a hard time identifying their choices when they are asked to share their toys. Had they learned when they were two, how to share their toys without child anger playing a role in the final choice, they would have much less conflict in their lives.