Many parents are frustrated with the way
their children react towards one another– especially when tempers get heated. Sibling rivalry is very normal throughout childhood.
Still, we must teach our children how to express their anger in appropriate ways. Sibling relationships can be a “training ground” for future friendships, business associations and even marriage.
So how can we help our children manage their anger with one another as well as in other relationships in their lives?
(1) Help them to learn the signs:
Where in their bodies do they hold their anger? Where does the feeling of anger start? When we help children locate the origin of their anger, they can take note of it, address it and release it appropriately before it gets out of hand.
(2) Teach them stress reduction
From taking deep breaths to exercising or punching a pillow, burning off anger in productive, safe ways can be a relief. Giving children alternatives to releasing anger can help them deal with their feelings without hurting others.
(3) Talk it out:
Many children don’t feel that they have at least 3 people to turn to in a time of need or challenge. Be a good listener but also provide your children with other trustworthy and reliable role models who can
also be sources of comfort and information. Sometimes anger explodes because the child hasn’t been able to talk out his/her problems with a trusted adult.
When tempers run hot,a break might be necessary. Send each child to a separate location so that each can calm down and think through what needs to be conveyed. This is where self control comes into play– they can stop and think before they act.
(5) Encourage empathy:
It’s easy to think of oneself when feeling angry. Help each child take the perspective of the other child while speaking about the conflict. How was the other person feeling? What did the other person
want or need?
By perspective taking, children can re-focus on cooperation and solutions.