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Don’t Get Angry at an Angry Child
The second you get angry at your angry child or try to force him to obey you, he will end up in apathy (not caring about anything).
A child can go through many emotions, such as being cheerful, angry, fearful, crying, sad, etc., quite rapidly. He will feel cheerful and then, all of a sudden, he can get angry at something.
But for you to then get angry at your child is not fair. He is a small child and, to him, you are like a giant. You look to him as if you are about twenty-eight feet high and weigh several tons!
Let’s say the little boy says to you, angrily, “I don’t like you telling me what to do!” And in response, you, this huge monster to him, reaches over and says, “You cannot talk to me like that!” And then you maybe even threaten to smack him. But if you ever did that, your child would feel like he doesn’t have a chance against you and that he is in big trouble.
If you mishandle your child, you can easily push him
down into anger and then, if you get angry with him when he is angry, you will just push him further down until he goes into apathy.
Why does a child get angry? For example, maybe your child wants something—he is trying to do or get something. For one reason or another, he can’t get it, so he tries harder. He still can’t get it and so he gets angry. And then, after he tries again while angry and still cannot get it, he goes into apathy.
Here is a typical example of what often happens:
The child says, “Mama, I want to go swimming.”
Mama replies, “You cannot go swimming.”
The child then says, “You better let me go swimming. Jimmy Jones goes swimming.”
Mama gets angry and starts yelling at the child, “No, you
cannot go swimming!”
And then, all of a sudden, the child becomes angry and very upset.
He will then say, “But I didn’t want to go swimming.” The next thing you know, a funny thing can happen. The child can start telling you, “I don’t like to swim.” This is negation (a refusal or denial of something or someone), which can happen in childhood. The child thinks, “I can’t have it, so I might as well forget about it. I don’t want it!” This can start to happen as a regular occurrence.
For example, the child tries to get or do something, but he can’t. He gets angry. Then he says he really didn’t want it to begin with. Then, as the child falls into this pattern of negation, he’ll just have the thought that he wants something and automatically skip right over the anger into apathy. He has the thought, “I’d like to go swimming. I can’t go swimming.” This quickly becomes, “I’d like to go swimming. I don’t like to swim.” And finally, as he falls into automatic negation, it’s, “Boy, it’s a nice hot day. I would sure like to—I don’t like swimming.”
The way he starts to negate can happen very fast. He just does this without thinking. He tries to explain why he doesn’t like swimming. He tells you, “I hate swimming myself. I never go swimming.” Then he says, “There was a young boy at our school who almost drowned.” But in the beginning, he really did like swimming and he really wanted to do it. He was just stopped and told he could not, so he then went into apathy and negated it.
So remember, if you get angry at your child when he gets angry, you can expect to see him go through a long period of negation.
You have to know what to do to prevent this.
Dealing with an Angry Child
Have you ever tried to teach your child when he was angry with you?
It won’t work.
The usual response from parents has always been to get angry themselves with the child. Only that doesn’t work either.
To successfully teach your child something, even though he is angry, there is actually a very easy thing you can do. Let’s say the child has been angry for some time. If you just get the child to touch your hands, one after the other, and maybe get him to touch the tip of your nose, you will find the upset he has will magically go away and you will no longer be talking to an angry child.
How do you get an angry child to touch your hands and your nose? You may have to persuade him a bit, but don’t get angry with him. Just work at it. Soon he will play along and stop being angry. Then you will be able to teach him something!
The golden rule is to never get angry with an angry child.
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