How to diffuse anger in a child

Both my boys get angry at times.  They might get angry at each other or at me or my husband.

We are fairly quiet and peaceful family.  The way we speak is quiet. The television is sometimes hard to hear.  Our music is on in the background unless the kids get hold of the speaker.  When lights are on, they are low because I like to live with the rising and setting of the sun.

….and there are times when our children get loud.  And it can create frustration within me.  When I get frustrated I generally excuse myself or calmly state my frustration. When my kids gets frustrated they are loud and make it known.

Sometimes when a child get very frustrated it can turn into rage or meltdown and there is NOTHING you can do to logically talk them out of it. NO WORDS work.  Mostly because children are highly emotional and not very analytical.

One thing that always works is holding them and being with them. Loving my children during the frustration and anger and letting them know that everything is going to be okay WORKS.

This is easy to say but not so easy to do in the moment because rage and anger feed rage and anger.  So if a child gets angry, it triggers us to get angry, and then they get more angry, and it escalates which is not good for anyone.

What I have to do as the adult is to become an observer.  I have to become emotionally unattached to his/her behavior and observe his/her emotion. I can do this best when I am totally centered because I can accept best in a grounded and centered state of being.

Once I get into this state I can hold my child and love him and his anger will diffuse really fast. In fact he melts in my arms.

The practice of yoga has taught me to become an observer.  I have spent the last 16 years practicing observing my body and mind in any given pose.  I have observed every single emotion that arises within me by staying in a pose.

Just this morning I was in cross legged forward bend and my left buttock muscle was so tight.  There was so much sensation and it translated to my brain as pain.  As I observed the mind I heard “Ouch, this hurts.”  Or “I cannot handle this anymore.”  Or “get out, get out.”  Then I emotionally detached, I accepted, and breathed through and then I could feel the release happening.  I imagined myself holding it and loving it. As I did this the mind began to say, “ahh that feels better.”

It is the same in a relationship, we tend to try to make uncomfortable emotions go away.  We tend to try and say stop or how can I make it going away.  Like when a child is sad, our first reaction is don’t be sad.  What if instead we embraced it and loved it?

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Have you ever become an observer in a chaotic situation? And what about the flip side..have you ever been in such a rage that words don’t work? What helped you in that situation? Take a moment and share your own experiences below.