One needs to overcome the anxiety and fear that lead to anger
Nobody likes to feel angry, but all of us experience this kind of emotion from time to time irrespective of age. In the words of Buddha, “Whoever can retain the rising anger, like holding back a moving cart, then he is called a true driver.” Anger is a secondary feeling to deeper, perhaps more vulnerable emotions. It is a normal, natural emotion that not only adults but children of all age groups especially nowadays experience at some point in time.
As per recent surveys and studies, it has been found that children in the age groups of 6 to 11 years in the US and approximately 129 million children and adolescents worldwide have been diagnosed with problems of anger followed by other mental health conditions including ADHD, autism, OCD and many more. They tend to yell, scream, get physical and above all say hurtful and disturbing things. But the question arises where lies the root cause for such rising anger among the children? Are we to blame only the technology for this or is it someone else who is to be blamed for such a changed behaviour?
There is no denying the fact that anger can fuel courage, one needs to overcome the fear and protect boundaries that uphold the values. At the same time, it also prevents an individual from thinking clearly. That is why learning how to manage it consciously is vital. Also, if we are to blame only technology in this regard then no one can deny the fact that technology has become so firmly established that it is being widely used in almost all sectors of the economy. In education too, these advancements have provided children of all age groups with various resources that enable them to stay connected everywhere and anywhere with the click of a button which as a result has drifted a child and a parent to a lot many extent, so in so that if a child seems to be in trouble, he or she will prefer to take the help of technology over its parents or guardians which becomes a matter of great concern.
Adults do play a significant role in modelling nonviolent communication and behaviour. Often it is observed that when a child feels that he or she is being heard or understood, they feel safer and braver. They tend to express and experience all emotions with confidence and when such things are performed on repeat, it wires the brain for self-regulation, empathetic responses, rational thinking and even problem-solving. By listening without judgement, parents learn the real reason behind the changed behaviour of their child and the children also feel safe to release the uncomfortable and daunting emotions.
It is particularly important to stay with the child through scary emotions, take them to places of their wish, play with them, engage them in productive activities such as dancing, gymnasium, meditation and many more, problem solve with them when they are ready and then guide them back to peace. Once, everything gets to settle, then is the time to offer them better ways of expressing themselves in the future.
Remember, when a child is upset or dysregulated, they need the elders to be their support system to keep them calm. The best thing one can do for their child is to ensure they never witness anger, fear or conflict at home. Let them grow up in an environment and atmosphere of joy and love. Anger and aggressive behaviour can be a mask for anxiety. When children are overwhelmed by internal feelings, they do not know how to process them, it turns into outbursts and then melt down.
(The writer is an educator; views are personal)