Most of us recognize the continuing escalation of violence around us, due to intolerance, and many of us blame it on somebody else. Parents teach their children, all the time, and when one of us displays “road rage,” while our child is in the car, we teach a brand new skill set.
Although, road rage is inappropriate behavior, at any time, and can get you killed, most children who are exposed to it, will duplicate the actions of their parents, when they are old enough to drive.
So the first step, is to set an example and, possibly, use some of these ideas, for yourself. Studies show that anger causes atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaques in the arteries, that is a major factor in developing high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, and premature death.
Also, during a “temper tantrum,” adrenaline and blood pressure levels rise beyond normal. This behavior is more dangerous to parent’s bodies due to the normal “wear and tear” already existing.
Now, you may be convinced that anger can kill you, but let’s look at one more factor. You could hurt someone else, find yourself in prison, or get yourself killed due to inciting violence against others. There are other people, who are having difficulty dealing with anger management too.
Back to our children: All children need exercise and they are naturally full of energy. Look at any other species, and you will see the same behavior. Should we drug our dogs, cats, and parrots, when they display youthful exuberance?
Children have to run, jump, and shout. So let them play in the back yard, in a park, and get them involved in sports, Yoga, dance, or martial arts. You will never regret letting your child enjoy life, constructively learn in the process, and just be a kid.
For all of us, there is a time to be quiet and a time to shout. Children need years to learn this, so let’s keep them active in the process. Keep them away from the television, Internet, and video games, except for “rainy days.” Coloring books, board games, and reading are also good activities for rainy days.
A heavy bag is a great tool for letting anger out. You and your child can use it together. You can learn to punch and kick it, for the aerobic benefits, as well. If you have a friend who is a boxer or martial artist, you could get some pointers. After just a 20-minute session, I guarantee you, and your child, will have dealt with anger – there will be little, if any, left.
Teach your child forgiveness, through your own example. I am not asking you to let people “walk all over you.”
However, let grudges go; life is really too short to keep a feud going.
You can also control your child’s “circle of friends,” just by getting him or her involved in, group activities such as: League sports, dance, yoga, or martial arts. The parents who have their children in these activities want the best for them and are willing to sacrifice their time, or money, to get it.
This will keep your child busy, happy, and active, with a pre-selected crowd of friends, who have parents that care. This is a “win – win” situation and well worth the investment.
This is not to say that every child you run into, at these
functions, will be perfect, but in the above mentioned activities, all of them are structured, adult-supervised, and rules for behavior are in place. This form of organization becomes a habit, your child will follow these guidelines, and bring them home.
Here is another idea that will help. Have your child take care of a pet or a plant, every day. Children love to care for animals or plants, but they still need supervision. The result of this will be, your child learns compassion.
Compassion will keep anger “in check” every time.
Paul Jerard, is a co-owner/director of Yoga teacher training at Aura Wellness Center. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher.