One of the main problems that parents sooner or later have to face is their children’s tantrums. They usually appear around two years of age, although they usually reach their peak between three and four years, and in many cases they last until seven. Without a doubt, this is a critical stage in child development that is difficult to deal with.
Why Do Children Have Tantrums?
Basically, tantrums are a child’s way of expressing anger or anger. What happens is that from the age of two the little one begins to be aware of their autonomy and wants to enjoy their independence. However, when he can’t do it because he hasn’t developed enough skills yet, he becomes frustrated and angry. Obviously, as he does not yet have great emotional control since his prefrontal cortex, which is in charge of regulating emotions, is still immature, it is normal for him to express his anger and frustration in a very basic way and “explode” as if it were a volcano in full eruption.
If we add to this that the child at this age is already capable of establishing cause-effect relationships and drawing his own conclusions, it is not surprising that if he realizes that with a tantrum he achieves what he wants, he assumes it as a strategy to achieve its purposes.
Obviously, it is not an easy task since it requires a lot of perseverance and, above all, patience. However, there are some very easy techniques to implement that can help you deal with your child’s tantrums and teach him to manage his emotions. One of these techniques is the rage box.
The Rage Box: What is it?
The rage box is a technique designed by the Spanish psychologist Marina Martín that is based on the children’s story “Vaya Rabieta”, by the French writer Mireille d´Allancé.
The story is about Roberto, a boy who has a bad day as he receives several reprimands, so he ends up getting frustrated and expresses his anger with a big tantrum. In the story, the tantrum is illustrated as a great monster that comes out of the child and controls all his actions, destroying everything in its path. However, when Roberto realizes the damage he is causing, he decides to fix everything he destroyed. Thus, as he fixes things, the monster keeps getting smaller and smaller until it is so tiny that Roberto locks it up inside a box to never let it out again.
This is precisely the central idea on which the anger box is based, a perfect technique to teach children to be aware of their own emotions, recognize the impact they have on others and learn to regulate them, through emotions. graphic arts.
How To Apply The Rage Box Technique?
The rage box is a very easy technique to apply. Basically, every time the child has a tantrum or feels frustrated, they must express their anger in a free drawing, a strategy that will allow them to channel their emotions, relax accumulated tensions and relieve frustration.
By the end of the drawing, your anger has likely passed as well. Then the child must contemplate what he has drawn to raise awareness of the emotions that he has captured on paper, at this time he may be asked to make “hands” and “feet” to his drawing so that he can personalize his monster of rage, which will make the technique even more fun. He must then crumple the paper, and with it the character, and deposit it in a box with a lid so that his monster of rage does not come out again.
The most important thing about this technique is that the child makes his negative emotions aware and that he learns to control them in a simple way. This simple strategy will help you redirect your anger into more positive emotions, while teaching you to control your outbursts of anger or aggressiveness.