One of the main problems that parents have to face sooner or later is their children’s tantrums. They usually appear around the age of two, although they usually reach their peak between the ages of three and four, and in many cases they last up to seven. Without a doubt, it is a critical stage of 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 his autonomy and wants to enjoy his independence. However, when he can’t do it because he hasn’t developed enough skills yet, he gets frustrated and angry. Obviously, since he still does not have great emotional control since his prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for 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 strange that if he realizes that with a tantrum he achieves what he wants, he assumes it as a strategy to achieve their purposes. Therefore, although it is important for parents to understand that their children’s tantrums are part of their development, it is also essential that they take action on the matter and put a stop to these behaviors as soon as they appear.
Obviously, it is not an easy task since it requires a lot of perseverance and, above all, patience. However, there are some very easy-to-implement techniques that can help you deal with your child’s tantrums and teach him how 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 boy and controls all his actions, destroying everything in his path. However, when Roberto realizes the damage he is causing, he decides to fix everything he destroyed. Thus, as he fixes things, the monster gets smaller and smaller until it is so tiny that Roberto locks it inside a box to never let it out again.
This is precisely the central idea on which the rage box is based, a perfect technique for teaching children to be aware of their own emotions, recognize the impact they have on others and learn to regulate them, through 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 time you finish drawing, your anger will likely have 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 can be asked to make “hands” and “feet” to his drawing to personalize his monster of rage, which will make the technique even more fun. Next , he must crumple up the paper, and with it the character, and place it in a box with a lid so that his rage monster does not come out again.
The most important thing about this technique is that the child becomes aware of their negative emotions and learns to control them in a simple way. This simple strategy will help you redirect your anger into more positive emotions, while also teaching you to control your angry or aggressive outbursts.