Anger is a hard emotion for most of us to confront - in ourselves and in others.
It can be expressed in so many ways - from quiet withdrawal to yelling and physical aggression - and we often find ourselves responding to anger with anger. So when push comes to shove (pardon the pun), we often find that it can be hard to stop and just "label" the feeling. But as parents who want to help our children manage their own anger, we MUST slow down and begin by doing just that.
But then what? What do our children need when they are angry?
Like sadness, when children are angry, they need to be heard, seen and understood...with help to keep themselves and others around them safe. Then, like when they are sad, they need to feel your agreement with their experience of anger - "Of course you're angry because you weren't picked for the team; you worked really hard and it doesn't feel fair!" This is "Saying YES"!
Remember, saying "yes" dos not mean you would also feel angry or that you agree that they worked hard or that you agree it isn't fair. Saying "yes" means you understand and agree that this IS their experience.
This is NOT the time to teach, preach or lecture about what they should be feeling, how they should have prepared for a situation, how they should have reacted, or doling our punishment. This IS the time to just understand.
Because you care about them and want to them to feel loved and accepted and valued.