When we think about children, we often associate our thoughts with cuteness, politeness, joy, fun, playfulness, and more. Rarely, as adults, do we acknowledge the fact that children are also complete humans. Children are capable of feeling almost every emotion, from anxiety to anger. This article discusses one such emotion – anger in children. Furthermore, we would list down various anger management activities for kids.
We have seen our kids through tantrums and be stubborn. Children show these qualities of behavior as a response to their anger. Before we start to discuss why little kids feel anguished, we must do a little introspection.
Anger as a healthy emotion
As adults, we tend to get rid of negative emotions as soon as we experience them. The same goes for kids as well. Parents see their kids behaving in a certain way and immediately ask them not to repeat.
However, it may not work this way. We have to accept ourselves that anger is instead a healthy emotion. Besides it being healthful, it is essential for our overall emotional health.
The first step parents have to take while extending anger management activities for kids is to know that they cannot get rid of this emotion. Aiming to extract anger out of little one is impossible. You cannot get free of a feeling and a response. What you can do is teach your child a way to control or manage anger.
How To Talk To My Child About Anger?
Before you teach your child how to navigate their emotions, you have to help them see it. Children do not have the same intellect as parents. Even if they go through an immense amount of anguish, they cannot reason why. This point is where the parents have to make the first step.
Helping your children understand about anger as a natural emotion can be done through several means. But communication with your child is the best-preferred way. Here is a list of some facts about the anger you can share with your kids:
- When they feel irritable, it may be because of anger.
- It is not wrong to feel angry.
- If you feel angry, it means something is troubling you.
- Anger is natural and everyone feels angry at some times.
- It is not uncontrollable. We can learn to manage anger.
You and your kids may have a specific love language that includes stories, characters, games, among others. You can make use of what your child finds relatable. And also you may use subtle real-life examples to help your kid get a clear view of what anger is, how it looks, what it feels like, and more.
Understanding The Problem: CHILD’s VIEW
Once your little one has a better understanding of what you two are addressing, you should allow them to express themselves. Sit with your kid and talk to them about their anger. It is different from making them understand concepts about rage. This time you should be the listener and let your kid do the explaining.
We all feel the same emotions differently. It is possible that something that does not bother you may trouble your kid to the extent that they burst into anger. Therefore, it is essential to hear your kid’s side of the story too.
As for a parent, the next step may be to help your child scale the anger.
Something that irritates you slightly has a different level of anger from something that sends shivers down your spine. Kids experience various degrees of fury as well. You can help them trace their rage level by drawing a scale for them.
Children grasp a concept better if they have a visual for it. You can make a 5-point scale with different emoticons on it to help your child get a better understanding of their emotions.
Have a look at this anger worksheet for kids and teens and assess the reason for your child’s anger.
Anger Management Activities For Kids
There is a wide range of anger management exercises for your kids to choose from. You do not have to try all these activities. Choose the one which is most suitable for you and your child. Progress in your journey based on how your child feels. And most importantly, be extremely patient.
List of anger management activities for kids:
- Teach them a breathing technique – The objective of your exercise is to help your child build anger management skills. It is a long-term goal and so you need to start with the very basics too. Breathing exercises are scientifically proven to help with anger issues in both children and adults.
Some of the breathing exercises you can go for – smell a flower, blow a balloon, breathe 10 times, breathing in the shape of a rainbow, making an 8 in the air with your breath, and more.
- 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique – It is a very innovative and useful tool for kids. The objective of this strategy is to bring attention to the five senses. This exercise can be done anywhere and relieves anger primarily. Ask your child to name:
– 5 things they can see
– 4 things they can feel
– 3 things they can hear
– 2 things they can smell, and
– 1 thing they can taste
- Change the scene – When your child is experiencing anger, you can ask them to go to a garden or even to a different room. This strategy help is diverting attention and soothes emotional outrage.
- Play with clay or soft dough – Allow your child to express their anguish through clay molding. It can be beneficial in terms of putting down pressure and changing focus.
- Identify where anger lives – As a long-term goal of helping your child with anger issues, it can be an extremely vital tool to ask them where they feel anger. Anger can be felt physically. Each one of us experiences it differently in our bodies. Sit with your child, draw their figure, and ask them to point where they think anger is present most intensely.
- Make anger into a person – After your child has gained considerable knowledge about the existence of their anguish, help them personify it. Treat agitation as a third person. That way, your child will understand that anger is external and they can control it.
- Track the triggers – Once you start working on anger management, you will quickly realize that there are specific triggers that make your child anger. A trigger is a situation, mood, place, or person that can lead to irritation.
Common triggers that children experience are:
- Not receiving enough attention
- Getting scolded
- Being interrupted
- Losing a game
- Someone teasing them
- Not being allowed to play
- Yoga for anger – Doing yoga may sound boring to some, but it has extraordinary benefits. There are separate types of yoga poses and forms for kids.
- Stress ball – This may turn out to be very useful since children generally like playing with balls. A stress ball is a squeezable ball made of foam. All your little one has to do is squeeze the ball when they are angry and release it with a long exhalation.
- Take a walk – Distracting your child from their problem may be an excellent first step. If they are outraged, consider taking them for a walk in the park. When the anger has settled down, speak to them about their issues.
- Draw – Drawing is a fun activity. When your child is angry, help them sit with a piece of paper and colors. Do not insist on them to draw straight away. All you have to do is offer them space. Your child can doodle maybe or draw something they like or dislike. They can vent their emotions through the art of drawing if need be.
- Listen to music – There has to be some music, some songs that your child likes. If they do, ask them to listen to music when they feel distressed.
- Jump and run – It may be helpful if your child can channelize their energy. When they are having a bout of anger, ask them to divert their energy to running around or jumping.
- Counting – This is more of an instant remedy to anger problems in children. Sit with your kid, ask them to fold their hands in fists. Breathe and open one finger at a time as count to 10. You can do this exercise with your child.
- Write it down – Writing is a fantastic form of expression. One of the top anger management exercises for kids is to write down their feelings. Followed by this writing session, they can choose to tear away the paper and let go of the emotions.
- Eat a snack and go to your happy place – This is rather a simplistic idea. Give your child a snack and ask them to go to their site of happiness mentally. This imagination will calm them.
- Hug your favorite soft toy – Kids are a fan of soft toys and funnily enough, everyone has their favorite toy. Asking your kid to hug their favorite soft toy tightly can be very relaxing if they are experiencing anger.
You might also like to read about Behavioral Disorders in Children: Types, Causes, and Treatment.
Instant Care Tricks To Help Children With Anger
Understandably, anger management skill is a lengthy journey. Sometimes you do not have the time, patience, or energy to support the anger bursts of your child. For these kinds of days, there are specific tools and tricks you can use to help calm your child’s anger instantly.
Here’s a list of anger management exercises for kids in the short-term:
- Give them a bubble wrap and ask them to pop it completely.
- Rip a piece of paper into the smallest bits
- Ask your little one to hug and squeeze yourself.
- Perform stretching exercises
- Jump on the bed, kick your football, do walk push-ups
The Concluding Note
Anger management activities for kids can be fun but require complete involvement and interest from the parent. Practice the above-given strategies to see a significant improvement in your child’s anger issues.
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