Tips for Helping Your Child Deal with Anger

Whether your child has an “anger issue” or not, there’s one thing that’s clear: Children get angry and there’s really no way around it. Here are a few tips for dealing with your child’s anger:

1. Have your child identify his/her anger “triggers” then come up with solutions for handling those triggers once they present themselves.

2. Teach your child to “talk it out” in a clam and controlled manner.

3. Encourage your child to journal about his/her feelings. Sometimes the mere act of writing down one’s feelings can help to alleviate the intensity of those emotions.

4. Teach your child to use coping skills.

a.  Self-Soothing

Engage in simple behaviors that are relaxing/calming. Some ideas include: take a bubble bath, exercise, read, listen to music, draw, write poetry, go for a jog, pet your cat/dog, etc.

b.  Self-Talk

Talk yourself down by saying such things as: “There’s no point in getting angry, it isn’t worth it” or “I’m just going to keep calm and not let this get to me”

c.  Relaxation Techniques

This could include deep breathing, yoga, meditation, guided imagery (using your imagination to think of calming scenarios), etc.

d.  Problem-Solving StepsAngry Boy

i.) Identify the problem

ii.)  Propose solutions

iii.)  Weigh your options

iv.)  Choose the best solution

v.)  Do it!

5. Acknowledge and praise appropriate responses to anger. There’s no need to go overboard, but a simple comment such as “Nice job handling that” will go a long way to reinforce appropriate responses to anger.

6. Be a good role-model for handling anger. Swearing, yelling, slamming doors, and name-calling are not good examples for your child. You should never let him or her see you doing these things out of anger.

7. Make your child aware of the physical responses that his or her body experiences when angry. Clenched fists, sweaty forehead, shallow breathing, tightened jaw, tensed muscles, and lowered eyebrows are all signs that anger is present. Once your child recognizes his/her body’s “anger cues” then he or she will know that it’s time to start taking action to minimize that anger.