There are different ways to help an angry child deal with big emotions in a positive way. Teach your child important skills to cope with this powerful emotion with these anger activities for kids.
On a typical day, I feel more like a referee at a wrestle-mania event than a mother. I moderate arguments, stop dangerous activities before bleeding occurs, and quiet the shouting spectators.
On other days, I feel more like a waitress at a busy diner. I race around to fulfill all the needs of my tiny and demanding ‘customers’, butter toast, and desperately try to delegate chores.
Sometimes, I feel more like a zoo keeper than a mother. Where I feed my tiny creatures, clean them, then repeat until I practically fall over.
But not this morning. This was one of those mornings that moms dream of. I was sipping my coffee and truly appreciating the rare calmness that this Saturday morning brought me. If a bluebird landed on my shoulder, I would hardly be surprised.
Then, the screaming began. My youngest son was playing video games, and when he lost his game he picked up his gaming console and launched it across the room.
Looking for Tips on Dealing with Defiant Kids? Click here!
There is a lot of chaos that I willingly accept in our home, but I hit the pause button real quick on that one.
When I ran into the room, his fists were clenched, tears were streaming down his bright red face, and he was breathing rapidly.
I instantly imagined him as an adult, in a business meeting, throwing his laptop across the room when his employee did not perform like he expected. I realized that this was the perfect time to teach my 5 year old about anger management.
Anger Management for Kids
Everyone has angry feelings. Big emotions are a normal part of life. Feeling mad is a normal emotion. If we want to help manage our child’s anger effectively, we first have to teach them about this big and complex emotion- what it feels like, what causes it, and effective ways to manage it.
I developed this educational workbook, “Quiet the Storm Inside“, based on the expert advice at at Kidshealth.org. Print your free copy at the end!
As parents, it is important that we teach our kids these 4 things.
1) What is Anger?
The first step is for kids to understand that everyone has a hard time and feels angry sometimes- and that is okay! It’s part of learning mindfulness.
Anger shouldn’t be thought of as a “bad” emotion, but it is important to learn healthy ways to manage anger with healthy coping skills.
For additional support, check out these mental health lessons for kids.
2) What Does Anger Feel Like?
Teach your kids how to read their own body and identify signs of anger.
Anger may feel different to some people. For some kids it may cause them to cry, others may feel their heart beating faster, and some may have urges to act out in physical ways. This big emotions can cause conflict in every day life.
When a child id mindful of what anger feels like, then can stop it in it’s tracks with these essential skills.
3) What Causes Anger?
The best way to help your kid develop tools to combat anger is to help your kid identify their biggest anger triggers.
Do they get upset when they lose a game? Does it make them mad when they can’t do something by themselves? Are they angry when they are tired or hungry?
Talking to your kid about what makes them mad will help them start to logically think through this emotion.
Learn EXACTLY what is going on in the brain during a meltdown here.
4) How do you Combat Anger?
The last step to Quieting the Storm is to teach your kid anger management activities that will help them cope with this uncomfortable feeling.
There are simple activities that your kid can do to focus, relax, and think clearly – and ultimately express anger in a healthy way.
Tools for Calming Down
Sometimes your child’s anger and negative emotions will cloud their ability to have conversations or focus on coping strategies.
The good news is that their are simple ways you can get them to relax and think straight.
Play therapist. Tell your child that they are in a safe place. Then, help them lower their heart rate with deep breathing exercises.
For young children, try these fun and easy-to-follow methods:
- Snake breathing: Take a deep breath, and when you exhale make a hissing noise as long as you can
- Rainbow breathing: Start with arms at the side of your body; as arms go up (like a rainbow arch) take deep breaths, and as they go down exhale
Teaching little kids to cope with big feelings with fun activities is a great way to get them engaged. This calm down kit is a fun way to center your emotions quickly. It includes free printable calming cards for kids to keep with them.
Quiet the Storm Inside
Anger is like a storm. You can feel it rolling in, sometimes quickly and sometimes overtime.
With a storm, we just have to let the rain come or we have to do something to help (like open an umbrella). This is similar to anger. Angry kids may have to do an activity until the anger subsides.
“Quiet the Storm Inside” is a free 6 page workbook designed to teach kids how to manage anger by explaining what anger is, how to identify it, what their own triggers are, and how calm themselves down.
Help develop your kid’s emotional intelligence and avoid anger problems with the engaging activities in this anger management workbook:
When I sat down with my son to talk through his own anger signs, triggers, and how to calm down, we saw an instant shift in his video game outburst from violent to logical.
Final Thoughts on Anger Activities for Kids
These simple anger management skills will help your kids deal with the unpleasant situations that they will inevitably face throughout their entire life. Next time you see anger impacting your child’s behavior, try these anger management games.
When your child learns how to calm the anger storm brewing inside, they can react in calm and responsible ways and start to see the light at the end of each tunnel they approach.
If you feel that your child struggles with extreme anger, reach our to your pediatrician asap. They may need to speak with a professional counselor to learn additional anger management strategies.
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