"It's OK to be Angry": How to Deal With Children's Explosive Behavior

I’m sure there isn’t a single person who doesn’t get angry from time to time. In fact, anger is a normal and healthy emotion when expressed appropriately.

Experiencing different emotions = living and being real

Our children are more alive than ourselves emotionally. They experience emotion very strongly. Therefore, our task is to teach them to recognize their emotions, express them correctly and be able to manage them.

It’s normal to feel angry sometimes. But what matters is how our children handle this powerful emotion.

As a mother of two emotional children, I know firsthand about childhood anger. Hence, I can say that I already have my own small collection of tools and tips to teach children how to manage their anger in safe and healthy ways that I’m happy to share with you.

Teach your children to spot the signs of anger

First of all, you need to help your child develop emotional intelligence. Sometimes, kids don’t know they are angry until after the explosion has happened. Talk about what your child feels when they start to get angry. For example, they may notice that:

  • their heart beats faster

  • their muscles tense

  • they clench their teeth

  • they make a fist

  • their stomach churns

Over time, they will start to recognize that feeling and ideally use a coping skill before things get too overwhelming.

Use quick tricks to help kids express their anger

Work together to try to find out what triggers the anger. Talk about helpful strategies for managing anger. You could encourage your child to:

  • count to calm down

  • breathe slowly and deeply

  • take a break and go to a private place to calm down

  • create own calm-down kit

  • rip paper/write down what’s bothering you and rip it up

  • squeeze a stress ball

  • do some exercises (push-ups, jumping jacks, stretches)

Tackle anger together

Team up with your child to help them deal with their anger. This way, you let your child know that anger is the problem, not them. With younger children, this can be fun and creative. Give anger a name and try drawing it.

Be positive and keep yourself calm

Don’t forget that children are our reflection.

As a mother, I know that’s tough, especially when your child is having a difficult time, but it’s important to learn to do it. This will build your child's confidence in their ability to manage their anger and help them feel that you are both learning together. One of the best ways to help your child is to make sure you stay calm yourself.

Remember that part of a parent’s job is to help children regulate their anger, by allowing it. While it may take some time to teach your child to respond appropriately to this strong emotion, don’t give up in the process. Your child needs you at this moment more than ever, and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

With love, Elizabeth