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)