Anger is a normal human emotion, and it can even be helpful sometimes. However, learning how to manage it is a skill and is one that children are unfamiliar with. For many children, it is hard to tell the difference between anger and a similar emotion like frustration or fear. It isn’t easy to know how to manage these emotions. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for helping your child manage their anger. But there are some strategies you can use to help them regulate it. Keep reading for more tips on teaching your child anger management techniques.
Recognize and Label Emotions
Before children can even begin managing their anger, they need to be able to recognize and label their feelings. Children of all ages can benefit from this; even babies. You can draw and label different pictures to indicate various emotions, such as happy, sad, or angry. For older children, you can help them identify their feelings by describing and labeling them. Include their physical symptoms, too, by saying things like: “I can tell you’re frustrated because your face is red.”
Model Appropriate Behavior
Even if your child doesn’t fully understand managing their anger, they can learn by watching you. Even as an adult, it can be hard to remember in the moment, but if you take a minute to breathe and talk about your feelings instead of losing your temper, your child will understand that that is the appropriate way to behave. Also, if you remain calm during your child’s angry moments, they will feel safe and better able to calm down as well.
Teach Anger Coping Skills
When your child feels relaxed and calm, work together to make a list of things they can do when they feel angry. Some activities you can try include:
- Sing and dance
- Draw or color a picture
- Listen to their favorite music
- Take some deep breaths
- Walk away to a different room and jump around
- Talk to someone
Is there a pattern to your child’s anger? Do they get angry every time they play with a particular kid? Or when they don’t get their way? Once you recognize a pattern, you can help your child with strategies to try and prevent them. Ask your child what happens right before they get angry to help them recognize their own triggers.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.