Tap to Read ➤

Anger Management Techniques for Children

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
To help kids overcome unmanageable anger, anger management techniques are very necessary. If they do not learn these techniques, they may develop personality and behavior problems as adults.
Kids are young, and they have difficulty in understanding their emotions. They are not able to control their feelings of anger and develop negative emotions.
You may find that the kid is rude, uses abusive language, ignores his or her parents, always picks up fights with other children in school, etc. You may also find that the child starts banging his head on the wall, stops eating, or breaks toys when upset.
The kid does not follow the rules set up by the parents and teachers, stops talking to his friends, and his progress at schools takes a dip. These are all indications of anger within the child, and that he is in serious need of anger management techniques.

Why Do Children Get Angry?

Just like adults, kids too get angry, and they express their emotions by kicking, punching, and breaking anything in sight. Parents think of this as a behavioral problem, and try to discipline them with a light spanking or by giving some sort of punishment. They do not realize that their kid is angry, as they can't find any reason to their kid's anger.
But, kids have a lot to be angry about. They do not understand the adult world and feel claustrophobic, due to the many dos and don'ts. They cannot express themselves well, and they feel that they have to be dependent on their parents for everything. This makes them feel helpless, frustrated, and makes them resentful.
Many kids in the kindergarten age begin to hold back their impulsive feelings, and school-going children show subtle aggressive emotions like whining and sulking.

Setting a Good Foundation

There are many ways to help your kids control their tempers, especially when in public. You need to show the child that he/she is developing feelings of anger, by making them feel their pounding heart, heavy breathing, and feelings of getting warm. This helps the child recognize the situations that make him/her angry.
The next step for a child is to control and manage his/her feelings. It is very important to show patience and set an example for the kids. When you as a parent are angry, show the child that he/she has done something to upset you.
The important lesson to be taught here is recognizing the feeling of anger, controlling the impulse to lash out, and finding a constructive solution. Thus, parents should admit their mistakes, and show humility. This will make the kids learn to follow suit.
You should not ask the kid to stifle his/her feelings and not let them out. This leads to pent-up anger, that may explode in certain embarrassing situations, or keep festering inside till it develops into a psychological problem. The basic tip for kids is to make them understand that resorting to aggressive behavior will not help them achieve what they want.

Techniques to Control Temperament for Kids

► The first step involves separating the child from the person they are hurting. This will help the child remember in future, that when he/she feels like hitting someone or breaking something, he/she should immediately leave the room, and get involved in some other productive activity.
► Next, teach the child to use some strategies that will help calm down the nerves. You can ask the child to take in deep breaths, or have a glass of water. They can start singing or playing their favorite game. This helps reduce the physical signs of anger.
► Ask the child to think before acting. Show the child that vengeance is not the way out, and that there are other worthwhile things to be done.
► The next tip for kids involves development of empathy. Children as young as 3 years of age can develop empathy, and understand the other person's point of view.
► You should provide the child with other possible solutions, and come to a point where all are happy with the decisions taken.

Techniques for Kids in Case of Physical Aggression

When the child resorts to a physical fight to vent out his or her anger, then the following method should be used to help them master the feelings of aggression by:

► Immediately separating out the two parties fighting each other. You should assure them that they are safe and that they should control their impulse to protect themselves.
► The next step is to set the limits firmly. Make the child know you are in charge, and that you will not tolerate any form of hitting.
► Make the children understand that their actions will lead to consequences. Tell them that, till they do not learn to stay together without hurting each other, they can't play together.
► You should help the children understand their guilt, and make them apologize for their bad behavior. They should be made to understand that they are not bad people, and they can learn to behave better. Forgive them when they are guilty and apologize.

Temperament Control Activities for Children

You can try some anger management games for children, to help them control their anger. Such activities like 'out of control' can be played with a group of around 15 children.
Out of control is a great game, especially for young students. In this game, the kids are shown a table full of wrapped prizes. They are said that they will be given dice and rolling a double will help them win a prize. If they miss, their chance is gone.
They can continue the dice throwing round till all the gifts on the table are won. In the end, few will have gifts and some may have none. Then, comes the second part of the game. Now, set a timer for 10 minutes and ask the children to throw a double on the dice, and the one who gets it can take the prize from any kid who had won it in the first part.
Once the timer goes off, end the game. Then, ask the children how did they feel when they did not find luck on their side. Ask them if they felt angry when they lost what they had won or failed to roll a double. If they did, then what did they do to control it. There are many other similar techniques for students that help them control their feelings.
Teens today are under a lot of pressure due to high expectations from parents, study pressure, trying to maintain their image in front of friends, etc. Many kids fall prey to substance abuse and alcohol abuse that leads to other mental troubles. Therefore, they tend to get more frustrated and develop anger.
Teens who find they are experiencing frequent outbursts, should seek help and try some anger management techniques for youth. Parents should also keep an eye on these outbursts and help their teens.
Many times, anger is a cry for help that most parents overlook. If the child continues with these outbursts, then you should look deeper for answers. Is he/she feeling threatened by somebody, or are your fights with your spouse giving rise to a disturbed behavior in the child? Is he having trouble at school or do his socializing skills need to be brushed up?
If you are faced with frequent tantrums in your child, speak to a pediatrician or counselor for help. It is very important to calm a hot temper in a child, as a violent nature will lead to many problems as it would have done in the case of an adult.
Seek help from a child specialist, and follow the activities advised for your children. Remember, anger management is important, as you should not let anger control your child; instead help the child control the anger.