Anger Management For Children and Adolescents

When children feel inadequate to cope with a situation or when they don’t even know what the reality of the situation requires them to do, it frustrates them and yes, it often leads them to feeling very angry. When this happens, they tend to act out their anger inappropriately and even do something that can end up becoming self indulgent, counter-productive and ultimately self destructive.

If children’s anger is not managed properly it does not get better, it gets worse, even much worse over time. Look out if this anger is left uncontrolled and your child now enters into adolescence. It could even escalate until you can’t stand it any longer and eventually you may find yourself exploding.

When we think of anger management, children and anger usually isn’t the first thing that pop into our minds. However, many kids today do have difficulty controlling this powerful emotion and as we all know teenagers are prime examples of this lack of anger control.

Some teens are in desperate need of guidance and instruction on how to deal with their emotions and anger is often top on this list. Anger management children and adolescents can use is very approachable in behavioral steps.

As a therapist I have had my share of dealing with kids who have difficulty controlling emotions. Here I will share some anger management children and especially teenagers can really use. These approaches will break the process down into manageable step for you and for your kids.

The problem is the mismanagement of anger

First of all, understand that the problem is not the child’s anger. The problem is the mismanagement of the anger. Misbehavior, acting out and even tantrums CAN most certainly be a problem, but it is also an opportunity to teach responsibility and anger management skills to the child. There are two very effective ways to do this. Give them effective tools, and personal examples.

It is very important for you as the adult in the situation to keep an even keel when dealing with an emotionally charged situation. This is much harder than it seems when trying to cope with such an out of control child but if you take this approach consistently you will see great progress in the anger management children can use. Therefore, make sure that you keep calm and in control at all times.

When you are in control of your emotions during these difficult times you are modeling appropriate behavior for your kids. Modeling is a very important aspect of teaching and learning. If you are trying to enforce anger management children can use effectively you should demonstrate that you practice anger management yourself.

Use appropriate visual cues

Now that you have your bearings you can begin using some behavioral strategies targeted towards the proper anger management that you would like your children to use. Many kids are visual. They learn by seeing and they really pay attention to visual cues. You can begin your new approach to anger management for your children by using a type of visual cue.

An example would be to make a visual gesture that alerts your younger child or even adolescent that he needs to take a step back and take control of his emotions. Many parents use a simple “stop” sign with their hands.

Younger children may benefit from seeing a red stop sign that you hold up. You would explain to your child ahead of time what you will do and what you expect from her. Stopping is the first step in anger management for children.

Breathe deeply

Once your child has stopped the inappropriate behavior, the next step is for the child to take a really deep breath. You can add another gesture or image to this step. One approach is to use a yellow sign or card with the word “breathe” on it or you can model the behavior for your child by stopping and breathing deeply in a way that signals to your child to do the same.

Next your child counts to ten. This gives him time to focus on something else while he calms himself down. As you can plainly see, anger management children use when necessary can be quite simple.

Once calm, talk with your child

After the child successfully completes the above steps then it is time to talk. This shows that you are giving value to his feelings, that you’re willing to listen and that you want to take the time to sort things out.

This type of anger management for children to use also encourage the child to talk instead of acting out. Once the child learns to put his emotions into words he will be less likely to exhibit negative behaviors.

Personal Example is not only the best way to teach character and anger management to our children, it is the ONLY way to teach it effectively! As parents, teachers, counselors or education professionals, we must all model appropriate behavior to our students/children.

The way you, as a parent or teacher, are managing your anger problems and frustration provides children with the best means of handling their own anger and frustration. Therefore, you must, as a precondition to teaching anger management to children, learn how to effectively and appropriately manage our own anger and then, model these skills for our students/children.

Example is always the best teacher.