January 12, 2011

Safe Ways for Children to Express Anger

Anger is the most misunderstood of all emotions. We have a tendency to think of anger as something we would rather not experience especially when it comes to children. When parents see their child exhibiting anger they usually want it to stop and they want it to stop immediately.
Anger in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s what you do with the anger that can be a problem. Children aren’t born with the ability to know how to express their anger appropriately. Parents need to teach their children what to do with those angry feelings.
Children, like adults, need an outlet for their anger. Anger that’s not expressed is bottled up inside and eventually gets to the point where the child explodes in unhealthy ways. Here are some suggestions for ways children can release their anger in appropriate ways.

Punch a pillow

Stomp on an empty egg carton

Punch play dough

Rip up newspaper

Squeeze a towel

Run or do another physical activity

Select one or more of these and practice them with your child when he’s not angry. Introducing any of these suggestions during a rage of anger won’t be very successful. Tell him that when you see him getting angry you will remind him of what he’s supposed to do. You’ll have to remind him numerous times until it eventually becomes an automatic response on his part.

Dealing with an angry child is challenging. Teaching your children appropriate ways to release their anger can make things a little easier.

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