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5 Ways to Help Kids Release Anger Properly

Updated on June 28, 2013

Anger Management in Kids

Just like adults, it is normal and healthy for kids to feel anger or rage. Oftentimes it is difficult to manage especially young children whom normally aren’t aware of how they feel. When your child is angry it is important to make an effort to understand why and where the anger is coming from.

In helping kids manage anger, it is crucial that parents themselves have the ability to control their emotions properly. The idea is not for parents to never get angry, but for the child to learn to release his anger appropriately.

Misbehavior is a Sign of Repressed Anger

Kids who have developed emotional intelligence are better able to control anger. Unfortunately many kids feel uncomfortable and unsafe in expressing their emotions. They resort to repressing their feelings because of fear – fear of rejection and ridicule. As a result, kids often behave in aggressive manners as a defense mechanism.

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Why Releasing Anger Properly is Essential?

Anger left untreated is likely to surface as a problem once the child enters his teenage years and adulthood. Anger held back in the formative years will probably rear its ugly head in the child’s relationships as an adult. It is precisely for this reason why it is important to be able to resolve issues at a young age.



How Can Parents Help Their Kids?

Awareness is the first step to helping kids release anger properly.

Below are 5 easy guidelines on helping your child deal with anger.

1 - Encourage your child to verbalize his feelings

In order to encourage your child to talk, you must let him understand that it is okay to be angry. Tell him that feeling and saying that you are angry is okay, but expressing anger in aggressive ways such as physically hurting or verbally bashing someone is unacceptable.

If he can, let him express his emotions in his own words. This helps him to get in touch with his feelings. There are times though, because of a kid’s limited vocabulary, that they will feel more frustrated from being unable to express their emotions. Ask questions such as “Do you feel that I was being unfair when I did not allow you to go outside?” Help your child out by supplying the words yourself.

Help your child understand what anger is all about

2 - Affirm your love to your child regardless of his behavior

Giving your child a bear hug can dissolve the anger and help both of you regain control. Staying calm in the face of your child’s anger is vital, not only because children learn from imitating, but because you will not be helping your child by responding to his anger with anger of your own.

Instead, respond with “I know you’re angry, but I love you no matter what”. If he lashes out at you, remember not to take it personally. Tell him it is his behavior that is unacceptable and not him. Resist giving in to your own anger and strive to set a positive example for your child.

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3 - Acknowledge your child's feelings and set limitations

Bear in mind that you are allowing all kinds of feelings. Relay the message to your child that it’s okay to cry, raise your voice out of frustration, and grip on to something hard as a way to vent out their anger. These outlets do not mean you are allowing destructive actions to ensue. You are just limiting his boundaries, which is reasonable. Be firm to tell your child that he can be mad but he should not hit or hurt – physically and verbally - anyone including his own self.

4 - "Time in" instead of "Time out"

Do not send a child to his room to calm down by himself. Doing so gives kids a message that they are all alone with these big emotions and will discourage them from opening up. Try a “time in” during which you stay with your child until he calms down. Practicing this will eventually promote self control in your child because he feels less helpless and alone. Use this time to talk.

5 - Determine and always be conscious of the warning signs

Do not send a child to his room to calm down by himself. Doing so gives kids a message that they are all alone with these big emotions and will discourage them from opening up. Try a “time in” during which you stay with your child until he calms down. Practicing this will eventually promote self control in your child because he feels less helpless and alone. Use this time to talk.

Parents need to be patient to see results. Take comfort in knowing that kids fair better when they live in a home where the family members are able to handle anger in a healthy way. Helping your child learn anger management skills early on in life gives a good emotional foundation for their future.

On a final note, each child has a unique personality and behavior. Take notice of your child's individual characteristics. Just when every measure you have employed to help your kid vent his anger has failed, do not hesitate to seek professional advice. It might turn out effective.

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