Managing Anger

About This Module

Welcome to our module on anger management for children. Dealing with an angry child is a tough part of the parenting role. Anger is an emotion that we all feel and is a completely normal and healthy emotion to have. As parents, it’s important that we teach our children how to manage their emotion of anger in a positive way.

In this module, you are going to teach your child to manage their anger which involves some anger management activities for kids. It’s important your child doesn’t bottle their anger up or let it get out of control. Feeling angry is healthy. Your child needs to know what are acceptable and unacceptable behaviours when they get angry.

You will look at how to deal with an angry child and how your child reacts when they are angry and help them learn to choose suitable alternatives when needed.

What You'll Learn

  • Teach your child to cope with their anger in a positive way.

  • To eliminate any inappropriate behaviours caused by anger such as hitting, biting, shouting at people, swearing or bottling it up.

  • Teach your child positive coping strategies they can put in place at each of the four stages of anger.

  • To teach your child a healthy long-term way of dealing with their anger.

THE STRATEGIES

Our step-by-step, easy to follow strategies are designed by our team of psychologists. Unlimited access to all our strategies is available in your WeParent Membership.

  • REDUCING THE TRIGGERS

    The aim of this strategy is for you to be able to identify what are the triggers that make your child angry and determine whether they are in your control to eliminate or not. By focussing on the triggers, both you and your child are building an awareness of what makes them become angry. This skill enables your child over time to learn to avoid situations which they know will make them angry.
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  • VERBALISE YOUR ANGER

    The next step of managing anger is to help your child cope with the emotional reaction from any triggers you and your child couldn’t eliminate. When we feel the emotion of anger, we make a split-second decision as to how we should react. Children’s brains are still developing, and they can be very flexible in what decision they choose to make with their emotional reaction.
    REDUCE THOSE ANGER OUTBURSTS.
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  • TAKING CONTROL

    By now, you already have two useful strategies in your toolkit to apply when your child gets angry. Your child is now starting to learn how to manage their anger in a more positive and constructive way. In this third strategy, you are going to give your child options as to how they feel and provide your child with options to acting out when they feel angry.
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  • CHOOSING APPROPRIATE ACTIONS

    This final strategy is for the situations where you child cannot control their anger or they’ve decided that it’s something that they should feel angry about. This strategy teaches your child to be responsible for their actions, choosing those that, between you, have decided as appropriate.
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Psychology Fun Facts

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  • Why is my child so angry?
    Anger is an everyday emotion. Everyone becomes angry at times. The question is how we react, how strongly we react and whether we act in an appropriate way when we are angry.

  • Anger management for kids
    Anger can be a positive emotion. It can energise, motivate and be a source of great drive when properly channelled.

    Anger is only destructive when it’s out of control or not properly managed.

  • During the mid-childhood years, children can understand their emotions in three degrees of intensity. For example, if a child feels angry, they can learn to differentiate how angry they are. E.g. A bit annoyed, angry or very angry.

    As parents, it’s important to help children find words to explain how strongly they feel their emotions.

  • When processing anger, psychologists have identified we go through four key stages. We go through these stages in a matter of seconds. Think of these as child anger issues symptoms to help ‘diagnose’ which stage of anger they are at.

    1. Trigger
    2. Feelings
    3. Attributions
    4. Actions

    Parents can help their child to manage their anger by teaching them the skill of how they can intervene at any of these 4 stages when they get angry. Helping your child to keep their anger under control.

  • First Stage – Trigger

    The first stage of anger is the trigger. A trigger is whatever sparks anger in your child. Every child has their own set of triggers that change over time as they mature. What makes one child angry, may not make another child angry.

    A trigger can be caused externally by something or internally by our own thoughts.

    Some common examples of triggers are:

    • Another child took the toy I was playing with.
    • Losing a game or sport.
    • Being told to turn the TV off.
    • Favourite team loses a football match.
    • Child gets angry they can’t finish a puzzle.

     

  • Second Stage – What is the emotional reaction?

    The next stage of anger is the emotional reaction caused by the trigger. How intense is the feeling of anger?

    Children at this age can describe their intensity of feeling in three levels. A little annoyed, angry or really angry.

    It’s important children learn which level of anger is appropriate to certain situations. E.g Feeling a little annoyed when the TV was turned off – appropriate. Versus hitting and shouting – inappropriate.

  • Stage Three – What does your child attribute the cause of their anger to?

    How did your child internalise their thinking of the trigger and their emotion to it? This is where your child has a choice as to how they will react by choosing a positive attribution or a negative one.

    As a parent, you can coach your child the choices they can make at this stage.

    For example, someone breaks your child’s toy. You can either say to your child “It was just an accident”. Or, “That was very naughty of your friend to break that toy, wasn’t it?”

  • Stage Four – What action did your child choose to take?

    Sometimes things simply make us feel angry enough that we want to act upon it. Therefore, it’s important to teach children what are the acceptable and unacceptable ways to react when they are angry.

  • Anger issues in children
    Anger is normal and it’s important to teach children to positively manage it in a controlled way.

    If your child gets angry less than three times in a one week period and successfully self-manage their anger, WeParent believe they have a healthy relationship with anger.

    If a child is never allowed to show any signs of anger, this can hinder their emotional development.

WeParent Top Tip

Does my child bottle their anger up?

If your child is someone who bottles their anger up rather than acting out on it by hitting or shouting, remember they are still as angry as another child who does act out on it. It’s very important to help them verbalise their emotions and form positive attributions. So, even though you aren’t necessarily having anger outbursts at home, bottling up anger is not healthy and your child still needs to be taught these important coping strategies.

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