Anger Management for children can be difficult. This may be related to the lack of thought that goes into their actions when angry. Often, children tend to think with extreme emotions. What they are feeling at the moment is what comes out without thought. Anger is a normal emotion; it is the way we choose to show anger, that can be unhealthy or dangerous.
Children who do not have strong emotional language or accessible coping skills my pick choose negative actions when angry leading to violence. Unhealthy displays of anger may turn into violent or aggressive outbursts. These displays may cause destruction and damage to persons or things in their line of sight.
If a child cannot use the skills they acknowledge, having those skills are of no use for that child. I know children who can name 5 to 8 skills for anger. However, these same children destroy property, punch adults, and hurt themselves when angry. The only words they seem to know when angry are curse words starting with the letter F.
Habits are hard to break; however, if you can change action over 30 days, a new habit will be formed. Making the old habit cost enough to want a change is key to changing behaviors.
A few things might help:
Allowing them to throw squeaky toys or soft toys against the wall. They may throw a few items until they are able to talk about what is going on with them
Breathing in 3’s – breath in and count to 3, hold it for count of 3, breath out like a blowing out like bubbles and count to 3. Do these three times or until they can talk about what is going on
Breathing in deep through noise, hold it in lungs, breath out though mouth slowly letting the balloon in their chest is deflated. You can have them sit on the floor and put a cup on their chest to help them see breathing happen.
Giving them a safe place where they can have a meltdown. This may include a crash pad (blankets or baby mattress) on the floor
Tapping: tapping on their fingers while saying a simple mantra they created for relaxation.
Tapping on pressure points- between finger and thumb, temple, top of head, or wrist.
These are only a few ideas. If they do not work for you send an email to the link on this site and we can talk about other ideas for your loved one.