I have young children and am often in need of anger management activities for kids. Children have big emotions for such little humans. Everything is new and they need help navigating what they are going through.
I am not a clinical psychologist. No training in behavioral therapy. I am not a doctor or a professional. Just a regular mom with regular kids. I need simple, realistic anger management activities for kids. If you feel you need deeper assistance, it’s okay to seek a professional.
I have found some simple anger management activities for kids that are effective. Here’s some things that worked for us.
1.Empathize And Praise Calm Things Down
Maintaining a positive attitude myself is essential in mot escalating situations. I have the ability to smooth things over. I also have an affinity for pouring gasoline on the fire. It’s so easy to react to anger with frustration and more anger.
I understand my child’s anger. Expressing empathy can calm situations. I remember being young and just wanting to be heard and understood.
Praise the child and focus on the good instead of magnifying the bad. I always tell my son, “My favorite thing about you is when you are kind and loving to other people.” This is preferable to focusing on what I don’t like.
2. Breathing Exercises Are Great Anger Management Activities For Kids
90% of my problems are solved or diminished by remembering to breathe. Breathing techniques are effective anger management activities for kids, too.
Here are some simple examples of breathing exercises you can try with your children.
- Pretend to slowly blow out birthday candles together.
- Smell flowers and take in the breath as slowly as possible.
- Practice slowly blowing a cotton ball across the table.
3. Mindfulness And Grounding Activities
Mindfulness is about being aware and present instead of focusing on the negative emotion. Meditation is an effective mindfulness activity for adults and kids. Practice sitting still and quiet for a few minutes, focus on your breath together. Try picturing a happy place, like grandma’s house or your favorite campsite.
Grounding exercises are amazing anger management activities for kids and great for mindfulness. Try the 5,4,3,2,1 Grounding exercise. List 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can smell, 2 things you can touch and 1 thing you can taste.
4, Physical Exercise As Anger Management Activities For Kids
Anger triggers the adrenaline response. If you have a child who acts out physically with hitting or throwing, this is especially crucial.
Make them run around the couch a few times or jump up and down. Go on a walk together. If they need more intense activity, let them scream into or punch a pillow or hit the ground with a bat in the backyard- something intense but not damaging or hurtful.
5. Scenery Change
Distraction tools are especially useful as anger management activities for kids in smaller children.
Going for a walk is great. You can also simply move to a different room in the house, or sit on the floor together.
6. Redirect To Another Activity
This is not about avoiding the emotion. Sometimes they just need to calm down before being able to effectively process or discuss their feelings.
Paint a picture, build some blocks or go outside and crunch some leaves. Give their little brains a break and go back to talking later when the drama has subsided.
7. Ways To Use Words As Anger Management Activities For Kids
Journaling is great for kids who can write. It’s an effective strategy to free write on paper. It causes us to examine the words as the writing comes out. We can often work through our own emotions this way.
It’s also important to encourage kids to talk about it. Let them vent and then discuss. Teach them to trust you with their feelings when they share. Encourage them to ask for help when conflict arises.
As parents we can also make sure our kid’s needs are met and not adding to elevated emotions. Getting enough rest, eating healthy and being physically well are care tactics important before engaging in anger management activities for kids.
If my kids are exhausted or hopped up on sugar, I can’t really expect their best behavior. Our kids are just learning to process emotions. It’s our job to guide them. Be understanding, patient and loving.