How To Help Your Child Learn Anger Management Skills

Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. However, many children struggle to understand the difference between angry feelings and aggressive behaviour. Helping your child identify and understand their feelings is important for all emotions, but especially when anger can turn to destructive and harmful behaviours.

Model appropriate anger management skills

The best way to teach your child how to deal with anger is by showing them how you deal with your own emotions when you are angry. If your child sees you losing your temper when you are angry, they will likely do the same. However, if they see you cope with your feelings in a more calm and constructive manner, they are likely to pick up on that too.

Help your child identify their feelings

When people are angry, they need to feel heard and understood for them to calm down, so it is important to acknowledge your child’s feelings when they are angry. By saying things like, “I can see that you are angry. Can you tell me what is making you upset?” this helps them identify the feelings they are experiencing. This can also help your child identify any triggers, allowing them to deescalate before they are overwhelmed.

Establish rules and limitations

Allowing feelings doesn’t mean allowing destructive behaviour. Breaking things, hitting or otherwise harming themselves or others, should never be allowed. If a child needs to get their frustrations out physically, you should provide a safe space for them to do so where they can release that energy.

Teach healthy coping skills

Kids need skills to manage their anger in the moment. When your child is calm, make a list with him of constructive ways to handle emotion, practice them, and post the list on the refrigerator. You can also use this list to model appropriate behaviours, which will in turn encourage your child to do the same.

Is your child struggling with anger management issues?

The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who are trained to work with children on a variety of issues including anger management, anxiety, stress, and fears.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing, as well as in-person sessions.

Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.