Anger is a normal and important emotion. It’s also normal for an angry child to become aggressive at times.
Help children learn healthy ways to express anger:
- Be a role model. Express your own anger in healthy ways. Send helpful messages to children about feeling and expressing anger in your everyday actions.
- Let children know that it is natural and normal to feel angry at times.
- Never laugh at, ignore, shame, or punish children just for being angry.
- Let children know that it is not OK to express anger in a way that hurts other people, animals, nature, or objects.
- Help children figure out how to tell others they are angry without hurting them. Teach young children how to use words to express anger.
- Create an emotional environment that is safe. Encourage children to express their feelings and support them when they do. Also watch for gender stereotypes. Make sure boys are supported to express fear and sadness – and that girls are supported to express anger and frustration.
- Help children expand their vocabulary of feelings. Teach them that they are having a feeling and that the feeling has a name. Also teach them that there is a range of feelings.
- Explain angry feelings. Encourage children to talk about situations that made them angry. Use puppets to roleplay situations where children get angry and handle it in a positive way.
- Use books and stories about anger. Choose books about anger carefully, so that children get correct information about anger and its management.
- Suggest simple statements for your child to use when feeling threatened. She could say, “I’m getting into the danger zone,” or “Red alert.” This can cue you to help her deal with her fear and anger.
- Encourage him to make clear and strong statements in “a big voice” – without yelling, screaming, whining, or pleading.
- Use some of the techniques that help children when they are crying.