Teaching Kids to Manage Anger

by si101
12 replies
A child's feelings are more often than not displayed in their behavior. While a child is angry they may smash their toys, yell or pitch a fit. Children are not always appropriately vocal about their emotions but their actions are often louder than words.
Anger management for kids is obtainable and is useful in dealing with a child's troubles with rage. Teaching these skills may necessitate a little research and experimenting. There are books, movies and an abundance of useful information provided by sites on the Internet.
A child will not profit from an adult anger management support group, nor will they benefit from taking an adult-style anger management class. Their minds are not established a sufficient amount to candidly talk about their feelings. In actuality they may not understand what's happening themselves. A counselor cannot wait for a child to open up and tell them what is making them angry. This may never happen.
Teaching them positive morals and tolerable conduct through a variety of games would be a great deal more successful than a one-on-on session with an anger management counselor. Providing them with worksheets, coloring pages, puzzles and quizzes would make the anger management lessons more appealing and pleasurable. Children can in reality be participating in a program without in fact realizing it. Anger management is a difficult idea to make clear to young children.
A child needs to become skilled at how to act properly in different situations. The have to know that it is absolutely fine to be upset but they must as well comprehend that this anger must not be used in a negative manner. Teaching kids anger management skills near the beginning of life will provide building blocks for their future. Through repetitious activities and practices, kids will eventually learn anger management techniques.
Teaching Kids to Manage Anger
#anger #kids #manage #teaching
  • Profile picture of the author bryce
    Although I agree with most of what you write here, I tend to believe there is too much focus placed by adults, on the way things 'should' be done. When it comes to kids, again just like adults, they are all individuals in thier own right, and what may work for one, may not work for another. In my own experience I was able to intervene in a childs life at the age of 8 (he was 8, I was obviously much older ) whereby, he had spent the previous years of his life being raised by a drug addicted, alcoholic gambling mother, who happened to sell herself for income, he is now 19, studying law and business practises, living in his own home with his partner, and making more money some weeks that I do.

    He had plenty of reason to go off the rails in his younger years, particularly in his teens, but my one-on-one approach to mentoring him, and the togetherness he was always encouraged to share with me, meant that we were able to have some very open and honest conversations. These usually led to whatever problems he may have been facing, and we dealt with them as one!

    He is someone to be proud of, and I never raised a hand to him, but equally I never outsourced my responsibilities to counsellors or books or education programs about how to raise my son. My experience of other kids and thier relationships within thier own family unit, would suggest that there is a distinct possibility that if a child (no matter what age) is not able to express to you (thier parent) exactly how they feel, or what is bothering them, there is an issue of trust that needs to be meausred, and usually by the parent. If the parent is someone who has a reputation for breaking promises, or changing plans at the last minute, or generally not being committed, the kids will rationalise this in thier own way, as being unreliable. This in iteself is what can lead to some kids harbouring thier issues, rather than expressing them.

    The other important aspect of having a solid open and trusting relationship with your children is purely and simply the ability to "listen." As you say, kids often disguise thier real emotions with others, as do adults, but if you are fit to be raising kids, in my opinion, you should be alert to this and know how to deal with it, when and if it eventuates. Of course most things kid related, have a lot to do with the age and environment, but again the environment issue is one that is controlled by the parent.

    Good post si101
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  • Profile picture of the author colinredk
    I agree that this is more of an environment issue than anything else. The reason is that kids are very impressionable. Even before curiosity, children are impressionable. What they see is what they learn.

    If kids see bullying in the household, or shouting and lots of anger, this is what they pick up. And hand down to their children or manifest in their adult relationships.

    Just my two cents' worth.
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    • Profile picture of the author bryce
      Originally Posted by colinredk View Post

      I agree that this is more of an environment issue than anything else. The reason is that kids are very impressionable. Even before curiosity, children are impressionable. What they see is what they learn.

      If kids see bullying in the household, or shouting and lots of anger, this is what they pick up. And hand down to their children or manifest in their adult relationships.

      Just my two cents' worth.
      I think especially these days, that school is the biggest issue! What happens within those fences is beyond the control of parents, and it even seems that in a number of cases i have examined, that the teaching staff have been handed "pseudo-parenting" rights. This disgusts me about our education system, and I truly believe that a lot of the issues kids may be subject to at school, are the foundation for behavioural issues in the home.

      Me, I am still and probably always will be, an advocate and practitioner of "Tough Love" and its like anything else in life. I learn from positive experiences what is the best model for me, and those I am responsible for. I only kow that through raising my son this way, we never had to deal with anger management, and we had a fantastic open relationship where he was encouraged to (politely) voice any concerns he may have had.

      Sure we had arguments, and we had shouting too, (at each other) but that was in his early teens when things change again. Issues change, and so does the strength of outside influences because at this age theya re more adapted to start reasoning, and understanding. In the 12 years we were together, he was never grounded for more than a weekend, nor was he smacked, nor did we EVER go to bed without resolving any obvious issues, BUT never did I back down from whatever descipline I felt necessary to enforce. I always followed through, no matter how sad that might have made me feel later.

      I just watched a television program tonight (in Australia) where the mother of a bullied son, was furious that at 9 years old, her son had walked into the garage with the intent on taking his own life! This was due to bullying at school, and now at 12 years old and stilll at the same school, the son was again battling with being punched and harassed and bullied at school! The mother was so mad that after 3 years the situation was unchanged (exceopt that the son was able to deal with the bullying without wanting to commit suicide), that she was calling on PARENTS of bullies to be criminally charged, as a result of thier kids actions.

      Of course this is rediculous, but it goes to show the extent of the problems in our school system. I dont need to mentione tragedies like Columbine, and others to suggest that 20 years ago, these things would not have happened! You are right about the household influences being taken on board by the kids, and I believe that in these drastic cases, there would clearly be underlying issues within the home. However in my opinion there are solutions to the problem, and none of them involve the erosion of parents rights, or surrogate parenting roles by teachers.
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    • Profile picture of the author dwieder
      i am not a teacher but i agree that it is a stress reliever to share your knowledge to kids. but sometimes, the problem is i often lose my temper and find myself actually angry to them. (and it is not a good example for them) better yet, i am doing this when i am relaxed and calm.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
        I am a firm believer in teaching by example, I try very hard (mostly successfully) to never exhibit negative emotions around my son. Sometimes it can be tricky, but overall it's not too hard.

        My main question here is, just what is an unacceptable level of anger in a child? Anger is a necessary and in certain situations, healthy emotion. Repressing anger has been proven to cause emotional problems further down the line, how can we be sure that we are teaching a young child to manage anger and not forcing them into repressing it?

        Children also operate differently to adults, they are very much in the Id, so anger is a far more natural response for them than it would be for an adult. Being self focused, a child will become frustrated far quicker than the average adult, something that is easily identifiable in most children.

        I guess my point is that trying to teach a child how to manage anger, will deprive them of attaining their own mastery over it, which is part of moving out of Id into Ego.
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        • Profile picture of the author bryce
          Originally Posted by DecurroLtd View Post

          I am a firm believer in teaching by example, I try very hard (mostly successfully) to never exhibit negative emotions around my son. Sometimes it can be tricky, but overall it's not too hard.

          My main question here is, just what is an unacceptable level of anger in a child? Anger is a necessary and in certain situations, healthy emotion. Repressing anger has been proven to cause emotional problems further down the line, how can we be sure that we are teaching a young child to manage anger and not forcing them into repressing it?

          Children also operate differently to adults, they are very much in the Id, so anger is a far more natural response for them than it would be for an adult. Being self focused, a child will become frustrated far quicker than the average adult, something that is easily identifiable in most children.

          I guess my point is that trying to teach a child how to manage anger, will deprive them of attaining their own mastery over it, which is part of moving out of Id into Ego.
          This is an interesting reply because I have found that in my own life, as an adult, we can't always teach by example. The difficulty with this is that the example we know how to set or establish as an adult, may not be understood by a child, and as a child they should not be expected to react ike an adult.

          The point you make about "Negative Emotions" is also an interesting one. Most adults (and some kids too) would see "anger", "Sadness", "guilt" and many more emotions as "negative" and yet they are all necessary forms of expression that teach us through life, how to handle situations. I used to "share" any emotion with my son, and often this was a great form of release for my own issues, whatever they may heve been.

          In my opinion anger is fine, and the boundary is reached when there is a risk of that anger becoming aggression, violent, or as you say egotistical. This to me, is when the emotion must be restrained, along with a very clear explanation of "why" - and it is the effectiveness of the "why" that will eventually re-train the behaviour.

          It was funny sometimes raising Matty because there was an occasion or two where I would "reverse the attitude" but in a different scenario and sometimes at a different time, and this, would be such a learning curve to him. By this I mean, he may have been angry at me for something he was not allowed to do, or for something he had been punished for, and he would give me the pouts for a day, or he would release his feelings in some other way. I would generally ignore the issue and the behaviour, and when a suitable situation raised itself, where I could exhibit the same behaviour, I would. Always with the knowledge that I was testing the waters, but only one of us knew that of course

          It was amazing that in all of those situations he would see for himself the sillyness of my actions, and through allowing him to experience that feeling, it was easy to then relate that to his own earlier behaviour. Again this was effective, but it needs to be done soon after the initial experience, otherwise kids will forget how they felt at the time.

          I agree with you totally, when it comes to suppressing emotions, no matter what they may be. But in children those emotions need to be monitored closely, so that they understand where to draw the line. There is also another complication to this whole issue and that is that as an adult will also have to know how to this, a child needs to understand that to express anger at another child, is totally different to expressing anger at an adult. There are many reasons for this, and I wont go into them here, but we all know that as adults we can't necessarily relate our feelings to a child in the same manner we relate them to another adult.

          If my son ever got angry with an adult, he had been taught to curb that anger (if possible and appropriate) in favour of acceptance. If he then wanted to get angry about it later with me, he knew he could do this, and we would discuss it, most of the time reaffirming to him, that control of his emotions in that particular situation was a good thing.

          Honestly, I dont think there is a text book guide on how to deal with this, and if there were, I probably wouldnt follow it anyway. Even at 19 he is still my son, and we are a team, and we know what each other expects from the other, and that is what is most important. It comes down to the values, and the morals of the adult or parent, and if they are not good, or mature, then the kid is in for a rough time.

          Haha, I am a firm believer that parents should be licensed to be parents! Just because we were given the ability to have children does not mean we are all equipped with the skills to raise them, especially to adulthood. Much like we are given the ability to shoot a gun, we are not all suitably mannered to actually own one.


          Originally Posted by dwieder View Post

          i am not a teacher but i agree that it is a stress reliever to share your knowledge to kids. but sometimes, the problem is i often lose my temper and find myself actually angry to them. (and it is not a good example for them) better yet, i am doing this when i am relaxed and calm.
          I disagree. By default and as an adult, you are a teacher. However in saying that, we are no matter what our agae or level of experience, still learning. I think imparting knowledge is completely different to imparting anger. You say "....anger to them" and not ".....anger at them", so by this I guess you mean that you show them you are angry at whatever it is or whoever it is you are talking about, rather than towards the child. My own opinion of the fact that you get angry "relatively quickly" when you are otherwise calm and relaxed, may mean you have your own issues that need attention. This is usually symptomatic of frustration rather than legitimate anger.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mac Wheeler
            You make some very good points, and I have to admit I am a very liberal parent, I tend to feel that any form of behavioural control that is not 100% necessary is bad. Although my child is far younger, my attitude will possibly change as he changes. I try to let him express himself however he sees fit, he is learning as am I, although I have a sneaky suspicion he is somewhat smarter than me

            Originally Posted by bryce View Post

            Haha, I am a firm believer that parents should be licensed to be parents! Just because we were given the ability to have children does not mean we are all equipped with the skills to raise them, especially to adulthood. Much like we are given the ability to shoot a gun, we are not all suitably mannered to actually own one.
            Now this I completely agree with, I grew up in a relatively poor area, and witnessed first hand mothers who had multiple children just to get state benefits, a seriously bad way to approach parenthood. Although the whole theory falls apart when you consider that reproduction is arguably the single greatest right of any human being, I cannot think of anyone who would be qualified to judge just who is permitted to have a child and who isn't.
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          • Profile picture of the author redwriter
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            • Profile picture of the author bryce
              Originally Posted by redwriter View Post

              I disagree with you bryce. I agree to dwieder. I think what dwieder is trying to say, is his own personal experience. you have your own, and he has his own, he is saying that teaching is good but based on his personality, he does not do it when he is stressed or tensioned because he might loss temper.
              Hmmm I took it a different way In all honesty the post does state that "I am doing this...." and I did take that on first glance to mean he was actually getting streesed and angry when he was teaching. Obviously I overlooked the different ways in which different cultures use the english language, lol. I now understand it to mean that he (or she) feels that he "is better to be doing this when relaxed and calm"

              Thanks for the clarification, and based on that yes I agree, it is always best to teach and support kids when you are calm and relaxed.
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  • Profile picture of the author beckey
    kids often got angry,if you did not satisfied him/her.
    according my daughter,mom or dad should let him/her calm down, then talk with him/her what's wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author aeroturner
    Kids are Kids..Ifs difficult to satisfy their needs!!
    Great and cool post shared..thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author HairyPoppins
    I'm around kids a lot. I'm a essentially a Nanny right now. But I'm a guy and have a beard hence my s/n.

    I see so many parents just letting there kids get away with murder. It seems no will is willing to parent anymore. They stopped being parents and started being friends. It amazes me what I see on a day to day basis at the elementary school.

    People need to teach their kids that failure is apart of life and that you don't need to throw tantrums because you didn't get your way. The kids I see just throw a **** storm over nothing. It's insane. But alas you have to take a test to drive a forklift but anyone can have a kid. All I can do is try to teach the children I'm responsible for what I believe is the right way.
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    • Profile picture of the author chelsean
      Children are very impressionable. I just had this conversation with some people the other day. We were watching The Bad Seed. A movie made back in 1956 based on the thought that this little girl may or may not have been born a "bad seed." I believe that every person has the knowledge of right and wrong and as I also believe they are motivated by their enviornment. However, they ultimately can choose whether or not they want to make right or wrong choices. So teaching children to manage their anger at a young age I believe will help them later in life.
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