Kids can feel anger for any number of reasons – they can feel unfairly treated or sidelined in favor of others, they can feel misunderstood, they can be frustrated when encountering difficulties with new things, they can feel hurt, insecure and anxious. Any strong emotion that a child experiences could manifest as anger – an offence as an unconscious form of defense! Here are some activities that will help a child channel anger or work through it in healthy, constructive ways.
1. Clay Modeling
Let your child hit, pummel, press, and manipulate clay or play doh into shapes or even blobs; anyway they wish. This could be a physical outlet. What the child creates with the clay could offer some interesting insight too.
Drawing, painting and coloring are similar physical outlets for anger and a way for the child to express feelings and emotions in a wordless manner.
Older kids may benefit from actually writing down their thoughts. Journaling helps to clarify problems and find solutions for them.
Any exercise – running, tossing a ball into a basket, cycling can help a child blow off steam and calm down mentally with the help of physical activity.
5. Punching a Bag
This could make a lot of sense for a child who verges on violent forms of anger expression. If they feel the need to punch, kick or hit, let them do it on an inanimate object that will help strengthen the muscles.
6. Talking a Walk with a Parent
Take a walk with the angry child; you don’t have to say anything. Lend an ear, offer advice if it seems welcome, offer comfort or affection it that seems to make things better; make sure that the child knows you’re there for them, no matter what.
7. Counting to 10, 50 or 100
Any individual, child or adult benefits from taking a few steps back from an angry situation. Take stock, use breathing techniques, simply count up to the number that helps the child calm down.
8. Blowing up Balloons
This again, is a physical release of anger that helps a child calm down.
9. De-stress Ball
In the same way that pressing, manipulating and pummeling clay is therapeutic, a de-stress ball is useful. And there is no added stress of creating any form or figure with the clay!
10. Control Your Own Anger
Seeing a parent keep their cool is instructive for the child. Looking at a parent express anger could make a child feel it’s OK to do the same. If you have effective anger management techniques, they may rub off on your child.