Anger is a normal and natural emotion. It is not good or bad, it’s just a message telling a person they do not like what is happening. But getting mad comes with a powerful and explosive energy. Many children have temper tantrums, it is part of being a helpless, frustrated child. To help defuse this burst of emotion which causes children to lash out in destructive ways, give them simple tasks to relieve the pressure.
- Ask them to run the length of a long room 20 times. The exercise will help them burn off some of their anger energy and tire them out. Performing this task will also help distract them.
- Get a big, soft pillow that they can hit a wall, floor, or something that won’t get damaged. Again, this will give your child a way to vent their feelings.
- Ask your child to draw their anger monster. They can use colors and features to describe their emotions. This allows them to be creative and express their frustration.
- Rip up old newspapers, magazines, or printed paper. Demonstrate tearing up the paper, balling it up, and throwing it away. Being able to act out their aggression in a healthy way will help them control their behavior.
- Have your child make silly faces to turn their anger into laughter. Show them several goofy faces with added silly sounds to change their frown upside down.
- Request your child make up a song that puts their anger to music. Think of how Eminem put a beat to his frustrations and made millions. Try to come up with a lyric yourself to give them an example. Here is a song I came up with, “Anger is my red bull snort, snort, snort. Anger is my dinosaur chomp, chomp, chomp. Anger is my lion roar, roar, roar. Anger is my kangaroo hop, hop, hop.” Or, “Don’t want to go to bed, don’t want to go to bed, instead make Fred. Fred can go to bed.” Any simple and silly song will do. This will help your child calm down and focus on a creative task rather than having a meltdown.
- Have your child act out how certain animals sound when they are angry. This is another way to deflect an anger outburst. Many children are fascinated by animals. Ask them how a lion, dinosaur, tiger, bull, or gorilla would sound if it was angry. You are teaching them to release their anger in a positive but non-destructive way.
Use creativity to sooth away your child’s anger through self-expression. Releasing anger in a positive way is a skill that will bring them a lifetime of happiness.