Does your child struggle with anger? Read this blog for the best anger management exercises for kids! Learn anger management for kids now!
Why Is My Child So Angry?
If you have a child who is commonly angry, here’s why. There are 3 main sources of a child’s anger…
1. An Unmet Need Or Desire
When a child has an unmet need, whether it’s physical affection, attention, exercise, etc, they will respond with aggression because they feel unsupported by the parent.
2. Anger Is A Bodyguard
Anger is a defense for softer emotions. When a child has their feelings hurt, they will use anger to hide their feelings of betrayal, abandonment, or hurt. A lot of kids have a survival instinct to hide their vulnerabilities to avoid harm so to draw the pain out of them can be hard and instead, you’ll be met with anger.
3. Low Blood Sugar
Oftentimes, the main source of a child’s anger is simply low blood sugar. Kids need protein, fats, and vegetables. Usually, a child will deny that this is the reason they are angry as well.
Related Blog: Mindful Eating For Kids
There are 3 reasons a child is angry. They are angry because they have an unmet need or desire and need help fulfilling it. They are using anger as a bodyguard for sensitive emotions and need to express them. Or they have low blood sugar and need to eat.
So now that we’ve identified the three main reasons a child is angry, how do we teach them to calm their anger? In this blog, I’m sharing the best kid’s anger management exercises.
17 Anger Management Exercises For Kids
Here are the best ways to help a child learn to manage their anger
Journaling For Anger Management
The best way to teach a child to become mindful of their anger is by practicing journaling. Journaling has many proven benefits including that it improves our emotional awareness.
Some kids will be open to trying journaling and others won’t. Encourage them to get into the habit of writing down how they feel.
By journaling their anger, they just might let it go and feel better.
1. Basic Journaling
The simplest way for a child to journal for anger management is by writing everything they are feeling. Just give them a pen/pencil and paper or journal and have them write for a little. If that is too open-ended of a task for your child, try this music journaling exercise with them!
2. Music Journaling
Get a journal, headphones, and phone, and sit in a quiet space. Put headphones on your child and have them play a variety of songs, then journal how each song makes them feel. This gives their emotional expression some direction and helps them relieve their anger!
3. Picture Journaling
Some kids express themselves better through images than words. Another way for your child to practice expressing anger is by drawing pictures of how they feel. While it may not sound like journaling, this is a journaling exercise for anger management for kids.
Painting is a very therapeutic exercise for kids. Try this anger management exercise with your kids.
4. Anger Expression Painting
Create a color code where each color signifies an emotion and have your child create a painting to represent how they are feeling. Ask them questions like, “what are you feeling right now?” “How can you express what you are feeling using color and paintbrushes?”
5. Paint Kindness Rocks
Gather up some rocks with your kiddo at the park or beach. Wash them off and paint them with some words of kindness! This can help your child diffuse their anger and recognize expectations.
Ask your child to write words that they want to be told right now, this will help them feel understood and release their anger. Next time you go out, leave the rocks in a safe place to be seen by others or gift them to strangers!
A simple, self-soothing exercise for kids to do for anger is coloring. Coloring can help kids take their minds off of their frustrations and give their energy an outlet. Enter the form below to download my free mantra coloring pages for kids!
Healthy Anger Outlets
Sometimes the best way for kids to manage their anger is to express it in a safe space. Here are a few ways I recommend teaching kids to healthily express anger…
7. Gorilla Breathing
This is a simple breathwork technique that even I use to release anger at times. To do this breathwork, your child will sit in a comfortable position on the floor and curl their hands into two fists.
As they inhale, they will lift one fist overhead. And as they exhale, they make a growling sound, bring the overhead fist down and raise the other fist. As they continue doing this, this creates somewhat of a “gorilla” motion that can help them release their anger.
Movement is a simple and effective way for kids to release anger at times. To help your child manage their anger, invite them to go for a run, play outside, punch a punching bag, or do a form of exercise that they enjoy.
Sometimes kids can release anger just by letting loose. Play invites them to be present and let go of the past. Play can also fulfill the unmet desire for attention that they may be feeling. There are many different ways you can play with your child, a board game, arts n crafts, or my favorite, dancing.
Dancing has many health benefits and helps everyone be present. Have a dance party with your kids if they are open to it and they might release their anger. A great way to approach this idea with your angry child is by having a specific dance move that you guys are trying to learn.
10. Dead Bug
Instruct you and your child to lay on the floor on their back and raise their arms and legs into the air. Tell them to think about what is making them angry and then, start to shake their limbs to shake off the anger.
You, as the parent, will at some point say “Go” and they have to try to stand up faster than you. This is a great anger management exercise for kids in groups.
Another method of anger management is affirmations! Some kids want to calm down and don’t know how. Affirmations can be a great way to do so.
11. Try These Anger Affirmations…
“I release my anger and invite peace into my body.” “I am calm, like a river.” “I notice my anger, I feel my anger, I know why I am angry, and I choose to let my anger go.” “I know that my anger is just trying to protect my softness.”
Related Blog: Top 20 Self-Love Affirmations For Kids
12. Create An Anger Affirmation
You could also try creating a personalized affirmation with your child to help them with their anger! If you don’t know how to do this, get my Empowering Affirmations Decoded For Kids Workbook here.
Self-Soothing For Kids
Instead of trying to identify the source of the anger in your child, self-soothing techniques could be the way to go. Self-soothing is a method of anger management that allows the child to autonomously process their anger. Here are some examples of self-soothing for kids…
13. Make A Calm Down Glitter Jar
Great for sensory kids. Fill a mason jar almost entirely with water then add glitter and a few drops of dish soap. Close the jar and shake it up. If it is needed, add more drops of dish soap until the glitter floats and the mixture reaches desired consistency.
When your child is feeling angry, shake the jar up. Breathe deeply and let your thoughts settle as the glitter settles.
14. Do An Anger Cleanse
Whether it’s the ocean, a waterfall, a river, or just the shower/bathtub. Doing a water cleanse is an amazing anger management exercise for kids! All you have to do is have your child imagine all of their anger, then jump, step, or dive into a body of water and imagine all their anger washing away.
15. Balloon Exercise
One of my favorite ways to teach kids about anger is this balloon exercise. All you need is an empty balloon. Have your child hold the empty balloon and think of all the things upsetting them. As they think of each thing, blow one breath into the balloon.
Once the balloon is full, tell them to pinch the balloon closed. Next, have them try to do things while pinching the balloon closed. You could have them try to do jumping jacks, push-ups, clean a room, color, etc. They’re going to notice that it’s challenging.
Tell them that this represents anger. Anger, while important to recognize, makes it harder for us to do things. So your final step in this activity is to let the anger go. The sound of the balloon blowing around the room should help them in the anger release process.
Mindfulness For Kids With Anger
Mindfulness is a growing topic for kids. But what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is simply a state of mind in which we hold awareness for everything happening internally and externally in the present.– Isabelle Robledo
Anything can be a mindfulness practice. in fact, all of the previously mentioned anger management exercises for kids are mindfulness practices because they are bringing children’s awareness to their anger!
Here are some traditional mindfulness practices you can try with your angry child…
Set a timer for 10 minutes and prompt your child over that time to notice their anger, how it feels in their physical body, why they are angry, etc. You can give them these prompts before they go to meditate or during.
Related Blog: How To Get Kids to Meditate
Yoga is the practice of mindful movement and it can be highly beneficial for kids who struggle with anger management! Try practicing yoga with your kids and see how it helps them with their anger.
Related Blog: How To Teach Your Kids Yoga
Did this blog help you teach your child to manage their anger? Leave a comment below! Share this with another mom who needs some anger management exercises for kids.
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