One of my favorite resources is a publication by Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D. that is now out of print. It is called 25 Ways To Teach Children How To Control Their Anger. I continue to refer to it today in the work that I do with children, adolescents and families.
A Graduate Intern and I made a poster series identifying each strategy and matched it with a handout for parents to help reinforce the lesson. We continue to use this poster series to support parents in identifying resources and clarifying areas of weakness where we can support them.
Make lifestyle changes that will lower a child’s anger threshold. (Google: lifestyle charts for children)
Teach Interpersonal Problem Solving. (Solutions Tic Tac Toe – When a conflict arises, the two people sit down and play a game of Tic Tac Toe, with the additional rule being that when a X and or O is written down, the players must come up with a new and reasonable solution to the problem at hand. After the different solutions are given, the player simply decides which one is the best. If no solution can be agreed upon, the play begins again.)
Find a Mentor or a Positive Role Model for a Child with Anger Control Problems.
Teach Children to Anticipate a Conflict-Free Future. (Ask a child to imagine that they are in a time machine and can see into the future. They are then asked to visit a time in the future, when the problems they are having no longer exist. They should describe what it is like then, how they are different, and how the people around them are different. . .)
Help Children Develop an Anger Control Kit. (This has also become an evolving project!)
So, I thought it would be fun to share my Anger Control Kit. I will identify the different items in “The Anger Bag/Box”. This will allow you to experiment with strategies and find out which ones work best for you, as a professional or parent.
After teaching the strategies, or exploring the topics, I identify a symbol, that will help the child remember the strategy. The symbols are placed in a small bag, or box to be easily carried in a backpack. The bag/box would be used to help trigger coping strategies when struggling with anger throughout their day.
Stay tuned as I share some of my ideas on how to build a Anger Control Kit . . .
This intervention would start by sharing the book Don’t Pop Your Cork on Mondays! by Adolph Moser Ed.D. A very informative and wonderfully entertaining book for children that explores the causes and effects of stress and offers young people practical approaches and techniques for dealing with stress factors in their daily lives.
I would then copy the break card and after discussing, would add this to the kit as a tool to go to when upset to encourage more appropriate coping skills.
B y D a v i d A . C r e n s h a w PhD, ABPP, RPT-S
“He is usually a caring and sensitive child, but when he explodes in rage he is like a monster.” The frustrated mother was describing her 8-year old son, Michael, a second grader who is liked by his teachers and his classmates – except when he has a “meltdown”. Michael is typical of children who display a pattern of impulsive-reactive aggression (IRA). These children acquire various diagnostic labels when they are evaluated by mental health professionals – ADHD, Oppositional/Defiant Disorder, or Disruptive Behavior Disorder. However, as Ross Greene (2005) explains, regardless of diagnostic labeling, the two primary features shared by children with IRA are low frustration tolerance and inflexibility. These children are not exhibiting a character flaw or a moral weakness, but simply manifesting subtle neurodevelopmental deficits related to difficulties in emotion and impulse regulation. They tend to be overwhelmed by their strong emotions and often experience emotion in an all-or-none manner, either feeling nothing at all, or experiencing anger as red-hot rage – with nothing between. In other words, they have not developed the capacity for modulation. (Click this link Crenshaw Article Sep06 (1) to read the rest of the article.)
After we make the Angry Puff, I copy this picture to place in the angry bag, to trigger the child to ask the same questions, to help them recognize what they need to do to calm themselves down. When did I last eat? When did I last have a drink? Is it too noisy? Do I need a hug?
In this activity you will need to take out the Don’t Be an Angry Bird coloring book. You may read and answer questions and color pictures as you explore which angry bird you are most like. It is also important to explore how you express your anger with your face and your body. The Angry Birds will also help you identify some cool down strategies. When you are finished you can open the Angry Bird stress ball, and use it in your Anger Control Kit to remind you of cool down strategies when you need them.
Does your child sometimes unexpectedly meltdown at the drop of a hat? Does unexpected change or inflexibility lead to frequent tantrums? If so, you’re not alone! Despite Jen’s best efforts, her goal of trying to stop her son’s meltdowns just seemed to make them worse. After realizing that she needed to be more proactive instead of waiting for those inevitable outbursts, Jen worked with Lynne on a new plan. Here is her story: (click picture)
This activity will help you identify courage within yourself and others. Read the book Courage to get a better understanding that courage does not always have to be shown in big ways. Discover how the little things you do each day are courageous and show heart. Place the courage wristband, from you Anger Control Kit, on your wrist to remind you that you are courageous, and you can find ways to manage your anger.
This anger management activity can show a client how anger can build up inside a person. It can also show the client that when they feel an angry tornado building up inside of them they can use coping skills to help defuse the anger.
One Empty Plastic Bottle w/lid (rinsed and clean)
Paper and markers
Two drops of regular clear dish soap
One drop of Food Coloring (Red for anger)
Glitter: Red (Anger), Blue (Sad), Purple (Embarrassed), Green (Envy), Yellow or Gold (Happy), Multicolor (Mixed Feelings), Black (Anxious)Water proof tokens of choice to represent some type of meaning to the client. (click on picture to go to original article)
Before you read Don’t Rant and Rave On Wednesdays, take the pipe cleaner and bend it; make it as crazy as you want. When you are finished reading ask yourself what you need to do to straighten yourself out. This will help you build coping skills by thinking about what you need to do to solve your problem, while slowly straightening out your bent pipe cleaner. A bent up pipe cleaner will then be added to the Anger Control Kit, as a tool to help trigger this exercise!
In this activity you will first need to read the book The Hurt. Then take the smooth stone and put it in your pocket for a day. Whenever you reach into your pocket you will remember how important it is to talk about your feelings and not let them bottle up inside. Then add the smooth stone to the Anger Control Kit, to help you remember this skill.
Anger management can be difficult for many children. Engaging students in a hands-on activity is a great way to redirect their focus. Coloring and cutting out the following Anger Gage is a productive diversion that allows the child to validate how they are feeling, as well as determine the intensity of their anger. (click picture)
Scientists have found that laughter is a very good and healthy way of decreasing stress. The feather can be used to tickle yourself or others. Another thing you could do is to have a contest with a friend or family member and see who can tell the best joke. Also, reading The Meanest Thing To Say will help you realize that laughter can take your mind off the things that trouble you and put a smile on your face. Add a feather to your Anger Control Kit, to remind yourself to laugh.
After reading the book The Original Warm Fuzzy, you can keep a warm fuzzy in your pocket or Anger Control Kit and take it out when you start to feel yourself get upset. Your warm fuzzy will remind you to relax and take a deep breath before you blow your top.
Taking deep breaths is an excellent way to reduce stress and calm yourself down. When breathing deeply in between your bubble blowing, make a point of counting to 10. By doing this you can have fun with bubbles and calm down in a healthy way. You can then add bubbles to your Anger Control Kit.
Why It’s Important: After analyzing the school data on Positive Discipline/Office Referral forms, I realized that 87% of the write-ups were in some way related to children inappropriately expressing their anger. Because of this information, the school counselors have conducted classroom guidance lessons, led small groups, and counseled individual students on how to effectively manage their anger. When considering the child systemically, it is also important to have extra support from home in handling their anger. For this reason, we put together a parent workshop to help parents know what they can do to assist their child in handling anger.
Find wonderful activity by clicking on picture. After this activity, I put a copy of this picture on a postcard and add in to the Anger Control Kit as a wonderful reminder for the rules of fighting fair.
If a child exhibits four or more of these behaviors for six months or longer, he would likely be diagnosed with ODD, unless there was an alternative explanation (for example, if he’s experienced some kind of trauma or if there’s another disorder or condition at play). (click the picture to read more. . .)
The art therapist in me LOVES throwing paint with angry teens and kids. Most want to get right to the paint throwing, but I take baby steps. I help them recognize their feelings, what brought up those feelings in the first place and how they typically react to those feelings. We then decide which emotions bother them most … and let the paint throwing begin! As you can see in the photo below sometimes emotions can become so real and raw through this activity that the release happens then and there. And that’s just one example. Changing music lyrics, pounding clay, screaming in a safe place at the top of their lungs—all acceptable and appropriate. Adding clay, playdough or paint to the Anger Control Kit, can help when we need to find ways to get the feelings out of our body!
It is human nature to feel competitive and envious toward others. A moderate spirit of competition is a positive and productive attribute in school and in business. Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up in families. The competition between siblings starts when the second child is born. Unfortunately, many parents ignore it and some even make the situation worse.
Anger inoculation is all about training yourself to use relaxation and new thought patterns during anger-inducing situations. You will start by imagining situations of various intensity while using your new skills. Over time, you will find that you habitually turn to these new skills to stay cool.
On one side of the bug, you identify what bugs you and on the other side you problem solve ways to deal with this problem, or use some of the exercise to further explore and discuss this issue. You can then place the bug in you Anger Control Kit to help you remember what you can do when things bug you!
For each pocket, students put a note card size picture of a body inside. On the back is a statement to complete when they get mad: Today I felt angry. I knew I was angry because my body gave me clues. I could feel ______________. I handled my angry feelings this way ___________. Their homework is to journal when they get angry over the next week and draw what clues their body gave them when they were getting angry.
Meet the anger gremlin: a troublesome pest whose favourite meal is your anger, and the more he eats the angrier you get! There’s only one way to stop him: starve him of angry feelings and behaviours, and make him disappear. This imaginative workbook shows young people how to starve their anger gremlin and control their anger effectively. Made up of engaging and fun activities, it helps them to understand why they get angry and how their anger affects themselves and others, and teaches them how to manage angry thoughts and behaviours. The tried-and-tested programme, based on effective cognitive behavioural therapy principles, can be worked through by a young person on their own or with a practitioner or parent, and is suitable for children and young people aged 10+. Starving the Anger Gremlin is easy to read and fun to complete, and is an ideal anger management resource for those working with young people including counsellors, therapists, social workers and school counsellors, as well as parents.
For this activity, you need to read The Rainbow Fish. We would discuss self esteem and recognition that “you are special”. We would like the child to get a better understanding that everyone is different, yet unique. An added lesson is discovering how doing good deeds and being kind to others can create happiness inside. We would then add a large sequin to our Anger Control Kit!
Using the Wheel of Choice is one way to teach Problem-Solving.
1) Brainstorm (with your children) a list of possible solutions to everyday conflicts or problems.
2) On a pie shaped chart write one solution in each section and let children draw illustrations or symbols.
3) When there is a conflict, suggest the children use the wheel of choice to find a solution that will solve the problem.
An awesome visual to help kids learn to let their anger (or can work for anxiety, stress, whatever they are struggling with) out slowly.
1. Blow up a balloon
2. While holding the balloon, talk to your client about the balloon representing their anger (or anxiety, etc.) and brainstorm with them what they think happens when those feelings build up.
3. Now the fun part! Either pop the balloon, or let go of the balloon. Talk about behaviors associated when you let anger build up- tantrums, screaming, calling names, etc.
4. Blow up a balloon
5. While holding the balloon, talk to your client about letting the anger in the balloon out slowly. Review coping skills and anger management techniques while letting the air out of the balloon slowly. Help them understand the difference this made to the way the balloon did not pop or deflate and fly around, comparing this to how their behaviors would change.
This is a pretty simple, but powerful concept, and most kiddos like watching the balloon fly around, so is easy to review several times!
The two students and I sat down when they were calm and talked about some things they think would help them calm down when they are angry or upset. Both students picked hugging a teddy bear, drawing a picture or writing words, doing a puzzle, reading a story, and taking deep breaths. . . . (click picture to find article)
I like to think of escalation like a bell curve. When a child is escalating up the curve, it is easier to bring the child back down to calmness. If the child gets to the peak of full escalation, it’s going to need to be ridden out, and the child is going to slide down the right side of the curve– shut down, crying, sleeping, etc.
Author: David Elliott
Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
Interest Level:Ages 2-5
About This Book:
Today, Finn does not like peaches. He doesn’t like anything at all. He is just plain grumpy! He slams doors, yells, cries, stomps his feet. His temper is so huge that when he does these things they have disastrous effects. His tears flood the house. Lightning flashes when he yells. It’s an earthquake when he stomps his feet. And then it is over. Readers find out why he was cranky, and now? Now, he’d like a peach please.
For any parent who has ever survived toddler tantrums, this book hits the mark perfectly. The drama of the fit itself is right on, cranked up to the ultimate level just as every tantrum feels. For me, the best moment of the book beyond that charmer of a first page is the end of the fit which ends with this line:
“It lasts until it doesn’t.”
Exactly. Perfectly and succinctly put.
Elliott’s writing is very simple and yet dramatic. The short sentences on each page make this a perfect book for toddlers who just may be capable of this sort of tantrum. Ering’s art is delightfully wild, filled with stormy clouds of emotion. Done in charcoal, oil paint and grease pencil they work very well in both the sunny parts of the book and the dramatic. A perfect choice for toddler story time, you could have them yell, stomp, and more while reading.
Why It’s On My Bookshelf: Temper tantrums – a parent’s worse nightmare! Finn’s body language in the book is PERFECT. It’s a really good reflection of what a child looks like when they are pouting, angry, and throwing a fit. Read the reviews on Amazon to fully appreciate the impact of Finn Throws A Fit. If you want to make an impact on your toddler’s behavior and encourage them to use their words – get this one on your shelf.
People don’t talk about having an angry child (I mean a child who is very angry, very often.)
At least I find it pretty difficult to talk about. I want to reach out to other moms and say, “You’re not alone, I know what it’s like. I know it’s hard!” But sometimes, on the blog especially, I just don’t talk about it because it always feels like you need to preface the discussion with, “I love my child, of course.” What a silly statement– OF COURSE I love my child.
From the Book Jacket: This fun and entertaining illustrated picture book shows children how to handle anger issues and back away from conflicts. The story teaches important skills through humor and real life situations with which young children can immediately identify. There are several suggestions for lessons and reflections at the end of the book. This is the fifth in the award winning, teacher endorsed Howard B. Wigglebottom series.
Why It’s On My Bookshelf: As the school year progresses and new friendships are formed between students something else starts to form….conflicts. And they don’t always end nicely. Anger can really mess the whole thing up. So this is the time of year I start teaching A LOT of lessons on how to deal with your anger without hurting other kids. Howard B Wigglebottom Learns It’s OK to Back Away is new to my shelf and fits in beautifully with my lessons on learning to get calm and walk away from situations. It’s also a good way to demonstrate self-talk. Howard uses the phrase, “Stop, it’s OK to back away.” Really like that….calming statements work wonders!
Over time, I have come across many anger-related activities from websites, blogs, and more. I decided to gather them all in one place and came up with a list of 50. If you have any other tools targeting anger, please share with the rest of us!
Who is Crankenstein? HE IS A MONSTER OF GRUMPINESS THAT NO ONE CAN DESTROY! MEHHRRRR!!! HE’S ALIVE!
He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein! When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic-or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day!
Why It’s On My Bookshelf: I was so happy to see this come on to the book market. And even happier when it arrived in my mailbox and proved to be such an awesome delight. I love using humor in counseling. Kids GET humor. Kids NEED humor. Sometimes the best medicine to a problem is laughter. Children (and adults) will be wowed by the illustrations. What a fun way to open up some dialogue on how to handle life’s cranky moments. Crankenstein is going to be a blast to read. Can’t wait for all the giggles. But I mostly want kids to look in the mirror and reflect on their own moods and how to handle them without becoming such a crankster. Enjoy this one!
Calm and retreated became shouts of anger, tears of frustration, clenched fists, and pursed lips. Sentiments could be heard through the house, such as:
“You just want me to miss everything in life”
“What’s so funny? The fact that I’ll never come back again? Yeah, that’s hilarious!”
“You don’t care if I ever come back”
“You don’t love me”
“You’re a liar”
I kept calm. Explained why he was separated, that we loved him, and we knew he needed space to calm down before he did or said something he didn’t mean. That didn’t help. So we retreated to his bedroom, another method that ALMOST always works. Not today.
From the Book Jacket: “Who are you?” asked Anh. “And how did you get into my room?” “I’m your anger,” said the creature. “You brought me here.”
This enchanting story gives children and caregivers a concrete practice for dealing with anger and other strong emotions. Anh, a five-year-old boy, comes to know his anger when they dance, play, sit, and breathe together, creating a space for Anh to resolve an earlier conflict with his grandfather. The vibrant multi-textured collages illustrate the connection between the characters and their environment and express the wide range of emotions present in the story.
Ahn’s Anger can help children learn to acknowledge and understand the causes of their own strong emotions, and ultimately feel safe expressing themselves and accepting accountability for their actions when appropriate. The story also provides caregivers a model of being calm and compassionate with children’s anger.
“Anh’s Anger reminds us that anger is part of all of us and that mindful sitting and breathing can help transform it. Both adults and children will benefit from learning how to change an unhappy situation into a joyful one.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
When our kids are in a cycle of hitting and aggressive behavior, there are primarily two things we want to teach them.
To stop hitting &
How to express themselves in more appropriate ways or what to do instead.
Learning always happens more effectively when we teach throughout the cycle rather than simply teaching reactively. When we know that hitting is a problem, we can plan ahead and ensure that we teach the positive emotional regulation, expression and communication that we intend to teach, rather than inadvertently teaching and reinforcing negative habits or behaviors. (Although we will be focusing on the TRU principle of Teaching in this post, the other principles of Relationship and Upgrading ourselves stand as guiding principles in how we teach.)
This fast-paced therapeutic card game helps children: Control their anger in the moment; Practice effective anger management techniques; Understand what anger feels and looks like; and Avoid anger-provoking situations. Mad Dragon plays like the popular game Uno. Players race to get rid of their cards while learning anger control skills. Fun and effective, this game includes 100 high-quality 3″ x 4 ½” cards, instructions, and tips for taming anger. For 2 to 8 players, ages 6 to 12.
From the Book Jacket: Anh looked at his Anger. He hadn’t seen him for awhile. “Why were you wearing all that stuff?” Anh asked. “I almost didn’t recognize you.” “I was trying to be inconspicuous,” Anger whispered. “I’m not sure if I’m allowed at school.”
When Anh’s friends go off to play without him, he feels all alone. Then his anger shows up and suggests taking revenge. Instead, Anh discovers walking meditation and finds a path toward accepting his emotions and developing new friendships.
Steps and Stones can help children learn to understand the causes of their own strong emotions. With humor and compassion, it teaches children and adults how walking meditation can be a tool to calm anger and resolve conflict.
Why It’s On My Bookshelf: My lessons on keeping your cool in school just got a whole lot better. This is the sequel to Anh’s Angerand it is an ESSENTIAL resource. Kids are managing their emotions all day long. But for certain kids, they have to work extra hard at managing their feelings of anger. As a school counselor, I rely on books like this to help teach calming down techniques kids will actually use.
Steps and Stones focuses on teaching children to cool off through breathing, counting and walking. Ahn’s anger walks slowly with him as they do this exercise together. Slowly Ahn is able to work through the feeling and regain his balance. At my school, we teach kids to take a break when they are about to lose their cool. But just exactly what should they be doing during this break? Breathing, counting, and taking a walk should be a part of this routine. In fact, kids can even read this story when they are trying to get rid of anger.
I am thrilled to share such a healing book with our students, especially those who are stuck in constant anger. Parents, teachers, and counselors will appreciate having this on their shelf when they need to teach or reteach this important skill.
Of all the emotions that can get a child into trouble, anger leads the list. While sadness or anxiety causes misery, it is anger that leads to trouble — punishment, suspension, expulsion, and a host of other outcomes we don’t wish our children to suffer.
It is important that a child expresses his anger, but the emotion should be like a sneeze: It clears the passageways and is over. A child who cannot get angry is in as much danger as a child who cannot control his anger.
Here are 10 tips for managing anger. They can be used anywhere, and do not require a coach’s or expert’s help to master. If you’d like to learn more, I refer you to my book, When You Worry About the Child You Love, from which these tips are adapted.
You had to stay in for recess. Another kid took the seat you had saved in the cafeteria. Somebody uninvited you to their birthday party. You got in trouble, but nobody else got caught. A classmate called you a name. You got bumped by a swinging backpack.. Are you feeling angry? Well, not exactly . . .
As you know, anger is a secondary feeling that layers on top of one or more other uncomfortable feelings. In my experience, kids have limited success working on managing their anger unless they are able to identify and address the feelings that underlie it. Here’s how I teach them to look behind the angry mask to figure out how they and others are feeling.
I use the concept of the angry mask with kids in all grades. In individual sessions, we often make a mask and a feeling face to go behind it. Here is an angry mask and underlying feeling made by a first grader who had been throwing rocks at two others who were calling him a name:
I begin introducing the idea of looking at feelings other than anger in my second grade class councils. I tell the kids that “sad” “mad” and “angry” are kindergarten words, and we’re going to use other feeling words instead. We focus on “disappointed,” “frustrated,” “upset,” “worried,” “scared,” “jealous,” and “hurt,” but kids are welcome to use all other feeling words. They LOVE the idea of using “big kid” words. Many times when I have asked kids about their feelings and they start to say “mad,” “sad,” or “angry,” they self correct and say, “Oh wait, that’s a kindergarten word,” and then describe their feelings more clearly. continued http://schoolcounselingbyheart.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/whats-behind-the-angry-mask/
Use these group activity ideas to simulate experiences that might create a little anger in your clients. Warn them ahead of time, and let them know what you are doing ahead of time. Tell them that these are role play practice situations that are safe.
Anger Management Role Plays For Kids
Opening a milk carton with a spoon: This anger management activity works great at schools or inpatient psychiatric units because milk cartons and spoons are readily available. Here are the directions. Tell the kids to hold the milk carton in one hand and the spoon in the other. Then tell them to open the milk carton using only their spoon and then drink the milk.
Being told “No” while playing Jenga: Jenga is a popular game that already produces anxiety on its own. Build the Jenga blocks up in a tower the normal way. Then tell the kids that they are going to play a game, but at times you will be telling them “no” and they have to stop and choose a new block. Explain that they might feel frustrated during this activity. Then as the kids are playing Jenga, say “no” every once in a while. Watch for how the child reacts. See if he or she can use his or her words to describe feelings.
Spill a Little Water on Each Other: In order to get kids to understand that not everything has to be blown up into a big deal, each kid can practice having a little water spilled. Get a volunteer to spill a small amount of water on you as an example. Yell and say “Oh man, I can’t stand it, NOW I”M ALL WET!” Then ask the kids if they could get something spilled on them and react in a more calm way. Take examples and write them down. Then have each kids practice getting a little water spilled on him or her and say, “That’s o.k.”
These work best just after you have taught a coping skill for anger, so they can practice in a safe environment. You can use these for almost any age group.
A fun way to introduce the concept of anger as a secondary or surface emotion. We always feel something before we get angry, did you know that? And if we can label or take care of that emotion, it can help with those lovely outbursts! This concept being difficult and confusing, as well as hard to explain – this activity will give your client a visual, and can work for clients most ages (the really young kiddos might have a hard time, but even adults can relate and learn about anger as a secondary emotion).
An effective and helpful visual for anger is to make an angry volcano. There are several different ways to do this activity, from the easy and quick to the very messy!
Help your client recognize and compare their boiling anger to a volcano. This is a way to help them recognize when they are about to blow, therefore helping them be more aware of their emotions leading up to angry outbursts. This visual seems to be an easy one for kiddos to understand and relate to.
Everyone gets mad sometimes, children and adults alike. Anger is an emotion that can range from slightly irritated to moderately angry, all the way to full-blown rage. A child’s anger often makes us feel uncomfortable, so there can be a natural tendency to try and change the situation for your child, so the anger will evaporate. Or on the flip side, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “bringing down the hammer,” to put a stop to the anger through intimidation or punishment. But the fact is, your child will experience situations that may trigger anger throughout life. You can’t stop the triggers, but you can give your child the tools to understand anger and deal with it.
Here’s a deck of cards that teaches children how to manage their anger. Using two internal dialog techniques—Thought Stopping and Self-Talk—kids can stop anger in its tracks. By simply playing cards, they learn to envision a stop sign whenever their anger is triggered and to replace their angry thoughts with more positive responses.
The deck includes 37 pairs of cards, and each pair includes a “situation” card and a corresponding “response” card. As youngsters react to hypothetical situations that might normally trigger anger, they see a big red stop sign on each response card—a cue to stop the angry thought and come up with a better alternative.
Rationale: Use this play therapy activity with a client that is “blocked” and is having difficulty finding solutions to a problem.
It is okay to feel angry, but sometimes you need to lock your angry feelings in a tower and come back later to deal with them. This fun “anger management” activity helps clients of all ages deal appropriately with their anger. http://www.creativecounseling101.com/the-tower-anger-and-anger-management-anger-issues.html
Includes User Guide and Parent Guide $35.00 + shipping and handling
The Anger Bag is used as an intervention with families to help develop coping skills for anger management. This intervention allows professionals, parents and children to experiment with strategies to find which ones work best for them. You can order this starter kit by calling 1-414-431-6400. Please identify that you are calling to order The Anger Bag Starter Kit.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an awesome tool to help kids return to calm. – See more at: http://kidsrelaxation.com/uncategorized/relaxation-tool-emotional-freedom-technique-for-kids/#sthash.s8QUNIDR.dpuf
Imagine that a child climbs anger (this can also be energy or anxiety) mountain when things do not go their way. Some children escalate very quickly. Other children can self-regulate and walk down the mountain without letting their anger become uncontrolled. Some children hang out near the top of Anger Mountain, feeling agitated, frustrated, anxious and annoyed. In fact, I have known children who climb up anger mountain, scream and yell and just simply fall apart and then are calm for days afterward (it’s like a neurobiological reset flooding the body with endorphins).
This chapter will attempt to help parents determine whether their child’s anger is the result of selfishness or justifiable hurt. It will describe an empirically proven, effective approach to diminishing excessive anger in children whose behaviors meet the criteria for oppositional defiant disorder. Also, the treatment of the excessive anger in children who have been bullied or adopted, who have been through divorce trauma or who overreact in anger at brother or a sister will be presented.
Activity: After reading the book, I give each student a small bottle of dollar-store bubbles that we blow as we practice taking deep breaths. The deeper and more controlled the breath, the bigger the bubble, a simply way to perfect an effective anger-management strategy. You could also get some bubble wrap and encourage students to pop each bubble individually to help their “angries” disappear.
People think I’m crazy when I tell them that my favorite students to work with are those with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, but I’ll tell you why! As a child, I sent my parents through the ringer – I tested limits, insisted on doing things my own way, and generally defied most types of authority they gave me. So, I often see a lot of myself in these kids! Also, these kids have often had very negative school experiences in the past and you have a huge ability to make a difference in their lives. What an opportunity!
Does your kid throw tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants? Does he create a commotion as he doesn’t want to go have a bath because he’s too busy playing? A lot of kids tend to have temper issues during their developing years. This is not something you should be worrying about as long as you know how to deal with anger in kids.
Knowing how to support your child with his anger can be challenging at times. Even as adults it’s hard to tame our anger dragons. Helping our kids learn how to deal with anger to transform it into healthy expression and to avoid violence or manipulation is a tool that will benefit them their entire life. – See more at: http://kidsrelaxation.com/uncategorized/how-to-train-your-childs-anger-dragon/#sthash.66OXNYmq.dpuf
Here are some ideas to consider and possibly discuss before you begin using this relaxation script with your child:
Your child is in charge of her feelings. Help her to understand that she is in charge of her anger. Empower her to know that there are things she can do to feel better–such as feed the anger dragon what she needs.
Help her to understand that there is nothing wrong with feeling angry. It sometimes can get in the way of feeling good and that is when we want to help it out.
Address her anger non-judgmentally. Allow her to feel what she feels. Help her to understand that she is in charge of how she feels and has the power to change how she feels in any given moment. These tools can help her shift how she feels when she wants to feel better.
Listen. Be a container where all expression is okay. Just listen. Then help her to develop a plan to shift.
Help her to understand that when she feels angry, it is simply a signal to take a look inside and see what it is that she needs right now and to get that need met so that she can feel better. She has the power to do that!
A great tool to talk about anger triggers and steps to regain our emotional balance. Use specific examples and come up with concrete steps that validate the emotion while allowing children to understand that they controls their actions.
An explosive child who frequently exhibits severe noncompliance, temper outbursts, and verbal or physical aggression. If this sounds like your child, you’re probably feeling frustrated, guilt-ridden, and overwhelmed. At last, Dr. Ross Greene offers help for you and your child.
A visual reminder that we control our emotions. The remote allows us to remember some re-setting steps to calm ourselves until we can decide how we want to react to a situation. This is how we change our emotional channel.
– Talk about who controls your emotions and try to find examples of how you can bring yourself back to a calm place so that you can control your emotions again.
– Write down some of your own ideas in the blank spaces before assembling.
– Leave the remote in an area where it can serve as a visual reminder.
– Have your child self-control by giving them the remote when the situation demands it.
This course is made up of six classes and each class lasts 2 hours. Each class deals with a separate bit of anger, but as they all link together, it is important that you come to all six classes. However the first class aims to give a brief view of anger and offers emergency control strategies. By coming to the whole course you will get the whole picture.
I have recently had several phone consults with therapists and case workers seeking advice on how to help children exhibiting difficult behaviors. Listening to their descriptions of these children has painfully reinforced to me how one’s perception of a child is paramount. It directly influences whether the child has a chance for healing or whether he will be targeted as the “problem” before he even enters the starting gates.
The hero of this picture book, Sam, has to wait for everything on the playground one day, and this makes him mad. “He got madder and madder until he was the maddest he had ever been in his whole life.” And then, suddenly, an unusual thing appears. It runs around, shoving and tripping and pinching and stomping, until all the other children have run away. “It was hanging upside down from the monkey bars, grinning at him. Sam had never seen anything like it before, but he knew what it was. It was a Temper.…more
When the Anger Ogre Visits gives children symbolic and concrete guidance about how to deal with anger as a natural part of their inner lives. Rather than squelching anger or pushing it away, the book invites children to sit with and observe anger, removing its overwhelming aspects. This playfully illustrated story, written in memorable rhyme, centers on discovering and using internal resources and portrays anger as manageable.
I find it so hard not to get mad when my daughter shouts and screams. It’s not as if she does it all the time. But like most kids she screams sometimes if she’s angry about not getting her own way. And sometimes when she’s frustrated with me and can’t find the words to express it. And sometimes when she’s exhausted and struggling to move from one activity to another. And sometimes, the red mist descends and I can’t stop shouting back.
For example, what if we don’t like the lunch that is served in the cafeteria? Well, we can take home a lunch menu to know what lunch will be ahead of time. We also can pack a lunch from home if it’s something we don’t like to eat. By focusing on the little things that we have control over, the worry begins to shrink and not matter so much.
Inside Out taught us that sometimes feelings don’t quite know how to handle situations, just like when my daughter expresses her frustration by saying or doing things unintentionally. She related to each character and after the movie we talked about different times each emotion made her behave a particular way. It was much easier for her to talk about feelings when thinking about the characters from the movie. Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness slowly became part of her journal entries.
Zax are terrible role models for how to solve conflicts! But their story, “The Zax,” by Dr. Seuss, is a great way to start a discussion about conflict resolution. The zax are two single-minded characters, one who wants to go north, and the other who wants to go south. When they meet face-to-face on the north-south path, neither one will budge. At all. Ever. End of story. http://www.schoolcounselingbyheart.com/2012/03/18/introduce-conflict-resolution-with-the-zax/
As parents, few situations are more difficult to deal with than having a child who is aggressive toward other children. It can be embarrassing as well as frightening when your child bites, hits, scratches or kicks to get his or her way.
Emerging science has helped us to understand children better from a neurological and behavioral standpoint. Yet, all the academic research coupled with the best diagnoses for children can still leave parents feeling completely powerless. In her book, Dare to Love, Heather Forbes, LCSW, describes in detail, through a series of questions and answers, how to merge science into everyday parenting. This book gives practical, effective, and loving solutions for any parent struggling with his or her child. It will leave you feeling empowered, hopeful, and excited to be a parent, again.
The pioneering experts behind the bestselling The Whole-Brain Child now explore the ultimate child-raising challenge: discipline. Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-DramaDiscipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.
(Daniel J. Siegel, Tina Payne Bryson, Bantam 2014)
“Any parent of a small child knows that the best cure for a youngster’s bad temper is to redirect his or her attention toward something humorous. Lichtenheld demonstrates just how this works in a collection of large, double-spread cartoons depicting a variety of situations that might cause a rotten mood…Lichtenheld’s big, bold, broadly comic art style…is well suited to the tone of the text and has solid child appeal. Give this one to grumpy kids, or to anyone in need of cheering up.”
Visually appealing poster to help identify common triggers to negative emotions. A helpful tool for early anger management.
This is a preview of my “Button Pusher” product that includes activities and fun worksheets with 80 creative therapeutic questions to identify triggers, stages of anger, and helpful coping strategies coming very soon.
When your affected family member has said or done something hurtful, how do you keep the love and support going? When do you ignore the behavior and move on? And when do you speak up about being upset?
We had a family move in down the street from us a while back and my interaction with the six year old boy was such a success that I felt it necessary to share it with you. For you to fully understand the significance of what happened, let me give you the back story.
I deliberately included this chart as part of the information packet I gave to each teacher with no explanation prior to our meeting. I figured that way they were more likely to actually read what was in the bubbles and see what some of the symptoms of RAD really are, how they are all connected to each other, and how many of them there really are! I then kicked off our meeting by showing the chart to the group and asking two questions:A. “How many of you find this chart overwhelming?” Several hands were raised. B. “How many of you asked the question ‘How much and what of this applies to my son?’” Even more hands went up this time.
I then answered both questions with “Attachment Disorder IS overwhelming…and big and scary and messy and encompasses the whole person.” Much to the surprise of many, I then answered the second question with “ALL of it applies to my son.” And with that, I had their attention! Many of them gasped a little and sat up a little straighter and got their pens out to take notes.
Anger is a complex and difficult emotion for young children to deal with so having an awareness of anger management as an adult can really help. We need to help children learn how to recognize, talk about and manage their anger: not while they’re angry, but while they’re calm and happy in order to give them tools they can put to use when they really need them.
Help kids identify their anger triggers with this free set of three printable worksheets. Two worksheets focus on having students list the triggers that cause them to feel angry. They can then be used as part of a discussion or an anger management plan to help kids deal with their anger in more positive ways. The third worksheet is an anger log that allows kids to write down when, where, and why they felt angry at given times. This is important if students get angry and sometimes don’t know or remember why. Helps kids track their anger triggers so that they can truly understand and learn to cope with what makes them feel mad.
Emotion thermometers are designed to help you and your child recognise the early warning signs before a meltdown happens. This has been a life save in my house. My oldest child has warning signs that are easy to spot and he has a very long fuse. My daughter, on the other hand, has a very short fuse and will seemingly loose it over nothing. Through careful observation though, you learn that there are early warning signs that help prevent a total nuclear meltdown before it happens. – See more at: http://thelittleblackduck.com.au/lbd/using-an-emotion-thermometer-2/#sthash.5uQ3qPT4.dpuf
Most children who come to therapy have higher-maintenance temperaments (i.e., frequently described as difficult, spirited, or challenging) that frustrate typical parenting approaches.1 Some parents are unable to effectively deal with certain children who try their patience despite having no such difficulty with their other children. Here I will focus on one aspect of childhood temperament, frustration tolerance, its relationship with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and how such concerns can be worked on in therapy with children and their parents.
by David Rice
Dr. Rice offers a new perspective on oppositional-defiant children based on temperament, and suggests effective therapeutic interventions for both parent and child
One perfect morning Molly eats the very apple that Marvin had his eye on. Marvin is cross and has a terrible tantrum, rampaging through the countryside, causing chaos. Who will be able to calm Marvin down and tease him out of his tantrum? Will he be able to do it by himself or will he need some help?
Disrespectful communication is a problem for many kids. We definitely need to teach our children how to treat others with kindness and respect, and how to communicate big feelings without being disrespectful. by: Nicole Schwarz
This activity can help children identify things that make them angry and how this anger shows up warning signs in their bodies. They can also learn productive ways to let go of their anger in ways that are not explosive or hurtful to anyone, including themselves.
Can a parent “make” a kid angry? Yes. Why the double standard? With maturity comes the ability to temper responses, which is the idea of having “self-control.” But a child has not reached this age and they are therefore unable to control emotional outbursts.
These cards were created for use in the classroom for students to use when they are angry, frustrated, irritated, or upset. We teach students that it is ok to feel these emotions, but that they need to express them “appropriately.”
His real name is Lester, but everyone calls him Soda Pop Head. Most of the time he is pretty happy, but when things seem to be unfair his ears gets hot, his face turns red and he blows his top! Lesters dad comes to his rescue by teaching him a few techniques to loosen the top and cool down before his fizz takes control. Soda Pop Head will help your child control his/her anger while helping them manage stress.
Note to Readers: Teaching children ways of reducing anger in a healthy manner is challenging for most parents. Children that do not learn to manage anger can suffer from emotional, physical and social consequences. I feel it is our duty as parents to give our children anger management skills. Jill Hope gives us a calm and balanced approach to managing anger. Please enjoy!
While it is natural to have Automatic Negative Thoughts, letting your ANTs dominate your thinking can feed feelings of fear, sadness and frustration, resulting in a sense of hopelessness, alienation, anger, anxiety or depression.
Getting to know your ANTs, seeing them for what they are, can empower you to limit or eliminate pesky ANTs, resulting in a happier, healthier outlook on life.
I also use this sphere to show children how when they are upset, their entire lungs do not expand and they breathe more rapidly, moving the sphere open and closed quickly without expanding it all the way. I teach them how this sends a signal to their brains to continue to be upset. I then teach them how breathing slowly and deeply and exhaling even more slowly can send a special message to their brains that they are safe and can calm down.
You may have already heard of the technique to help children learn deep breathing by allowing them to imagine smelling hot cocoa then blowing on it to cool it off. I have used this technique with children of all ages and find it particularly helpful for children who need the more tangible image to remind them of the skill.
Whether your child has a slow-burning fuse or explodes like a firecracker at the slightest provocation, every child can benefit from anger management skills. As parents, we lay the foundation for this skill set by governing our own emotions in the face of an angry outburst. Next time you are dealing with a tantrum from a toddler, or cold shoulder from a teen, put your best foot forward by trying one of these 26 phrases:
A worksheet to help students identify how their bodies feel when they are angry. Also provides space for them to list three ways that they can handle their anger. Great for anger management groups or individual lessons!
“Sometimes anger can affect what you say or do before you even recognize the feeling. This is especially true if you feel angry all the time. You may become so used to the feeling of anger that you don’t notice it, sort of like how you can hear the sound of an air condition or the humming of a refrigerator but block it from your mind. Even if you aren’t thinking about your feelings, they influence how you behave. The first step to managing anger is learning to recognize your personal warning signs that tell you how you feel.”
Coping Skills Uno is an Uno ® inspired game that your students will love playing! As students play, they are asked to answer questions that will test their coping skills and will help you to facilitate discussion regarding how to handle different situations and emotional regulation.
Regulating emotions can be difficult for any child, those with more of a natural inclination to anger can have an especially difficult time. It is our job as parents to find ways to not only help them calm down when becoming upset, but to help them learn to calm themselves in any given situation. Let’s face it, a large part of parenting is preparing our kids to be on their own in school for a majority of the day. Here are my tips for calming the angry child, followed by some ways you can help your kids calm themselves down ANYWHERE. These tactics will give them not only skills, but also the confidence, to navigate their anger on their own.
When we can dig deep and treat our children with empathy it directly grows their empathy cells. (It sounds a bit like science fiction, but it is Actual Science!) There is only one thing that creates mean kids and adults and that is treating them unkindly – the empathy center in their brain literally, physically, fails to grow.
Begin this lesson with reading the story and explain the below strategies are to be used proactively when the urges/impulses to act out are strong. The strategies are to be practiced proactively, although may be used to redirect misbehavior when appropriate.
The product includes the following:
19 page social story about anger signs and coping skills.
18 coping skill task cards with the “magic fish”
6 physical signs of anger task cards with sharks
6 behavioral signs of anger task cards with sharks
30 Color friendly (BW) task cards to be used for coloring in.
5 different activity pages to be used with task cards for discussion, problem solving, and prompting role plays.
Shenandoah Chefalo is a former foster youth, and advocate. She is the author of the memoir, Garbage Bag Suitcase, and co-founder of Good Harbor Institute an organization focused on ensuring sustainable, implemented trauma care within organizations and individuals. You can learn more about her and her work at www.garbagebagsuitcase.com or www.goodharborinst.com
When children understand what’s happening in the brain, it can be the first step to having the power to make choices. Knowledge can be equally powerful to parents too. Knowing how the brain works means we can also understand how to respond when our children need our help. Posted on by Sarah McKay
This activity was designed when working with a young person in play therapy. The activity we designed together to help him understand his thoughts and feelings.
The kit comes with full instructions on how to make the Jam, the Jam Jars and Labels. It is really great for working with children and young people who are difficult to engage with, because it is a practical activity they can take the lead but at the same time allows for a meaningful insight into how they feel about aspects of their lives.
Although studies are not conclusive on the roles of the right and left hemisphere, some patterns are apparent. It is understood that the right hemisphere seems to play a more prominent role in handling emotions, while the left hemisphere is more focused on logical thinking and what actually occurred. This is why children who are preschool or kindergarten-age tend to live in the right side of their brain (creative and emotional) until the left side of the brain (organized and logical) is fully developed.
This is a fantastic book that shows kids that it’s normal to get angry. It begins with a few scenarios that might cause a kid to be angry – being left out of a play group, being treated with disrespect. Then it talks about the physical feeling of being angry – hot face, tense muscles, fast heartbeat. It talks about what you might want to do if you get angry, but then explains that these are not always the best choices. Finally, it gives some very helpful advice on what to do if you are feeling angry.
Young children experience many confusing emotions in their early years and I feel Jealous looks at the emotion jealousy, in light-hearted but ultimately reassuring way. This picture book examines how and why people get jealous, illustrates scenarios of people behaving in a jealous way, and the best way tocope with it with age-appropriate content. Ideal for home or the classroom, this book contains notes for parents and teachers with suggestions of ways to help children deal with jealousy. Filled with colourful illustrations by the every-popular, award-winning illustrator Mike Gordon.
Punishment is to make kids suffer to teach them a lesson.
Discipline is to model acceptable behavior to help kids practice acceptable behavior.
So “how not to punish” stories are talking specifically about inflicting suffering. The alternative is not “let your child act any way they want.” The alternative is discipline. In a later post, I’ll walk through the differences. And why there’s so much talk about punishment, as defined, being harmful. And why some want to leave the term “discipline” behind–in favor of fresh words, with less baggage.
The one emotion that many CEN people struggle with the most is anger. When you grow up in a home where your emotions aren’t accepted, you learn that it’s not OK to be angry. You learn how to suppress and repress your anger. You learn how to get by without…
Unresolved anger in children can erupt in damaging and inappropriate behavior. In this story, nine-year-old Penny’s anger is kindled by several incidents throughout her day at school and home. After holding in her fury for so long, when she finally lets the angry feelings out, it is a negative emotional explosion.
Oppositional defiant disorder is more than occasional aggressive or irritating behavior. It’s a pattern of angry, uncooperative, and mean conduct that negatively impacts a child’s life at home and at school. Use this screener to see if your defiant child is showing signs of ODD.
A child’s diet can increase anger by contributing to certain conditions. A lack of healthy foods, allergic reactions or harmful substances in the foods your child eats could be behind mood swings, hyperactivity, tantrums, depression and anger. Anger is not always a bad emotion, but it can lead to aggressive or out of control behavior if the underlying cause is not addressed.
I use this diagram frequently in counseling with other CBT Tools to help explain the relationship between Thinking, Feeling, and Acting. I have students complete the worksheets following a problem or a success they experience.
Children often use anger as a defense from vulnerable feelings and uncomfortable experiences. By using a porcupine as an analogy, this fun activity helps identify vulnerable feelings (i.e. hurt, helplessness, fear) underneath one’s anger, how one uses their anger to push others away (quills), natural consequences to poor choices, coping skills to manage anger, and the benefits of making helpful choices to manage vulnerabilities.
A Game To Teach Kids How to Express Anger. This game is designed to provide insight into both the root(s) of the problem and to introduce alternative coping mechanisms to deal with symptomatic anger. Each player learns to verbalize what makes him/her angry as the game progresses. In addition, normal conversation during the course of the game acts as a catalyst for the children to reveal the issues and conflicts that underlie their anger.
Just how much does Big Monster loathe Little Monster? Let it count the ways…. I loathe you more than tooth decay More than blizzard snow in May More than garbage in a dump More than splinters in my rump No matter what, through thick and thin, I loathe you there and back again!