If you have a child with an explosive temper, you know that it can be extremely difficult to help him/her manage destructive emotions.
Unresolved anger in children can have far-reaching consequences. When anger in a child lasts too long and occurs all too often, it is often evidence of a deep-seated malaise.
Anger often arises when kids are struggling with something that matters. Unfortunately, it can also be a sign of more serious issues requiring professional help.
Teaching our children to successfully regulate their emotions can have a long-term impact on their well-being. A child who has learnt to regulate his/her emotions is better able to react appropriately to everyday situations.
Gross defines emotion regulation as “the processes by which we influence which emotions we have, when we have them, and how we experience and express them.” Emotion regulation may impact a child’s social, academic and psychological development.
A number of studies have shown that there are extrinsic and intrinsic intervention strategies parents can use to help children regulate strong emotions. These strategies involve processes which can be automatic or controlled, or conscious or unconscious.
Researchers argue that there are a limitless number of strategies parents can use to help their kids learn to regulate their emotions. Problem is, many parents don’t always have the tools to help their children deal with their anger issues.
Fortunately, a number of resources propose age-appropriate self-regulation strategies. In this post, we look at five of these resources that focus on helping kids deal with anger.
When I feel angry is the story of a young rabbit talking about the things that make her angry and about the positive ways she can respond to difficult emotions.
This book is perfect for young kids (preschool and early preschool). It proposes relatable examples in simple language and uses illustrations to teach kids techniques they can use when they’re angry.
When I feel angry is quite repetitive which is great for young kids. It helps children learn to describe anger but also gives them several options (deep breathing, physical activity, quiet time, etc.) and proposes appropriate ways in which they handle anger (instead of yelling, biting, hitting, etc.)
This is an awesome resource that relies on cognitive behavioral therapy to teach kids to manage their anger.
It is a powerful resource because it teaches kids that although anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences, they alone determine how they react “the only person who can make you angry is you.”
The workbook proposes plenty of ideas and is interactive which is great for helping kids put into practice what they’ve learned.
Although it is proposed for age range 8 to 12, this book can be used with kids as early as age 6.
Angry Octopus is written for ages 6-12.
It uses a story based on an angry octopus to propose exercises (progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing techniques) that show kids strategies they can use to calm down and manage anger and anxiety. There is evidence that progressive muscle relaxation has a calming effect (anger, anxiety, and stress) on both children and adults.
When Miles got Mad uses a story to teach kids how to express anger verbally and thus to regulate their emotions.
It is a rather short book that uses awesome illustrations adapted to young kids. The book teaches young kids that being angry doesn’t make them bad people, and that learning to put their anger into words can help them control it.
The Angry Octopus Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm is a coloring book designed to help children control anger and anxiety.
It proposes 38 illustrations featuring different scenes and poems to help children turn away from their angry or anxious feelings.
Although the book supposedly targets 4- to 11-year-olds, the pictures in the book are simple and are best adapted for young kids.
Which resources have helped your child manage anger?