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Anger Management for Children
By Summer Stanley
Everyone, no matter his or her age, struggles with anger from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with feeling angry – as long as our reaction to it doesn’t lead to harming ourselves or others or damaging property.
Some children may have a hard time understanding that distinction, so it’s up to the adults in their lives to teach them healthy ways to manage their anger.
Children may have anger issues if they:
  • Get angry over every little thing that goes wrong.
  • Are unable to stop angry outbursts or recover from them.
  • Struggle to express their feelings in a coherent way.
  • Don’t care about how their behavior affects others.
  • Act recklessly when angry.
  • Make threats or draw/write about violence.
  • Blame others for their behavior.
Often, children “act out” in anger when they are really feeling another emotion, such as sadness, anxiety, or embarrassment. They may not yet have developed mature ways to express these more complex feelings.
The Helpful Counselor blog offers a list of possible causes of anger and its underlying emotions (see the full list at
  • Best friend moving
  • Parents’ divorce
  • Death in the family
  • Low academic performance
  • Physical development/ability
  • Speech impairment
  • Didn’t get invited to a party
  • Didn’t make the team
  • Poor grades
  • Physical/looks
  • Feeling “stupid”
  • Low social skills
  • Abandonment
  • Breakup of a friendship
  • Rejection provides several ways to help an angry child calm down and learn to manage outbursts better in the future:
  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t give in.
  • Praise appropriate behavior.
  • Help practice problem-solving skills.
  • Use time outs and reward systems.
  • Avoid triggers.
It may seem easier said than done, but like many things in life, practice makes perfect. Most children will learn healthy anger management skills over time and carry them over into adulthood.
“Effective Anger Management Tips for Children,” accessed Feb. 26, 2020, from
“Ages & Stages: Understanding Children’s Anger,” accessed March 6, 2020, from
“Angry Kids: Dealing With Explosive Behavior,” accessed March 16, 2020, from
“An Age-by-Age Guide to Helping Kids Manage Emotions,” accessed March 16, 2020, from
“75 Reasons Behind Your Child’s Anger,” accessed March 16, 2020, from

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Any commercial use is strictly prohibited.

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