Emotional regulation is tough. Kids are experiencing so many new things and it can be difficult for them to react appropriately all the time. Anger is one of the most important emotions to manage as it often affects many more people than just that child.
In my classroom, I used choice cards with pictures to help students who struggled with their angry emotions. These would also be great for toddlers!
From my experience, here are seven of the most effective things kids can choose to do when feeling angry…
1. Count to 10
This teaches your child to slow down before making any rash decisions based in anger.
2. Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing also provides a pause before action and can help to calm your child down and relax him.
3. Draw a Picture
Kids love to draw. Drawing is a very soothing experience that is even popular with adults these days! Set your child up in a calm area with some paper and crayons and allow her to decompress. Once she is calm, ask her to show you her artwork!
4. Take a break
In my classroom, I never used time out, but I did use take a break. Setting up an area in your home where your child can go to safely calm down when upset is the premise of take a break. It is not a punishment. You can have a corner of his room with a beanbag and coloring supplies or some play dough. Your child should go to this spot when feeling angry and should leave when feeling calm. There is no set amount of time when taking a break.
5. Drink water
This is another way to pause and regroup before doing or saying something out of anger.
6. Take a walk
Exercise releases endorphins and has also been known to clear the mind. Predetermine a walking path for these times (from the kitchen to the upstairs bathroom, around the perimeter of the house, etc.).
7. Listen to Music
Kids love music and usually have particular songs they are obsessed with. You could set up a listening station in the take a break area to let your kiddo calm down with some tunes.
What other strategies have you found helpful for those angry moments? Let me know down in the comments! Talk to you soon for the Tuesday Two!