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Teaching kids how to manage their anger comes down to helping them shift their mindset so they can change their choices.
Rather than anger being viewed as a “bad” feeling, let’s come to see it as a messenger here to help us.
Then we can channel the anger towards effective communication, expression, and self-care.
So kids who know how to manage their anger are taught:
1. Emotional expression.
Repressed emotions don’t go away. They are simply stuffed out of conscious awareness and more likely to erupt at the next trigger.
Children who know how to manage their anger are given healthy outlets to express their emotions like:
2. How to communicate their wants and needs.
Children often resort to anger and aggression when they don’t have the words needed to express themselves. Their behavior becomes a form of communication (vs. their language).
To help combat this, teach them (over and over again) what words they need to communicate effectively including:
3. How to view their emotions.
When children are taught:
…They come to form a healthy relationship with their feelings.
Rather than feel overwhelmed or ashamed by their emotional experience, they come to view them more objectively (this is a skill that comes with lots of coaching, modeling and brain development but we can plant these seeds early on).
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As a clinical psychologist, published author, and mother to three young children, I get it. I’ve spent YEARS researching and filtering through the noise online, so you don’t have to.