Emily Stone, LICSW, social worker and Senior Clinical Strategist at Mightier
Kids who struggle with anger are passionate and great advocates.
They stand up for what they believe in and don’t waiver. This makes them great friends and teammates. They are thoughtful and typically very aware of those around them which can help them have insight into people and situations.
As adults, we often think of more traditional ways to help kids calm down and suggest them to when they are having a tough time. “Take a deep breath,” “walk away from the situation,” and “punch a pillow” are all things we have said from time to time but are all too often ignored.
Allowing kids time and space to let their frustration out in a way that they prefer is important. What is helpful for you to manage anger is most likely completely different than what is helpful for your child.
Here are some of the ways that kids have told me over the years they let out their anger:
- Singing the lyrics to my favorite song in my head over and over
- Taking a combination of a shower and a bath
- Sending memes to my friends
- Crying really hard for 2 minutes then telling someone what is wrong
- Chewing on ice cubes
- Putting on my favorite sweatpants
- Ripping up old school work
As you can see, there is no “right” way to calm down when we are angry. Allowing your child to experiment and get creative to find what is most helpful for them is all a part of their emotional journey.
What is your child’s most unique way to “cool down” when they are angry?