Now Available! Dr. DeFoore's New Book GOODFINDING
Anger Management Games
For Children With Anger Issues
Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Here are some of the best anger management games to teach your children, whether you're a parent, teacher, or anyone helping with child anger management.
Anger doesn't have to be a heavy or negative subject. As a matter of fact, it is much better for adults to be calm and light-hearted in dealing with children's anger.
If you have anger control problems, or if you're depressed from anger suppression, you may not be successful in supervising anger management activities for children. There is anger management help for you here, if you need it.
Discover some fun, upbeat ways to approach this challenging problem. Kids like to play, even the angry ones. So, figure out how to connect with them where they want to be.
You'll learn some good child anger management activities here. Let the games begin!
The "Name It, Aim It, Claim It!" Game
This is an easy and educational anger management game that you can teach and demonstrate. Most children (including us when we were children), did not get any education about emotions.
Here's your chance to learn by teaching. Here are the steps to this simple but powerful game:
- Name It! This is where you are teaching children the language of emotion. Basically the words for naming anger are, I'm angry! or I feel angry! or I'm mad! You'll notice we're not saying, "S/he made me mad" or anybody "made me" anything. We're trying to teach responsibility here. It's also good to name the other emotions, like scared, afraid, sad, hurt, etc.
- Claim It! This is another step in taking full responsibility. To help with this part, encourage your child to say only, "I'm angry!" instead of "I'm angry at her!" The focus is helping the child claim ownership of their emotions, so that they can learn to act responsibly. If they're caught in blaming others (the "blame game"), then they have to wait for the other person to change before they can feel good again. Acceptable language might be, "I'm angry because..." or "I get mad when..." I realize these are subtle distinctions, but I assure you they are important.
- Aim It! Now we get to the action part of this anger management game. Ideally, this is where you help the child find some kind of constructive action that allows them to express and/or release the built up energy of their emotion. Examples of healthy actions to "aim" the anger are, relaxation and breathing, physical activity, writing down how you feel, and talking it out with the other person.
This is a great game for parents to play with their children every time anger comes up. This will only work, however, if the child is calm enough to focus and cooperate with the game.
If your child is extremely upset, you will need a different type of anger management game. Read on.
Anger Management Games For Emotional Release
Here are some examples of games that give the child more of a physical outlet for anger, which can be very beneficial at times.
- Playing with toys under supervision, or professionally provided play therapy, is very helpful for children needing to releas their anger. Parents and professionals can learn a lot about the child by watching how s/he interacts with the toys, and the type of drama and conflict created. This may include sketching, painting or play with clay.
- Sometimes children benefit from hitting pillows with open hands, or an object such as a tennis racket or bataca bat. It's best if this is done in a playful way, to encourage the child to participate freely. It's sometimes called, "the anger game," to give children the feeling that it involves some type of play.
- Another variation on this is a type of temper tantrum release. This is a simple matter of the child lying on her back and pounding with both fists and kicking with both feet. If you're a parent and considering using this approach, you may want to consult with a professional first to make sure these types of anger management games are suitable for your child's needs.
Let's face it, there's nothing funny about anger, so coming up with some good anger management games and anger management activities can be challenging.
It's still a good idea, because of the way that children connect and communicate through play. And remember you are your child's best anger management resource.
Get your copy of this excellent audiobook, designed to guide parents and other caregivers in helping children with anger.