Helping Kids with Anger Express Themselves

We’ve all worked with kids who are overcome with their anger and have words come out that they might really mean in the moment but regret later. The “I hate you”s and “You’re the worst friend ever”s? While regulating emotions enough to be able to calmly express feelings is still a big ask for kids, we can teach them some simple steps to take just a moment to pause and then say words that will help the situation (rather than make it bigger!) while still stating what they need. I do this one on one with kids at school and in small groups, but it’s great for a whole class to learn too! Try these kids anger management strategies to help your kids or students calmly express themselves when they’re angry:

Looking for kids anger management strategies? Try these calming strategies and communication tools to help kids calmly express themselves.

Kids Anger Management Strategies

Calming Strategies

First things first, I want my kids to have some calming strategies in their toolboxes to use in the moment. They all need some easily accessible skills that don’t require the use of a calm down kit because let’s be real: when the anger bubbles up, the calm down kit isn’t always handy (hello playground drama!).

We practice things like:

  • controlled breathing
  • modified progressive muscle relaxation
  • energy exertion
  • grounding
Looking for kids anger management strategies? Try these calming strategies and communication tools to help kids calmly express themselves. Help kids with anger by using coping skills like breathing and progressive muscle relaxation before using I statements for anger. I statements for kids are great strategies for dealing with anger!

These strategies are easy for kids to implement in the moment when they aren’t always able to step away and take a break from the situation. We practice these constantly in counseling sessions so they can come naturally when kids need them!

I-Statements

For just about any situation, I want my students using I-statements to communicate their feelings and needs! These don’t come totally naturally because it isn’t how we normally speak to each other (wouldn’t it be great if we did though?!). The I statements look like:

  • I feel… (angry, frustrated, hurt, embarrassed)
  • When/Because… (you take my things without asking, ignore my ideas)
  • Can you please/I need… (ask first before you take my things, you to listen to my ideas for our group project too)
Looking for kids anger management strategies? Try these calming strategies and communication tools to help kids calmly express themselves. Help kids with anger by using coping skills like breathing and progressive muscle relaxation before using I statements for anger. I statements for kids are great strategies for dealing with anger!

I use ice cream scoops to illustrate this (because who doesn’t love ice cream?!). This formula helps kids take ownership of their feelings by saying, “I feel” rather than “You make me so…” and gives them a chance to share the situation or action that is causing them distress. But the best part is asking for what they need! I want to empower all of my students to be assertive (not aggressive) in telling others what they need to make a situation right or comfortable for them.

Resources for Managing Anger

Anger Workbook

Anger Group Counseling Activities

Printable Anger Game

Looking for kids anger management strategies? Try these calming strategies and communication tools to help kids calmly express themselves. Help kids with anger by using coping skills like breathing and progressive muscle relaxation before using I statements for anger. I statements for kids are great strategies for dealing with anger!

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