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Anger

Anger is a normal and healthy feeling which we all experience. Over time we have learnt ways to manage this. Children and young people can sometimes be scared by the feeling of anger. They may not always have the words or understanding to manage this emotion. Anger can be a way for them to show their frustration or unhappiness, or they may not even know what is making them feel this way.

Sometimes children and young people get angry about something that has just happened or something they have bottled up for a long time. As children and young people grow up they have many challenges to learn to manage. Changes in school, friendships, exams and family relationships can all lead to feelings of anger.

  • It can help for your child to learn about anger. You can support them do this.

    The anger volcano is a fun activity that you can do together. It will help you to chat about how anger feels and how you can manage this in a positive way. See anger activity *Available to download below*

    Talk about what’s making your child feel angry – don’t ignore it. Your child may not want to talk straight away and that is okay, but you can help to get them started by talking about what makes you angry. Choose examples that a child or young person can easily understand like ‘leaving the towels on the floor in the bathroom’.

    Try to stay calm when they are angry. This can be hard and you might need some practice at it!

    Make sure you have time to let off steam and have someone to talk to too – being with your child when they are feeling angry is exhausting!

    Below is a video where children tell us what makes them angry and how they calm down:

  • The Anger Iceberg

    It can be good to think of your child’s anger like an iceberg. If your child is showing lots of signs they are angry, underneath the surface they could be feeling lots of other emotions. Anger is sometimes just the quickest and easiest emotion to show. Think about the other things that could be happening for your child at the moment. Talk with them about what they might be feeling underneath.

  • Flight or flight can be a sign of the anger emotion. 

    This response is our bodies letting us know that there is a danger. We can stay and fight the danger or run away.

    Being able to spot the signs of anger early can help your child understand what they are feeling.

    Talk about what your child feels when they start to get angry. For example, they may notice that:

    • their heart beats faster
    • their muscles tense
    • their teeth clench
    • they clench their fists
    • their stomach churns
    • they feel hot
    • wanting to hit or kick
    • shouting or swearing 
  •          

    Helping your child find safe ways to let out anger can be good for all the family. Giving your child a space where they can go if they are feeling angry can also make them feel more secure.

    Safe ways for your child to let their anger out:

    • Listening to or playing music
    • Writing down or drawing how they are feeling
    • Hitting or punching a cushion or pillow
    • Counting to 10 slowly
    • Exercise such as kicking a football or jumping on a trampoline
    • Tearing up an old newspaper or magazine
    • Scribbling with a marker pen.

                       

  • Cbeebies Anger Video - What's the big idea? *CLICK HERE TO WATCH*

  • Reading Well for young people

    Books about mental health for 13 to 18 year olds, with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, bullying and exams.

    All Shelf Help books can be reserved for free from any Norfolk library, or online by clicking here. The books are available to borrow for up to six weeks.

Who Can Help?

If anger becomes regular and uncontrollable you may need to seek further help and support. You can contact a member of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team. 

You can also contact your GP, who can help you access support.

If you are concerned that you are unable to help your child control their anger, you could speak to their school or early years setting. Many children get angry and sometimes their anger can last a long time. Schools and early years settings will have supported lots of parents to help them understand the same issues.

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