How To Help Your Child Deal With Anger – Part One

How To Help Your Child Deal With Anger – Part One

by Dr Emma Gray - 4th November, 2014

In the first part of this blog we look at what not to do when helping your child to deal with anger and how to teach them to reduce their anger to a more tolerable level.

1. What not to do

Anger is a strong (often overwhelming) emotion, so however inconvenient, embarrassing or frustrating it is when your child gets angry, never tell them to ‘stop it’, never tell them that they are being naughty. Your child is feeling something very real, they may be both consumed and confused by it, your job as a parent is to help them with this. Dismissing how they feel or punishing them may provide a short term solution (i.e. they may learn to swallow their anger) but longer term, responding in this way will undermine your child’s self esteem and confidence resulting in problems with emotion regulation that ultimately leading to anxiety, depression and of course anger.

2. Calm down

Managing our emotions is a skill, and due to its potentially explosive nature, managing anger is a skill that needs a lot of practice. The first step in helping your child to manage their anger is to teach them to bring their anger down to a level where they can think clearly and make good decisions regarding a course of action. Practice the schedule below with your child every time they become anger:

· Acknowledge that they are feeling angry and that it is time to go through your ‘calm down routine’ so that you can sort out the problem

· Get your child to rate how angry they feel on a scale of 1-10 (for younger children draw a scale and use cartoon characters to represent the different levels of anger e.g. incredible hulk)

· Count to 10

· Take an in breath that lasts for the count of 3

· Take an out breath that lasts for the count of 3

· Count backwards from 10 to 1

· Take an in breath that lasts for the count of 3

· Take an out breath that lasts for the count of 3

· Check your child’s anger rating and repeat the routine if necessary.

In the second part of this blog we will look at understanding your child’s anger, problem solving and praise.


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


Read more about my approach to counselling here...


View all my other articles here...

Recent Posts by
Dr Emma Gray:

Leave a Comment

Post