How to Deal With Children When They Get Angry

- | 73 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Family & Parenting

Mother dealing with her child who gets angry

Do you get angry? Just like you, even children get angry, and that’s very normal. In fact, all kids should get angry because it’s healthy to feel your feelings. But don’t let those feelings overwhelm you!

In an earlier post I’d discussed in detail about why children get angry that had all the reasons included within. Hope you head over and read that post too.

If you can help your children identify, explore, and express their emotional state, it would help them ease their angry outbursts.

When a child gets angry, you need to fix the behavior, not the feeling. Most parents try to deal with the child’s emotion first because they feel that’s what’s causing the bad behavior.

As a parent, you need to help your child solve the problem by knowing from where his or her feelings originate – the thinking that sparks the emotion. Focus on what triggers the whole problem.

“Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way… that is not easy.” ~ Aristotle.

What Should Parents Do When Kids Get Angry

Parents should consider the anger of their children like an alarm, and not ignore it. They need to identify the reasons that cause the anger.

The best way is to clear the picture in your children’s mind by helping them remove the misconceptions, and find ways to lessen their anger.

You shouldn’t try to keep your child from getting angry, because anger is a natural human emotion. So, let them know that it’s alright to get mad at times.

If children are stopped from getting angry, it will make them into unhealthy adults who don’t know how to handle and accept their feelings.

They will suffer from guilt and won’t be able to make out what hurt them.

Remember, it could be that your child’s anger is unjustified, deliberate, or a learned behavior from friends or peers.

But don’t jump to conclusions, nor forget that such behavior could occur due to biological and other reasons too.

However, your child needs to know how to handle the anger appropriately, because at times it could turn out to be quite violent.

Also, remember that your child is a person with real emotions just like you, so handle him or her with care.

Children need to be told that aggression in the form of hurting, pushing, hitting, yelling, or throwing is not right. Instead, tell them the right way to deal with their anger.

A lot also depends on how parents express their anger and how they teach their children to deal with the anger.

If you are a parent, you may not know what to do. Each child is different, and so is the way to deal with kids when they get angry.

When angry feelings aren’t resolved, it can lead to health, stress, and behavioral problems. There may be a possibility of it becoming a part of their nature.

Parents need to create quality time with their family where there is enough time to discuss and share feelings, so that they can deal with the situations like when their kids get angry.

It is our responsibility as parents to teach the children the limits, and the right ways of expressing anger.

However, if things don’t go as expected then you should get into the damage control mode, rather than reacting outrageously to create more damage.

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” ~ Erma Bombeck

What Not To Do When Your Children Get Angry

Being parents, it’s not easy to keep calm when your kids get angry and are ready to throw tantrums. However, there are a few things you can do to deal with angry children.

  • Never challenge or yell at your children when they are angry or don’t listen to you. This only makes you lose control. Instead, stay calm, and come back to the issue later.
  • Never get physical with your children when they are angry. Instead, pay attention to how you react when they get angry. Remember, they are learning from your behavior all the time!
  • Don’t try and reason with children when they are angry or in the middle of a tantrum or outburst. It surely isn’t easy, but possible!
  • Don’t lose your patience and take things personally. Instead, work with your children to make them understand the real reasons of their anger.
  • Handle younger kids differently than the older ones. Never freeze up or isolate yourself when your children get angry. I know this is tough, but it never really works! Instead, reach out and talk out things with them.
  • Give your children consequences for their bad behavior, but not for the anger. Remember; don’t make the punishments harsh ones. After all, you are teaching your kids how to manage their anger.

There are many reasons why kids get angry. Sometimes they are frustrated, irritated, can’t figure out something, or get upset when another child takes something that belongs to them.

Sometimes they get angry when they are taunted by peers, or if they are anxious, afraid, hurt, feel isolated or lonely, and if things don’t go their way. Or, for no reason at all at times!

Whatever may be the reason, as parents we need to know how to deal with children when they get angry. We need to help them find ways to express their anger in a positive way.

Here’s a video that tells as how love can make a difference to children who get angry. I’m sure you’ll like it.

[youtube id=8Ts-7C_H6J8 width=”620″ height=”360″]

Dr. Craig Childress ~ How to Help a Child Who Is Always Angry ~ YouTube Video

“When anger arises, think of the consequences.” ~ Confucius

Ways to Help Your Children Learn to Express Anger Positively

Help your children identify their triggers when they are calm, and try finding out the root cause of the problem.

Some anger busters for children when they get angry are:

1. Be a role modelAs a parent if you are angry, express what you would do or behave so that your children follow you.

You could say, “Dad’s feeling very angry right now, so I want to be alone for some time to get back to normal, and get self-control.”

2. Understand their pain – Try to be sympathetic and connect with them when children get angry. Talk about a time when you were a child and how you got angry, and how your parents dealt with the situation.

3. Be respectful – Don’t get physical or call names when you are angry. And don’t encourage your children to do the same. Try keeping calm in all situations.

4. Remain positive – Instead of challenging them and saying, “Don’t you throw your toys,” say, “Once you put the toys on the room, we can go out and have ice cream.”

Show them the way you want them to deal with the anger.

5. Make them understand how to express their anger – Give them words they can use, like, “I know you are sad, frustrated, or disappointed. But everything will be okay.”

Let them have time to deal with their anger.

6. Divert their energy – You need to redirect their energy when kids get angry.

If they can’t get away from a class, perhaps they can close their eyes and do some deep breathing – show them more of such ways to deal with their anger.

Explain children the positive ways like painting, jumping, skipping, running, swimming, or anything that keeps their minds away from anger.

7. Give time – You need to give your child time to cool-off by going for a walk, reading a book together, or even alone.

Also, give your children the option for venting their feelings. Tell them that they can always come to you, or share their feelings with their best friend, or a special person in their life.

Later discuss calmly what made your child angry and guide them for the next time.

I know your might say that most of what I mentioned above is easier said than done.

But once children understand that their anger is baseless and not valid and that it would subside gradually – they are able to cope with things.

Remember, never forget to pat their backs when their behavior is good, which most of us forget doing – isn’t it?

Also, don’t forget to love your children, more so when they are angry. They will listen to you more when they see you are loving and friendly, and really intend to help them.

“Accept the children the way we accept trees—with gratitude, because they are a blessing—but do not have expectations or desires. You don’t expect trees to change, you love them as they are.” ~ Isabel Allende

Over to you

Remember the time when you were a child and got angry. How did you deal with your anger? As a parent, what ways would you suggest to deal with children who get angry? Share in the comments.


Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

Show Comments

73 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Baibhav

    2015-05-14 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Harleena!
    Nice useful post for the parents.
    I am using few tactics which you specified here to handle my kid. I never get anger on my kid Instead, I’ll try to find it out the reason for it. This is best way to handle kids. Thanks for sharing it.


  2. Tuhin

    2014-06-07 at 2:19 pm

    It is very unfortunate that most of the times, parents fail to understand the fact that children do have the right to get angry too. Scolding,cursing or physically abusing the children is not the solution. We should be sensitive and matured enough to understand their little minds. In this post you have covered this issue very nicely. Hope the message reaches far and wide.

  3. Rachel

    2013-05-01 at 10:17 pm

    Harleena, what a wonderful discussion and such an important subject.

    As we often see here in our organization, unaddressed, squelched, and dismissed anger can result in ill health and dangerous behavior. Imagine if each of the young people responsible for school shootings were taught how to manage and release their anger effectively and safely…At YEMAYA YFS we run a group for youth struggling with anger issues. Oh the changes that are made once it is expressed and we can begin to work on the hurt underneath.Thank you for your exploration of such a timely issue.

  4. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    2013-04-19 at 7:31 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Children do get angry just like adults and I agree with the points in your article. As parents we can role model appropriate ways to deal with our anger, so that children can see this is an emotion that we all have, There are ways to express our anger that do not harm others and allow us to vent our feelings and work through them.

    Great article.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-04-19 at 1:32 pm

      Hi Cathy,

      Yes indeed, kids do get angry just like us and that’s very normal too. As parents we need to help and guide our children by teaching them ways to cope with anger. And because kids learn best by seeing their parents – role modelling is where it all starts from.

      I agree, the way we express our anger and how we maintain our cool even when we are angry is what our kids will notice, so we better be careful there. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  5. Praveen Rajarao

    2013-03-20 at 10:25 pm

    Harleena – This article just proves how hard parenting is 🙂

    Having an angry kid on your hand is like holding hot coal, it is never easy and the more younger they are, it is even more difficult.

    The reason being that the kids just do not have the sense to listen and understand during those angry times, it is very unnerving and tests the patience of parents. Whoever deals with it with calmness and follows one of the ways you have mentioned above, really knows what parenting is all about 🙂

    Thanks for a wonderful article, to which we can all relate to.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-04-19 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Praveen,

      Sorry for the late reply, I seemed to have somehow missed your comment, though am glad I made it 🙂

      You are so right there – loved your example of hot coal, and yes, they are indeed just like that- hot-tempered. I guess when they are younger, it’s tough to reason with them or explain them things.

      When children get angry, nothing really can calm them down, and while it’s quite similar to a few adults too, but with children you really can’t explain things or make them understand all that easily. But being parents, we need to be patient and keep a hold on losing our temper, or else both, parents and children would be bursting into bouts of temper all the time. Not to mention that kids learn by what they see their parents do. If they see us calm at such time, they would follow that up and be calmer when they are angry, or learn to control such temper tantrums.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  6. Dee Ann Rice

    2013-03-19 at 11:12 pm


    I think anger is one of the most difficult things to deal with in children.

    Sometimes they are angry for reasons even they do not know. Then dealing with the anger involves first figuring out what is causing the anger.

    I like your ways of helping children express their anger positively. They are really good and will be really helpful to anyone dealing with an angry child.

    Dee Ann Rice

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Dee Ann,

      I’m glad you like the ways of dealing with children who get angry – positive expression of anger is so important.

      And, you’re right that anger is a complex emotion, and children are not able to understand how to go about it.

      It is here that we as adults need to step in as guides and teachers and help them spot the cause and learn to react appropriately. But we can make the matters worse if we too take the plunge ourselves into the angry waters!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your bit to the discussion. 🙂

  7. Ashley Porter

    2013-03-19 at 11:00 pm

    Those are great tips Harleena. My child used to get angry often during the terrible twos stage. I know some of it has to do with their limited language skills at that age and if they are tired. I usually sent her to her room or quite place to calm down.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:36 pm

      Hi Ashley,

      I’m glad you like the tips. Oh yes, you’re right that infants do get irritated and frustrated when they’re not understood or their demands are not met. So, poor communication is the culprit at any age, and sometimes does lead to anger!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views. 🙂

  8. Ahsan

    2013-03-18 at 11:23 pm

    Hello Harleena Singh,

    You wrote another awesome post to understand children’s anger & take remedy according to need. I agree with your point. No one can tell there is any solution if you show anger with others. Yes anger is our human feelings like happiness, sad or smile. But most of time anger makes the situation worse.

    Children also sometime get angry. At that time we must need to understand their psychology & try to limit their anger according to need. I think its a good idea to show patience & just wait when children’s anger decreases. Then parents can talk with them about the matter.

    Anyway thanks for best resourceful tips for all readers.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-19 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Ahsan,

      I’m glad you liked the post. You’re right, anger is a negative feeling. But this energy should either be released or converted into positive energy, else it may cause damage and hurt the person in many ways.

      You got it right – patience is the key to handle kids when they get angry. And, of course, communication and dialog are a must instead of orders and punishments.

      Thanks for sharing your views with everybody. 🙂

  9. Donna Merrill

    2013-03-17 at 8:18 am


    What a wonderful subject to bring up. Too many parents get stuck on what to do when their child gets angry.

    The tips you gave are right on point!

    I find that keeping a calm tone and not giving in to the “angry child” is very effective if you can communicate with them. Depends on the level of anger.

    The best advice I found here is being a role model. If a parent has an anger problem….they NEED to get anger management for the sake of their child. Role modeling works best I think because it is showing the child how you deal with anger. Here is where actions speak louder than words.

    I also like the point of time. A parent needs to know that when a child is displaying anger, they may need some “time out” and then when all is simmered down, talk about the problem.

    Thanks again for an awesome post!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-17 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Donna,

      I’m so glad you like the subject of the post. I agree that today’s parents need such guidance more than ever, because their job has become more difficult and challenging.

      I found that when your children reply back to you after you get angry to them, or when you get angry if they’re already angry and out of control, either ways there’s a deadlock and there can’t be a solution to the problem.

      Parents need to get responsible and start behaving so, at least in front of their kids. I agree that role modeling is the best way to teach your child how to control anger as they learn to be calm from you.

      Everything gets melted or roasted in the heat of the moment, so it’s logical to take a break to let it cool down and communication become more effective thereafter.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking part in this discussion to help new parents. 🙂

  10. Annie André

    2013-03-16 at 7:14 pm

    This was a really helpful post Harleena.

    Nothing was new but I think all parents need a reminder once in a while.
    One big mistake I’ve been doing which is on your list of things not to do is “try to reason” when my kids are angry. It never works but I still do it. Sigh… I’ve also found that taking a step back and letting things pass for a few hours to a day will give me some perspective and allow me to deal with things in a more calm way.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-03-17 at 11:18 pm

      Hi Annie,

      You’re quite right that I haven’t really invented any news concept here, but we do often forget these and need to be reminded.

      I too sometimes do reason with my kids when they get on my nerve, I loose my cool, or when I believe they’re taking advantage of my being good. But it’s always better to follow the strategy which you mention here as one of the options.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences. 🙂

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How to Deal With Children When They Get Angry

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