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During times of lockdown and social distancing it is not unusual to see kids act out feelings of anger and frustration. This can be especially difficult to manage alongside adapting to working from home, especially if you are not used to doing so.

If you’re looking for tips to managing your child’s anger, you’re in the right place.

Encourage them to recognise the physical signs of anger – like a racing heart, clenching teeth or fists or stomach pressure – and so take action before they lose control

Teach strategies like counting to 10 and deep breathing, and encourage them withdraw temporarily from a stressful situation rather than explode. Cards from Stickman Communications can be a helpful way of expressing how they feel without having to explain

Set aside a “calm down” spot at home (small spaces can sometimes be even more effective). This could be a garden shed, an indoor tent or just a corner with soft cushions and blankets where they can withdraw and feel safe

Encourage safe ways to channel anger and aggression – competitive sports or martial arts are great options, but at the moment perhaps going for a run, playing an age-appropriate shoot-‘em-up computer game or using a punch bag might help

Don’t blame it on the music. Strangely, listening to loud, angry music can be a medicine rather than a cause of angry behaviour. A study by the University of Queensland1 found that while young people might choose extreme heavy metal or punk music because it matches their feelings of anger, the process of listening to it actually helps diffuse the rage (just buy yourself some earplugs before suggesting putting Cattle Decapitation on the lounge stereo).

Finally, it is important to model good ways to cope with anger yourself. Show your kids that it’s possible to feel angry without losing control.

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