55 Anger Management Tips For Kids – How to Help An Angry Child Calm Down

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Inside:  If you are wondering how to help an angry child calm down, you are in the right spot. This article includes 55 effective anger management activities for kids, 6 book recommendations for kids, 5 Facebook support groups, free mindfulness printables for you and for your kids, and so much more. This is an epic guide, right at your fingertips.

Your husband forgot about your birthday.

Uh-huh, he actually did.

Perhaps you feel disappointed. Or, maybe you just feel ANGRY.

Anger is a natural (and perfectly acceptable) emotion.

We feel angry from time to time, and our kids do too.

Instead of trying to force our kids to stuff their anger inside (to explode later in unhealthy ways), why not teach our kids safe and healthy tools and strategies to manage their anger.

How To Help An Angry Child Calm Down

My son is very spirited, and when I say that, I mean, he’s more spirited than a wild stallion horse.

His meltdowns are more explosive than a category 5 volcanic eruption. (Not sure if that’s a thing, but it should be).


To say he gets angry is an understatement.


I’ve devised a collection of the best tools and tips to teach young children how to recognize and work through their anger, to learn how to calm down safely.

And here’s the best part:

It’s really helping. Our meltdowns have decreased, the intensity has lessened, and my son is starting to use coping strategies on his own.


Let’s get to it and learn how to help an angry child calm down. Let’s stop these volcanic eruptions once and for all.

Mindfulness activities for kids preview set.

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

Recognizing the Signs of Anger in Kids

Before we get to the calming strategies for kids below, I have to take a moment and say:

You need to recognize the signs your child is about to erupt, BEFORE the full-on volcanic explosion.


Once kids are in full meltdown mode they will be flooded with adrenaline (it’s a true emergency), and they are essentially fighting for their lives.

At this point, managing the emotion of anger is almost impossible, and our only option is to offer our kids a safe haven until the eruption subsides. (See how to create the perfect calm down corner.)

But if you can help your child before this flood of adrenaline flows in, notice the subtle cues and take action, you can lessen tantrums, meltdowns, and anger significantly.


What does this mean?

Learn the subtle signals that your kiddo is starting to feel overstimulated.

Bottom line. It’s important.

Common anger signs include:

• Frowning
• Red-faced
• Clenched fists
• Arguing
• Pacing
• Silly
• Getting agitated easily
• Overly emotional
• Easily set off

It’s WAY easier to calm a child down when they aren’t spewing lava (because at this point, the situation might require you to employ your anger rescue plan).

Check out our life-saving calm down posters available now

Create Your Own Calm Down Corner

A calm down corner is a place where angry or upset children can go to calm down. Grab these helpful printable calm down corner printables from the shop!

Anger is Normal

Next, let’s remind (and reaffirm) to our kids that it’s okay to be angry.

As we go through life, emotions come up, and we don’t need to stuff them away.

It’s completely normal to feel anger, but the key is learning what to do with those powerful emotions.

If your kiddo suffers from BIG emotions, you’ve just gotta check the life-saving Anger Rescue Kit for Kids. This will epic guide includes over 60 pages and will become your new go-to for helping your child develop appropriate coping strategies.

Anger Management for kids

Take a read through this enlightening article from the imperfect parent, it a nutshell it reminds you that anger is ok, it’s a feeling too.

How To help an angry child calm down

Before we get into all the awesome ways you can bring calm into your house, I need to stress one final thing:

When your child is angry, having a meltdown, irritated, in fight, flight or freeze mode, they can’t process anymore stimulus.

This is not the time to talk lessons into your child.

This is not a teachable moment.

I know it’s hard. I know, it’s really hard. But you can do it.



If you must talk, trying whispering, or at a minimum talk calmly. (And keep it short).

You could say simple phrases such as

• I love you
• I’m here for you
• I understand
• It’s ok to be mad

Next, gently guide your child to a calm safe spot. Have you thought about creating a calm down corner? We did and it’s been a great addition to our household.

Young kids are not always in control when they get angry, and aggression can follow. It’s very important to guide kids to a safe spot and to keep yourself safe too.

Pro Tip

Have you ever used an emotional thermometer? (Grab a free PDF instant download right here)

Talk about what each color of the thermometer means. What does it look like when your kiddo is a tiny bit angry? Do they scrunch up their faces?
If they are getting a little more heated what does that look like? Finally, talk about what BIG anger looks like.

Using a visual thermometer will help your child gain awareness of their big emotions. Consider plucking out coping skills from the giant list below that your kiddo can use at each level of anger on the thermometer.

How to Help An Angry Child Calm Down
If you're wondering how to help an angry child calm down, this is for you. I'm so glad I found this article to help develop coping strategies for my son. We've learned essential anger management skills and implemented many of these 55 calming strategies for kids. Anger worksheets, self regulation, free anger printables & so much more.


How to Help An Angry Child Calm Down – 55 Anger Management Strategies for Kids

1. Lazy 8 breathing – See here for breathing with shapes from Coping Skills for Kids

2. Deep breathing – Count to 10, inhale for 3, exhale for 3

3. Color breathing – Imagine your breath as a color, inhale happy colors, exhale anger and anxiety

4. Star breathing – Trace the sides of a star while breathing

5. Blowing bubbles 

6. Progressive muscle relaxation

7. Meditation 

8. Yoga Cards – I like these ones

9. Squeeze a ball or put your hands in your pockets

10. Change scenery

11. Step outside

12. Go for a walk

must have

Mighty Mindful Kids will be like your secret weapon against anger, anxiety, stress and so much more. If you want to help an angry child calm down then start teaching your kiddo these techniques young and they will carry these skills through their entire lives. 

13. Go to your serene calm down corner – See here how to create one

14. Sing a song

15. Tell a story from your own childhood (kids LOVE LOVE LOVE this, it works every time on my son)

16. Play with playdough

17. Make a Mr. Angry Sock – take a tennis ball, put it in a sock, draw an angry face, and when your kiddo is mad they can bang Mr. Angry Sock on the floor or outside.

18. Dance

19. Walk on your tiptoes

20. Jump 10 times

21. Run around the room 3 times

22. Name 5 things you see, smell, hear, feel or taste – GO!

23. Big bear hug time

24. Freeze – pause and stop what you are doing for 2 minutes

25. Tear up some paper

26. Drink a glass of water

27. Walk like a dog across the room

28. State your emotion (Fun variation, report your emotions like a weather system – See Mighty Mindful Kids  for unique weather calming exercises)

29. Count to 10

30. Count backwards from five

31. Repeat positive affirmations three times – See here for 50 amazing positive affirmations for your kiddo.

32. Have a tickle fight

33. Say a very silly word

34. Taunt your child with a bet that they can’t make a funny face

35. Squeeze and relax your fists

36. Wash your hands


Using calm down cards is an amazing way to take charge of your kiddo’s big emotions. When I notice a big emotion brewing, we grab three cards from this printable set and do whatever the card says. This finds us walking across the floor like a dog, jumping on one foot, giving a big hug and even having a glass of water. Distraction is very important when it comes to diffusing a tense situation.

37. Trace your fingers with your opposite hand – take turns doing each other’s hands

38. Sit in silence for two minutes

39. Put on your favorite program

40. Skip rope

41. Use a weighted blanket (check out this epic guide to the very best weighted blankets for kids)

42. Put on a weighted vests

43. Try an indoor swing (love this)

44. Use Essential Oils – Lavender is my go-to.

45. Rock in a rocking chair – I love this one, so pretty and calming.

46. Grab your favorite fidget toy – These are my ABSOLUTE favorite fidget toys. I find myself playing with it ALL the time. It’s super relaxing.

47. Grab your calm down charts/emotion charts

48. Take a bath

49. Anger Games – Have you tried these?

50. Use an anger thermometer – Print an instant free download here

51. Do wall pushups

52. Jump on a trampoline

53. Do 10 jumping jacks

54. Drink relaxation tea – I get this brand for my kiddo

55. Use these super fun and engaging anxiety management worksheets and anger management worksheets.

Bonus Tip: Teach mindfulness to your kids. See how to teach mindfulness to kids (at any age), or grab our bestselling guide – Mighty Mindful Kids

must have

Two books that have been game-changers in my house are 1) The Explosive Child by Ross Greene and 2) 1, 2, 3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan

6 Books to Help Teach Your Child About Anger (How To Help An Angry Child Calm Down)

It can also be very helpful to read books about anger together. Teaching your child to recognize emotions will go along way to helping them overcome those very emotions.

  1. When I’m Angry – By Michael Gordon

2. The Angry Dinosaur – By Tom Fortman

Teach children to handle their anger after reading this cute dinosaur book! Your children will immediately learn how to control their anger when things don’t go their way.

Rex the dinosaur is angry about everything that doesn’t go his way. Read this book to learn how he can handle his anger with ease. A must-read for parents and kids about anger management.

3. Anger Management Workbook for Kids – Samantha Snowden

The Anger Management Workbook for Kids offers kid-friendly 50 exercises and interactive activities to feel happier, calmer, and take control of anger.

4. Listening to My Body – Gabi Garcia

This interactive book guides children through the practice of naming their feelings and the sensations that accompany them. Engages children in easy, kid-friendly mindfulness activities.

Helps kids build on their capacity to be mindful, self-regulate, and develop emotional resilience.

5. The Very Cranky Bear – By Nick Bland

When four friends encounter a cranky bear, they decide they must cheer him up. Moose, Lion and Zebra’s outrageous ideas all backfire, which leaves it up to poor, plain Sheep to deal with this beast, who just wants a quiet place to sleep. Whatever will she do? This rhyming story with hilarious illustrations is guaranteed to entertain its readers and its listeners!

6. I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Mad – By Lawrence E. Shapiro

I’m Not Bad, I’m Just Mad contains forty activities for issues such as recognizing anger triggers, better problem solving, and communication tips for defusing conflict before it gets out of hand. The workbook explores common lifestyle issues such as lack of sleep that can make anger problems worse. These fun activities will help kids talk about their feelings and learn to control them.

You can use any of these strategies to help bring a little calm into your days. 

These expert books know how to help an angry child calm down. We don’t need to go at it alone.

But there is more to it than helping calm your child, we also need to keep you calm.

Let’s talk about you for a minute.

How are you coping?

Resources for parents of high needs children (how to help an angry child calm down)

It’s very important you are able to remain calm, for a few reasons:

1. You are modeling behavior
2. Not to escalate an already bad situation
3. To set the tone of the house
4. To make it safe for your child to move past the anger


I’m going to offer up a few resources/tips to help you remain calm:

  • Grab our free S.T.O.P and R.A.I.N printables to hang on your fridge. These little gems will remind you to stay calm in any situation. (You can get them in our free resource area).
  • Take advantage of our completely FREE beginner’s 7-day mindfulness guide. Get it here.
  • Don’t take insults or rude behavior personally when your child is upset. They are not in their right minds, so to speak.
  • Try to listen and support, take a few deep breaths, see here for 60-second relaxation tips for moms.
  • Stay close but also give space to your child.
  • Don’t over-evaluate when your child is overreacting. Just be.

After your child is calm, then you can talk.

Don’t forget to find support locally. Have you considered play therapy, a child psychologist, or a mommy coffee group?

Does your child ever get angry?

If your kiddo suffers from BIG emotions, you’ve just gotta check out this life-saving tool, the Anger Rescue Kit for Kids. With over 60 pages this will quickly become your new go-to for helping your child develop appropriate coping strategies.

Anger Management for Kids

Facebook support groups

One of the hardest parts of parenting a high needs child is finding others that understand what you are going through. My friends and family just don’t get it. There kids (while not perfect) exhibit nowhere near the challenging behavior my little guy does.

I often use Facebook as a support network (after I filter out all the noise) to connect with some other really great moms (who get it) or use it for a safe place to vent.

Here are five of my favorite support groups on Facebook for finding your army and village to help you on your journey and adventure in parenting a high needs child.

Remember, You are not alone!

Note: These are closed groups, meaning your friends and family can not see what you post.

  1. Mindful Parenting Movement (Mindfulmazing’s new facebook group)
  2. Calm the Chaos – Run By Lemon Lime Adventures
  3. Highly Sensitive Children
  4. Surviving the Storm
  5. The World’s Okayest Parents

So, remember, there is hope. Now that you have some powerful resources on how to help an angry child calm down, you won’t feel so helpless and alone.

We CAN teach our kids how to tame these big emotions, and they will be better people for it.

Related Articles:

Anger Management For Kids – 11 Ways Kids Can Calm Down Anywhere

15 Mindfulness Exercises Your Kids Will Love

9 Mindfulness Tools for Crazy Busy Moms

3 Ways to Stop Anger in Under One Minute

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

Resources You’ll Love

Our shop is filled with printable resources to help you calm the chaos and assist your amazing little humans to believe in the amazing little humans they are!

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  1. This is soooo helpful! Thank you! I don’t have my own kids but I do work with them so I’ll try and put these into effect when needed

  2. Yes! I so needed this. My daughter has just started school so the tiredness is causing some unwanted behaviours.

  3. Bridget | The Freelancing Mama says:

    This article is so, so informative! Thank you! My 5 year old is the explosive rage type, and I find that so often we’re walking on pins and needles around her afraid that the smallest little thing will set her off! It’s crazy and needs to change. I’m working so hard on helping her through these meltdowns. I’m bookmarking this page because I know I will want to come back and refer to this often. Thanks for offering such a great resource.

    1. Tina Williamson of Mindfulmazing says:

      My five year old also has a lot of rage. I often wonder how a little kid can be so full of anger. It takes time and patience but slowly he’s learning and it warms my heart to see him using some strategies on his own. 🙂

  4. Adriane Thompson says:

    This post is packed with INCREDIBLE information. I refer the explosive child to everyone who has a child with meltdowns. “Kids do well if they can” literally has gotten me through so many rough times with my highly sensitive, 2E kiddo. Love your mindfulness packet and the calm down cards are SO cute as well as I’m sure super helpful.

    1. Tina Williamson of Mindfulmazing says:

      I loved the explosive child as well. It shed a completely new light on what might be going on with my son. I’m trying to problem solve with him now, a real game-changer!

  5. jessica Goodpaster says:

    These are great strategies for helping an angry child. We have worked on calm down techniques with my daughter’s OT, and this list is a great addition to our toolbox.

  6. These are great tips for dealing with your child’s anger. I have a lot of trouble with this with my oldest, who is very headstrong, because his anger/fits definitely send my stress level through the roof. These are great ideas to keep in mind when that happens!

    1. Tina Williamson of Mindfulmazing says:

      My kiddo is super spirited as well. I’m constantly looking for well to help him manage his anger! I truly hope a few of these strategies work to make things easier.

  7. This is a great list! I feel like it can help out a lot of parents.

    1. Tina Williamson of Mindfulmazing says:

      I hope so, done of these strategies have helped my kiddo a ton. Thanks so much!

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