7 Creative Ways to Calm an Angry Child

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Do you have a child who gets angry? At one time or another all children will get angry, but what do you do to calm them down. While we all feel like telling them to knock it off and go to their room, that isn't the best choice. Check out seven creative ways to calm and angry child.

  1. Hug them: It can be as easy as that. Now, depending on how angry they are, you may need to be quick when you go in for the hug. Their first reaction will be to push you away. Don't let them. Make soothing sounds as you hold them tightly and reassure them that everything will be okay. This technique won't work on all kids. You will need to judge if the child likes to be hugged or is not really that touchy-feely. If the child is normally affectionate when they are calm then the hugging method should work for you. As long as it's appropriate in the setting. If you are a teacher trying to calm a student this won't be your best bet. Keep reading though, there are others.
  2. Music: Turn on some soothing music in their room and ask them to sit there and listen to it for a while. You may get some angry words about how they hate this music etc., but just tell them that it will help them feel better. I find that classical music fits the bill here. With the Internet at our fingertips it's pretty easy to play almost any kind of music. If the classical doesn't work you can always try really funny upbeat happy music. You need to break through the shell of anger and get their mind on something else.
  3. Make them laugh: Do something totally crazy and make them laugh. It's really hard to stay angry while laughing. Put on a crazy wig from Halloween or a funny mask. Do a spit take and spray water on them. If you can break the tension it will be that much easier to make them laugh and anger will go away.
  4. Take deep breaths: Deep breathing can be used for many things from pain control to relaxation techniques. This time you are trying to get the child to relax. Make sure that you stay calm and breathe with them. Let them know that you know how it feels to be angry and explain softly that once they calm down they can tell you why they are upset, but until they calm down you won't be able to fully understand what is going on. If you are speaking in a soothing manner and asking them to inhale through their nose and let their breath out all at once out of their mouth they will calm down.
  5. Bake some bread: This works for a child that's a little older all the way up to a teenager. First of all you are causing them to be distracted from what they are angry about by mixing up the ingredients. Kneading and pounding the bread will give them a healthy way to release the pent up anger. When you are all done you can enjoy the warm comforting smell and taste of homemade bread. Who doesn't like some warm bread?
  6. Blow bubbles: Start by blowing bubbles near your child. If you blow them right at them that will more likely irritate them more. Bubbles are so carefree and happy that it's hard to stay mad when blowing bubbles. If you have a child that tends to get angry I would encourage you to keep bubble wands and solution around, but if this is spur of the moment you can make bubble juice by mixing dish soap and water. No wands lying around to use? You can use an empty paper towel tube or fashion your own wand out of some wire that you have sitting around. It's really easy to do and the activity will change their mood in a very short period of time.
  7. Rub their back: Human touch has a way of reassuring the child and letting them know that you are there for them. You don't need to rub very hard since you aren't trying to rub out sore muscles. Gently run your hand back and forth over their back and shoulders. This action should relieve the tension that they are experiencing with being angry and they can calm down enough to tell you what's wrong. Be sure to listen so you can perhaps avoid the anger next time.