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Redirecting Anger with Healthy Activity — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you for this. One of my sons had an explosion yesterday and in his anger ruined something he loved. He was so upset with himself. I wish I had thought to give him something to do like this instead. You mentioned special needs. My 6 year old has ADHD, ODD, and anxiety. His meltdowns are extreme. We are in therapy for behavior but I have a hard time pulling him out of a tantrum. I’m not sure what to do!

    • Molly, I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. The tantrums can be literally unbelievable unless you’ve lived them. Our 9 yo struggles with the same challenges as your 6 yo and we have lived those moments! To some degree, I’m learning that if we can’t head it off all we can do is contain it, so we spend so. much. time. trying to decipher triggers and signals and redirect before it gets out of our hands. We have found that it can be a big help to change authorities if possible. Sometimes even “you’re really not listening to what I’m saying right now. why don’t you call Dad and have a conversation with him about it?” You could sub in your pastor, soccer coach, grandpa…anyone he has a solid relationship with. Not because the answer will be different, but because that redirection of his attention can lower the tension that’s building in the moment. I find a lot of tips and ideas from parents in articles over at ADDitude Magazine (https://www.additudemag.com/) that we’ve tried with (and without!) success. Please feel free to email me if you’d like! We’re right there with you!

  2. This is such great information! I’m a teacher with 30 plus years of experience, including those kids with special needs and emotional problems. You are absolutely correct that physical activity—especially activity that is productive—can truly help an angry child refocus and redirect without “punishing.” Great ideas! Thank you!

    • I think we often sort of understand the physical outlet but we miss the mark on making it useful and product and just want to tire that energy out. Thank you for reading!

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