I came across this lovely little post from Simple Kids entitled 6 Peaceful Solutions for Hitting and Anger. I think Megan at Simple Kids had a some great ideas to start with.
I wanted to add a few more:
To diffuse the situation:
7. Turn on some playful or calming music while you use that Time-In-with-mom approach
8. Use texture activities like play-doh, clay, silly putty or theraputty, to help calm the child down.
9. Suggest other sensory calming activities like water play or sand play.
10. Offering Choices when having to share such as:
- Say Please
- Play Together
- Wait and Take Turns
- Use a Timer
You can get picture cards at the Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning to illustrate the above concepts, scroll down to Solution Kit Cue Cards.
An idea to try to prevent anger responses:
11. Make sure the child is not hungry.
Sometimes, anger can be caused from a drop in blood sugar, and little kids tend to burn off their energy stores quickly, so a good way to head off outbursts is by ensuring that the child has protein and complex carbohydrate with their meals and snacks.
I have found that my middle child can go from Dr. Jekyll back into Ms. Hyde when she gets a snack with protein in it (crackers with real cheese, apples or carrots and peanut butter, homemade fruit and yogurt smoothie).
Techniques to use when the child is not at the moment angry (those aren’t teachable moments).
12. Using books to teach about emotions – one of my favorites is Mad isn’t Bad (note that there’s a reference to God in the book).
Hands are not for Hitting is a good one for the younger children. They also have Teeth are Not for Biting and Feet are not for Kicking and Tails are not for Pulling.
13. Employ body movement activities like Yoga and Ballet to help with self-regulation
Two dvds you can get for home are
14. For more ideas check out my Kids’ Problem Solving Binder, for picture stories and links to make your own problem solving binder.