While it's often understandable when your toddler acts aggressively out of an immature sense of self-control, your teenager is a different story. Anger in teens, whether it's verbal put-downs or a more physical type of behavior, is never tolerable. Instead of yelling back at your teen or constantly grounding her, try a few games to teach her anger management skills.
Before choosing an anger management game or strategy for your teenager, understanding why your child is acting out is key. Teens often behave in angry ways or lose their tempers due to hormonal mood swings, according to KidsHealth. While the changes that are brought on by puberty aren't the sole cause of any teen's anger, acknowledging that emotional outbursts don't always equal a "bad child" is a necessary part of helping your adolescent to work through his issues. Additionally, stress is also a prime culprit when it comes to your teen's anger issues. From school stressors to feeling anxious about friends or a romantic partner, stress can quickly turn into anger in terms of your teen's emotional expression.
Younger kids may not always have the ability to understand how they are acting and in what ways this behavior affects others, says KidsHealth. When your teen starts to show off her anger, help her to get it under control by taking a break to think. Help your teen to act in a more self-aware way by listing her feelings and actions on one piece of paper. Fold a piece of notebook paper in half, making one side for feelings and the other side for actions. Have her connect the two sides, noticing how her emotions and behaviors may or may not match up.
Multiple Choice Games
Picking A, B or C isn't just for tests at school. You can help your teen to better understand the consequences of his anger by trying a multiple choice game. When your teen acts out in an angry way, have him stop and make a list of his potential choices. This may include slamming the door, yelling at you or simply walking away. Encourage your teen to pick which answer he feels will work best, and have him explain why.
Whether your teen wants to beat on a drum, strike the ivories of a piano or pluck his guitar in a brooding way, music games can help him to express and control his anger, says Edna Rooth of the Schools Development Unit at UCT, writing for "Child and Youth Care." Instead of throwing a punch at the wall, have your teen hit a drum -- creating beats that show exactly how he is feeling. For example, when your teen is only slightly angry, he may have short, softer drum beats, but change the music to a heavy or pounding tune as he feels more emotions.