Stress and Anger

What is stress?
Stress is a natural response to the pressures of life, both good and bad. Everyone has stress, but too much stress can be overwhelming.

What is anger?
Anger is a normal feeling – everyone experiences it. We can choose to handle anger in a healthy and positive way or we can become overwhelmed by negative feelings and hurt ourselves or others.

Parents can help their children learn acceptable and constructive ways to behave when they become stressed or angry.

Why do kids or teens have trouble handling stress and anger?

They are often afraid of their strong feelings, and believe they’re bad for feeling them.

Kids or teens may have learned that feeling stressed or angry is bad, and those feelings should be hidden inside.

Stress and Anger that is held inside for a long time may explode unexpectedly.

What do parents do about their kids’ stress and anger?

Talk to your children about what stress and anger means, and how it affects them.

Listen! Remember what it’s like to be the age your kids or teens are now.

Together, develop a plan to work on the problem.

What plan of action should parents take to help their kids or teens handle stress and anger?

Work to provide a loving, stable home.

Nothing is more important to your kids.

Teach your kids or teens to talk to you about their feelings and fears.

Help kids understand what they’re feeling when they get stressed or angry. Some signs to look for are: nervousness, tightness in the chest or throat, fear, irritability, fear, sleep problems, stomach aches, or headaches.

Help your kids or teens learn to identify the five W’s of stress and anger.

  • What are they stressed or anger about?
  • Why are they stressed or angry?
  • When do they become stressed or angry?
  • Where do they become stressed or angry?
  • Who do they become stressed or angry with?

Give your kids or teens ideas about how to handle their stress or express their angry feelings.

  1. Draw a picture of the stressful situation or the angry feeling.
  2. Keep a journal or diary about what you may be feeling.
  3. Leave the room until you cool off.
  4. Talk about stress and/or anger with a friend, a teacher, a parent, or a counselor.
  5. Let off steam alone by yelling, punching a pillow, running, biking, walking, or playing outside.
  6. Use your imagination. Picture yourself in your favorite place or with your favorite pet, and relax and enjoy yourself for awhile.
  7. Try to stop worrying about the problems that you can’t solve. It’s not worth your time.
  8. Read a good book or listen to your favorite music.
  9. Enjoy being a kid. Be your own best friend and take it easy on yourself.
  10. Take a nap.

Suggested Readings For Parents and Children:

  1. Cool Cats, Calm Kids (Book for Kids)
  2. How To Let Go Of Your Mad Baggage (Book for Parents and Teens)
  3. If You Choose Not To Hit: A Dozen Skills That Makes Kids Powerful Problem Solvers (Book for Kids)
  4. A Volcano In My Tummy: Helping Children Handle Anger (Book for Parents and Kids)
  5. Is It Right To Fight? (Book for Kids)
  6. How to Take the GRRR Out of Anger (Book for Kids)
  7. Hot Stones & Funny Bones: Teens Helping Teens Cope With Stress and Anger (Book for Teens)
  8. Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens (Book for Teens)
  9. To Stressed To Think: A Teen’s Guide To Staying Sane When Life Makes You Crazy (Book for Teens)
  10. Stress Can Really Get On My Nerves (Book for Kids and Teens)
  11. Nobody Knew What To Do (Book for Kids)
  12. Why Is Everybody Always Picking On Me: A Guide To Handling Bullies (Book for Kids)
  13. Sticks and Stones: 7 Ways to Deal With Teasing, Conflict, and Other Hard Times (Book for Parents)