Anger Is It Normal

For the Whole of Their Life.

Anger: Is It Normal?

Posted 26th August 2019
By Ellie Rolfe

Anger is a natural emotion that we have all experienced, some more than others, but it is a universal human emotion. Even Jesus was filled with a righteous anger at points during his earthly ministry, most notably when he found people selling cattle and exchanging money in the temple courts. It is recorded that Jesus got so upset that he drove everybody out and began to flip tables (John 2:13-19). Talk about getting angry!

We have all felt its effects: anger is that moment that your heart begins to pump faster than normal. Your blood pressure rises and you may even begin to instantly get hot in the face. In a young person, anger can often result from the mismanagement of their developing emotions, or from a sense of being misunderstood or frustrated.

Although anger is a natural emotion, it can also be a destructive emotion that requires support from a caring adult. So, what can we do as parents, guardians and teachers when our children have these uncontrollable outbursts?

1. Encourage them to recognise their warning signs

If they can identify what happens to them when they are getting angry, they can position themselves better to deal with their anger.

  • Pounding heart
  • Gritting your teeth
  • Sweating
  • Tight chest
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Raising your voice
  • Getting a 'flash' of a bad mood
  • Feeling argumentative

2. Find a 'cool off' strategy that works for them

Once they've identified their warning signs, they should find a strategy that helps wind them down.

Many great strategies include:

  • Writing down what is making them angry
  • Counting to 100
  • Exercise e.g. Go for a walk around the block, shoot a basketball, kick a ball etc.
  • Find a relaxing activity they enjoy e.g. reading a book, listening to music. You could also try apps such as: ReachOut Breathe, Headspace and Calm Harm for relaxing games.

3. Have a restorative conversation

When it comes to anger outbursts our natural reaction can often be to 'punish', but we have found that using a restorative approach rather than focussing on what/how they should be punished, seeks to resolve the current conflict and promote future understanding of the situation. The following questions can be very helpful at home to structure a conversation with your child:


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Restorative questions responding to challenging behaviours:

  • What happened? Tell me your story.
  • What were you thinking of at the time?
  • What have you thought about since? How have you felt since?
  • Who has been affected by what you've done? Who else? How were they affected?
  • What do you think needs to happen to put things right?
  • What would you do differently next time?

Asking these questions encourages young people to think about their actions, why they reacted the way they did and what they can do next time to prevent an outburst again.

For more strategies please visit:

For more information on the restorative approach please visit:

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