It can be a challenge growing up in today’s fast paced world. No wonder some children develop emotional problems and difficulty dealing with anger. The challenges of parenting an angry child can be daunting. The frequent outbursts and angry displays can quickly disrupt the emotional balance of the household, affecting every member of the family. Fortunately, there’s new evidence that exercise may be effective in soothing the emotions of an angry child.
A study published in Pediatric Exercise Science showed that children who participated in a regular after school exercise program benefited by a reduction in behaviors such as screaming, hitting, and throwing temper tantrums. There was a general decline in all types of aggressive behavior in these children suggesting that a simple exercise program may be effective in treating the emotional outbursts of an angry child.
In this study, not only did exercise appear to decrease the number of outbursts and tantrums exhibited by the children, it also had the additional bonus of helping with weight loss. At the end of the ten to fifteen week after school program, the majority of the children were not only calmer, but they had experienced a significant drop in weight.
Could a regular exercise program be the key to soothing the frazzled nerves of an angry child and help with weight loss at the same time? Not only does a regular fitness program have little downside for a child, it may have multiple benefits by reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome which can lead to problems with diabetes later in life. It also helps to build confidence and coordination which are both important attributes.
If you want to use exercise to help an angry child cope, what’s the best way to get started? It’s important to select an activity your child will enjoy such as skating, bicycling, or participating in a group sport. As long as your child participates in the activity at least four days a week, he should get benefits. Even simple things such as encouraging him to walk to school rather than take the bus can help with treatment of anger control issues. Family oriented group exercise such as daily walks and sports activities can be a great release for the frustrations your child experiences in day to day life.
Before resorting to psychological counseling or the use of medications to help your child deal with anger, try adding some exercise to your child’s life. It’s a safe option with multiple benefits that can really change the outlook and temperament of an angry child.