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Team-Building Activities for Teens Focusing on Anger Management

by Jaime Budzienski, studioD

Anger is a common, natural emotion. But, when misplaced, it can become destructive to the self, family and friends. For teens struggling to manage their anger, team-building activities are often helpful, according to the student workbook "Handling Your Anger," produced by Sunburst Media. By working together, teens are able to learn about their own anger and how to better control it. If your teen is struggling to manage his anger, encourage him to try these activities with friends, siblings or other close family members.

Purpose and Goal

Team-building activities that focus on anger management help teens with several key skills. By working together, teens are able to understand that anger is a normal human emotion; recognize the difference between angry feelings and angry actions; identify the things that trigger their anger; become familiar with their own physical reactions when angry; identify their personal, unique way of expressing anger; think about the consequences of angry behavior; and develop constructive ways of expressing and handling angry feelings.

Hidden Heart

"Hidden Heart," from Games for Groups, is designed for teens to recognize and understand how anger kept inside affects them and to encourage them to share this part of themselves with others. Each group member will need paper, pens or pencils, thin pieces of ribbon, one small and one large deflated balloon and permanent markers. Encourage your teen and his peers to write down any past hurts on a piece of paper and place the paper inside the small balloon. Then, place the small balloons inside the larger balloons. Have them write on the outside of the larger balloons how they present themselves to others -- for example, maybe using humor to hide pain. Together, the group should pop the balloons and, if they feel comfortable, share what's written on the small paper.

Board Game Challenge

"Board Game Challenge," also from Games for Groups, is an easy activity to try at home, with materials you may already have. All your teen needs is "play" money and a few board games that require taking turns, such as "Jenga" or "Operation." The purpose of this activity is for your teen to practice showing good sportsmanship in a competitive situation, as well as to practice controlling anger, frustration and agitation. The group earns money by accomplishing different tasks with different games. Offer a prize to the person with the most money at the end in order to increase incentive and make the game more competitive. Afterward, encourage your teen and his peers to reflect on the following questions: if you lost, how did you feel? Why did you want to win? Do you ever feel angry or disappointed when playing a game? If so, how do you handle it?

M & M Game

The "M & M Game," recommended by Savvy School Counselor, is also a fun choice for your teen to play with a group. Each player will need a fun-sized bag of M & Ms, and you will have to create the game cards ahead of time, which should say: "For every orange, say one thing that makes you angry. For every blue, say one thing you can do to cool off when you're angry. For every green, say one way you can show self-control in school. For every red, describe a time when it's hard for you to show self-control. For every black, describe a not-so-good choice you made when you were angry that made the situation worse. For every yellow, describe a good choice you made when you were angry that helped the situation." Teens can share their answers for each color, then eat their M & Ms.

About the Author

Jaime Budzienski has contributed essays and articles to the "Boston Globe Sunday Magazine," "Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine" and the "Boston Parents Paper." She holds a B.F.A. in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson College and a master's degree in education from UMASS Boston.

Photo Credits

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