A punching bag is one of the most recommended items for children and adolescents in therapy. (A stress ball is also highly recommended for relaxing when angry or frustrated.)
Many kids need an acceptable and appropriate way to vent large and frequent amounts of frustration and anger. Most children do not pick the best methods for doing this. Parents often have limited ideas which they can tolerate for their kids to get rid of these negative emotions. Yelling into pillows, or hitting pillows, will suffice for a lot of children. Heavy exercise (weight lifting, basketball, or football, for example) can offer excellent outlets, if available. Running or stomping feet outside (where the house won't shake) are other alternatives.
Consider this. Without an outlet for these emotions, children typically dump them on their parents (or siblings, peers, teachers, etc.) through all sorts of methods, few of which are preferable to providing a punching bag!
Often, a regulation bag or speed bag is not practical. Punching bags require SOLID installation, usually from a sturdy supporting beam, and often attached to the floor. Most homes don't have this available. Sometimes this can be arranged in an outside area, if protected from the weather.
This item has been found to be easy to purchase and set up. It is not too expensive, and yet is sturdy in construction. It doesn't require much space. Early in therapy practice, "BOBO dolls" were recommended for this venting purpose. These were inflatable, life size, an weighted at the bottom to return to upright after being hit. Unfortunately they usually did not last longer that a few hits, before they burst or deflated. Being lightweight, they also offered little satisfaction from hitting. This boxing trainer is built to withstand healthy hitting. Protective gloves come with it. It can be weighted with water or sand, your choice and either works well. It is portable, though heavy when weighted, so it can be moved or stored easily. It can be adjusted for height, as your child grows.
This boxing trainer is not useful for individuals over 5 feet in height. It just does not offer sufficient resistance. For teens, a regulation bag is recommended. There is a larger size floor standing bag available. Be sure to check area sports stores or on-line for used equipment, which can be an economical way to obtain an official punching bag. Or, you may have to take them to a gym. Protective gear for the hands is a must!
Some parents are concerned that providing a ball or bag to hit will encourage their child to hit other children. Actually, most kids are smart enough to understand that there are rules and consequences against hitting or hurting others. However, when angry or frustrated, they will often resort to hitting wall or lockers, which can lead to personal injury or property destruction. Or they may throw things, which can break and which may be valuable. Certainly a parent would rather have a child use a punching bag over yelling, screaming, or talking back. When given an acceptable outlet, children are glad to have the ability to manage and control their emotions appropriately, not to mention improving eye-hand coordination and providing physical activity. Boys are more often looking for such an outlet, but girls can also benefit.
For older children or adolescents:
And for powerful punchers: