It is good to learn how to calm ourselves down when we are angry. Nothing good will come of getting in trouble because we are acting out. Teach and practice what triggers anger, how our body reacts, and how to calm down. You may want to review Feeling Words, and The Face Moves.
Triggers What makes you angry, that you react to every time it happens? This is called, anger triggers. What are your anger triggers; brainstorm a list.
How Angry Are You
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 is calm, and 10 is the absolute angriest. Ask: If someone took your cookie without asking, how angry would it make you; pick a number (Odds are a child will pick a fairly high number). Ask: What if someone pushed you down on the ground, how angry would you be then; pick a number. Obviously, someone pushing you down is going to make a person angrier than taking some cookies.
Decide from 1 to 10 how calm or angry these situations would make you. If you choose too high or too low the first time, erase and change the number.
1. You are given a compliment.
2. You are teased and called a name.
3. Your turn was accidentally skipped.
4. Someone takes your cookie.
5. You are pushed on purpose.
6. You are told you did a good job.
7. You knock over all of your books.
Brainstorm ways we feel and what our body does when we get angry. Practice what it feels like to clinch teeth, clinch fists, and tighten stomach muscles.
1. Face can get hot or red
2. Teeth may clinch
3. Fists may clinch
4. Heart pounds
5. Stomach feels butterflies or the muscles feel tight
Teach and practice the ways to calm down.
1. Slowly count to 10 over and over. While you are counting, you are inhaling in very slowly, and then exhaling just as slow. Continue counting and breathing slowly until you feel calm.
2. Count backwards. For younger children teach them to start at 10 and count backwards. Continue over and over if needed. Older children start at the highest number they are able to count backwards from. Continue to count backwards until you become calm.
3. Think about something that makes you happy such as playing with your dog, jumping waves at the beach, sitting by a lake. When you are upset, think about your happy place. You may need to remind yourself to think about your happy place if your mind wonders. Stay with your happy place until you are no longer angry.
4. Tell yourself, “Calm down, I don’t want to get in trouble; calm down, I don’t want to get in trouble…” Continue saying the sentence over and over, until your anger has gone down. Tell yourself, "Calm down-I don’t want to get in trouble..."
5. Write out why you are angry on a piece of paper. Write everything you feel you need to say, get it all out. After you are done, crumple the paper up and throw away the angry feelings. Or, rip the paper up in small pieces and throw the angry feelings away.
6. Blow up a balloon, say why you are angry out loud or to yourself, let the balloon go and as you let the balloon go, let your anger go with it.