Watch Out! It’s A Hurricane, No It’s A Tornado, No It’s A Tantrum… Run & Hide!
Great, you’ve started a fun game as a family, lovely memories to be made, yay! You enjoy these moments you have together to have fun, laugh, talk, and congratulate the winner on a game well played…and while you’re a good parent who doesn’t always let your kids win every game (so they can learn about the process of losing because being a good sport is important!) you notice your child getting irritated that he has fallen behind, this turns into rage and he’s about ready to burst when you again move forward and he is left behind with a bad turn… how can you get him to see the level of his anger so he’s aware of it and get him to calm down? There are simple steps to take when calming a child down, but this is a process and will take time to establish this ‘good habit’ to use all life long… because let’s face it, some people never learn this and they grow up having adult tantrums which is about one of the worst things EVER in this world… so teach them young is what I have to say about that! …and here’s how…
Color Signs To Teach Anger Levels
Let’s start by making a colored signs, like a stop light (red, yellow, green). Note: you can make mini color handheld signs as well (that way you can carry it around with you anywhere). Red = so angry that I’m going to have a full-blown tantrum, Yellow = I’m angry, but I can handle it (meaning: either I calmed down a little or I never reached the full anger level), Green = I’m good, enjoying life (meaning: if I was angry, I was able to control it and get back to calm, OR I decided it wasn’t that big of a deal and I let it roll off my back… as the parent you think, thank goodness!)
Introducing This To The Kids
Now explain to them the levels of anger (as I did above), and say ahead of time, that whenever you are at a Red anger level you will either calm down (to a yellow then a green) by taking deep breaths or you will remove yourself from what is causing you anger to slowly decompress to a yellow then green. Let them know that not every bad thing/event has to be blown out of proportion, sometimes you’ll get a little angry (yellow) and that’s okay, but just know you can work through it and live a happy ‘green life.’
In the beginning, when your child reaches a red, you may have to always remove them from the situation to calm down… as they become more aware of the levels of anger and are mastering the calming down by themselves then you can have them choose whether to stay and calm down among the group or to walk away and calm down alone. When you have them remove themselves to another room, let them choose where (it’s probably going to be their room), let them know they can lay down on their bed, read a book, write, draw, listen to music, whatever helps them feel calm is okay to do! (as long as it is not damaging or hurting people or furniture). This will help them find their own way to calm down and use this method for the future when they’re adults in the big world (a valuable lesson!)
Put It Into Practice Every Chance You Can
Here’s the deal… If your child is beginning to get pressure cooker angry, you can say “I’m noticing that you are getting very angry, do you think you’re close to a red? should you remove yourself from what’s making you angry and calm down?” asking them might get them angry, but it’s also teaching them to become aware of that level of anger, which sucks for you! but is a great teaching tool (recognizing that level of anger will benefit them, they NEED to be able to recognize it all on their own in the future!) When they are aware of the anger levels and you have taught them how to cope, by the deep breaths or the walking away, they will grow up as a civil human being and feel confident and happy in a more zen like life… it’s all about inner-peace which is what this exercise is teaching them!
There you have it… remember to practice what you preach, if you have an anger problem, you should practice this as well (do it as a family). Don’t be afraid to tell your kids… “I’m fed up, I’m angry, I’m at a red, and I need to go to my room and calm down.” And follow through with it!
Enjoy The Memes
These little moments of outburst make you really appreciate when your kid is sleeping! Ha!
Who wants to be married to this man who never learned how to deal with his anger? not this woman! (as I put to myself!) Get it together man! He sadly will live a lonely life, which will only bring him more pain, which will only provoke more anger, which will make him explode, which will scare the bejesus out of me! oh my, what a horrible downward spiral… teach your kids people so they don’t end up looking like this crazy man!
Have a great day readers! and if you’re looking for more to read, check out my related post ‘From Anger To Peace‘ It has a great video worth watching AND a how-to-make calming jars!
Red,yellow,green signs photo by: etsy.com
Tantrum kid photo by: helpmystyle.ie
tantrum man photo by: mymindmatter.ca