Children get angry… but then again so do adults. The difference between children and adults (well most adults anyway) is that most of us have acquired ways of dealing with our anger that are more socially appropriate than yelling, screaming, and directing our anger towards others.
Anger is not bad, no emotions should be seen in a negative manner. All emotions are valid and part of what make us human. Our emotions are how we process the world around us. They help us to express ourselves. Emotions are a vital part of our human existence and all emotions should be valued and respected, especially during childhood.
That being said, it is important for us as adults to help the children in our care to not only identify and process the emotions they are feeling, but also guide them towards appropriate ways of managing theses emotions.
Let children feel what they feel and guide them gently when necessary.
Here is a fun activity for helping children work through feelings of anger.
Design a lion mask. We made ours with a paper plate, strips of paper, markers, and a wooden craft stick.
How to Practice Lion’s Breath
Whenever harsh emotions arise, offer lion’s breath to your child. Explain that this type of breath can help push out the overwhelming emotions of anger, fear, anxiety, or frustration.
Have your child sit up on their knees. Sitting back on the heels.
Invite them to think about what they are feeling and why they are feeling that way.
Offer them the opportunity to place their hands on their thighs, close their eyes, and take a big breath in.
As they breath out, invite them to bring their hands up by their face making lion claws and let out a large ROAR!!!!!!! As they roar show them how to stick out their tongue at the same time they breathe out their big fierce lion roar.
Explain that this helps to get rid of those overwhelming emotions and after a few tries, I’m sure they will have a smile on their face. A little bit of silly goes a really long way.
Kids Matter has some exceptional advice for how to guide children through emotional learning. “Parents and caregivers have an important role to play in supporting children’s emotional development. They do this through responding effectively to children’s emotions, through providing examples of how they manage feelings, and through talking with children about feelings and how to manage them.”