Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feeling Angry

We've been talking about feelings this week and today we focused on the feeling of "anger". The children typically have a lot to say on this subject, so I planned for a long circle time. I'm glad I planned ahead- I heard story after story of children feeling angry at times and not knowing what to do with their anger.
I read the book Feeling Angry and we discussed several aspects of the book. First of all, it's important to stress to children that anger is O.K. The hard part is what we can do with this energy called anger. It's not healthy to bottle the anger up inside our bodies, and it's not healthy to physically put our anger on other people.
Before reading the book, here were some answers to the question, "What do you do with your anger?":
  • "slam doors"
  • "hit my sister"
  • "cry to mommy"
  • "stomp my foot"
  • "push my friend"

After the book, here were some answers to the question, "What could we do with our anger instead?":

  • "count to ten"
  • "breathe deeply"
  • "go outside for a walk"
  • "squeeze playdough"
  • "hit my pillow or my bed"
  • "talk to the person that made me angry"

Immediately following our discussion, I asked the children to close their eyes. I told them to pretend they were very angry and then imagine what anger looks like. They opened their eyes and were given the opportunity to draw "anger". Some children drew angry faces, others drew large, violent-looking explosions. Today almost felt like a children's therapy session, but it was a healthy discussion and could very easily be reinforced at home.

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