It's okay to feel angry. All people feel angry now and then. As children become older, they learn safe ways to handle anger. This is very, very, very, very, very important. Handling anger responsibly helps to keep everyone safe.
It's important to keep thinking when angry. Some people may forger to think about the right thing to do when they are angry. They may make mistakes with their anger. It is a good thing that as people get older they learn to make good choices EVEN WHILE THEY ARE ANGRY. This, of course, is a very mature and grown-up thing to do.
Even when children are very, very, very, very, very angry they can learn to keep thinking so that they make good choices. Knowing what to think is important. Here are three things that mature, intelligent children like me learn to think when they are angry:
When I am angry, I can choose from this list what to say or do:
Sometimes, children make serious mistakes with anger. They may decide to kick or hit other people. They may decide to throw things. Sometimes very, very young children do this. These very young children think hitting and kicking will let everyone know how angry they are. When a child gets older, and they still kick or hit, people wonder why that child is deciding to do what usually only very young children do. By the time children are in third grade, they make very calm, intelligent, safe decisions when they are angry. They stay in control ALL of the time. I am learning to do this, too. More and more, I stay calm and keep thinking and working with others when I am angry. This is a very intelligent and mature thing to do!
Reference: The Gray Center
The other day I read a story about how cats have Asperger’s Syndrome. I liked the story a lot. I realized that just like me cats can have temper tantrums with they feel over worked. I feel that way too. I should try to think about what cats do to calm down when they start to feel that way.
Some cats may walk away. When they deal with something stressful they will often leave the room. They hide. I could be like a cat and ask for a break out of the room too. Cats don’t like having temper tantrums and very rarely get upset. Cats learn that they miss time with their families and friends when they have temper tantrums.
Most cats learn to leave the situation before getting upset. I am working on learning what will work for me when I have a temper tantrum. I don’t like missing activities because I got upset. Just like a cat I will try to learn what to do to calm down. When I am calm I will have more time to relax and spend in my class with my friends.
Can you think of two more things that cats do to calm down?
Draw a picture of an option that you might try to calm down the next time you feel like a cat and have a temper tantrum.
Used with Permission from Tara Childs, Hanover County Public Schools