Picture this scene: you’ve cooked dinner, and you’ve poured your love into it. You make the announcement that it’s time to eat, yet no one arrives to the dinner table eager to taste this scrumptious meal that you have just whipped up. So you try again, this time you yell out, “Dinner is ready!” Again, your child doesn’t come dashing in to eat. You walk down the hall to see what is holding your child’s attention, only to find that it’s those good ol’ fashioned blocks, entertaining your child in a way that words “dinner’s ready” couldn’t. You appeal by saying, “Come on! You can finish building later.”
Oh boy! Did you push a button! Suddenly, you hear a fire alarm, and it’s your child’s temper. Its loud ringing has gone from, “Hold on mom!” to tears and resistance, all in a matter of 2.5 seconds.
So what do you do when this happens? That’s where the book Anh’s Anger comes in. It’s a magical story that teaches kids how to work through anger by using breathing techniques and mindfulness. But locked within this story is a hidden trick that we at Tandem Teaching use all the time in our classrooms when kids are experiencing anger. We allow children to play, and be creative when they are angry. This soothes them, redirects their energy and attention, and helps them to center themselves.
Play allows oxygen to flow through our bodies, opens up our heart, and allows us to move into our “Decision Making Center.”
Without revealing the climax of the book, Gail Silver reminds us that “Children experience anger on a regular basis, but lack the coping skills to guide them through these difficult moments.” “This book shows children and parents how practicing mindful breathing can help us soothe and gently transform our strong emotions.” — Thich Nhat Hanh