anger

Helping with Frustration

A few days ago my son became angry when my husband asked him to vacuum after dinner. ⠀

I quickly felt frustrated with my son because I wanted his response to be more agreeable 🤪⠀

After my son and I both had a chance to cool down and calm down, we had an mini family meeting to talk about better ways to navigate anger in the future. ⠀

My son told me that he gets frustrated when I get upset because he is angry. I was so grateful for his honesty! Of course my anger impacts him and, although I strive to be a calm parent, sometimes I do become irritable. ⠀

I was able to take the opportunity to own my part and amend my behavior, which brought a twinkle to my son’s eyes. ⠀

Mindful Ninja Mom Tip: Acknowledging our mistakes is one of the best ways to teach children that is safe to take responsibility for their own errors. ⠀

My son then reminded me of our last family meeting about anger. He had suggested that when he becomes mad, we offer him a hug. Recently, we had forgotten that agreement and he wanted us to try the hugs again. ⠀

Mindful Ninja Mom Tip: Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen teaches parents to involve children in finding solutions to the problems at hand. The more involved the child is in the decision making process, the more likely he will be to follow through. ⠀

We also came up with a few more agreements around anger and scheduled our next family meeting for this Sunday to check in and see how things are going for all of us. ⠀

Parenting isn’t always easy and I am always learning more about how to best support my little ones. ⠀

I am so grateful for parenting tools that bring so much love and respect into our home. ⠀

You can learn more parenting tools on my website www.mindfulninjamom.com and watch my free parenting webinar - 5 Parenting Tips For A Calmer Home (click the link in my Instagram bio)! ⠀

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Feelings Are Always Okay ...

Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen teaches children that feelings are always okay, but what children do with those feelings is not always okay. ⠀

I recently shared how to make an Angry Wheel of Choice with your child. ⠀

The Angry Wheel of Choice gives children options for processing their anger. Making it with your child, invites a conversation around what appropriate ways to express anger are. ⠀

I made my first Angry Wheel of Choice with our son when he was three-years-old. We created it because he started hitting me when he was angry. ⠀

Working with his wheel, I would reiterate that his feelings of anger were okay, but hitting was never okay. ⠀

When he would hit me, I would simply state, “I don’t deserve to be treated that way” and walk away if I needed to or offer him a hug if he was in a state to receive one (remember, Nelsen also teaches that behind every misbehaving child is a discouraged child). ⠀

My son quickly learned new ways to express his anger and his hitting ceased. ⠀

You can learn more parenting tips on my website www.mindfulninjamom.com⠀

Check out my free parenting webinar by clicking the link in my Instagram bio ✨

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Angry Wheel of Choice

We have been focusing on anger this week and I highlighted the book, When Miles Got Mad by Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter in an earlier post. ⠀

Today, I will showcase the “Angry Wheel of Choice” from Positive Discipline which you can make with your child when he is calm. ⠀

Below you can see two wheels that I made with my son. One was for myself as a model and the second was after reading the book, When Miles Got Mad (we also made one for him which isn’t displayed here). ⠀

For “Mommy’s Angry Wheel of Choice,” my son and I sat down and talked about all the things I could do when I was angry. After making our list, we picked the 6 ideas that we thought would work best when I was upset and put them into a pie chart ...⠀

1. Breathe and Count to 10⠀

2. Walk Away⠀

3. Draw a Picture ⠀

4. Visualize Something Nice ⠀

5. Meditate ⠀

6. Dance and Sing⠀

After making my Angry Wheel of Choice, I helped my son make his own. ⠀

We hung them up in our home and I continue to model using them when I am upset. ⠀

We also made one for Miles in the story, When Miles Got Mad. Making one for the picture book was another great way to model and normalize anger/solutions for working through anger. ⠀

When people are angry, their prefrontal cortex isn’t functioning like it normally does. This makes it hard for both children and adults to use calming activities when they are in this mad state. ⠀

My son doesn’t always use his Angry Wheel of Choice when he is mad. It would be unrealistic if I expected him too. Instead, he is learning what calming activities are available to him when he is upset. And, often he does use them ... which in my opinion, is fantastic!!! ⠀

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When Your Child Hits ...

Every parent hopes that their young child will not hit another child, but the fact is that hitting in the toddler years in not uncommon (especially if you have siblings). ⠀

When a young child does hit another child, a normal parent reaction is to want to reprimand the hitter. Parents want to scold and punish their children in order to teach them that their behavior is not okay. ⠀

Punishment, however, is not necessarily the best approach (nor is it often very effective). ⠀

So, what can you do if your child does hit another child?⠀

If your child hits, immediately comfort the child who has been hit.⠀

Giving attention to the child that has been hit models empathy for your own child.⠀

Invite the child who has hit to help comfort the injured child. Maybe they want to help get the injured child some ice? ⠀

Involving the child who has hit teaches another important lesson in kindness and respect. ⠀

Later, when you have some alone time with your child, talk to him about alternative ways to express his anger. This is a great time to role play with you little one. Role play healthy solutions to anger. ⠀

Click the link in my Instagram bio for a Free Parenting Webinar. ⠀

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When Miles Got Mad

Yesterday, I showcased 5 picture books for helping your child with their anger. Today, I will highlight the book When Miles Got Mad

What I like about this book is that Miles becomes upset when his little brother breaks the airplane Miles and his father recently made. This gives parents who have more than one child, an opportunity to talk about how frustrating it can feel when a sibling wont share with them or takes something that belongs to them.

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At this point in the reading, I would often offer a personal story of a time when something similar happened to me as a child. For example, I remember how angry I was in third grade when my friend wouldn’t let me play jumprope on the playground. 

Mindful Ninja Mom Tip: It is really helpful for parents to share times in their own lives when they felt mad, sad, and scared. When children hear their parents talk about their feelings, it normalizes their own emotions. It also creates a deeper bond between the parent and child.

After sharing your own personal story, your children may want to share a time when they felt angry. If they want to share, allow them time and space to talk about their story. I often ask, “and what happened next” as a way to hear more about their experience. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t want to say anything, as they are gaining a lot just from hearing you talk about your own feelings. 

Throughout the story, you may find places where a natural pause occurs and you may share more personal experiences or ask more curiosity questions. Be cautious though of disrupting the flow of the story too much, you don’t want your little ones to lose interest.

At the end of the book, ask your child how Miles went from angry to feeling better. Invite your children to share other solutions that they could use when they are angry - i.e. drawing a picture, hitting a pillow, taking a deep breath. 

Make a list of your child’s ideas and create an Angry Wheel Of Choice.

I will teach you how to make an Angry Wheel of Choice in tomorrow’s post. Stay Tuned!


When Miles Got Mad
By Sam Kurtzman-Counter, Abbie Schiller

How To Help Kids With Their Anger

Of all the feelings my children experience, anger used to be (and, honestly, still can be) the hardest one for me to process. When I was a child, I didn’t learn a lot of effective tools for navigating my own anger. Ultimately, that led me to suppress my anger and become less tolerant of other people’s anger. ⠀

As a parent, children always provide plenty of opportunities for us to work through our own stuff. This is a perfect example of me relearning how to steer through the muddy waters of anger, so that I can better teach and understand my own little ones. ⠀

So, what resources are available to help teach kids effective tools for processing anger? And what tools can us parents use so that we don’t react when are children are upset? ⠀

As many of you know by now, one of my favorite resources for helping children understand their feelings is picture books. Picture books give children the gift of understanding that they are not alone with their feelings and they provide parents with a container for discussing their children’s feelings.⠀

Here is a list of five of my favorite picture books for talking about anger. I will highlight these books throughout the week and use one book to showcase how it might be used with your child.⠀

5 Picture Books About Anger -⠀

Cool Down and Work Through Anger by Cheri J. Meiners⠀

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard⠀

I Was So Mad by Mercer Mayer⠀

When Miles Got Mad by Abbie Schiller and Samantha Counter⠀

When Sophie Get Angry - Really, Really Angry … by Molly Bang⠀


Stay tuned for an in-depth look at using one of these books with your child to help him work through his anger.

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