Anger Management for a 6 year old – Part 2

You know, just as I was saying I’d hope my lesson on anger management sunk in, we had another opportunity to revisit the theme 2 days later.

Water play - Another fun holiday activity

Water play – Another fun holiday activity

This time, we just had a nice time going to the local swimming pool with a friend and her 5 year old daughter.  The girls were most reluctant to leave and as we were going through the turn stiles, Bea lingered a bit, looking wistfully at the waterplay area (which she had just spent the last 3 hours splashing around). I called her, since everyone had exited but she didn’t hear, so a few moments later, she turned around after I had “you hooed” her almost 5-6 times, standing a few meters away. When she saw everyone had left and I was standing some distance away, immediately, the black face came on. I could literally feel her feet itching to stamp their way towards me.

M : Stop your temper tantrum! You just had a good time and now it’s time to leave. Don’t show me your black face!

B kept quiet and a few minutes later I heard a mumbled sentence.

M: What did you say?

B: I was talking to myself.

M: What did you say to yourself?

B: I said, “I guess I can’t trust my brain.”

M: Well, it’s not the whole brain that you can’t trust. It’s the angry part. When Angry Brain comes out, Thinking Brain should take over and say, hey Angry Brain, is this the right time to be angry? If it is a silly thing to be angry about, Thinking Brain should tell Angry Brain, “Don’t be silly. You are not in charge. I am.”

B chuckles and in that brief 2 minutes, I hope she had a breakthrough on how to manage anger.  I am sure there will be many more incidences to learn from but I think the important lesson that she has realised that she can remain in control when she experiences anger, the emotion can be observed – rising and dissipating with an actively thinking brain.



3 Responses to “Anger Management for a 6 year old – Part 2”

  1. Wow, what an interesting thing she said! “I can’t trust my brain”– what was her brain telling her?

    • Her brain was probably telling her to stomp her way to me. When she had her terrible threes (she never went though the terrible twos), I was always telling her that when she gets angry, the person who suffers most is herself. I use to tell her “You think I am going to be upset because you are angry? No! You are the one who continues to boil in anger and YOU SPOIL YOUR OWN DAY. You suffer the most when you are angry.” So, I taught her what we have taught other children in EQ Camps – first identify the negative emotion (fear, anger, sadness) and then use measures such as counting to ten, taking deep breaths. At that time she was still to young for the other ways, but perhaps now I will start adding logical reasoning to the repertoire.

      I am keen to know – How do you handle anger outbursts from your kids?

  2. I like the idea of telling her that the Thinking Brain should take charge over the Angry Brain, and Angry Brain is being silly!

Leave a Reply