Using an Anger Catcher to Help Kids Deal With Anger
Anger is an almost universal emotion. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been angry at some point, and kids are no exception. Kids get angry for any variety of reasons.
- It could be family related turmoil – like when their parents divorce. In fact, it is one of the most universal reactions we see in kids when they experience any sort of family transitions. When visitation arrangements change, kids get mad. When dad doesn’t pick them up for his time with them, they get angry. When mom starts dating some new guy, they begin to boil. When they have to move, change schools, deal with new siblings, listen to one parent bash another, and on and on and on, they get angry.
- It could be a reaction to stress – from school or family or sports or just not having time to be kids. Kids today are more stressed than ever, and anger is a typical reaction to stress.
- It could be in response to fear – about what is going to happen in the future, how a family situation is going to turn out, how the kids at school will react, feeling embarrassed or any number of other things.
The list is endless, and teaching kids how to deal with anger and coping mechanisms they can safely use as they move from irritated to annoyed to angry to enraged is critical to helping them move past the anger and deal with other underlying emotions.
This craft from the website Home Stories A to Z is an awesome tool for helping kids both to deal with anger they are currently feeling and to deal with future bouts with anger. The instructions are simple (and included on the template):
- Download the template from this site.
- Color the various triangles on the sheet. If you want the colors to match as you use the anger catcher, color the number and coping mechanism the same color as is printed in the triangle between them. We didn’t do this as we were making our anger catchers, and it doesn’t make a difference in its use.
- Fold each corner towards the center of the page so that the numbers and color names are facing you.
- Turn over the anger catcher
- Fold each corner into the center so that only the color names are visible.
- Fold the anger catcher in half so that the color names touch and the numbers are on the outside.
For information on how to use the anger catcher (my kids already knew, but their old Dad did not :)), visit Home Stories A to Z for detailed instructions.
In addition to teaching kids some awesome coping mechanisms, the process of coloring, cutting and folding can help to calm kids down as they make the anger catcher. That time is also valuable for you to talk to the child about what is making him/her angry in the first place.
The picture of the anger catcher included in this article is one that my daughter finished.
Thanks to Beth of Home Stories A to Z for this awesome idea!
For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.