When dealing with difficult emotions like Anger we can learn about ourselves. We can learn how to recognise the feeling in our bodies, identify the kind of feeling it is, or whether we normally follow a pattern so we can actually…
change the pattern if it is not working!
Everybody feels angry some time. In fact, the feeling can have positive effects on our lives like setting limits or protecting ourselves. The issue is how to deal with anger trying not to hurt ourselves, or others, or ruin things or people around us.
IN-CLASS: There is no need to ask the children any more how they would like to get greeted. They come and say hello with a hug, or a high five, etc.
Then they get invited to move around the room to the sound of the music and think of a time when they got angry. When the music stops stay opposite one other child and tell them about this time when they got really really angry.
When they have identified this moment we sit in a circle and tell the group. We then listen to this story about Robert, who got home after a hard day at school one day and was told by his dad to take off his shoes and sit at the dinner table. His shoes flew all over the place and he just complained at the dish of spinach on the table. His dad then sent him to his bedroom and asked him to come back when he had cooled down. In his bedroom he felt something red and hot inside his body which wanted to come out! A huge monster then turned up and asked Robert what he wanted him to do. The big red monster started breaking up everything until Robert said STOP when he found his favourite toy truck broken on the floor. Then Robert asked him to leave. He was upset. He tried to fix everything and tidy up his bedroom. He put the red monster in a box and went down to the dining room to ask his dad for dessert.
Everyone listens very carefully to the story and then it is discussed how we feel when we get angry, paying special attention to all the things that can get ruined when «the monster» pops up. Also considering all the people and relationships that may get ruined as well.. Then they are asked to try and identify where in their bodies they can feel «the monster» when they get angry. When we can identify the feeling in our bodies we learn about it and can decide to stop and breathe, or develop strategies like saying «I’m sorry I’m not feeling well at the moment do you mind if I leave for a second». Find the time and space to cool down or do something creative.
The students start drawing their monsters. Some prefer to pick up an object which can represent their feeling, out of the emotions box. In the box there are hard objects, rough, soft, etc Then they are invited to think about their own strategies to cool down when they feel angry and share with the group.
We close up today by doing our Mindfulness practice «First aid for unpleasant feelings» from Sitting still like a frog by Eline Snel.
The intention is for the children to learn that we all have unpleasant feelings and it is ok to have them. By being mindful we learn to accept the unpleasant feeling when they come, allow space and time, then let go. In the meantime, try to give yourself loving kindness like you would to a good friend. Be aware of the emotion and learn how not to ruin it all around you when the monster comes.
Before we go home one of the students remembers it is her turn to facilitate our Mindfulness practice of the day and grabs the bell! Everybody gets in their mindful position and the most beautiful soft voice comes out of the students, very imaginatively giving instructions for the group to follow. I have to say they remained more calm and quiet than when I facilitate the practice myself!!
It was an amazing experience that I think the student herself enjoyed the most. I was thrilled.
[For parents «Children have all kinds of big emotions«]
La vida, sin prisa