It was somewhere along my Parenting Learning Journey (in early 2013 – if my memory does not fail me), that I thought of a way to impart Anger Management to my children (GerGer & BoiBoy) and niece (BayBee).
Young children get angry easily (well, many adults still do). In 2012 I blogged about teaching “Life Skills for my Children – Identifying Emotions and the Cause“. Identifying the negative emotions and understanding the trigger point. In early part of 2013, an impromptu concept about OUR ANGRY MONSTER was conceived and used during a BoiBoy-throwing-a-tantrum moment.
MeeMee said in a story-telling tone to BoiBoy when he was furious: “In everyone’s life, there is an Angry Monster. He loves to enter our stomachs and disturb us daily. We spend a lifetime learning how to counter him. We learn not to feed him with our tears, screams, and fights. We practice improving our mental strength so we can throw him out of the window when he starts feeding on our negative acts. There is danger in keeping him in our stomach for too long because he grows bigger really fast, and once he gets comfortable in our stomachs, it will be hard for us to throw him out of our stomachs.“
How can a four year old boy understand this? Make it fun, and he will! I made huge movements with both hands pretending to pull out something from my stomach using a lot of strength, and screamed as I pretended a strong force pulled my hands back onto my stomach. Acting out how I attempted to throw out the Angry Monster, and how I only succeeded after a few tries, made BoiBoy laughed and forget his anger, breaking the negative energy building up in him. Then I helped him to pull out his Angry Monster with great difficulty, and showed empathy : “no wonder you were so furious! he is big and strong!“. And in a panting state, I finally managed to throw his Angry Monster out of the window.
For the past year, I have used this concept to remind the children not to be angry for too long because nobody likes to house their Angry Monster forever. It works well for us.
When I get angry with the children, and raise my voice at them. They come running to me and then pretending to pull out my Angry Monster to throw out the window. This act melts my anger away every time. And when this happens, I remind them that we all need to practice throwing out our Angry Monsters in our life journey; it does not stop even when we have grown up.
This week is the school holidays and I was very honored to have successfully made time to coach and teach the children. Every morning for the last four days from 10am to 12pm, I (“Teacher MeeMee” they call me) conducted lessons for them. (I hope my Friday -tomorrow- will be the same).
Attention span for children is short and about half an hour into handwriting practice, the children start to yawn frequently and hard. So I would change activities to make them alert. I would end each day’s lesson with an high-energy activity or act. On Tuesday, I ended the class with a “Draw your Angry Monster” activity. Here are our Monsters (now pasted on the door of the children’s room.
Hope my story helps other parents out there who are pulling hair about sibling fights and angry children.