It is broken down into 4 parts:
Share (encourages people to share their own personal stories in scenarios where one may be angry)
Tips (ideas on how to calm down in a healthy way)
What Would You Do? (gives possible scenarios of difficult situations that may happen in school or home that could anger you and asks how how you might handle it)
Act it out ( invites you to lit up with a partner to act out how you would react or deal with a given situation)
This jar provides the opportunity for people to practice dealing with unpleasant feelings of anger and gives tips on how to cope in a healthier way. There are many adults whom I’ve spoken too that too, find it difficult to express or be in tune with their feelings.
Repression is one way people chose to deal with stress; it is when a person chooses not to face their feelings and kind of tuck it underneath the rug and never look back. Just because one may try to forget something happened, doesn’t mean it didn’t. It can resurface and influence ways one deals with future relationships.
Reading over the scenarios given, I find myself as an adult reflecting in situations I’ve come across from childhood to adult life and I must say, these cards will make you think! Certain cards may be more relatable to older children talking about texting or commenting mean remarks online, so depending on the age group you are working with, you may want to sort these out.
Tips include reminders to breath in and out counting and doing an activity or exercise you enjoy when you are angry to calm yourself down. Great tips to include in the calming center of a classroom or in a guidance counselor office or even just hung up around the school as reminders for children and teachers .
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
These cards can work great for practicing empathy, and putting yourself in those situations that are tense and challenging.
ACT IT OUT
This section includes hands on learning! It comes full circle when children actually get to practice what they learned.
Using the Cards
Though the cards are targeted for kids ages 8-11, I looked through them and found several cards that my kids (ages 3, 5 and 6) would understand. Here are some examples:
Response-the kids said that their teacher can remind them how to breathe
The kids and I enjoyed reading though these tips together. The You and I messages would work better with the recommended age group for these cards ages 8-10.
What Would You Do-
My daughter said she would ask if she could go to the party next time (since only their parents only said 4 kids were allowed this time).
Act it Out-
The girls practiced acting out the scenario. They “told a grown up” and asked for help. I also asked them what they would do when they all wanted different tv shows. They said they would need to take turns.
All in all, these cards are great for children to practice with when dealing with anger. The more often someone repeatedly practices listening, sharing and reflecting, the more a person makes it part of their lifestyle; and they carry on with these healthy habits of coping until they are adults.
I also really like the order of the cards where the children get to first connect the card to self by sharing, then include tips on what to do when you come across angry feelings, a what would you do section to ask openly what you would do in a situation involving anger and act it out section to reiterate and practice what has been learned!
Note: Educators should keep in mind that not all family members may be good role models when dealing with anger. Some parts of the book asks students to think of someone they know that’s an adult and how they deal with anger, so it could certainly help if the educators knew the children and what their families are like before asking that question. I like how the cards can be sorted depending on age and group of students you get.
Free Spirit Publishing offered this book to me as part of their influencer program. All thoughts are my own. I am a big advocate for the books they publish that help strengthen and grow children’s socio-emotional skills.
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