I’m finishing up the last few illustrations for my next book on dealing with anger and mindfulness for the little ones! Here is some general info on some of the topics in the book and some tips for grown ups too… EnJoY!
One of the most important things about dealing with anger is realizing it’s okay to be angry and there are safe ways to express it. In this story, the idea of using visualization and relaxation to “breathe” anger out is introduced as a relaxation technique for angry feelings. When your child is angry, validate the feeling first, “I see you are feeling angry, you are stomping your feet and frowning. How would you like to get your anger out?” Give your child some ideas, “Would you like to rip up a piece of scrap paper?” “Scream in a pillow?” “Take a deep breath?” etc. when you find something your child responds well to, encourage this appropriate way to express anger and, praise your child when you see them using the skill.
This story also illustrates skills of mindfulness and forgiveness. Children can realize although someone may have done something that made them upset, they can still forgive that person. It is important to realize the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness is choosing to let go of anger towards a person for their actions and reconciliation is forgiving and then having contact with that person again. For example, children should understand they DO NOT have to continue to spend time with someone who makes them upset repeatedly (for example a peer who continually bullies your child). Even in times when reconciliation is not encouraged or appropriate, children can still choose to forgive the individual(s) by letting go of the anger they hold toward the individual(s). The person being “forgiven” does not even need to be involved because if a child chooses to let go of anger, they can actually do this for themselves to free themselves of angry feelings. The most important thing about forgiveness is that it is a CHOICE. Children should never be forced to forgive or reconcile with someone. They instead can be taught what forgiveness is and realize they have a choice to forgive.
This story encourages mindfulness through the topic of forgiveness and through the idea of “slowing down” to notice and discover interesting things that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Try encouraging mindfulness with your child (play I spy, point out the color of leaves on the trees, sit with your child in nature, teach your child deep breathing, etc.). This can increase attentive skills, awareness of self, and even foster skills like compassion and empathy (as children slow down to notice others’ feelings and the connection between consequences and their own actions).
Thank you for reading! I will keep updates on when the book will be released.