Today in Mindfulness we talked about our anger, and what to do when our bodies are not being safe while angry. We also had a lot of discussion on what our faces and bodies look like when we are angry, and how we can tell if someone is angry by the clues their bodies show us.
We start circle by ringing the bell and taking a slow deep breath. When everyone is ready I pull out the story When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang. Before we read the story I ask the kids if they have ever felt really, really angry, and we take some time to share personal stories of feeling angry. Then we look at the cover of the book and I ask the kids how they can tell that Sophie is angry. They note that her brow is furrowed, her nostrils flared, and her mouth is small and straight/frowning. We practice making our best angry face and then take a look at everyone’s face to notice how their facial features change when they are angry. We also talk about how our bodies might feel tense, our shoulders scrunched, our chest and stomach feel tight, how we might show our teeth, or clench our fists. As we read through the story we take time to talk about the triggers that made Sophie angry, which of her actions are safe, and why or why not. When getting to the part where Sophie runs to her space place
(it’s in the woods on an old beech tree) we talk about how her parents know where she is going. We also talk about how we can make plans with our parents and teachers to find space when we are feeling so angry. While Sophie is in her space place she is still and notices the things around her, pays close attention to what she hears, and to what sensations she feels on
her skin. When she feels calm, and her body is safe she goes back to her family where they greet her with open arms. After the story we have some more discussion on how Sophie calmed her body, how it’s okay to feel mad and sad, but it’s not okay to be unkind or aggressive when we are angry.
My friend baby dragon came to visit to share a story with the kids about a times that he felt so angry, and what he does to have a safe body. Baby dragon tells the story of how he is building a block tower and some of his friends knock it over. Boy, is he angry! He feels like scratching, kicking, and hitting his friends, but he knows that would hurt them and not solve the
problem. What should he do? Baby dragon takes a dragon breath (breaths in long and deep through his nose, and then lets out his breath by sticking out his tongue as long as it can go and making a “haaah” sound.), and finds some space in his cave. While in his cave he takes three dragon breaths. Then he looks around the room, listens to what he hears, sniffs the air, and
goes back to check in with his friends when his body and voice is calm and kind.
The kids had some journal time with the prompted question, “What makes them feel angry, how they might look or act when angry, or what safe choice could they make when feeling so angry?” Being angry can be a natural reaction to certain stimulus and is okay! By journaling about our anger we acknowledge that it is a feeling that arises in all of us, and affirms that we have the power to choose how to safely act when we feel angry.