Using object lessons is very helpful for kids. Having a picture outside of their situation brings more clarity than the muddied and confused feelings inside.
One picture our kids have found helpful in understanding their anger and how to handle it is the balloon lesson. I originally found it on pinterest (pinned on my “anger” board here). Here’s how we’ve adapted it.
Anger is like a balloon
What you need ::
- a few balloons
- a permanent marker
- a few minutes of time
Begin talking with your kids about anger.
You might ask —
- What does it feel like when you get angry?
- What sorts of things make you angry?
As they share, pick one or two of their answers and ask ::
- How do you act when that happens?
- What do you do with your anger?
After listening to the kids’ answers, pull out the balloon and say something similar to this. ::
Sometimes when we get angry, we stuff our feelings inside. We might stuff in frustration, resentment, angry words we want to shout, jealousy, fear. A lot of times all of those feelings get mixed up together and stuffed in. They swirl around in our heads and hearts and grow bigger and bigger and bigger.
*Adapt the wording to fit your kids and add in details specific to your situation. As you say each feeling, add a little more air to the balloon.
As you’re adding more air to the balloon, continue to ask ::
- What will happen if we keep adding more words and feelings to this balloon? (It will explode/pop OR fly crazy around the room as all the air rushes out.)
- Demonstrate both. :)
- How is this like our anger?
- Talk about the difference between “exploding” and all the air rushing out and flying around in a crazy way.
- What is a safer way to get the anger out of the balloon? (let out some air s-l-o-w-l-y)
- What might be a better way to handle all of those words and feelings IN US instead of stuffing them inside? Talk with your kids about some anger coping strategies. If you need some ideas, we shared some strategies for when you’re angry HERE.
- Close in prayer and review the memory verses you’re using to renew your mind as we address anger!
Two more things ::
- I’ve found this idea to be one of the most helpful ways to nurture and shepherd our kids after an angry outburst.
- Consider tying this lesson in with the “anger thermometer” which helps kids recognize triggers and how each affects them.
For those going through our ADDRESSING ANGER series, grab your Anger Balloon journal activity sheets for the kids HERE.
To join the series, click the image below.