Last night my 6-year-old got so mad she had to go to bed that she started kicking and punching my husband, and screaming at the top of her lungs. "What is wrong with her?" I wondered. But after watching a short film called "Just Breathe," I realize that what I was witnessing was a very angry child who didn't have the tools to calm herself down in that moment.
"Just Breathe" is described on Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website, the mission of which is described as being "dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves," as a look at "how [kids'] emotions affect them and how they physically feel."
The 4-minute short from filmmakers Julie Bayer Salzman and Josh Salzman starts out with kids talking about things that make them mad, like a sibling hitting them, or another kid saying, "I don't want to play with you."
And then the kids describe what happens when they get mad, like that they get a headache, and their faces get red.
The kids admit it's easy for them to feel out of control.
Then, the video encourages kids to, well, just breathe. Hey, it works for me, a 37-year-old!
First, kids should find a quiet place, then try to relax, and breathe.
I will often tell my children to take deep breaths when they are angry or anxious. It's a small thing they can do to gain back their control, and avoid doing something they'll regret, liking hitting or punching Daddy.
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #BeEmotionalInsideOut.
Do you think breath is an effective tool for angry kids?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook, where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.