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Parents' Guide: Sam Gets Mad and Calms Down

Message: Feeling mad may lead you to do things that get you in trouble. continued...

Parenting Tip: Talk with your child about ways that people can feel better when they are mad that don't cause hurt or damage. For instance, some people may take a walk when they get angry. Others may pound a pillow. Be prepared to help your child blow off steam the next time he gets angry. Create an "Un-Mad Bucket" and fill it with toys that he can get physical with:

  • Dough or clay that can be pounded and stretched
  • Crayons with paper that can be scribbled on
  • Soft objects that can be squeezed and twisted


Message: Getting anger out in a healthy way helps you feel better.

Doing something that helps you calm down is a healthy way to deal with being mad. When you are calm, your body feels better; you feel happier; and you can think better. When you are calm, you get along better with family and friends.

  • What did Sam do to feel better when she was mad?
  • Do you think breathing deep could help you calm down when you are mad? Will you try taking 3 deep breaths the next time you feel mad?
  • What else does Sam do to make her body feel better when she's mad? Could you do that, too? Would it make you feel better?
  • What makes you feel calm and good?

Parenting Tip: Being mad can make it hard to think. Help your child be ready to handle anger next time. Talk about situations that trigger your child's anger and play the "What if" game based on some of those scenarios: "What if this happened? What would you do?"

Help him figure out how he can avoid getting mad and what he can do to calm down if he does gets mad. Then he will be better able to make healthy choices about whatever made him mad.

Reinforce the Message: Feeling Better When You Feel Mad

Children learn how to handle anger by watching what their parents do -- including when that anger is directed at them. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I handle stress?
  • What does my child see me doing when I am mad or upset?
  • How do I react when my child makes me mad?
  • What can I do to set a good example?

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