Emotional Intelligence: Self-Management
Updated: Aug 19
We can’t expect our children never to be angry, any more than we can ask that of ourselves. But we can help them find healthy outlets for the mad that they feel -- and help them know the good feeling that comes with self-control. -
Teaching our children the "good feeling of self-control" is one of the ways that we build their emotional safety. Big feelings can be frightening to young children, and they will need a safe outlet that doesn't hurt themselves or others. One of our favorite songs from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is about anger. It's called, What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel? We have literally sang this song to each other to help a child regulate. I have even sat in the calm down area and "pounded some dough" together. I was frustrated, and honest about it. "Let's pound the play dough together" I told him. He smiled and relief washed over him. Children are less afraid of their emotions when they understand that they are normal and part of growing.
Here is a list of some wonderful books about big feelings.
Here are the lyrics courtesy of the Neighborhood Archive
If you are unfamiliar with the site, it contains all things Mister Rogers. Be sure to check it out.
What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel?
© 1968 Fred M. Rogers
What do you do with the mad that you feel When you feel so mad you could bite? When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong... And nothing you do seems very right?
What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or some dough? Do you round up friends for a game of tag? Or see how fast you go?
It's great to be able to stop When you've planned a thing that's wrong, And be able to do something else instead And think this song:
I can stop when I want to Can stop when I wish I can stop, stop, stop any time. And what a good feeling to feel like this And know that the feeling is really mine. Know that there's something deep inside That helps us become what we can. For a girl can be someday a woman And a boy can be someday a man.
What has worked for you in helping children regulate their emotions? Leave your comments below. We'd love to hear them.