Karate- Control Anger before it Controls you

This week, we are wrapping up our character lesson (download and print your worksheet here) on Anger Management.  So far this month, students have learned the four main reasons people get angry: Fear, Fatigue, Frustration and Rejection.  When I think about recent times I’ve been angry, the situation has almost always boiled down to one of these areas.  Frustration about a crying child, fatigued after a long day of work, fearful of a potential household expense.  Our final lesson on anger management will be focusing on how to deal with your anger.

The first step to dealing with anger is to try to remain calm and breath.  This is the biggest tip I give to kids when they are upset.  When you get angry or hurt, your body naturally starts to shorten your breath.  The less air you get, the quicker you become angry and unable to think.  When a student is crying, I always have them take big, deep breaths to calm their body.  At first, it’s always hard.  After a few breaths, you see their body relax, their tears taper off, and they are able to talk about the problem.

The next step is to take time and think about the situation.  Identifying the cause of anger can lead you down different paths.  Let’s break down an example.  Let’s say I’m angry because I can’t get a puzzle piece to fit (frustration).  If I just sit there and continue to try and jam the wrong pieces together, it compounds my frustration and elevates my anger.  But, if I identify the cause of my frustration, I will realize that forcing the wrong piece won’t help and maybe I need to step back and find the right piece.

Finally, once you identify the issue, try to come up with the most logical solution.  If the issue is something you can’t fix, there’s no reason to be angry about it.  Let it go.  If it is something you can fix, fix it.  It sounds simple but that’s all it takes.

Note to parents:  I know it can be very challenging to deal with a child’s anger, or your anger as a result of their anger.  I never understood this fully until I became a parent myself.  Believe me, it’s easier to deal with another persons child than your own.  It only takes a second for a child to push the wrong button.  The steps above can be hard but are the best path to success in dealing with anger.


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