Learning about Anger and Tantrums – Big Feelings in Little Bodies – Podcast Episode 3 of Season 2

Jan and Cookie have a 4 1/2 year old son Mika. Last year they move from Canada to Germany to be closer to family. Having grandparents just 5 minutes away has been a great change for their family. Mika is an active boy who loves going on bike rides with his mom and swimming with his parents when they have the chance.

The tricky moments feel like they come out of nowhere. Something happens and he gets mad. At times, mom also then gets mad, though she knows that this does not help. We talked about the impact of her modeling what to do when she feels angry to help Mika learn what anger can look like. Yes, this is easier said then done!

What helps when he is angry? A hug from dad or taking some deep breaths together. Dr. Marcie shared some new possibilities that included mom and dad modeling taking deep breaths when Mika does not want to and proactively creating activity to move his anger before he feels it. The proactive moments would be when they ask him to do something that often creates an angry response. Instead of waiting for the anger to come, get him moving to shift the anger before it explodes.

Big feelings happen for a lot of kids and we ended the conversation talking about ways to teach feelings. Often kids don’t have words for their feelings. So rather than asking them to label their feelings, ask them about the sensations they are having in their body, do a body scan where they can check in on different body parts to see how they feel. Once they have this skill, then you can work on moving and changing the sensations to shift emotions. Jan and Cookie plan to make this a daily practice in their home where they will all learn together to be more aware of their feelings.

If you liked this episode, you may also enjoy Season 1, Episode 4. Listen to another couple talk with Dr. Marcie about the power of positive parenting!

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