This is how I explained the escalator technique. “Ok buddy, you know how you love to ride the escalator so much at the mall? Well whenever you get angry and feel like it might get out of control, I want you to immediately picture getting on the escalator. Take deep breaths as you slowly ride the escalator up. Then when you get to the top, I want you to picture yourself turning and riding the escalator slowly back down, while still taking deep slow breaths. When you get to the bottom I want you to pray that God will help you see the situation more clearly and how to deal with it. It’s ok to be angry, even Jesus got angry (such as in Matthew 21:12) but it’s what you do with that anger that makes the difference and is what matters. Proverbs 14:29 says ‘People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness.’ That means buddy when your anger is out of control you start to act all crazy.” I immediately jumped off his bed and jumped around, flailing my arms, turning around in circles making silly noises and then I calmly stopped and said, “and nobody wants to see you acting all crazy.” That was met with smiles and giggles. I grabbed him up for a hug. “I love you and I just want you to do your best and you can’t do your best when you are upset and angry!”
We also made a chart and I bought star stickers. Each day before bed I wouldn’t just put a star there based on what his teacher said. I would ask him how HE felt he did that day. This was really great as well because it gave him a chance to express himself and his feelings as well his own behavior and then visually see his anger and his control over it. It also really helped him to learn self control in dealing with his issues at school.
This helped with his anger issues until recently when we discovered that a lot of the issues he expressed as anger had actually all this time been fear and anxiety. We have been working on that lately and I am letting the Lord guide me in helping him now tackle these new issues brought to light and will be sharing that in the next Godly Home post.
How do you help your child deal with their anger issues?