Many times people feel angry, but are not sure how to cope with this feeling, or cope with it inappropriately. Children can begin learning the basics of anger management from a young age, which is a skill they will need their whole lives.
Equipment: Scripture memory verse cards
“Let’s talk about a time when you were angry.”
Allow several minutes for children to share their stories about being angry at someone or a particular situation.
Then, point out that since many people have shared about times they were angry, this must be a pretty common feeling for people to have.
Ask, “What does the Bible have to say about being angry? Do you think it’s okay, or not?”
They will probably say they think it is not okay to be angry.
Then, help them find the scripture verse, and point out that it clearly says “be ye angry,” which means that God recognizes we will sometimes have angry feelings and that is normal.
The key point, though, is “and sin not” – which means that we should maintain enough composure even when angry so that our anger does not lead us into misbehavior or sin.
Discuss the need to “cool off” when angry, before you can deal with a situation.
Discuss likewise the need to allow other people a cooling off period, as well.
Discuss active and effective ways to release strong emotions such as anger, including raking leaves or other yard work, running or jogging, dancing, jumping rope, and similar activities.
Have the children stand up and practice some of these activities.
Discuss discreet and gentle ways to remain calm when needed, if an active option is not immediately available, such as counting to ten, breathing deeply, or saying, “I need some time to think about that. Let’s talk about that a little bit later tonight.”
Practice using these techniques with the children.
Ask if anyone has a specific situation they often feel angry about and want to practice dealing with. Use roleplay to practice these situations that they have indicated they would like some help with. Or, set up your own roleplay situation for them, based on typical experiences they are likely to have, such as someone cutting ahead of them in line at school or bumping into them in the classroom or a sibling who is bothering their toys at home.
For closing, review the scripture verse.
Pass out memory cards to take home for review and practice.