We all have to deal with a variety of different emotions every day, but what most people don’t realize is that emotions, which are difficult for adults to deal with, are often impossible for children to deal with. Strong emotions, like anger, are hard for children to learn how to manage, and even more difficult for parents to explain to their children. The story of Anh’s Anger, however, is a great way to teach children what anger is, and how to learn how to cope with it.
Like most childrens books, this tale starts with a child. This five year old child, named Anh, is not having a very good day. He finally becomes terribly angry when his grandfather interrupts his playing to ask him to come and eat dinner. Anh is furious, and his grandfather recognizes that fury. In order to calm him down, he tells Anh that he should fully experience his anger, and suggest that he go to his room to “sit with his anger”. Anh is confused, but goes to his room and, sitting down, actually gets to physically meet his anger, face-to-face.
Through Anh’s Anger, children and adults learn that it is okay for children to experience emotions, and that through experiencing emotions we can learn how to conquer and control it. Just as Anh does, children can learn to go into their own space and to sit with their anger, learning what it is and how to stop it from overcoming them.
Gail Silver, creator of the book, is the founder of Yoga Child in Philadelphia, and has a great deal of training and experience in teaching children how to recognize their feelings and to moderate them. The story of Anh’s Anger is a wonderful example of how a simple explanation, done correctly, can help children to learn what their emotions are and how to handle them. This is one tale that, while not quite a morality tale, helps to teach a very valuable lesson that will help children to learn how to focus their emotions – a valuable skill that even parents can use occasionally.