What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong...
And nothing you do seems very right?
Yes, that’s from Mr. Rogers and today we’re talking about some of those big feelings at the Preschool Parent Blog. 

It’s hard to deal with those big feelings especially when they are hard to name. That frustration can make a child hit, kick, scream, grab, or bite. I have had the good fortune to watch many parents help their children through these feelings. I am often impressed with how well parents help their children to acknowledge overwhelming feelings.

It is important to remember to listen to your child and that may include some long silences. You and your child both need time to process the feelings. Rushing this will not help. And too much talking when a child is in the mist of big emotions will not help either.

As adults there are many things we can talk about when it comes to handling and understanding anger, fear, and frustration. Today I want to focus on the last verse of Mr. Rogers’ song about feeling mad…

“I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish”

Knowing you can control yourself is so important. Feeling out of control is seriously scary. It can make you do all kinds of things you don’t mean to do. Learning that you can get control of your emotions and mind on your own is such a relief to children.

 Helping a child grow in this way is a huge life gift. It takes time like any important life lesson. Gaining control is different for everyone. It often starts with a discussion when your child is not upset. Give your child a tool to use to get back in control. It can be taking four slow deep breaths, or counting to ten, or singing a song – like, “What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel.” Maybe your family has another way to stop, breath, and calm down.

 Whatever your child uses you should practice it together a few times when no one is upset. Then you can give a reminder when the situation arises. Remember the goal is helping your child to be able to gain control independently so your child can have peace of mind whether you are there or not. It takes time for a child to master physically stopping when running. A child who experiences tantrums and out of control emotions will need time to master control. But like physical control, gaining control of emotions will give your child new confidence. It’s another big step in self-reliance. 

Here is where you can find the Mr. Rogers’ lyrics… https://pbskids.org/rogers/songLyricsWhatDoYouDo.ht.