We posted an image of an anger tracker called ‘Check In’ on our Facebook page for use in therapy sessions and classrooms. We were asked where they could be printed from so we had a think and “right here” seemed like the best response! Scroll down to the bottom for the download link.
So why would you use an anger tracking tool? Being able to communicate how we feel is a really important skill which can have an immediate positive affect on the brain. When we can label the threat we are feeling the brain moves down from high alert and we can start to process.
Unfortunately many of us don’t learn this skill in childhood and lack the emotional literacy to be able to notice, label and express those less than pleasant feelings we all have. In effect this chart used regularly, has the ability to help someone to learn how to problem solve their anger in healthy ways. An excellent support for anger management in the classroom, home or therapy setting.
We’ve adapted the original idea to include some simple calming techniques and some blanks to add your own child or site specific calming techniques. There’s also a spare ‘I feel’ shape for those days when all the pieces don’t seem to want to stay together!
How to make it
The Check In is designed to be printed, cut out and then if possible laminated for long term use. The colourful Check In table remains in one piece, with stick on Velcro pieces added to each of the white gaps in the Check In. The ‘I feel’ shapes and the calm down techniques are to be cut out individually and then the other half the stick on Velcro added to the back. We’ve found 1m of stick on Velcro is only £2.75 from Wilkinsons. This is the link if you’d like to order online.
How to use it
We would discuss with the child which calming technique they think would work for them and then let them trial it for a period. You may discover that different techniques work best at different levels of anger. We would then revisit the chart with the child to discuss what we both think is working and how we could improve upon the idea or change the techniques. In a family setting we might suggest that every family member has one and openly uses it so that everyone can model trying our best to make healthy choices.
We’d love to hear about how you use them or if you’d like to see any other adaptions or resources.