Self Control: Lesson Ideas

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Friend June 2018 “For Parents of Little Ones” Helping little ones understand and talk about their feelings.

Ensign February 2018 “ Dealing with Strong Emotions” Anger, anxiety, fear–children often need help understanding and dealing with strong emotions. For example, when children express anger, they may actually be feeling afraid or hungry or have some other unmet need. We can help our children understand that difficult feelings are not wrong or bad. While strong feelings are normal, sometimes they also give clues to help us identify problems that we can help children resolve.

Talk about what helps your child feel calm, and make a “calm-down plan” ahead of time. This could include taking deep breaths, asking for help, or finding a quiet place.

When children are angry or upset, try to empathize and let your children know they’re heard. Try to stay calm, even if they aren’t.

When children are anxious, help them name their feelings. Try, “You look like you might be feeling scared. Can you tell me how you’re feeling right now?” Reassure them that you are there, that they are safe, and that their anxious feelings will pass.

If your child is angry, teach correct behavior without punishing for strong emotions. Try, “You don’t have to be happy, but we don’t hit.”

Friend September 2020 “What’s on Your Mind?” A child asks the Friend Magazine the following question: Sometimes I get really upset. One minute I feel fine, and the next I feel like everything is not fine! What can I do? The Friend responds with some ideas on how to deal with those emotions.


Friend February 2018 “What’s on Your Mind?” Ways to calm yourself when angry.

New Era June 2018 “Stopping Anger in Its Tracks.” This object lesson from the New Era helps us learn about anger and how we can control our tempers.

Story Ideas

  • Bugs and Brothers.” In this Friend story, Lacey learns that she doesn’t have to be angry at her brother Zach.
  • The Right Reply.” Emily wants to write a mean reply when her friend sends her a mean email, but then she thinks of what Jesus would do and responds kindly. (From the Friend.)
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