Six-year-old Marcus* has the energy of a thunderbolt. He’s tough, aggressive and can’t deal with conflicts without getting physical. He hit a classmate once for ‘stealing’ his ball.
Family Works counsellor Tina* taught Marcus the 5-Finger breathing technique which involved taking deep breaths as he traced the fingers of his left hand. This helped Marcus calm his body and bring his stress level down.
Tina explained to Marcus that anger was like a storm. He could watch out for warning signs that it was about to come. She helped Marcus identify a quiet spot in school where he can go when he gets angry.
Recently, a classmate threw mud all over Marcus’s clothes and the teacher was surprised to see Marcus walk away. When the teacher asked if he was alright, Marcus told her that he needed time to calm down as he was feeling his ‘warning signs’ – his hands were getting hot and turning into balls and he could feel his ‘angry eyes’. Marcus remembered the quiet spot where he could go if he needed to calm down. He went to the spot and did the ‘5 Finger’ breathing activity.
After this, Marcus was able to go back to class and have a productive day without any disruptions. His teacher was so proud of him, but the best thing was that he felt proud of himself.