Behaviour that hurts: what makes me angry?

For a printable version of this exercise, download the PDF.

Purpose of activity: To help children understand how anger begins.

Life skills: Self-awareness, critical thinking, creative thinking, coping with stress and emotion, communication and inter-personal relationships.

Important points: What makes people angry differs from person to person. People need to understand what makes them angry and can learn to control their anger.

Materials: Large sheets of paper, Marker pens or crayons

Steps

1. Divide group into groups of five or six.

2. Ask each group to sit in a circle. Begin the activity by saying the phrase… “Mr Nje gets angry when someone calls him stupid names”. Ask one child in the circle to repeat this phrase and add another reason why Mr Nje gets angry. The next child in the circle repeats these two and adds another and so on until all the children in the circle have added a reason. (This is an adaptation of a memory game!).

Other ‘anger’ ideas are:

    • when someone shouts at him
    • when someone steals something from him
    • when people ignore him
    • when someone pushes into him

3. Ask children to think back to the last time they got angry. In pairs, ask them to describe this to a friend without saying names and without saying what happened when they got angry, like this: I got angry yesterday when someone pointed at me and laughed at my clothes.

4. Ask each child to describe their partner’s reason for getting angry. Write these on a flip chart. If an idea is repeated, do not write it twice but put a tick next to the first reason.

5. Ask children to think of the two reasons that that made them the angriest. Each child comes up to the list and (with the help of the educator if necessary), places a tick beside each of their two top reasons.

What Makes me angry?

Examples from a group of working children in Delhi…

  • When I cannot sell my coconuts
  • When my mum hits me
  • When I don’t have time to play, as I have to spend all my time working
  • When I have too much work
  • When someone beats you
  • When someone harasses us while we are working
  • When someone teases you or uses bad language
  • When I don’t want to work but I have too
  • When someone steals the materials we have collected for selling

Final discussion:

Is there anyone that does not get angry? Can you solve problems well when you are angry? What is good about being angry? What is bad about it?

Want More Exercises Like This One?

If you enjoyed this exercise and found it useful there are 60 more practical exercises in the LifeSkills Handbook which also includes comprehensive information about planning, managing and implementing a life skills programme.

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