The book, When Miles Got Mad by Sam Kurtzman-Counter and Abbie Schiller, is a great book that teaches kids to use their words to express their feelings. It also uses an image, a red monster, to represent anger and rage. The red monster makes a connection to what a child feels when angry feelings overwhelm them.
In this story, Miles is mad at his younger brother for breaking his model airplane. Miles screams at his brother and scares him. The red monster appears and gets bigger as Miles becomes enraged. The red monster talks to Miles and helps him manage his anger. This book addresses other themes such as empathy, self-control, keeping hands to self, and problem solving.
How I applied it…
My child was frustrated because he could not figure out how to maneuver a toy. With each failed attempt, I could see that he was becoming more and more frustrated. I told him I could see the red monster getting bigger. This reminded my son to use his words to ask me for help or to take a break and try again another time.
My son reminded me about the red monster when I was mad as well. I felt my voice rising as I became irritated. When I thought about the red monster, I immediately lowered my tone.
This book is great for kids and adults. Add it to your book collection.
Other ways to apply it….
- Have kids create characters for other feelings.
- For example, a blue bear for sadness and a green snake for jealously.
- Have students write their own stories for how to deal with these feelings.
- Ensure students include their characters within the story.