The basic concept behind both tools is the same. During a calm and peaceful time, brainstorm with your child or children solutions to conflicts or ways to express anger and put them in a pie chart format. Let children illustrate each solution, or perhaps take and print photos them acting it out. Keep the Wheels posted in a prominent place for the children to refer to the next time there is a conflict or they are angry.
|A sample Wheel of Choice: what to do when conflict arises.|
|A sample Anger Wheel of Choice: how to express anger in healthy ways.|
This week I was re-reading Jeff VanVonderen's excellent book Families Where Grace is in Place. In his chapter "Parenting Means Controlling Ourselves," VanVonderen talks about the three words for anger in the Bible:
- perigismos or "seething hostility"
- thumas or "outbursts of anger," "anger that is explosive"
- orgay or "wrath ... a signal that something important to us has been threatened or damaged"
He explains that orgay anger that is ignored grows into perigismos or thumas anger. The instruction in Ephesians 6:4 not to exasperate our children can also be translated to not provoke them to perigismos or seething hostility. This doesn't mean to never do anything that angers children, but to allow them the freedom to express their true feelings, and equip them with the tools to deal with and express orgay anger in constructive, healthy ways. It looks to me like these two Wheels of Choice may be excellent tools for doing just that.