This article contains a scenario about anger and follow up questions to use with your mentee as a discussion topic, along with factoids,common myths about anger, as well as local and online resources.
Advice and Resources for Helping Your Mentee Manage Emotions
Helping your mentee understand and properly manage their emotions can be an important part of your relationship, especially if they are getting in trouble for emotional outbursts at home or in school.
Experiencing anger is a normal part of everyday life. It plays a positive role in identifying where there is a problem or a need that is not being met. Yet students must learn how to deal with anger appropriately. Many students suffer daily emotional stress and frustrations, especially if they are experiencing family issues, which can boil over at school and cause them to get in trouble and struggle socially and academically. Failing to deal effectively with strong emotions can lead to problems not just now, but also later in life, including a host of health problems.
You can help your mentee manage his or her emotions constructively by providing a safe space to discuss their feelings and by acting as a positive role model. You are the person they can talk to without feeling judged, and it is important to try to see things from their perspective and validate their experience, regardless of how you may initially perceive it. As you likely know it can be very hard to think rationally when in the grip of strong emotions, so first give your mentee a chance to simply express what they feel and practice your reflective listening.
Once they feel understood and relaxed you can help them try to identify the cause of the emotion, what the emotion felt like physically, and then problem solve the best ways to respond to that emotion when they experience it again. This will help them gain a better understanding of why they experience these emotions in the first place, recognize what the emotions feel like so they can identify them in the future before they boil over, and have several appropriate responses prepared so they handle emotional situations correctly and avoid getting in trouble.
Just by being an outlet for them to talk about their emotions you are probably already well on your way to influencing your mentee for the better. You can also use the Resources below for specific tips and tools to work with your mentee on these issues.
“12 Ways to Teach Kids to Recognize and Label Their Emotions”
This article provides games, tips, and activities for you to teach your child/mentee how to recognize and label their emotions.
“Defusing Anger in Others”
This article gives examples of tips and scenarios in communicating respect and effective listening when working through hostility and anger.
“Control Your Anger Before it Controls You”
A helpful article for those with an older mentee who has a better understanding of the basics of emotions. This article is a comprehensive look at defining anger, how it is expressed, how to deal with anger, and tips on relaxation.