The Lion Inside: A Story to Teach Young Children and Adults about Anger (Paperback)
As a parent of a young child, do you struggle with anger?
Does your young child seem to struggle with anger?
This storybook shows the interconnectedness of emotions (particularly anger) between parent and child and what each of their roles are in that interplay.
From the Introduction:
This is a storybook, but it is also a teaching book. This book may make you and/or your child feel uncomfortable sometimes. That approach is intentional-for it is in the moments of uncomfortableness that we have an opportunity to pause, to observe, to grow.
This book is also unique in its focus: There are great storybooks that teach kids about self-regulation or self-calming strategies, such as taking deep breaths, talking about feelings, and exiting an upsetting situation. Instead, this book is about 1) adults modeling self-regulation; 2) adults apologizing for disrespectful behavior towards their child; 3) adults co-regulating with their child; and 4) adults understanding the point-of-view of a child.
These four facets of Gentle Parenting are essential because the nervous systems of young children (from infancy to kindergarten) are designed primarily to synchronize with their caretakers. In other words, young children mirror the mood or emotional state of others, also called co-regulation. Their nervous system can auto-regulate, that is calm down automatically after some time, but then stress hormones can remain high in their bodies. Therefore, adults need to practice self-regulation strategies so that a young child can be calmed by the nervous system of a caretaker (via co-regulation) and also can learn how to practice self-regulation strategies over time.
It is also important to note that even Gentle Parents get angry Gentle Parents practice reasonable, loving expectations with themselves and their children. This includes realizing that anger is a normal feeling that protects us from injustice; it deserves to be acknowledged with compassion; and adults who act in anger need to repair with those they have hurt.