Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Stop, Calm Down, Go!

This Anger Control Stoplight serves as a visual aid to remind children to think before acting when they are angry.  I print it out on cardstock and then cut it out and allow my clients to color it, using the appropriate colors (red, yellow, and green), as we discuss what each color means.  I also write down clues for what each light means and have the client glue the clue next to the correct light.  We then put it somewhere where the client will see it often, especially when angry.  I have had clients paste theirs onto their coping skills boxes or journals.  Hanging on the fridge or on a bedroom wall are also recommended.  

As an activity, you could also play "Red Light, Green Light" (the old game we all know and love from our childhood!), which helps children practice listening/following directions and impulse control.


  1. I really like this visual idea.Something I can put on the refrigerator, mirror in the bathroom. But please do not ask me or a child to "calm down". They (and most adults) do not know how to "calm down". If we knew how to calm down we wouldn't need this in the first place. Ask yourself...can I make a charade card from this word. Then try it yourself. Do you take a shower, mix a drink, go for a walk, call a friend? Change the center to something less ambiguous...Stop, Take a Breath, Hold Your breath, - actually I don't know what would work for you but "calm down" is just too vague for me.

    1. Peacemeal...see some of my other posts for ideas to teach the child how to calm down. A coping box, coping skill flashcards, etc. could be used during step 2. This visual aid, clearly, would not be used alone. If it was that easy of a fix, children would not need therapy. :) Also want to add that most of us do know how to calm down; we just either don't realize we do or have difficulty thinking before acting. That is where the visual aid comes in.