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What we can learn from 6 kids who are masters of their anger

Your brain is like a jar full of glitter and other life lessons from kindergarteners.

What we can learn from 6 kids who are masters of their anger

The elementary school kids in this video by Wavecrest Films are unexpectedly articulate about their emotions.

Seriously, they are so smart! Listen to what they have to say.

They understand what's happening in their brains when they get angry.


They aren't being fed lines; their thoughts and words are the real deal. These kids benefitted from social-emotional learning and coaching in mindfulness at a charter school in Mar Vista, California.

It's obvious that they have a grasp on understanding feelings that eludes most adults, and, frankly, it's a life skill that all of us could stand to learn regardless of age.

Here are six lessons these children have to teach us about mastering our anger.

Because, anger happens:

All GIFs and images via Wavecrest Films.

1. He's just 5 years old, but he knows where his anger comes from — often, out of the blue.

When somebody says, “I don't like it when you say you don't want to play with me," it makes him angry.

Haven't we all felt that way? This smart kid knows that anger sometimes happens when things outside of our control — like a rejection or unkind word — get us feeling bad. It's usually another person that makes us angry (although sometimes we can be mad at ourselves).

2. His blood keeps pumping, he gets sweaty and red — and he knows something's up.

We can have physical reactions to strong feelings of anger, from turning red in the face all the way to punching someone, even if we don't mean to. As this wise young man says, “Your blood keeps pumping because you're really mad, and you start to get sweaty because you're getting really, really mad. And then, when you start getting really mad, you turn red."

3. This little girl breaks it down: Our brains are like a JAR OF GLITTER.

She's a total emotional ninja and just dropped a wisdom bomb on us all.

This girl has a truth bomb for us.

Our thinking can be stirred up or calm, depending on our emotional state of mind.

And even though her front teeth are still coming in, she said, “It's kind of like, if you had a jar, and then the jar would be your brain, and then you put glitter in the jar, and that would be how you would feel like. If you shook up the jar, and the glitter went everywhere, that would be how your mind looks. And it's spinning around, and then you don't have any time to think."


Have you ever felt like your brain was a swirling mess?

4. This kid knows it's OK to be alone if you need to be.

Being in kindergarten can be pretty overwhelming. This pint-sized student of zen knows that when things gets tough, “First, you find a place where you can be alone, then you find some way to relax and calm down." Sometimes you need to be alone to collect your thoughts. It's OK to remove yourself from a frustrating situation.

5. Even kindergarteners can learn to calm themselves down by breathing.

On the playground, at home, or in class, anger happens, so taking a minute to wind down your breathing is one way these kids stop themselves from getting out of hand. "When I need to calm down, I take deep breaths," says one child champion of calm.

Breathe deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth.

6. It takes some adults forever to learn what she knows: Stop and think before you act.

This may be one of the hardest yet most important skills we can learn. When this girl pauses before acting out, she describes the way it makes her feel, "My brain slows down, and then I feel more calm, and then I'm ready to speak to that person." Calm and able to communicate? I think she just did a mic drop.

Truly, your brain is like a jar full of glitter. And it can be at peace.

“It's like all the sparkles are at the bottom of your brain."

So, when your brain is a stirred-up glitter jar, how do you calm down, cope with anger, and still the sprinkle-shower?

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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