Ben's karate instructor has the class participate in a calming activity at the end of each session. The kids sit quietly on their feet, with their eyes closed and with their backs straight they breathe deeply for a few moments. Brian talked with the instructor about Ben's anger and she suggested we attempt the calming activity at home. It's not a surprise that deep breathing is a calming exercise, after all it's used in meditation, child birth, and so on. But, it never occurred to us to use this to help Ben. We picked up exercise mats at the sports store this weekend, the kind that interlock (puzzle-like) and created Ben's calming spot.
This spot is Ben's alone. When he feels like he is getting angry this is where he can go to calm down before he loses control of his temper. Sometimes he has to be reminded to go there. Occasionally he will go on his own. I hope that eventually it will become a natural response for him to calm himself down before launching into an outburst of anger.