Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool App Poster Image
Super-simple emotion-regulation tool offers too little.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to handle stress, anxiety, and anger in a positive way. This tool may be especially relevant for kids with special needs, social challenges, anxiety, or anger issues learn self-awareness as they begin to identify when they "need a break" and practice calming down. Though it could use a good dose more complexity, Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool helps kids ask for a break in order to regain their emotional center in a healthy, concrete way.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Just two options (the story or the calm counter), and one setting to adjust the voice to a male, female, or read-only audio.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool aims to help kids learn ways to deal with strong emotions. There are two parts to the app: one that encourages kids to calm down using visual cues, counting backward from 10, and following a deep breathing prompt. The other part is a story that reassures kids that we all get mad from time to time and then suggests ways to calm down. Parents can choose from using a female voice, male voice, or no voice. The app was designed for kids with autism and other challenges that may make it difficult to calm down, but as it focuses on general emotion regulation, could be relevant for any kid. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information is collected and shared.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant, 3, 5, and 8 year old Written byTaximom4four February 21, 2014

VERY BASIC

Very simplistic, I was hopeful for more to help my son use it for a coping mechanism but I might as well had been using PECS.
Adult Written byJ W March 10, 2017

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What's it about?

CALM COUNTER SOCIAL STORY & ANGER MANAGEMENT TOOL has two parts. In the story section, kids listen to or read basic information about how it's normal to feel angry and some suggestions for how to manage strong feelings. The other part opens with the phrase, "I need a break," then the screen turns bright red with a sad, mad face on it and the number 10. Tap the screen again, the screen color gets lighter and the face a little less angry and the number 9 is displayed. The colors, numbers, and faces continue to become lighter and happier with each tap, all the way to 1, where the kid is prompted to take a deep breath and see if they feel calmer.

Is it any good?

The visuals and voice prompts that accompany a simple, easy-to-understand message may help arm some kids with a healthy approach to emotion regulation, but many will expect more. Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool may connect with some kids' needs and assist them in getting a handle on angry or anxious emotions. The social "story" is not much of a story, but is rather a short collection of slides that normalize kids' emotions ("Everybody gets angry."). There are visual, verbal, color, and counting cues that make up the app's one calming strategy and may help kids with different learning styles. But with just one basic strategy and a short story that's not really a story, it's likely that many kids will not connect with the material or will find it unappealing -- or even downright boring. Because there's so little to it, Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool risks being not particularly useful as a tool. Parents may want to think carefully about their kids' needs before forking over the money for this one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Read or listen to the content in Calm Counter Social Story & Anger Management Tool before introducing the calming method.

  • Consider doing a practice run with your child, where you pretend you are (slightly) upset and use the app to show your kid how you use it to calm down.

  • Practice slow, deliberate breathing techniques and draw kids' attention to how their body feels before, during, and after the exercise.

App details

For kids who love working through emotions and feeling good

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