A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
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.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Emotional Development: handling stress, labeling feelings, self-awareness
Health & Fitness: mental health
- Price: $2.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: October 1, 2014
- Category: Education
- Size: 14.20 MB
- Publisher: Touch Autism
- Version: 3.2
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 6.0 or later
For kids who love working through emotions and feeling good
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.