10 Free Tools to Help Calm Your Angry or Anxious Child

10 Free Tools to Help Calm Your Angry or Anxious Child


Last week in my group, Choosing JOY, I held a Facebook LIVE where I talked about how to handle anxiety in your home. (To view this video, click the link here.) I mentioned in that video that I would share the top tools we use in our home to deal with anxiety and anger. When you have a child who can explode at any minute, it’s a huge help to have a list of tools at your disposal.

Pray with Your Child

This is not only helpful for your child but for you as a parent as well. 🙂

Take a Bubble Bath 

This works wonders for our middle child.

Pet a Dog or Hold a Cat

By far this method works the best for our son with ADHD and Autism. It’s a great distraction for him, and our 65-pound black lab is A-MAZING with our kids.

Rip Up Paper

This is another great tool for my son.

Punch a Pillow or a Bed

Our oldest child who is now a teenager uses this method when she’s angry or upset. She’s our neurotypical child who can get easily frustrated with her special needs siblings.

Weighted Blankets & Pillows

Although you can purchase these, and they can be expensive, what we do in our home is use what we have. My husband will take a few heavy blankets and all of the pillows on our couch and pile them up on top of our son. He loves this, especially while he’s playing on the iPad.

Call a Friend

Our middle child does this when she’s anxious. Not necessarily to talk about the issue that’s causing anxiety but just to chat with a friend.

These last three methods we’ve used with success in our home as well. These are probably more for younger children than older ones.

Calm Down Bin

Calm Down Yoga

Belly Breathing

For a comprehensive list of methods and tools to use in your own home, download the free guide, “51 Ways to Calm Down Your Angry or Anxious Child” by clicking on the image below.


51 Ways to Calm an Anxious or Angry Child





10 Free Tools to Help Calm Your Angry or Anxious Child



Is it OK to “verbally vomit” on God?

As a teenager, I remember reading an article from a Christian teen magazine about being mad at God. The author was telling the readers that it’s OK to tell God when you’re mad at Him. He’s God. He can handle it. Besides, He knows anyway. I have to tell you, I was completely appalled.

“There’s no way I could yell at God. He’s God!!”

I’m not sure why I thought that, but the closer I grow to Him, the more I realize not only can I tell him my real feelings, I NEED to.

The summer after Connor was born had to be one of the darkest times in my life. I was angry, feeling sorry for myself, completely discontent, and emotionally disconnected from my husband and my kids.

I blamed God for all of it.

One particular afternoon on my way home from work, I pulled over and just let God have it. I screamed at Him. I yelled at Him. I had just about had enough of what we were going through and finally let it all out. I told Him how I hated my life, I hated where we were at that particular moment in time, and accused Him of not wanting to change it for the better.

I was completely honest with God about how I was feeling and what I was thinking. I didn’t even care at that moment if what I was saying was very “Christian” or not.

I don’t believe what I said to God was wrong or sinful. Now, I don’t believe you should just casually talk that way to God anytime you want, but if you are at the point of utter hopelessness and defeat, you have to tell Him. Only He can lift you up out of a world of darkness and condemnation.

Our Father knows what has happened to each one of us that causes us to reject Him or blame Him. He knows the hurt we have inside, the unforgiveness we still hold onto, and the guilt that we cannot let go. If we don’t tell Him about these things and be honest with Him, He cannot help us. He is a fair and just God and He will not intervene unless we let Him.

I finally asked myself, “Do I want to live this way for the rest of my life?” Thankfully, my answer was no, but I didn’t know what to do about it. That’s when I started seeing my counselor. Between him, my husband, and a close friend, they all encouraged me to “verbally vomit” all over God.

This “verbal vomit” was the beginning of healing for me.

There is a song by Jeremy Camp that pretty much brings me to tears when I hear it on the radio. It talks about how through our pain, anger and hurt, God will always take us back. Because He is a God of compassion and love.

“The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” (Psalm 103:8)

I never truly believed that God is as compassionate and loving as His Word says. When I came back to God, after all the things I screamed at Him, thought about Him, and blamed Him for, I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is a loving Father, full of compassion and mercy.

It’s amazing how God changes your life when you experience His unfailing love.

Join me over at Choosing JOY, a private FB group for women to encourage and support each other through depression and anxiety.




3 Powerful Truths to Help You Overcome Depression & Anxiety


Anxiety and depression can really make you feel like you have a split personality at times. I used to be very good at placing that perfect mask on my face, letting the whole world know that I’m “just fine”. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

I’ve had more than a few people mention they would never have guessed I struggled so terribly with a mental illness. I’ve also had people tell me when I’m talking with them, that I would never understand their struggles; in fact, no one would understand their personal chaotic journey.

Yes, everyone has their own experiences, but as I’ve often mentioned here at Living With Real Joy, no one is ever alone. Oh yeah, it feels like you’re alone at many times, but trust me, I know what it’s like to feel alone. I know what’s it like to feel like no one would understand my situation, that no one cares about my situation, and quite frankly, that no one would miss me if I was no longer in their inner circle.

Allow me to share with you the emotions and events of those early days before I was diagnosed with depression, so you know that I do understand what others are going through.

Irrational anger

Overwhelming guilt

Living under a “Black Cloud”

Yelling at my kids over the most insignificant things

Ridiculously high expectations for myself and others 


Total failure

Invaluable as a human

Too weak to fight my mental battle

Constant self-condemnation

Questioning God and His love for me

Being an awful mother

Being the worst wife (especially to a Pastor)

Suicidal thoughts

I distinctly remember, at my worst point, driving to attend a church function with my 3 kids in the van, and wanting to drive my van straight into a tree. I was completely exhausted and wanted to be DONE fighting this battle inside of my head. I truly believed that if I was no longer around, life would be better for my kids and my husband. I turned that van around and went straight home, finally confessing to Chad the personal mental battle I was facing every single day.

There were 3 significant constants in my life at this time, that stopped me from destroying myself:

I was raised in a Christian home, and even though I didn’t believe God loved me, I knew enough about Him to know leaving my family was not the right answer.

Chad was a constant support to me and although this time of our life was one of the most difficult for him, he did not give up on me.

I have a close Christian friend, who I could be completely honest with. She listened to me, loved me, and reminded me how much God loved me too.

After I confessed to Chad that I thought everyone would be better off if I was dead, he scheduled an appointment for me with a Christian counselor. This counselor discipled me and showed me that God’s truth is not based on feelings, but on God and who He is, regardless of my feelings.

The journey I walked through was real. Those feelings, emotions, and thoughts of that time were something I will never forget. As God brought me through that painful journey He helped open my spiritual eyes so I could see His truth. I had never before experienced this type of true freedom and internal peace. Because of this, I want others to understand this very same freedom and peace is available to them.

You simply need to be willing to let someone show you.

I invite you to walk with me as I share 3 truths that helped me overcome anxiety and depression once and for all, no longer allowing it to have control over me. Click on the image below to download this free guide today!


Click the image below to download your free copy today!!



Join me in Choosing JOY, my Facebook group for women to encourage and support each other through depression and anxiety. 






My Word of the Year – TRUST



This week I wanted to share one of the first Facebook LIVES I created in my group, Choosing JOY. This was back in January 2017, where I was talking about my “Word of the Year”.



Ugh, I do not like talking about trust. It’s hard, it’s not easy and it takes a conscious effort on our part.

Thankfully, today I’m not talking about trusting a person. I am talking about trusting God, especially when life does not go as planned.

Click on the image below to watch. The video is less than 10 minutes and is a fantastic reminder of why we should only trust in the One who is completely worthy.


Word of the Year - TRUST


My Word of the Year – TRUST

Join us over at Choosing JOY, where you’ll find daily encouragement and support because we were never meant to “do life” alone.