welcome to children 101

children & anger

about children 101
mental health issues facing children
Mental Health: in the womb & the first year of life....
Mental Health: Two, Three & Four for more!
Mental Health: The Elementary School Child
Mental Health: The Chaos Begins - Almost Teens...
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Just Love 'Em - What Children Need
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children & anger
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welcome to the emotional feelings network of sites

A not for profit network of self-help websites.

Welcome! I hope I can help you find what you're looking for! Anytime you see an underlined word in a different color you're being offered an opportunity to learn more than what you came here for. It's important to understand the true meanings of your emotions and feelings as well as many other topics that are within this network. This entire network is set up to help those who want to help themselves find a sense of peace in their lives - discover who resides within and recover from whatever life has dealt you. Clicking on the underlined link words will open a new window so whatever page you began on will remain waiting for you to get back to it!


If you can't find what you're looking for here, scroll down to see an entire menu of what is offered within the emotional feelings network of sites! 



click the link to go to nurture 101!

There's a new site in the network! I am almost finished completing each page, but I can't wait anymore to tell you all about it! Please pay it a visit soon! It's an important topic!


nuture 101

have you seen your child very angry?

do you have children or transport children?

click here... it's an emotional feeling "you tube video" that'll cause you to be more careful in how you transport your child(ren).

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Got Kids with Anger Problems? Here's Temper Tune-Up Techniques to Turn Down the Heat Today - By Ruth Herman Wells M.S.

The Live

Expert Help area at our web site (http://www.youthchg.com) is being inundated with requests for aid for just a single problem area.

Frankly, we're very concerned to be getting so many requests for help with students who are verbally abusing, defying or hitting their teacher.

Yes, that sentence included the phrase "hitting their teacher." In the time that it's taken me to type that last sentence, we received another plea for help from yet another teacher, this request coming from a 28 year veteran.

These reports are coming from mainstream settings, not from specialized settings for the most extreme children & youth.

Yes, it's obviously gotten harder to manage students in the last few years. Regardless, our view has stayed the same:

Students should never be allowed to get anywhere near an aggressive level of behavior with anyone at school, certainly not the teacher.

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continued from above....

By the time the situation has reached the point where students are kicking the teacher - as we've heard from several of you - it'll be very challenging to turn the situation around.

But, you may wonder, how can a teacher be expected to stay in charge of increasingly out-of-control students?

Well, for those of us who've worked in both mainstream and specialized settings, we know that the level of behavior at the typical day treatment center, residential treatment center or juvenile hall, is usually far superior to that in the mainstream even though the child served in the specialized setting, is usually much more troubled, out-of-control and uncooperative than their mainstream counterpart.

That observation may indicate that at least some of your success managing a group depends not on the difficulty of the youth, but the skill and will of the adult.

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If you feel afraid or concerned about managing your class or group, that fear or concern, however small, can be like a flashing neon light to some of your students. That tiny telltale bit of fear or uncertainty can signal "party time" to your most misbehaved youth and children, who will mine and exploit any shred of doubt or anxiety that you harbor.

We can't teach you how to not be scared of your students, but it'll be critical that you somehow accomplish that, because all the anger control and violence prevention strategies in the world won't compensate for your lack of certainty that you can properly control
and manage your young people.

However, it can certainly help to educate yourself to understand the different types of children who can be violent or have anger control problems.

If you also learn how to use different types of techniques with different types of youth, you can increase your confidence, in part, because you're now using more effective tools tailored to fit the different types of students you serve.

Hopefully, if you didn't already have the basics on how you must use a special set of tools with extremely misbehaved youth, you have learned some of that key information from this book when you read some of the preceding articles.

You should have read about how very critical it is to use different strategies with these seriously acting-out youth and children. Those articles warned that without specialized approaches, you'll continue to find that conventional methods regularly fail.

If you don't recognize the term "conduct disorder," you may wish to re-visit some of the preceding articles or click over to our site (http://www.youthchg.com/hottopic.html) right now and get at least a portion of those basics.

It shouldn't have to be said, but here we go: Maintaining control over your group is just about the most important thing you need to do each day. You don't have to be at all dictatorial but your group needs to know and feel that you're going to keep things "safe and okay," to quote one student.

If your class members have been physically or verbally aggressive to you, or defied you on key matters, then stop all else that you do until you re-gain control. Re-gaining control is always much harder than starting off strong from the start, so it will not be easy.

Expect to be tested even worse than you have been already until your acting-out students determine that you will not relinquish control. But the message I hope comes through is that you'll not be able to teach, counsel, foster parent, supervise, coach or do whatever your job is, until you establish control - so you might as well do what it takes starting right now. 

Here are some unusual techniques that can help with the anger problems that you're seeing. Note that you must also have and use violence prevention / management techniques too, but we'll focus on just anger interventions in this issue.

Methods for violence - including teaching respect, peer interaction, compliance, attitude and motivation - will be equally important to have and use.

Anger control problems aren't chance occurrences. Students don't "get angry" like they "get a virus." Too often, it takes a frightening event to trigger action, but the time to address anger
problems is long before they happen at a frightening level.

Combatting anger problems in your setting requires an on-going, systematic effort that teaches skills and also powerfully shapes and maintains the motivations and attitudes that a student needs to be in control.

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Here's some anger control methods to try:

I Could control Myself - If I Wanted:  When a student says that she or he doesn't need to improve their temper control
now, that they'll just do it later in their "real job," or when they're grown, ask the student how they'll get the skills.

When the student says they'll just be able to do it, ask the student to show that ability now. Most students perform poorly. Next, ask the student: What will be any different in their "real job" or when they're grown?

Ask the student who will be left to assist him or her to gain anger control
skills if they don't learn it from your site soon.

Answer: The police, court & corrections systems.

I'll Just Deal Drugs: When a student says that he or she will just be able to deal drugs & avoid needing anger control, ask the student how effectively they can deal drugs once they've harassed, assaulted or abused their supplier & clients.

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In the Work World: Relate the anger control problems to students' goals. Use some of our popular multiple choice quizzes, with questions like this one from our Temper & Tantrum Tamer book:

Kwan Lee tantrums when mad. She wants to be a hair dresser. She'll discover that when she screams & turns red with rage,

a) Customers don't even notice

b) Customers walk out really fast

c) Customers will come from all over the region to have their hair cut & styled by the tantrumming hair dresser.

Stop & Think: Construct a red stop sign & mount it on a ruler, but instead of just having the word "Stop" on the sign, put "Stop & Think."

Drill students on managing their reactions to anger-provoking situations by role-playing the situations. Use the "Stop & Think" sign to freeze the action so you can cue the student on behaviors to use or avoid.

Find Work with a Temper Like That: Ask your students to name all the jobs & businesses they can do & blow up whenever they want. (There are none.)

Ask the students to play "Jocks in Jail" & consider what has happened to athletes like Mike Tyson & others who thought they could act however they wanted when angry. Review the fate of coaches like Bobby Knight to determine if regular outbursts lead to sustained employment.

If you like these methods, be sure to see our one-of-a-kind instant downloadable handouts & ebooks. They're all packed with truly unique, tested ways to transform your angry & aggressive students. Visit us at http://www.youthchg.com.

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have you seen angry children & wonder why?

Dealing With Anger & Children Richard Niolon, Ph.D.
Dealing with angry children is the most difficult part of a parent's job. It stirs feelings ranging from exhaustion to nerve wracking aggravation.
Often parents & children get locked into a contest of wills & the parent wins with a "Because I Said So" argument. Afterward, they doubt themselves as parents & feel guilty, ashamed & inept.
Many of us were taught as children that we weren't allowed to be angry, that being angry was bad, or that it was our fault if we were angry.
These kinds of mistaken beliefs from our own childhood make it more difficult for us to handle anger in children.
    the first step toward better management of children's anger is to set aside what we were taught & instead teach something new.
Teach children that anger is normal, that it's ok to get angry. The task then becomes how to manage anger & channel it toward productive or at least acceptable outlets. 
Parents & teachers must remember that just as there are many things in our adult lives that make us angry (i.e., being cut off in traffic, losing something important, or being frustrated by our computers).
Becoming angry at these types of events is normal. Likewise, there are many things in children's lives that make them angry & their reactions are normal. Adults must allow children to feel all of their feelings & model acceptable ways to manage them.

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To understand why a child becomes more angry than other children takes some time and effort.
What triggered the outburst?
The thing to realize is that our anger is generally a reaction to frustration. In children, however, anger appears to be a more generic emotion.
It can be triggered by:

Children often respond with anger to these types of situations because they feel helpless to understand the situation fully and& helpless to change it. In a way, their anger is a response to frustration as well.

A child that is especially defiant may be behaving this way to counteract dependency and fears of loss.

A child who feels hurt by a loss may become angry as a way to avoid feeling sad and powerless.

Sometimes a child's anger prompts an adult to set rules more clearly, explain matters more thoroughly, or make changes in the child's environment.

In other words, a child may have learned that anger is an all-purpose red flag to let others know that something is very wrong. 

It's important to remember that anger isn't the same thing as aggression.

Anger is a feeling, while aggression is a class of behaviors.

Anger is a temporary emotional state caused by frustration; aggression is often an attempt to hurt a person or to destroy property.

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Dealing with a child's anger requires first finding out what they feel. Ask them what's happened, what went wrong, or why they are feeling what they feel. They may be able to tell you very clearly. On the other hand, they may need your help to label their feelings.
A parent might respond to a child who hits his brother by asking why he hit him. Go beyond the "he did this first" argument and ask where they learned to hit to tell other people to stop doing something. Maybe other kids at school hit, and the child is learning to do the same. Copied from the web. 
Explain that anger is OK (i.e., "I know how you feel, it makes me mad when other people borrow my thing and don't ask too"). However, explain that aggression (hitting his brother) is not ok. Offer other ways to express his anger. A parent might say something like, "Here's what I do when I get mad." 
Don't just tell your child what not to do; tell them what they should do too. "Don't hit your brother when you're mad. Tell me about what happened, or tell him to give your toys back, or warn him you'll tell me." 
Some parents want to punish anger because they don't like aggression. Contrary to popular opinion, punishment is not the most effective way to communicate to children what we expect of them. Explaining, modeling, and setting rules is.
Expect that your child will break a rule three or four times. This is how they learn which rules are serious ones, which ones you will enforce, and which ones can be broken under certain circumstances. Breaking rules often isn't done in anger, but is a way of learning.

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8 Tips for Angry Children
Comment on your child's behavior when it's good.
Something like, "I like the way you handled your brother when he took your stuff." An observant and involved parent can find dozens of things they like about their child's behavior..."I like the way you come in for dinner without being reminded"; "I appreciate your hanging up your clothes even though you were in a hurry to get out to play"; "You were really patient while I was on the phone"; "I'm glad you shared your snack with your sister"; "I like the way you're able to think of others"; and "Thank you for telling the truth about what really happened."
Teachers can do the same, offering, "I know it was difficult for you to wait your turn, and I'm pleased that you could do it"; "Thanks for sitting in your seat quietly"; "You were thoughtful in offering to help Johnny with his spelling"; "You worked hard on that project, and I admire your effort." 
Ignore inappropriate behavior that you can tolerate. Nagging you while you're on the phone can be dealt with by praising what you liked ("Thank you for waiting while I was talking on the phone. I'm off the phone now, so what's up?") and ignoring what you don't like (ignoring a child's requests while you are on the phone). You may be thinking, "You don't know what they do then. Then they yell louder and you have to answer them just to have some quiet." When you respond this way, you reinforce them for yelling. Yelling gets your attention, so next time they will yell louder to make sure you respond. 
Say "NO!" as needed. Limits should be explained clearly and enforced consistently. Don't say "no" all the time though. Be sure to say yes when it is appropriate and point out why that moment is appropriate. Copied from the web.

2) Provide physical outlets & exercise, both at home & at school. We may kick a trash can, cut wood, or do something that lets us slam things around (like clean the kitchen). Kids need physical activity to let off steam too. Keep in mind that you can allow this without risking your safety or the child's. Let them stomp and kick a trash can in their room, but not in the living room.
    Also keep in mind that hugs can often make strong emotions less difficult for a child. You don't hug to make the anger go away though; hug to let the child know you understand their anger and that you take it seriously.
to be continued.....

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A Letter to Parents of Children with Problems of Anger

Lynne Namka, Ed. D. 2001

I'm getting so many letters from baffled parents with angry children. Some of the parents have a background of abuse from childhood. Others have a child with an anger prone temperament.

Other angry children have a history of sexual abuse the parents may not know about. Some children have a combination of these 3 factors. If your child has a change in behavior for the worse, ask him or her if someone has touched their private parts or has hurt them in any way.

I call these kids who are different from your ordinary type of discipline kids the Industrial Strength Kids. They require Industrial Strength Parenting. Even more than the ordinary garden variety type of child, Industrial Strength Kids need to learn the skills talking about feelings instead of acting them out, containing their anger, handling criticism & being able to see things from other peoples' eyes.

So after you read this letter, sit down with your (older) child & read the parts of it to him or her that could be understood. Then work together in making a plan to address the various aspects of what I describe.

Children who talk about their feelings decrease their anger. As they grow up, they are less likely to turn to alcohol or drugs or join gangs. One of the MOST IMPORTANT skills for children with anger to learn is to talk about their feelings instead of acting them out in anger outbursts. Children who talk out their hurts & disappointments have an outlet for their stress.

Some other skills that can be taught & reinforced are taking turns, listening to others, inhibiting behaviors that threaten others, following directions, stopping sarcasm & egging others on.

Some of the higher level skills are resolving conflict, listening with empathy when pain & hurt are described, giving support & encouragement & creative problem solving.

Social skills are easy to teach. Children can learn the positive values of treating each other with respect & taking responsibility for their own behavior.

The steps to teaching social skills are similar to teaching academic subjects except that play & group activities & discussion plays a stronger role.

  • Identify the skill that needs to be learned.
  • Introduce the skill through discussion & modeling of the desired response.
  • Give the rule & alternatives to the rule.
  • Cue the child what to say & do regarding the new skill.
  • Have the child cue himself thru self talk.
  • Provide practice of the skill thru modeling, games, puppet & doll play & role playing.
  • Reinforce the new skill during practice.
  • Teach the child to reinforce himself using self talk for using the skill. (Feel good about using the skill!)
  • Provide opportunities for generalization & reinforcement of the skill in daily play.

You can get a list of specific skills for anger management on my web page called Positive Anger Skills listed under FOR GROWNUPS.

Social skills training gives children a bigger bag of tricks from which to choose. Children can learn techniques to deal with threat & their anger. The habitually angry child can change his perceptual distortions of seeing hostility & threat when there is none.

He can learn to master the skills of stating feelings & staying centered during other people's outbursts of anger & refrain from lashing out at others. Focusing on choices will give him the time to move into logical problem solving. Self-angering thoughts can be challenged & interrupted to inhibit impulsive behavior.

Social competence requires that we learn to feel our emotions, talk about them & make responsible behavior choices that are respectful of others & ourselves. When children learn to feel & talk their feelings, then they can learn to trust others.

If you aren't a natural teacher for your own children, find someone who can help them learn necessary social skills of anger management such as a counselor or a college student majoring in eduction or psychology. My curriculums give all activities to teach anger management skills.

Anger problems in children need to be nipped in the bud so you don't have tremendous problems during the teen years. You're going to need some help. I strongly recommend that parents take parenting class in the early years & one later on when their oldest child turns 12 (there are a whole set of skills in raising a teen anger!)

You can find out about classes by calling your local mental health center or local school counselor. Or look in the paper. You'll get tremendous support from other parents who are having the same problems you are.

You'll feel so much better about yourself as a parent!

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Keep violent TV & movies to a minimum. Children who watch The Simpsons and South Park will model disrespectful behavior.

Channel your child into one of the martial arts which teaches self discipline and respect for others.

Keep up with the latest trends in anger management. Being the parent of an angry child is a year by year challenge. Sometimes day by day.

Teach your children these lessons which emphasize respect and responsibility and live them yourself. If you're an angry person yourself, your child will act as you do.

You'll have to address your own anger if you expect your child to change.

Twelve Hugs a Day for all Family Members.

You may substitute touches, smiles, compliments and affectionate gestures for the these hugs, but get a balance between these 4 categories of positive expression.

Give 12 positive strokes after a blow out with someone you care about to do damage repair on the relationship. Making up after an argument is a necessary skill to keep a relationship thriving.

Model Good Use of Your Own Mads.

Address your own anger when it comes up. Learn safe, appropriate ways to handle it. Talk your angry feelings out loud in your child' presence.

Model your getting angry and then taking a Time Out to cool down by announcing to your child what you're doing. Emphasize that your family is becoming a Talk Your Feelings Family!

'Mean What You Say & Say What You Mean.' said Lucy of the Peanuts cartoon. When you make a commitment, keep it. When you say only what you will follow thru on, your children will learn that you mean business.

If you say it, do it. Move your body not your mouth for discipline and insist that your child minds by your following thru. If you aren't going to follow thru forget about saying it.

Respect Who You Are, Don't Emphasize on What You Do. Balance effort, success and a sense of being who you are. Yes, effort is necessary to succeed in life. But children need to know that they're more than their latest performance.

If self esteem is only tied to effort (I'm valuable due to my achievement) , the child is only as good as his latest project. He'll learn to devalue his values and his own self and place too much emphasis on projects. Teach the balance between 'To be.' and 'To Do.'

Learn from Your Mistakes. Errors are for learning, not for beating yourself up. Learn to problem solve after failing and you will have a sure-fire formula for success.

Self esteem grows when mistakes are used to examine your life and do it different next time. Stretch and grow from your mistakes and you'll have a sure-fire formula for success. You're as mature as you're able to own your errors and get a plan to correct them.

No Sniveling. No whining. No excuses. Take responsibility for your goof ups. Taking responsibility is real power, personal power. That is true POWER!

Don't Expect To Get Favors in Life. Do Expect That You Will Have To Work Hard For What You Get. Work hard & good experiences will come your way. Entitlement as a way of expecting the world to take care of you rarely works. Expecting to get your way all the time will turn you into a miserable person.

Follow Your Dreams. You May Not Always Get Them But the Journey Will Take You To Some Exciting Places. You'll discover new dreams along the way to enrich your life.

Dreams keep us alive. They won't all work out, but they can give positive energy to enhance daily living.

Stay Open To Your Inner Voice. You can develop a deep sense of wisdom within you, by listening to your conscience and your Higher Power. There's a part of you that knows what the right thing is to do in any given situation. Listen to it and you'll become a person of integrity.

Use The One Minute Praising & Reprimand Methods

Use these two positive discipline ideas from The One Minute Mother & The One Minute Father by Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson. Get one of these books for your reference library!

Praise Your Child Immediately. Catch Your Child Being Good & Tell His World About It!

  • Tell him what he did right. Be very specific.

  • Tell him how you feel about what he did and how it effects the family in a positive way. ( I feel pleased, elated, great, etc. that you get your homework done all on your own. You do your job just like I do mine & that's what families are about. We support each other & let each other know about a job well done.)

  • Stop and pause for a minute to let your child feel how good you feel.

  • Encourage him to do more of the same good efforts.

  • Shake hands, give a high five, shoulder pat or hug.

  • Lynne s version: I'd add: Teach your child to praise himself. "Tell yourself to pat yourself on the back. Tell yourself 'Good job!' Notice how good you feel when you get your work done." If your child learns to internalize the positive parent voice when he does something well, he will not be dependent on outside praise.

To Put Limits On Your Anger Outbreaks Use The One Minute Reprimand

  • Tell your child beforehand that you're going to let him know in no uncertain terms how he is doing.

  • Reprimand your child immediately. Tell him specifically what he did wrong in ONE SENTENCE!

  • Tell him how disappointed, upset, sad, frustrated, angry (choose one emotion only)

  • Stop and let it sink in. Allow a half moment of uncomfortable silence where he gets how you feel.

  • Shake hands, or touch him in a way that lets him know that you're on his side despite your upset feelings.

  • Remind him how much you value him, what a cool person he is, etc.

  • Reaffirm that you think well of him, but not his performance. (You're a great kid who messed up!)

  • Remind him that you realize he will make a better choice next time.

  • Let it go. No lectures. No more. Just stop. Realize when the reprimand is over, it's over.

  • Leave with you believing in him and his ability to make good choices next time. (Smiling, not moralizing.)

Recommended Books About Anger

  • The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out (my book) $12.50 ppd. from Talk, Trust & Feel, 1120 Buchanan Ave., Charleston, IL 61920. This book teaches children how to express their feelings. View at http://members.aol.com/AngriesOut/catalog/p10.htm

  • The Challenging Child, by Stan Greenspan

  • Parenting The Strong Willed Child by Rex Forehand

  • The Strong Willed Child by James Dobson.

  • PURRFECT Parenting by Beverly Guhl & Don Fontenelle

The Indigo Children by Lee Carroll & Jan Tober www.indigochild.com has some intriguing ideas for working with the type of child who marches to his own drum & thinks differently. They require a different type of discipline & education.

The book makes the point that today' children are so instilled in technology that they think differently than the generations that came before. The constant use of computers from an early age has changed them into left brain thinkers with their right brains underdeveloped.

Indigo Children come into the world with a sense of royalty and a feeling of deserving to be here. They have good sense of self, but question unjust authority. They get frustrated with ritualized systems that are designed to meet the needs of others.

They don't respond to discipline techniques which involve guilt and force. They require reasoning and being given a chance to work out their own solutions to misbehavior. Some have a high level of energy.

They're very bright and often have better, higher level ideas to work out problems. They challenge ridiculous adult behavior. These children need discipline techniques which emphasize respect and responsibility.

For ideas on parenting the Indigo Child, explore these books:

  • Back in Control--How to Get Your Children to Behave by Gregory Bodenhamer

  • Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay

  • Rasing Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinda

  • The Life That You Were Born to Live by Dan Millman

  • Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell,
  • Helping Your Hyperactive ADD Child by John Taylor

  • The A. D. D. Book by William Spears & Lynda Thompson

Learn about anger management for your own life. If you have a temper, get some help thru therapy or an anger management class. Children absorb what they see and hear. Model appropriate use of anger for your child.

Read my web pages on Children of Entitlement & the Right Man/Woman Theory. Read my articles listed under Why Did Johnny Kill? School Violence Explained -- A Report for Educators & Reporters.

Make a copy of this report to give to your child's principal, teacher or guidance counselor.

Keep reading my pages on anger management until it really sinks in. Keep going back to the web site as I'll be adding updates.

Peace & blessings to your family,

Lynne Namka

The Top 10 Tips for Managing Anger, Conflict & Emotional Tension - by Dr. Clare Albright, Psychologist & Professional Coach

To be a safe and predictable person for those around you at work & at home, it's essential that you're able to maintain your composure when you feel like your 'buttons' are being pushed.

This strength will help you to achieve your goals in business as well as your goals for your personal relationships.

1. Share negative emotions only in person or on the phone. E-mails, answering machine messages & notes are too impersonal for the delicate nature of negative words. What feels like a bomb on paper may feel like a feather when delivered in person.

2. Pepper your responses with the phrase, "I understand". This phrase will support your goals when the tension is high & you need to find common ground to form compromises or agreements with the other party.

3. Take notice when you feel threatened by what someone is saying to you. Resist the temptation to defend yourself or to "shut down" the other person's communication. It'll take this kind of discipline to become an open, trusting communicator.

4. Practice making requests of others when you're angry. It's often much more useful to make a request than to share your anger. i.e., if the babysitter is driving you crazy by leaving dirty dishes in the sink, it's better to make a request of them than to let your anger leak out in other ways such as by becoming more distant.

5. Try repeating the exact words that someone is saying to you when they're in a lot of emotional pain or when you disagree with them completely. This mirroring technique can keep both the speaker & the listener 'centered' in a difficult conversation, especially when the attitude of the person doing the mirroring is to gain understanding of a different point of view.

6. Take responsibility for your feelings to avoid blaming others. Notice when 'blameshifting' begins to leak into your speech. "I feel angry when you're 20 minutes late & you don't call me" is much better than, "You make me so mad by being late."

7. Learn to listen to the two sides of the conflict that you're in as if you were the mediator or the counselor. If you can listen and respond in this way you'll bring peace and solutions to the conflict more quickly. i.e., in response to an employee's raise request, you might say,

"On the one hand I understand that you really need the raise and on the other hand I represent the company, whose funds are very scarce at this time. Is there a way that I can work on your compensation package that doesn't involve cash?" Here, the mediator's point of view can look for the creative compromise that takes into account the limits and the needs of both parties.

8. Take a playful attitude towards developing the skill of emotional self-control in high conflict situations. You could view maintaining self-control in a tense, angry converstion as an athletic feat. You could also view developing this skill as similar to working out at the gym with weights - the more that you use your self-control muscle the bigger it'll grow and the easier it will be to remain calm when tension is great.

9. Wait a few days to cool down emotionally when a situation makes you feel wild with intense feelings, such as rage. As time passes, you'll be able to be more objective about the issues and to sort out the truth about the situation more clearly.

10. Make a decision to speak with decorum whenever you're angry or frustrated. If you give yourself permission to blow up, people will not feel safe around you.

They'll feel that you aren't predictable and will carry 'shields' when they're near you. The fear and walls of others will not support your goals for success in relationships or at work.

Positive Anger Skills: Be A Gentle, Loving Person Even When You're Mad

Lynne Namka, Ed. D. 1997

How would you like to keep your calm even when you're angry? Interested? Analyze your own skill level with dealing with uncomfortable feelings. Much of how we react when angry is learned behavior. You can unlearn old nasty behaviors & learn new positive anger skills.

These angry feelings & behaviors are very, very complex. They can be broken down into many sub skills that you can practice daily. The more skill you have to deal with your mad feelings, the better equipped you'll be to live in our chaotic world.

Take the following quiz to find out how many positive anger skills you use regularly. Practice the skills you don't have until they become part of your daily repertoire.

To Release Current & Old Anger in Effective Ways

___ To displace anger symbolically when it isn't safe to express it directly.

___ To use positive displacement of anger and refrain from negative displacement.

___ To break into self-angering thoughts.

To Learn Assertive Ways of Dealing with Threat

___ To stand up and speak assertively when threatened.
___  To say No, state boundaries and Bottom Line and leave if boundaries aren't respected.
___ To shield against the negative energy of name calling and ridicule.
___ To take care of self when others fight. (It's not my problem. It's a grownup problem.)

___ To break into dissociative states of fear and numbing out.
___ To use techniques of self soothing when upset.
To Learn to Contain Excessive Anger
___ To learn to discriminate between big and little deals. (Don't sweat the small stuff.)

___ To realize and accept that you don't always get what you want. (Break into entitlement)

___ To learn to identify irrational thoughts and statements that fuel anger.

___ To break into self-angering thoughts and use cool down thoughts.
___ To learn to analyze and correct mistakes instead of beating yourself up.
___ To use Thought Stoppage techniques to interrupt intrusive, negative thinking.
___ To keep cool when others are trying to push your buttons.
___ To take Time Out when overheated during an argument and then return to problem solve.
To Observe Rather than Over React to Threatening Events
___ To learn to observe and identify body reactions, emotions and thoughts during threat.

___ To use observation of physiological cues to break into anger or fear responses.

___To find and express sadness, confusion and hurt that may lie under the anger.

___ To analyze the threatening event and identify and break into triggers.
___ To bridge current angers back to old unresolved childhood issues.

___ To stay present in the threat of danger rather than lashing out or stuffing anger.
___ To change the self-angering or self-depreciating meanings given to threatening events.
___ To make self empowering statements showing resilience.
To Channel Anger Into Constructive Action
___ To identify and name feelings and use the "I formula" when appropriate

___ To speak feelings appropriately when feeling threatened but refrain when it's not safe.

___ To deal with others who discount feelings and don't want to listen.
___ To express anger in safe and productive ways that increase self esteem.

___ To change anger constructively to MAD--Make A Difference
To Learn to Feel Empathy & Respect Others
___ To listen to others when they're upset.
___ To recognize and refrain from actions that are hurtful to others.
___ To stop blaming others under conditions of stress.
___ To take responsibility for one's own actions and wrong doings.
___ To refrain from sarcasm, name calling, egg-ons and put downs.
___ To see things from the other person's perspective.
___ To observe the effect of one's actions upon others and express sorrow for hurting others.

___ To treat others with respect and altruism.


Anger is a normal reaction to feeling wronged.

Children need to learn the difference between the emotion of anger and what is done with that anger.

It's okay to be angry, but not okay to behave destructively out of anger.

Do not chastise your child for being angry.

If your child acts destructively, try to respond by saying, "It's okay to be angry. But I don't want you to hit anyone." or "I don't want you to damage anything, including yourself".

Help your child express anger verbally. Look for clues of unexpressed anger (e.g., pouting, sulking, I don't care attitude). Each child will have their own signals.

You may have to ask questions about why your child is angry to help him/her verbally express his/her anger.

As an adult, evaluate how you deal with anger. Your behavior serves as model for your child's actions.


Communicate clearly to your child.

Encourage your child to explain and discuss his/her feelings.

Listen to your child's viewpoint.

When your child does not have the skills to confront the source of his/her anger, encourage your child to display his/her anger toward you. This will reduce stress and help your child focus on his/her anger in an appropriate way.

Make your child understand that destructive behavior will affect his/her life (e.g., friends will not want to play with them, they may receive punishment from his/her parents).

Help your child learn to recognize how his/her body reacts when he/she becomes angry. Talk with your child about how their body feels when he/she is angry. This will help your child recognize when he/she is angry so that an appropriate expresion of anger can be used rather than acting in anger.


Draw an angry picture. Suggest that your child sit down with crayon and paper and draw a picture of his/her anger. Allow your child to show his/her anger in any fashion. If your child needs help, suggest that he/she draw a picture of him/herself and the way he/she feels, or a picture of the source of the anger, or what he/she feels like doing out of anger.

Write a letter that is never sent. Encourage your child to sit down and write a letter to whomever he/she is angry with. Let him/her write anything he/she wants.

If your child uses bad language when angered, urge him/her to sit down and write all the bad words he/she wants to use. When he/she is finished, suggest that your child crumple up the paper and throw it away.

Allow your child to pound on pillows. He/she can vent anger by pounding on a pillow or other resilient object.

Suggest that your child release anger by using physical exercise as an outlet (e.g., running all out or throwing a ball against a wall as hard as possible). Or you could urge your child to go outside and try to push the house over.

Help your child find some outlet to release their anger. The outlets will have to be appropriate for the situation they are in (e.g., at school, at home, at a friend's home, at a restaurant, etc.). It's okay to have different ways to express anger in different situations.


Tell how you feel.

Speak up - confront the problem.

Think before acting.

Apologize if you did something wrong or did something accidentally.

Write a letter about how you feel.

Go to an adult for help.

Hit pillows, punching bag, not something that you can hurt or something that will hurt you.

Run around the block.

Yell loudly outside.


Hit other people or animals.

Keep your feelings to yourself.

Get angry at yourself when someone else is responsible for your anger.

Get even.

Yell at someone.

Call people names.

Break your toys, other kids' toys or possessions, or your parents' possessions.



1. Stop and count to 10 in order to cool off and allow yourself time to think.

2. Think about your choices.

a. Tell the person in words why you are angry.

b. Walk away for now.

c. Do a relaxation exercise.

3. Act out your best choice. If one choice doesn't work, try another one.


1. Listen to what the person has to say. Do not interrupt or become defensive. If you need to, tell yourself, "I can stay calm."

2. Think about your choices.

a. Keep listening.

b. Ask why he/she is angry.

c. Give him/her an idea to fix the problem.

d. Walk away for now if you are becoming angry in order to calm down.

3. Act out your best choice. If one choice doesn't work, try another one.


EXERCISE --run, jump rope, pedal a bike, do sit-ups, ride a skateboard, dance, sing, hit a baseball, etc.

SHAKE YOUR TENSION AWAY -- wiggle, jiggle and shake all over

OUT TENSION THE TENSION -- tighten your muscles - start with your toes and tighten your muscles to your head - hold it- count to 5- then relax your muscles

BREATHE YOUR STRESS AWAY -- lie down in a quiet place, close your eyes, place hands on your ribs - breathe in slowly through your nose - hold it - count to 5 - breathe out slowly through your mouth - repeat this several times until you feel relaxed


1. Stop and count to 10. Discuss with your child the importance of allowing him/herself time to cool off and think.

2. Think of how your body feels. Hands may become sweaty or clenched. Face or body may feel hot. Stomach may feel tight or upset.

3. Think about your choices.

a. Walk away for now in order to gain control.

b. Do a relaxation exercise.

c. Write about how you feel.

d. Talk to someone about it.

4. Act out your best choice. If one choice doesn't work, the child should try another choice.



Berry, Joy. (1987). Every Kid's Guide to Decision Making and Problem Solving. Living Skills Press: Sebastopol, CA.

Golant, Mitch and Bob Crane. (1987). Sometimes It's O.K. to be Angry! Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.: New York, NY.

McGinnis, Ellen & Arnold P. Goldstein. (1984). Skillstreaming the Elementary School Child: A Guide for Teaching Prosocial Skills. Research Press: Champaign, IL.

Moser, Adolph. (1988). Don't Pop Your Cork on Mondays! Landmark Editions, Inc.: Kansas City, MO.

Is Getting Mad Bad?
by Forrest Samnik, LCSW, EFT Cert-I, CCH

I have asked countless number of children “Is getting mad bad?” Very close to 100% answered yes. This has made me very curious as to the message we are presenting to children about anger. It has made me wonder how we adults express our anger and how that affects our children’s perspective that mad is bad.

While talking to children about anger I speak to the important role anger plays in our lives. Anger lets us know that something is wrong. It is a signal that we are hurt, scared, or frustrated, our rights are being violated, or our needs are not being met. I tell them that when anger is utilized in a productive way, it motivates us to make necessary changes to live more comfortably and safely in this world. When anger is expressed in destructive ways, it only serves to intensify the feelings of pain, frustration, and fear.

One young man, of middle school age, who was studying the civil rights movement of the 1960’s made a very astute observation. He pointed out that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a lot of things to be angry about. He said Dr. King and his people were being hurt on multiple levels and that Dr. King got angry enough to do something about it. This young man was able to recognize that Dr. King harnessed his anger to take a stand, be heard, take courageous action, and yet never once express his anger in a violent way.

Teaching our children how to properly express and deal with feelings of anger is a critical and ongoing lesson. Children need to know how to stand up for themselves, speak so people will listen, and take courageous action when needed without causing undue harm to themselves or others.

The number one most important element in teaching our children how to effectively manage anger is to know how to effectively manage our own anger. Children learn how to deal with anger by imitating the behavior of their caregivers. Children learn my watching, not by listening to what is said.

Despite our best attempts to be patient, resourceful, and flexible there are times we get angry with our children. Children pay close attention to our anger and will, in fact, provoke us just to see how we respond. They are actually giving us the perfect opportunity to teach them that anger is a normal, even healthy emotion, and show them positive ways to express it and how to move through it successfully.

Pay attention to the emotion beneath the anger. Anger is normally a response to an uncomfortable emotion. Pain (emotional or physical), fear, or frustration, are the usual culprits driving the anger. Identify these feelings to help you better understand and deal with your anger.

Name your anger. Children are very sensitive to non-verbal cues and pick up on subtle changes in voice tone, skin color, and body tension when we are mad. Let them know that this feeling has a name and that it is not too scary to talk about: “I’m feeling very angry and frustrated right now. I lost my keys and am running late to pick your brother up from school, and now you won’t put your shoes on so we can leave.”

Express anger without assigning blame. Children will do many things that we will feel frustrated about, but they are not responsible for our anger. When you are feeling angry, do not start a sentence off with “You”. When we say, “You are driving me crazy,” or “You make me so mad,” we are falsely giving our children the message that they are in control of our behaviors and emotions. Instead, explain to your children that our feelings of anger are in response to their behavior. Honestly share your feelings, and their connection to them, without blame. “When you climb on the furniture I feel scared and mad.”

Don’t strike your child. Hitting your child only teaches them to fear you and that violence is an acceptable way to express anger and solve problems. Yelling and name calling can be as hurtful as physical violence.

Recognize your triggers and early warning signals. Every one has their own hot buttons. For some parents it may be being ignored, for others it might be being talked back to, or being ordered around. Become aware of the early warning signs that these triggers produce so you can take action before the intensity of your feelings get to high. Once you have identified the triggers that spark your anger, set clear limits with your children around those areas.

It’s never too late to apologize. It’s a rare parent who hasn’t let their anger get the best of them and have done or said something they later regret. When the inevitable happens, it’s important to apologize for scaring or hurting your children. “I’m sorry that I scared you when I yelled at you. I got frightened when you climbed on the bookcase. I don’t want you to do that because it is not safe, but I didn’t mean to scare you.”

When you follow these guidelines for effective anger management, you are modeling healthy responses for your feelings of anger for your children to observe

Author's Bio
Forrest Samnik, LCSW, EFT Cert-I, CCH is a psychotherapist, EFT Practitioner, and life coach with a private practice in Palm Harbor, Florida. For questions or comments call LifeWorks Counseling & Coaching at (727) 781-6567

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