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Anger and Your Child: Practical Solutions for Managing a Natural Emotion

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All children get angry at times, but uncontrolled anger can cause family and social difficulties. Join us to learn practical solutions that can help your child recognize and manage feelings of anger …

All children get angry at times, but uncontrolled anger can cause family and social difficulties. Join us to learn practical solutions that can help your child recognize and manage feelings of anger and contribute to his or her overall self-esteem, happiness, and social success.

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  • 1. ANGER AND YOUR CHILD: Practical Solutions for Managing a Natural Emotion Presented by: Melissa Breslin, LCSW, ACT March 19, 2014
  • 2. About Anger • Natural emotion • A feeling that everyone experiences • Our body’s alarm system (physiological/biological changes) • Problem alert
  • 3. Definition • Anger is "an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage," according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger.
  • 4. Is it okay to get angry? • YES, it’s what we do when we are angry that counts the most!
  • 5. When it becomes a problem? Not expressed at all OR Expressed inappropriately
  • 6. Why do some people experience anger more often? • Temperament • Genetics • Secondary to anxiety or depression • Perception
  • 7. How to help your child make a change. • Increase awareness • Behavioral changes • Cognitive restructuring • Release anger safely/constructively • Solve the Problem
  • 8. Increasing Awareness Ages 6-12 • Re-label anger (Miss Grumpy/Mr. Meanie) Ages 13 & up • Code word or gesture
  • 9. Increasing Awareness Ages 6-12 • Anger Thermometer • Ages 13 & up • 0-10 scale 0=none at all 10= the most
  • 10. Increasing Awareness Ages 6-12 • Body Alarms Ages 13 & up • Fight or Flight Response
  • 11. Behavioral Changes Anger Rules It’s OK to feel angry BUT • Don’t hurt others • Don’t hurt yourself • Don’t hurt property • DO talk about it
  • 12. Behavioral Changes Ages 6-12 • Take a break • Cool Down Kit • Calming Cue Cards Ages 13 & up • Take a break • Activity schedule
  • 13. Cognitive Restructuring • Triggers are accompanied by thoughts: automatic thoughts Situation Thought Emotion &/or Behavior
  • 14. Cognitive Restructuring Ages 6-12 • Cool vs. hot thoughts Ages 13 & up • Automatic thoughts
  • 15. How to help younger children recognize their thoughts… When you notice child getting angry… “It looks like you are getting angry, what hot thoughts are in your head right now?” What cool thoughts can you tell yourself so you can start to feel better?”
  • 16. Cool thought/Coping statements • I’m not going to let him/her get to me • I can stay calm • I can find a way to say what I want without anger • It’s just not worth it to get so angry • I can handle this • I can’t expect people to act the way I want them to • People don’t have to do what I think is right
  • 17. My favorite… • We cannot control what others choose to do or say, just how we let it affect us…
  • 18. Example Questions for evaluating thoughts Ages 8 & 12 • Did they do this on purpose or by accident? • How big of a deal is this? • How can I fix this? • Who can help me feel better? • What can I do to feel better now? • How often does this really happen?
  • 19. Example Questions for evaluating thoughts Ages 13 & up • Am I overreacting? • Am I confusing accidental with on purpose? • Am I confusing for now with forever? • Am I being too hard on other people? • Am I confusing things being unfair with things just not going my way?
  • 20. Examples of evaluated & reframed thoughts • Instead of Joe did that on purpose to annoy me, you might think, maybe it was an accident • Instead of Chris is always late and makes me wait, you might think, Chris has trouble being on time; from now on, I’ll just meet her at class
  • 21. Types of angry thoughts… • Should/Shouldn’ts: expectations about how people ought to behave and how the world ought to be • Mind Reading: deciding you know what others are thinking before they express it • Blaming • Absolutes: always/never statements • Personalizing: perception that other people’s behavior is a personal attack on us • Black and White or All or nothing: the tendency to see people or situations as all one way or all the other way
  • 22. Releasing anger safely and constructively All ages • The Active Method: burn off angry energy • The Slowing Down Method: snuff out the angry energy
  • 23. Solve the Problem • Work it out  Flexible solution  Brainstorming  Compromise • Just move on
  • 24. Solve the Problem Talk daily with your child… • How did you keep yourself calm? • How did you solve the problem? • Or did you decide to just move on? • How did you feel afterward?
  • 25. Questions
  • 26. References • What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D • Change Your Thinking: Overcome Stress, Anxiety & Depression, and Improve Your Life with CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) by Sarah Edelman, Ph.D

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