Healthy Anger: How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Anger

Healthy Anger: How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Anger

Healthy Anger: How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Anger

Healthy Anger: How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Anger

Synopsis

How should we respond to a child's temper tantrum? To a teenager's sullen resentment? How can we help children and teens experience their anger without being overwhelmed by it? How can we deal with their anger before it leads to depression, isolation, or even violence? In Healthy Anger, Bernard Golden draws upon more than twenty years of experience as a psychologist and teacher to offer specific, practical strategies for helping children and teens manage their anger constructively. Golden has developed a set of skills that parents, teachers, and counselors can use to show children how to identify the causes of anger; how to respond to it in ways that lead to an internal sense of competence and self-control; how to use anger to understand their own emotional situation; and how to develop a greater capacity for empathy towards themselves and others. And he shows parents how to cope with outbursts--including clear, step-by-step instructions and problem-solving skills--how to derail escalating anger, reward good behaviors, and recognize when professional help is needed. For anyone who has ever helplessly confronted a child's rage or a teenager's defiant fury, Healthy Anger offers a wealth of wise insight, clear advice, and eminently practical strategies for turning anger into understanding.

Excerpt

Whether observing the annoyance of a two-year-old demanding to have his way or responding to the hostile, rejecting rage of a distraught adolescent seeking greater independence, dealing with a child's anger is one of the most frustrating and challenging tasks a parent faces. Such anger usually arouses in parents a variety of intense emotions, including hurt, guilt, rejection, frustration, confusion, and, yes, even anger. Through words and by their behavior, consciously and unconsciously, parents greatly influence how their child thinks about and handles anger. At the same time, children and teens receive a wide variety of messages about anger from peers, siblings, teachers, others in the community, and the media.

As an outcome of such influence, some children learn constructive ways to manage anger. In contrast, many children learn ineffective ways of managing anger. While the negative impact of mismanaged anger may be minimal, it may also lead to a variety of more severe emotional and behavioral difficulties such as underachievement, social isolation, substance abuse, excessive guilt, depression, and interpersonal conflict. The child who has not developed appropriate strategies for the expression of anger experiences much pain and anguish in his adult life.

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