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    Apr 2010


    Default When Good Parents Get Angry

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    Guidelines for Managing and Modeling Anger with Children

    When you are so angry that you think that you might lose your temper and hit or scream at your child

    Find a way to calm yourself down so that you do not do or say something you will be sorry for later.

    Take a few deep breaths
    Tell your children what you are doing
    Take a time out. Go to another room.
    Try to do something with your hands to keep them busy:
    Cook something. Wash a counter. Clean something.
    Draw. Write what you are feeling. Just scribble.
    Count backwards from 10. Listen to music.
    If your children are old enough to be left alone or if there is another adult with your children, go somewhere else until you calm down: Take a walk. Shoot some hoops.
    To help yourself not say anything you will be sorry for later:
    Chew gum. Whistle. Sing.
    When you come back to your children, calmly explain your feelings.

    Remember what you do always teaches your children what to do. If you lash out, your children will learn to do the same. If you do lash out, apologize to your children. “I’m sorry” teaches them what to do if they hurt others.

    A good parent does not need to be in the midst of an anger storm in order to be an effective disciplinarian. In fact, only when you are calm, will you be able to affectively model appropriate ways to express anger. Often children get angry when disciplined. As long as you are being fair, it’s o.k. Let them be angry, but you the parent need to keep your cool.

    Children need permission to express their anger without hurting themselves or anyone else. Help them to take a time out if they are unable to stop themselves from being physically hurtful. When they are ready, help them talk about their feelings. Letting children get their feelings out is like taking out a splinter before it gets infected

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