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Online Anger Management Classes for Kids Teach Important Life Skills

Having a child that is prone to tantrums and angry outbursts can be exhausting and distressing for any parent. As the child gets older and the behavior doesn’t change, caregivers might start to get angry themselves, which can add fuel to the fire. However, it’s important to realize that although you have lost your patience, role modeling calm, respectful and clear thinking is the best thing you can do to help your child learn how to handle their anger. Years of studies show that it’s important to catch angry behavioral patterns early before bad habits set in and the risk for violent behavior in adulthood increases. Children who are on this path include ones that often argue with their parents, blame others for their mistakes, are spiteful or vindictive, bully others refuse to follow rules or direction from adults and chronically lose their temper.

Teaching your children new ways to better handle their behavior can be challenging but is a hugely important life skill that will help them to experience a happier, more successful and well-balanced adulthood. Online or in-person anger management classes starting as young as 11 years old or 1-1 therapy even earlier can help set your child on a more constructive path. In order for caregivers and parents to begin the process with the child, the first thing is to identify what is triggering the outburst. Just like with adults, for children it may have to do with low self-confidence, a lack of friendships, anxiety about situations going on around them that they can’t control like divorce, or failure at getting something they want or need.

Some things that parents can start doing at home immediately to help the child respond differently include:

1. Help them verbalize their emotions and label their feelings. It’s okay to get angry, we all do, but instead of bullying others or getting all worked up into a tantrum, get them in the habit of explaining how and what they feel. Teach your child to say “I’m frustrated because I have to stay inside and clean up my room while all my friends are playing outside” instead of slamming doors, throwing things or yelling at you about it. Give them the attention they need to have a reasonable discussion about their feelings. Don’t respond to unreasonable behavior.

2. Positive reinforcement. Often children act up because it’s the only time they can get any sort of attention from the caregiver. Stop this tactic in its tracks by responding in a positive way to good behavior. For example, “You were really well behaved while I spoke with the teacher about your homework” or “I like the way you put your toys away. Now your room looks beautiful!”

3. Take a time-out. Teach them it’s okay to give himself or herself a breather from a bad situation by developing an alternate response. They can go into another room, outside in a safe place, go on the trampoline, take a shower, or walk to a different part of the playground until they calm down.

4. Get them moving. Studies show that physical activity can really help kids with anger issues. Encourage them to get involved in a sport they are interested in like swimming, tennis, soccer, basketball or karate. If you don’t have the time for organized sports, go running or bike running together; take them out to the park to play on the equipment or anything to physically burn off energy.

Learning Assertive Communication Skills Can Reduce Your Anger

The years leading up to a divorce can be filled with raging arguments or in many cases unnatural quiet as each partner retreats due to the ongoing conflicts. A common communication problem that can ultimately lead to anger management issues is expecting other people to just know what you are thinking or trying to read other people’s minds. Some individuals don’t have the proper skills to express themselves in an effective way so they both shut down and let their anger brew in their head, or lash out in an aggressive or violent way. To avoid divorce, couples can learn the art of how to have a calm, respectful conversation full of give and take. It’s is a life skill that is beneficial in school, with friends and family and throughout your career.

The term is assertive communication, a way of presenting your thoughts and ideas for the most positive outcome. Individuals who aren’t proficient in this area can end up depressed, resentful of those around them, feel taken advantage of, frustrated at what is happening in their life and an increase in hostility and anger. The good news is that assertiveness skills can be learned by attending anger management classes, taking an online program, with 1-1 therapy or by reading books dealing with this topic.

Some basic points include:

1. Speak in a clear and organized manner so there’s little room for misinterpretation. When you want your child to take out the garbage before dark say “Will you please take the garbage out before dinner?” instead of “Would you mind taking out the garbage?”

2. Face the person you are speaking with and speak with a calm, even tone. Your body language tells the other person that you are serious about what you are saying. If you are screaming from another room, there’s a good chance you will be ignored.

3. Keep your statements about you. For example, say “I’d appreciate it if you would take the garbage out before dinner” instead of “You never take the garbage out on time!” Remember your thoughts and emotions are yours; don’t put them on the other person.

4. Avoid speaking to someone else in a judging way. For example, instead of “You are so lazy and never get the trash out on time!” you could say, “The trash is picked up by the city every morning at 4 a.m. If you take out the trash before dinner we will be sure the chore is taken care of prior to pick-up.”

5. Once you have made your point in a respectful and understandable way, take the time to listen to the response. The more you show others that you are interested in their point of view, the more they will be open to yours. You can do this by saying, “Please tell me more about what’s going on?” Or “I’d like to know your take on this subject.”

The better you are at rationally communicating your feelings, the more respect you will receive from others. This change in your social dynamic will make others want to engage you in conversation, hang around you and even seek your guidance. You can rebuild broken or lost relationships and improve your life by learning and implementing new anger management skills.

Managing Anger and Stress For A More Well-Balanced Life

Anger and stress often go hand-in-hand. They are both normal experiences that we all have but it’s the way that we approach the feelings that determines if we are handling them in a healthy or unhealthy way. Each of us interprets events in a different light. For example, one person might look at someone else who cuts in front of them in line at the supermarket as being inconsiderate and hostile towards them, while another person might just think that the person didn’t realize there was a line. The first person might respond by getting angry and commenting in a hostile tone therefore causing a scene while the 2 nd person might politely and calmly explain to the line-cutter what he or she has done. While it’s unrealistic to think that we can prevent ourselves from ever getting angry and stressed, we can manage how we respond.

To start to tackle anger and stress management issues for overall improved quality of life, it’s helpful to take a close look at what is causing the negative emotions. Is it always the same thing? For example, are you constantly showing up late to work or activities because of too much traffic? Is a difficult friend, family member or boss creating unnecessary drama? Or, is your child ignoring your direction? Once you have identified the causes, you can move forward by taking a group anger management class or one online to help you get a better understanding of how to make a significant life change.

The next step is to take action and apply these new skills to everyday life. This starts with understanding that your knee-jerk reactions to situations are only making things worse. Specifically, the people around you are walking on eggshells, are afraid of you, don’t want to be around you, all of which is contributing to a breakdown in relationships, and trouble at work. You can and should control your impulses and instead react to an upsetting situation or person by taking a deep breath and removing yourself from the area. This means going for a walk in the fresh air, exiting to the break room to make some tea or to the kitchen to have a healthy snack until you have calmed down. If time allows, share your feelings and worries with a counselor or friend for some feedback and just to get it off your chest before taking any direct action.

When you are ready to reenter the stressful or anger provoking discussion express yourself in a calm, respectful and constructive way. As you know by now, yelling, getting red in the face and/or violent increases the negativity and rarely resolves the conflict. Realize that you can’t control everything, so the best you can do is to listen or observe the other side of the story closely, explain where you are coming from and then work at finding a satisfactory middle ground. In the example of the line-cutter, you would explain that you have politely been waiting behind the person in front of you for 10 minutes and would appreciate if they would be so polite as to take their place at the back of the line.

If you are feeling particularly stressed out or angry, it helps to also take a look at how well you are taking care of yourself. If you’ve been drinking a lot of caffeine, not getting enough sleep, and eating unhealthy foods, you will inevitably become less tolerant and more anxious. Work on changing these negative habits and replacing them with a little exercise, more water and going to bed at least 30 minutes earlier each night. Utilizing a combination of research based anger and stress reduction skills will help you to reduce tension and create a more well balanced life.

Renew Your Outlook On Life With Anger Management Training

A large portion of our students come to us to learn skills in how to control their angry behavior because they can see it’s becoming a problem at home. There’s a disconnect in the marriage because the spouse has become detached and stopped listening to the hysteria and the kids are beginning to show signs of stress. In one recent situation, the dad didn’t realize how bad he had gotten until a concerned teacher contacted him directly to tell him how anxious his son had become in class during the last couple of months. While discussing the behavior, the father realized that it coincided with his increased frustration and anger with work and that he was venting at home. He knew it was time to make a change, probably a new job, and some soul-searching on his end to improve the way he’s handling every day life. In another situation, the parent reached her limit with her toddler over the holidays and lost it at a shopping mall. Someone witnessed the scene and called the police. As a result, the court ordered her to take anger management and parenting classes.

Neither scenario is rare. Anger is actually one of the most common problems in relationships. When it begins to escalate, particularly towards the children, it’s time to get help. Research time and again has shown that chronic anger, even if it seems harmless or meaningless to you, does cause lasting damage to the developing brains of young children. Children who repeatedly witness anger, verbal abuse or physical violence tend to initially exhibit symptoms like:

1. Depression – loss of interest in friendships and fun things that used to make them happy. This can also manifest itself in insomnia or too much sleep.

2. Problems at school – won’t do homework, no initiation to study for tests, disruptiveness during class time, won’t sit still or has become quiet and withdrawn, and/or exhibits nervousness and fear.

3. Increased anxiety – is worried about going home at the end of the school day, is nervous about how the parent will respond in front of other people, is fearful of own safety.

4. Exhibit low confidence – the child is insecure and feels inadequate and powerless. He or she feels like he has to walk on eggshells at home and can’t do anything right which translates into low self-esteem.

5. Become less empathetic – the child is in a toxic environment in which communication is unhealthy and they aren’t being shown the love they need. In order to protect themselves, they put up walls and tend to be less caring of others and more distant.

Learning to effectively deal with your anger is an important life skill that can turn your family life around and help to set your kids on track to thrive. The choice is yours. Our students who take the time to learn new tools and utilize them become more patient and calm when dealing with life’s daily bumps. The end result is often a renewed positive outlook for the entire family.

Learning Empathy Helps To Decrease Uncontrolled Anger

The headlines are full of stories about angry people taking to the streets in protest, vocalizing their disappointments via social media or tragically hurting others to make their feelings known. Angry verbal and violent events happen in homes and in the workplace across the U.S. all the time. The recent angry protests surrounding the Michael Brown case show that a large part of the population in Ferguson feel like they are misunderstood and powerless. While a certain level of anger is appropriate and common to everyone, it’s when you can’t stop yourself from taking revenge in the form of screaming, violence or looting that you need to take a look at how you are handling the stress and aggravations of daily life.

People who are successful leaders or good managers or have strong marriages all have one thing in common – they are able to put themselves in another person’s shoes to help resolve conflict. They can look past their own needs and although they may not agree with it, they can hear and understand another person’s perspective. It’s a peaceful process of discussion and negotiation to arrive at a compromise or sometimes to even “give in” and go along with the other perspective. We see examples of this when two people have been in a relationship for many years. One partner might not be naturally neat or organized, but can see why the other partner gets mad when the house is a mess. They have empathy for the other’s feelings and try to clean up to make the relationship run more smoothly.

People who grow up with caring parents will from a young age unconsciously see that their parents are kind and understanding of others. As the child grows up he or she often chooses to copy this modeling because it feels good and helps them get along with friends and at school. However, you don’t have to be born into an empathetic family to gain this skill. Even people who have grown up in broken or violent homes can learn why social awareness is important and how to increase the ability to listen and communicate empathetically with others. Essentially, empathy is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.

Taking an anger management class, working with a mentor or therapist, or reading books on the subject can help you to retrain your thinking to eliminate harsh judgment of others. In the example of Ferguson, individuals with this empathetic concern would never have looted the innocent shops in the area, instead putting themselves in the shopkeeper’s shoes to realize they had nothing to do with the ruling.

To teach empathy, research shows that people often feel more closely tied with others that are similar to them. Part of the discussion is to identify commonalities you have with another person. For example, you are both fathers, both like sports or both have stressful jobs. Take a look at a particular situation that makes you mad, and discuss how it would feel to be the other person. What could they be thinking? The more you are able to humanize the person you are angry with, the more empathetic you will become. Gaining the tool of empathy will help control your level of anger and stabilize your emotional life.