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Four Ways To A Cooler Temper

May 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 122

Ashley is a four-year old Caucasian female who has been to my office more than several times. Her shoulder length brown hair and big brown eyes make her stand out. She is a strong-willed little girl who borders on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As usual, she comes in my office and says I want to type. Magically, she is transformed into the big sister and I am her four-year old brother. She is also a teacher. She gets up from my seat and paces the floor and begins teaching me anger management strategies. They are the ones I suggest to my older clients with anger issues. Only hearing it from her makes it seem so simple. She tells this to me because she is trying to prepare me for Kindergarten.

Anger is a huge problem among many children. They do not know how to express their feelings and there is only one feeling they do know and that is anger. They do not know how to control it. How can parents teach their children how to cope with their angry feelings? There are simple steps to teach anger management and if a four-year old can teach it, it should be a snap for us as parents. However, we must be willing to model the behaviors we teach our children. The following are four anger management strategies. They are common sense, but we do not always think of them in the heat of the moment.

What physiological symptoms do you have that tells you that you are angry or about to explode? We must first know the symptoms before we can begin to apply anger management strategies. If you do not know when you are getting angry, then how will you know when to apply one of these strategies? Some of the signs of anger are: when you start feeling your heart racing, fist clenching, your face turning hot to the point of almost blushing, butterflies in the stomach, tightness in the chest, the start of a headache, or a high pitch in your voice. There may be other symptoms specific to you, but you must first notice them. Then you can apply one or all the strategies listed below.

1. Count to 10. This may mean touching each finger with your thumb while you count to ten. This will help you refocus and may stop you from doing something you regret.

2. Talk to yourself. Try listening to the negative thoughts you are having. Really listen to them. On a scale from 1 to 10, rate the anger with 1 being the least and 10 being the most. Challenge them. Are they true? Are they really true? What evidence do you have that they are true? What is something more positive that you can replace the thought with? Now make it positive. When you think that cool down thought, how do you feel? Can you rate how you are feeling based on this new thought? It should be lower.

3. Ignore it. Ask yourself, how important is it? Can you just ignore the situation? What good is it doing for you to hold on to what is making you angry? Can you leave it alone and go off on your own without holding on to it?

4. Just walk away! Take a cool down time. Take thirty minutes to think about it and how you wish to respond. You may not wish to discuss it at this time. You may wish to address it in an hour to stick with your point. Nonetheless, you need to cool down and walking away may be the best option.

Next time you are feeling angry, pull these four strategies out of your back pocket and apply what will work best. Remember, if a four-year old can lecture for 15 minutes on anger management strategies, she has something to teach us. Take heed what we are teaching our children in the way we handle our anger. They learn from example and so can we.

Carolyn L. Nelson is a licensed clinical social worker who has been in the field over 20 years. She writes for her Blog at

She also can be reached at her website at

Source: EzineArticles
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