Tag Archives: parenting
How about comforting them and telling them it’s OK to be themselves?
10 Ways to Help Children to Manage their Anger
Anger is one of our primary emotions. We all feel it regularly, but very few of us know how to manage it. Just like us, some children also find anger management challenging. Children’s failure to appropriately manage their anger could lead to negative consequences such as being involved in physical altercations, damaged relationships, and/ or depression. What follows are what adults can do to help children manage their anger:
- Recognise and validate their feelings – Instead of telling them to stop being angry, say ‘ I know you’re angry because (for example) she called you names. That would probably make me feel angry too’. Validating their feelings can reduce the likelihood of them hiding their feelings from you. Let them know that it is alright to feel angry so that they don’t have to feel defensive. Also, not recognising their feelings may cause their anger to intensify as they bottle it up inside. Furthermore, talking to a child about their feelings will help build a trusting relationship between you.
- Empathise – Listen to what they say. Some incidents may appear less serious to you, which could lead you to discount their interpretations. This could lead to confusion or feelings of isolation on the part of the child. Encourage them to say what they feel.
- Teach children to self-monitor – Not all children would develop an understanding of the causes and cues of emotions. A lot of aggressive behaviour can be prevented if children are able to correctly recognise that they are feeling angry. Explicitly teach children about the sensations that accompany anger, such as being sweaty, clenching of jaws, shaking, dizziness, stomach ache, etc. Teach children to use a scale (e.g. 1-10, with 10 meaning they are about to hit someone), which can be used as a communication tool.
- Allow them to express and communicate their feelings in different ways- Some children may find speaking challenging as they might not have the necessary vocabulary to articulate what they feel. Allow them to express their feelings through drawing/ painting, writing, and/ or other ways which are safe.
- Teach them ways of calming down – This can be done by modelling. Whenever you get angry, talk to them about the reason and talk to them about how you would deal with it. For example, when driving you may say ‘I feel angry because that driver nearly hit our car. I am angry because we could have been hurt. But I will try to calm down by counting from 1 to 10’. Deep breaths, and other methods should also be taught.
- Bond with your child – This should be a given, but due to the busy lives that many of us lead, the opportunity for ‘bonding’ may be limited. However, it is important to bond with your child as it allows you to have a conversation which should be mostly positive. Reflecting on both of your days, on what you have just watched, read or heard can be a source of laughter.
- Look for and praise positive behaviour – If you’re reading this, it is highly likely that one or more of your children/students are behaving inappropriately due to poor anger management skills. Such children are prone to behaving aggressively which causes them to be told off most of the time. This may have created a negative image of certain children in your head, which causes you to only look for the bad behaviour. Change that now. Look for positive behaviours and appropriately praise them. Let them know that you are not there to criticise their every move. Let them know that you are there to help them.
- Establish clear standards for appropriate behaviour – Tell them what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. It is also important to be consistent with your standards.
- Collectively decide on reinforcements – The child(ren) and you should decide on the rewards and negative consequences of behaviour. Including children in the planning increases their likelihood of abiding by the rules. In addition, always remember that they are looking at you. You also need to behave appropriately and the rules should also apply to you.
- Remember that it takes time – Teaching children to manage their anger takes a long time. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that one can take to solve such a problem. However, your positive attitude and willingness to help them will go a long way!
The Most Emotional Part of Parenting?
“It’s all because of you!”
Today’s Daily Prompt: What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?
Most of my students’ parents have said to me in the past that ‘my child’s improvements have all been because of your help’. While I am extremely grateful for the compliment, I genuinely feel that I do not deserve it. I believe that children’s development is influenced by a number of factors. In schools, teachers, teaching assistants, lunchtime organisers, bus drivers, security guards, their peers and of course, their parents and care-givers all have a hand in their development. Any improvement- no matter how small or huge- is influenced by a lot of people. Children’s teachers may teach them how to read, but the likelihood of this skill to be learned quickly and retained is influenced by parents’ (and the child’s) efforts to practice and reinforce it.
I always remind families that they – especially the children themselves – are also responsible for the children’s overall development. This gives the students and families a sense of control which they ultimately have. I understand that we as educators have a large role to play in shaping the kids’ futures, I am fully aware that we are only a small piece of the puzzle.
Would you let your kids do these dangerous things?!
Gever Tulley has a unique idea of how we should raise our kids. According to him, it involves letting them do these 5 dangerous things…
Quote of the day… on parenting
Atypical Reactions to Stimuli Found in Mothers of Children With Autism
Close to 90% of individuals in the Autism Spectrum have atypical responses and obsessions/ fixations with sensory stimuli. For example, some may enjoy looking at bright lights while some may actively avoid the sound of people scratching their skin. Previous studies have observed these patterns of responses in neurotypical siblings of individuals with Autism, but not in their parents- until recently.
In a research published in Molecular Autism on 3 April 2014, Uljarevic et al. set out to investigate whether parents (specifically, the mothers) of children and adolescents in the Autism Spectrum have unusual reactions to sensory stimuli. The researchers asked fifty mothers to complete the Adolescent and Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) which is a measure of people’s hypo-sensitivity, hyper-sensitivity, sensation-seeking and sensory-avoiding tendencies.
The study’s findings are as follows:
- 31 out of 50 participants (62%) recognize stimuli slower or weaker than the average population
- 22 (44%) were found to be hyper-sensitive but were able to tolerate unpleasant stimuli
- 24 (48%) actively avoid unbearable stimuli
- Only 2% of the mothers scored within the ‘average-range‘, i.e. showed ‘normal’ responses to stimuli
Treat these findings with caution
As with every scientific finding, it is important not to get carried away with these findings. They need to be interpreted with caution. Despite having similar patterns of responses to their children with Autism, the participants’ atypical sensory reactions could be due to anxiety. In addition, since this is the first study to investigate the subject in this population with such a small sample size (very few participants), more studies need to be conducted to fully support the findings. Lastly, genetic studies are needed to investigate whether or not genes play a role in atypical sensory reactions in Autism.
Helen Turnbull on Inclusion, Exclusion, Illusion and Collusion
Here is Helen Turnbull’s TED Talk about inclusion.
To This Day (Anti-Bullying Poem)
This week is anti-bullying week in the UK and I want to share the things that I have read, watched and heard about how to fight against bullies. Also, I want to share how bullying affects everyone.