As the title implies, this site will continually update changes and trends in anger management services, research,referrals and provider training. In addition, books,CDs,videos and DVDs used in anger management programs will be introduced.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Your Children Are Watching You

Children need models rather than critics.” –Joseph Joubert

Anger management is a process that, like any other life skill, requires practice. It is impossible for one to enroll in an anger management program, and then suddenly be cured of aggressive, or passive aggressive, anger. The individual is bound to fall down occasionally. The goal should always be to pick oneself up and continue practicing the skills that have been taught. This is easier for individuals who have little to no influence on the actions of others. What about those who do have such influence? What happens when a person’s mistakes prove to be detrimental for those who look up to them the most?

When parents behave aggressively toward others in front of their children, they are not only embarrassing themselves, but they are also teaching their children that one has to be aggressively angry in order to get her or his way. Children watch their parents all of the time; and, unfortunately, what they see is not always good. Consider the mother who took her daughter with her to a check cashing office to contest a fee that she had been previously charged. The mother began by complaining about the amount and raising her voice to the clerk behind the counter. She continued to be belligerent and foul with her speech. Rather than explaining what the problem was in a calm, yet assertive tone, she made the clerk very uncomfortable to the point where he would not be motivated to try to help fix the problem. Furthermore, and more importantly, her daughter was observing her behavior.

Role modeling is very important and extremely sensitive. The fact remains that children are impressionable. At a very young age, they are likely to value their parents’ behavior more so than anyone else’s. Parents must pay more attention to their own behavior, especially when their children are by their side. Because it is only human that parents make mistakes, it behooves parents to explain to their child(ren) that being belligerent will not get them anywhere in life. Parents are never going to be perfect in front of their children. Children must be taught to understand that, and learn that mom and dad might say or do things that are not always healthy.

George Anderson, MSW, BCD, CAMF, CEAP
Diplomate, American Association of Anger Management Providers


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