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The Anger Scale: Teach Your Kids Now or You'll Be Sorry
By Jean Tracy, MSS
The Anger Scale Can Help Your Kids Reduce Rage ~
When Daniel heard he couldn't go on the Hammer at the amusement park, his eyes bulged and he shouted, "That's not fair!"
"The sign where you got the ticket says you have to be at least 4 feet 10 inches tall to ride. I'm sorry," said the ticket taker.
Hearing that, Daniel began kicking at the man and screaming, "You're a fat pig!"
As Daniel's dad struggled with him, the security guard came over and said they'd have to leave the park if the parents couldn't get their son under control. Because Daniel never did get under control, the whole family had to leave.
The Problem with Excessive Anger:
Excessive anger leads to rage. Rage can keep your child out of activities; hurt his reputation, his social skills, and his life.
How Rage Hurts Your Child:
1. Angry kids are avoided by classmates.
2. Children who rage gain a bad reputation.
3. Kids who rage risk becoming abusive adults.
4. Children who rage harbor ugly thoughts, feelings, and behaviors throughout their lives.
5. Kids who rage lessen the possibility for their own future happiness.
Tantrums can hurt you too:
1. Your kid's rage can deafen your reasonable mind and get you boiling.
2. If you respond to a tantrum with a tantrum, you reduce yourself to your child's level.
3. Your rage makes you look foolish and fuels more blow-ups from your child.
How the Anger Scale Can Help You:
Use it on yourself at a time when you're not angry. Look back at the last time you lost control. Practice changing your anger in that situation to mere frustration. When you make the change, you'll know how to help your child.
Never give yourself permission to be out of control by saying, "I couldn't help it."
The Anger Scale ~ How to Teach Kids Now
When your child is in an even mood, ask him if he's willing to learn how to control his anger. If he says "Yes," ask him to list the ways his anger hurts him, like:
1. I get in trouble.
2. I get too mad.
3. I don't have friends.
4. I don't get to do things I want to do.
5. Everybody thinks I'm bad.
Tell him you have a method that will help him. Show him this Anger Scale.
The Anger Scale:
Draw a "zero to ten point" scale. At the zero end of the scale, write "No Anger." From numbers four to seven write "Frustration." At the numbers eight to ten, write "Anger/Rage."
No Anger = 0
Frustration = 4-7
Anger/Rage = 8-10
In situations where we don't get what we want, feeling frustrated (4-7) is normal.
Feeling No anger isn't realistic.
Rage that expresses out-of-control thoughts, feelings, and behaviors isn't normal or realistic either.
Frustration falls in the middle of two extremes. With frustration we are able to reason and think of better ways to handle disappointments.
Parenting Exercise for Changing Rage to Frustration in Kids:
Tell him the goal is to bring his anger down from the 8-10 range to the 4-7 range. Ask him to vividly imagine the last time he had a temper tantrum. Make sure he feels the anger he had at that time.
Ask, "Where is your anger on the Anger Scale right now?" (It should be high.) Say to your child, "Think about what happened that made you feel so angry. Close your eyes. Feel the anger. Then bring that angry feeling down to the 4-7 range." Wait a bit to give your child time to do it. Then say, "When you've reached the frustration range, open your eyes."
Ask your child, "Where is your number on the anger scale now?" (It should have moved downward.)
Then ask, "How did you do it?"
Some kids may say, "I don't know." If so, say, "Guess."
Typically, your child brought the number down by changing his thoughts because extreme negative feelings come from extreme negative thoughts. Tell your child to use this special scale whenever his anger feelings are getting out of control.
Conclusion for the Anger Scale ~ Teach Your Kids Now
The Anger Scale teaches how to visualize rage and bring it down to a reasonable level. When your child is consistently able to bring it down to frustration, he'll have a better reputation, he like himself better, and have a real chance for a happy life. So use the Anger Scale now. You won't be sorry later. In fact, you'll be glad you did.
Jean Tracy, MSS, publishes a FREE Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe and receive 80 fun activities to share with your children.
Pick up Jean's Thought-Stopping Kit and teach your child how to change any disturbing thought in step-by-step detail. This skill will help him throughout his life.