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ANGRY BOYS: information from Michael Grose

14/10/2015
Managing anger is the biggest emotional issue that most children face.Managing anger is the biggest emotional issue that most children face. Managing anger is the biggest emotional issue that most children face.Managing anger is the biggest emotional issue that most children face.  Boys, in
particular, seem so angry at the moment, and I’m not sure why.  Currently, our community is undecided how to handle anger.  In fact, anger is discouraged as we see no place for it in our homes, schools or the community.  ‘People in a civil society don’t get angry’ seems to be the conventional wisdom so we bottle it up rather than express it healthily.  The trouble is that anger handled in this way simmers away making a person unhappy and depressed, and it bursts forth in awful, ncontrolled ways.
Here are five ways to help boys (and girls) mange anger in healthy ways:
1. Recognise it.  The first step is to help kids recognise they are angry.  What are the signs?  What are they thinking?  We are all different but tension in the shoulders,
restricted breathing and clenched teeth are common sign of anger.
2. Name it.  Developing a vocabulary around anger is important.  The more nuanced kids’ language is, the better.  Annoyed, angry and enraged are very different
emotions but are often described as the same. 
3. Choose it.  Help children recognise that they have a choice to stay in control or lose control when they get angry.
4. Say it.  Encouraging children to express how they feel unless no-one gets hurt.  The use of ‘I Statements’ is one way of letting others know how they feel.  “I fell really mad when you say nasty things about me…” is one way of being heard.
5. Shift it.  Help children shift their anger to a more pleasant and less energised place.  Kids can shift their moods by modifying their anger or altering their physiology.  They may go for a run, play a physical game or pour their anger into a protest letter to let their frustrations out. 
The maxim of managing anger in healthy ways is:
 “
There’s nothing so bad we can’t talk about it.  However, there are behaviours we don’t engage in when we are angry.”