In Public Schools

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Posted by Admin On November - 22 - 2009

Dealing with Children and Conflict Resolution

angersliderDealing with anger can be a complicated issue for any parent, teacher, or other adult involved in the lives of children. There are many different things that need to be considered and looked into when choosing how to effectively deal with anger. The most important issues that will surface include: control, stress and stressors, when other emotions present as anger, and how to teach children to properly deal with anger and conflict in their lives. There are four faces of anger that you should be aware of:

-Purposeful and constructive anger

-Purposeful and destructive anger

-Spontaneous and constructive anger

-Spontaneous and destructive anger

The first kind of anger is that which comes with a firm, assertive tone of voice. There is control in this anger, and it has a purpose. This type of anger is healthy, and being expressed in a healthy manner. The second kind is less controlled, but still maintains a purpose for existing. It is much more focused on hostility than assertion. These two types of anger are those which people have an obvious intention for. Spontaneous anger, however, is much more passionate and less purpose-oriented than the first two types. Constructive spontaneous anger is sparked by pure, raw emotion. There is a spontaneous response to this emotion, and it is up to the person as to whether that response is constructive or destructive. The spontaneous and destructive anger will focus more on violence, rage, and belligerent yelling and/or screaming.

Understanding the four faces of anger might not seem to offer a lot of help in dealing with conflict resolution and control of anger in children, but it’s a perfect starting point. Once you understand the types of anger that you are seeing, you can focus on teaching children how to redirect those feelings or rethink the way that they act these emotions out.

Anger is okay. It is a human emotion and people, even children, are allowed to feel angry. They are also entitled to express that anger. However, it needs to be expressed in a healthy and constructive manner. The focus here is on redirecting children and working with them to find positive responses to situations that induce anger, rather than discouraging it altogether. When you tell a child that their feelings are wrong, you immediately invalidate them and make them feel powerless. If you instead explain that they are entitled to their feelings, but should learn how to respond constructively rather than destructively, you will see much better results.

Anger can come from envy, fear, jealousy, resentment, stress, instability, guilt, a lack of balance, and even just from a home environment that encourages or promotes anger as an appropriate response to things that do not go according to plan. The intent here is not to try to repair or eradicate the sources of anger, but to teach children how to properly handle their emotions so that there is less violence and acting out and more healthy discussion about the way that they are feeling.   The following website deals with anger issues:  


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