Posts Tagged ‘ anger ’

Techniques to Keep Kids’ Tempers Cool in the Heat

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

angry childEditor’s Note: This guest post was written by Dr. Steve Pastyrnak, Division Chief, Pediatric Psychology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI.  He shares techniques for different age groups on how to keep a child’s temper in check during rising summer temperatures.

Toddler and Preschoolers

When the heat is high, frustration and anger tend to boil over for kids of any age.  For toddlers and preschoolers, who are learning how to express themselves, tantrums and angry outbursts are very normal.  Since parents will have a hard time reasoning with little ones, modeling and distraction techniques can help deal with grumpy behavior.  But a little patience and a good sense of humor is always a parent’s best bet.

A modeling technique involves parents remaining calm and cool, no matter how frustrating the kids are in the moment.  Tots will take cues from those around them and will calm down more quickly when being spoken to in a quiet and reassuring tone of voice.  Distraction involves using an activity or toy to redirect the child’s attention and disconnect frustration from crying, yelling, and screaming.  But it’s important to distract before the frustration gets out of control or when kids start calming down.  Otherwise, toddlers may connect anger and tantrums with getting a toy. Parents should keep a handy tool box of really cool (and inexpensive) items such as playdough, bubbles, crayons, etc.

If your kids are in a full-blown tantrum, however, the only solution is to remove them from the situation.  Move them to another place or keep them on your lap.   Let anger run its course.

Big Kids

Help kids handle physical stress and negative thoughts by teaching simple breathing and muscle relaxation techniques.  Breathe slowly in through the nose (like smelling a flower) and the slowly out through the mouth (like blowing out a candle).  The slower the better.  Then have kids squeeze specific muscle groups (arms, stomachs, or even their faces) and hold the tension for a few seconds before relaxing.  This technique will release some physical energy while also teaching the bodies how to relax.

Parents can also consider saying positive reinforcements (“Good job,” “You are so strong, brave, awesome, etc.”) for any situation that the child handles on her own.  While verbal praises address behaviors well, teach kids another way to banish negative thoughts by using, what I call, the “Jedi” mind trick.  Have kids recite simple positive thoughts to themselves, such as “I can do this,” “I’m okay,” and “No big deal.”  The more kids practice saying these positive phrases, the more likely that they will change negative thoughts into positive ones.

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Fewer Younger Women Are Getting Mammograms
The number of women in their 40s undergoing mammograms slightly declined, says a new study carried out by the Mayo Clinic. The study found a drop of roughly 6 percent in the number of mammograms among these younger women, a change that the researchers called modest but still significant. (via NY Times)

Coffee May Help Protect Against Skin Cancer
Protection against skin cancer can be added to the list of health benefits that come with drinking coffee, a new study says. Women who drank more than three cups of coffee daily were 21 percent less likely to develop basal cell carcinoma, compared with women who drank less than one cup of caffeinated coffee per month, the study showed. For men, this risk reduction was 10 percent. (via msnbc.com)

Nearly 1 in 3 Teens Sext, Says Study
Nearly 1 in 3 teens has sent a nude picture of him or herself to someone else, and more than half have been asked to do so, according to new research on nearly 1,000 Texas teens. The study, published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, also found that teen “sexting” is strongly linked to actual sexual behavior. (via TIME)

Parents Defend Letting Daughter, 5, Swim With Sharks
When Elana and David Barnes posted a home video to YouTube of their 5-year-old daughter swimming in the ocean, they intended to share their vacation memories with friends and family, not the world. But the video quickly became a viral sensation because it shows their daughter, Anaia, not just frolicking in the water but snorkeling with sharks in the waters off the Bahamas. (via ABC News)

Is This Teen Angst or an Uncontrollable Anger Disorder?
With all those raging hormones, every teenager is bound to “lose it” at one time or another. But a recent study suggests that adolescents’ attacks of anger may indicate something more serious than your standard puberty-related mood swings. (via TIME)

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