ANGER MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES


Common Questions

How do I know if my child needs help?

The answer to this question is not always obvious.. There is a gray area between normal and abnormal behavior with children. We expect to see an increase in anger management problems during certain developmental stages. Two year olds have a reputation for oppositional behavior, as do teenagers. Other variables that need to be taken into consideration are the uniqueness of each child, different values and behavioral expectations in families and cultural differences. At risk children direct their anger outwardly or inwardly. The “acting out” child often exhibits problems that raise the concerns of others outside of the family. If professionals from your child’s school express concerns this is certainly a red flag. Behaviors to watch out for at home include violent behavior towards self or others and destruction of property. The “acting in” children tend to direct their anger inwardly. These children often show signs of depression. They may be withdrawn from friends and family, lose interest in normal activities, and exhibit changes in sleeping or eating patterns. These children are also the most likely to “slip through the cracks”; unless the symptoms are profound they often go unnoticed by parents and other adults. If you are unsure if your child’s anger is being expressed appropriately and within normal limits, seek outside help. Talk to other parents who have a child the same age and compare notes. Discuss your child’s situation with the school counselor, clergy or other professionals. If the feedback you get confirms your concerns seek professional help. 

What can I do to help my child with anger management?

The most significant way children learn is to model after the most important adults in their lives, their parents. Children learn primarily by what they see you do, not so much by what you tell them to do. Parents who yell or get physical when they are angry are likely to have children who do the same. Conversely, parents who model healthy anger management techniques are likely to have children with fewer anger management problems. Take a look at our book list, there are books for adults to help you manage your anger and there are books to help you teach your children to manage their anger. If you have anger management problems start there first, then model your newly learned skills to your children and teach them what you have learned. If you don't have anger management problems purchase a book that offers you techniques to help your child. There are many techniques to choose from. Examples include behavioral techniques (i.e. "time out"), cognitive techniques (i.e. "positive thinking"), and experiential techniques (i.e. relaxation and guided imagery).

Where can I find referrals?

If you need referrals or resources in San Diego please contact Pete or Marge. If you live in California you can locate a therapist through the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.  If you live outside of California you can contact the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists or the American Psychological Association.
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