Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is the anger overload workbook helpful for 5 year olds?

My daughter is 4.8 years old.  She has angry outbursts at home, which are manageable. She has anger outbursts in school.  They have to send her to the office.  The teacher is at a loss as to what to do.  Once my daughter gets angry, starts calling everyone stupid, it's really hard to say anything to her.  She will kick and scream if one even tries talking to her.

I am keeping it brief, b/c it's kinda late, but is your book something that would be helpful for me to read/appropriate for addressing this behavior at this young age, or is it more geared to school aged children?

Thank you!

Hi, The first half of my book explains interventions that an adult can use to help any age child with anger overload.  For your child who is almost five years old, I would recommend this part of my book.  The book is geared toward parents, but teachers can use similar strategies.  I explain how to identify a child's triggers, how to lower a child's expectations (sometimes unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and angry outbursts), how to re-arrange the sequence of events to avoid anger triggers, when to use distraction and calming techniques, and when to ignore.

The second half of the book is more for school age children and teens.  It explains techniques that children can learn to develop better self control.  Some young children can recognize when they are getting angry and apply a strategy, but many young children do not have great self-observation skills yet.  I explain in this part of the book how to start with simple terms, like colors, to label levels of anger.  This is a first step to help a child to develop self-observation skills; some young children can learn to say when their anger is "red hot" (very angry) versus "blue" (milder anger).  

However, I would start with the strategies in the first half of the book because these techniques are used by the adult.  Since the parent applies these strategies, it is not necessary for the child to recognize that he/she is angry.

All the best, Dr. Dave Gottlieb 

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