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    For Children

    Taming the Tiger – Letting Go Of Anger

    Remember that anger is normal. Sometimes when we feel angry though we say things that are hurtful or do things that hurt ourselves and others. What we do with anger is the important thing to work on.

    What You Can Try:

    • Draw a picture of your anger
    • Write about your anger in a journal
    • Punch an “angry” pillow (not your bed pillow or one that is valuable)
    • Stomp on cans that are ready to be recycled while wearing closed shoes
    • Rip the pages of a newspaper that your parents have finished reading, then join those pieces and rip some more. Continue until the anger is released
    • Do the same with an old phone directory that is no longer being used
    • Walk fast or run
    • Ride your bike
    • Take a shower
    • Swim
    • Hit balls against a backboard
    • Hit a tetherball
    • Draw a target on a piece of paper and throw rolled up socks at it
    • Create your own punching bag: start with a grocery bag, stuff it with newspaper or other bags until it is full, tie the ends and hang it in a place you can reach for punching
    • Blow bubbles: first a strong stream of millions of bubbles, then blow one bubble the biggest ever
    • Listen to soft, calming music
    • Pet your animal gently
    • Run your hands through a sand box
    • Write a made-up story about your anger
    • Pretend your stuffed animals or toys are the audience for your play about your anger.

    Reminders: talk this over with your parents first to see if you need their permission or help. Add your own ideas for more ways to help you tame your anger.

    Children of Divorce’s Bill of Rights

    Divorce is difficult for everyone in the family. A child’s best chance of successfully adjusting to the divorce is to have both parents be cooperative and congenial with each other. When the child feels that s/he is in the middle this can create behavioral problems.

    The following are suggestions and ideas on how to create minimal conflict so that you and your child can make the necessary adjustments to divorce in a healthy way. Thank you to Sylvia Fisher, MA, MFT, RPT/S for sharing this.

    • Recognize that we love and need both parents.
    • Don’t turn us into messengers. Mom and Dad should talk to each other directly.
    • Don’t say bad things about our other parent.
    • Don’t grill us about what is going on at our other parent’s home.
    • Don’t ask us to take sides.
    • Don’t make us feel like we’re being disloyal to you if we enjoy being with our other parent.
    • If you have something angry to say to our other parent, don’t say it around us.
    • Don’t purposely forget important clothing or gear when we are going to our other parent’s place.
    • Don’t forget that dealing with this situation is an ongoing process for us.

    For Parents

    The job of parenting can be very challenging. The following is a list of ideas to help you feel better about what you as a parent have a right to do to raise healthy, well adjusted children.

    Parents’ Bill of Rights

    • We, as parents, have a right to be treated with respect.
    • We have the right to say no and not feel guilty.
    • We have the right to know where our kids are, who their friends are, and who they are with at any time.
    • We have the right to demonstrate we care by occasionally verifying or spot checking our children’s whereabouts. We may, for example, call host parents during parties or overnight stays.
    • We have the right to set a curfew and enforce it with restrictions and loss of privileges.
    • We have the right not to condone any alcohol or drug usage and to say no to attendance at activities where alcohol or drug usage may occur.
    • We have the right to make mistakes and/or change our minds.
    • We have the right to ask questions and expect answers about all things which may affect our children.
    • We have the right to monitor all school related activities: academic, behavioral and social.
    • We have the right to know and consult with adults who influence our children’s lives, i.e., coaches, employers, teachers, youth group leaders, ministers and counselors.
    • We have the right to know what is happening within our home, to set “house rules,” and know the identity of guests who come into our home.
    • We have the right to assign our children chores and other family responsibilities appropriate to their ages.
    • We have the right to promote time together as a family, which may include meals, outings, study time, and other planned activities.
    • We have a right to be authoritative when logical explanation and reason have not succeeded.
    • We have the right to have family rules and consistently enforce them with appropriate consequences.
    • We have the right to be imperfect and the right to improve as best we can.


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