Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Top  Anger Management (part three) - Inside the mind of the angered and angry child
Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

What happens when a meltdown occurs is very important and the key is to reduce its longevity…it can be over in seconds or could take hours, depending on how it’s handled. One method is to try and be neutral in your emotional approach. Unstable reactions to an individual’s behaviour cause the situation to become more volatile. Emotion may give you feelings of being in free fall (lacking control). This will undoubtedly affect and may even frighten your child, this again could lead to a flight or fight situation leading to a point of no return
This may also lead to a permanent belief that your child has the upper hand and may encourage regular conflict as direct connection, albeit strained communication, is made between child and parent/carer.
Save the emotion for times when you want to reinforce positive behaviour, and then pour it on. When dealing with negative behaviour, try to stay unemotional and matter-of-fact. Quite often energy is found and it’s not unlike fuelling a fire. You are far better stifling the conflict by not reacting and you may well find the temper tantrum will simmer far quicker than you being verbally reactive…save that for promoting good behaviour.
Try to be more proactive, and less reactive. The best way to handle bad behaviour (and now I might be guilty of stating the obvious) is not to let the opportunity to arise in the first instance and moreso with children with specific educational needs, as their understanding of good and bad behaviour is far different than that of a fully able child. Looking at bad behaviour and then reflecting on the problems that led up to the event is a very worthwhile opportunity to prevent a repeat occurrence.
I often use a reflective diary during tuition with students/parents who come to me…get them to reflect on their day…good and bad (don’t worry about the information being legible). It’s very important to allow your child to communicate and at the same time allowing him/her to download information and switch off and relax/sleep easier at night.
One other thing you could do is use a colour coded week planner to identify the things your child likes to do and things they don’t like to do…encourage positivity by using their favourite colour for the things they least like to do and their least favourite colour for the things they like to do (reverse psychology)…image with specific educational needs children is everything.
Try keeping a reflective diary yourself and log down all of the immediate activities that led up to the meltdown. This will allow you to plan for the future and at least remove some of the events that lead to your child getting confused, then frustrated and then angry…things can then start to become a lot more fun and reduce stress levels in all quarters and there will a be a far more positive feel/bond between you and your child which will improve their social skills too.
Remember listen to every statement your child makes, as you might be agreeing to something that you will come to regret and promise nothing unless you intend to deliver on your promises. Time is another big thing…allow more time and try not to be late as again this can cause meltdowns.
Try to limit change…painting bedrooms , changing room layouts, etc…even changing the car should be gradual as children with specific educational needs enjoy stability and, believe me, they notice far more than you give them credit for…even seating arrangements whilst eating at home or even dining out are so very important to stop your child from feeling isolated or indeed the opposite... suffocated.
Please remember this information was based on parental experience…teaching and researching the work of others and should only be used as a guide.
I hope you have enjoyed reading these 3 posts on Anger Management and we look forward to posting more items on Specific Learning Needs.
Toby Lee Dyslexia Dublin CETC ©

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