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Keep Your Cool

Know your limits. Accept what you can't change and let go of things out of your control. Ease your tension. Take a walk; listen to music, splash cold water on your face. Earn small rewards when you make the choice not to become angry. Phone a friend. It helps to share your concerns and talk things out.

Your example helps your children learn to handle anger. Be a good role model. Object to the behavior if necessary, but separate the "deed from the doer." Use your kitchen timer for "time out" before disciplining. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, including you and your children.

Count your breaths. Breathe in deep while counting to four. Breathe out while counting to four. Do four times. Old tapes in your head may be making your reaction more than it should be. Are you angry because of issues in your childhood? Out of ideas to handle anger? Consider parenting classes or professional counseling. Look objectively at the situation. Are you making a mountain out of a molehill? Is it really worth having a heart attack or stroke? This too shall pass.

Controlling angry feelings is a skill that children learn from the people who care for them. There are activities which support our development of self-control. Count to twenty, backwards! We all need to find helpful ways to intervene when anger and frustration overwhelms us or our children.

?Judy H. Wright, International Speaker/Trainer,
Parent Educator, Personal Historian & Author
Phone: 406-549-9813 / Missoula, MT 59801.
E-mail: judywright@artichokepress.com

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