Sunday, October 26, 2008

Train your temper

when you get mad, steps on how to control it

1. Take a break from the situation. If you're in an argument with someone, go to another part of your house. Your room or the backyard are good choices. Just say, "I want to be alone for a while so I can calm down."
2. Put yourself in a timeout. If you're feeling angry and think you need a timeout to calm down, don't wait for a parent to tell you — go ahead and take a timeout for yourself. Let your family know that when you're taking a timeout, they need to respect your space and leave you alone to calm yourself down. For kids old enough to do it for themselves, a timeout isn't a punishment: It's a cool-down. While you're sitting in your timeout chair, try this cool-down exercise: Put your hands under the seat of the chair and pull up while you count to 5. Then stretch your arms over your head. Take a nice deep breath and let it out. One kid who tried these steps said he used this time to think about the consequences — like getting in trouble if he let his temper go wild.
3. Get the anger out. We don't want you punching walls (or even punching pillows), but why not do a bunch of jumping jacks or dance around your room to your favorite music? Turn it up a little. If you go outside, run around or do cartwheels across the lawn. You also could pick up your pen and write it all down. What made you so upset? Keep writing until you've covered everything. If you don't like writing, just draw a picture that helps you express your feelings. Use strong colors and strong lines to show your strong feelings. You also can try the "Be a Volcano" exercise.
4. Learn to shift. You'll have to work hard to do this. This is where you get that puppy under control. The idea is to shift from a really angry mood to a more in-control mood. After you get some of the angry feelings out, you have to start thinking about other things. Sometimes, when people are angry, they're not really thinking clearly. They're just mad, mad, mad. Only angry thoughts are flying around their brains. A person might even say mean things to himself or herself, like "I'm such an idiot. I lost my temper again!" But you can replace those thoughts with better ones. For instance, you can say, "I lost my temper, but I'm going to get myself under control now." Instead of thinking of the person or situation you're angry with, think of something else. Think of something that will put you in a better mood.

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