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Syndicated column from The Parent
[JULY 13, 2006]
Q: My son is 15
years old and has always had problems containing his anger. He has
been in a special behavorial school this year, but it has not helped
his anger or his education. He seems to be bored with the program
that has been mapped out for him. I feel he is not being challenged,
and I would like some advice on how to encourage my son to learn.
A: Find a quiet time to
sit down and talk with your son -- and then really listen. Ask him
to tell you all about his school experience. Ask what he thinks he
should be getting out of school. Ask what goals and dreams he has.
Ask how he thinks the school could help him achieve those dreams and
Then make an appointment with the school to address his observations
and your concerns. Ask how you can work together to help your son
achieve his goals.
You can also help by continuing to give your son your love and
support. Here are some ways you can do that:
time with him. Be sure to have meals together. If dinner is
not always possible, try breakfast. Perhaps you could schedule
going out to a favorite restaurant. Or, go out for coffee or ice
interests. Does he like sports? Take him to a game. Get him
a subscription to a sports magazine. Go to a used book store and
stock up on books that would appeal to him.
however you can. Leave an encouraging note in his backpack.
Leave a note on the refrigerator.
praise. Instead of saying, "You're great," say, "You worked
hard on that project for your science class. I'm proud of your
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Talk to him about
his outbursts of anger. Find out what is making him so angry
and help him address those issues. If he needs special help, try
to get it for him. To start, have him try these basic anger
Count to 10. It's
the oldest advice in the world, but it works. A few seconds is
sometimes all it takes.
Talk it out.
Encourage him to talk about what he is feeling. It'll help him
figure out what caused the anger -- and what he might do to
avoid the same situation in the future.
Exercise or do
something physical. Taking a run or hitting some tennis balls
against a wall can sometimes get rid of tension and anger.
Help him learn to
avoid situations that always make him angry. Have him keep an
"anger journal." Have him write about when he lost his temper.
Then have him write what he might have done to handle the
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2006, The Parent Institute
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.