Posts tagged how to be angry

How to Be Angry Used in Homeschooling Program


There’s nothing that an idealistic, trying-to-change-the-world-one-child-at-a-time, do-gooder like me values more than hearing that their work is truly making a difference for others.  Yesterday, Vanessa Reinelt, a homeschooling mom of two and teacher of 4 other children, sent me this music-to-my-ears feedback:


We have been working through your “How to Be Angry” curriculum and already are seeing huge benefits. Our children (ages 10-13) are already identifying their anger and striving to express their anger assertively!  I have looked at many programs and resources trying to find an appropriate one to teach the kids about emotional and social health. None can compare to the depth and quality that yours provides.  I How to Be Angryfinalcoverabsolutely love the format you use. Teaching the 4 types of Anger Expression and with the healthiest (Assertiveness) as the last module.  I genuinely believe if we teach children about expressing…emotions in healthy ways, the human race will stand a chance in reaching the next millennium.

Thanks again for your time Ms. Whitson. You are truly a credit to your profession. Thank you for your amazing book. Your work is making the world a better place.


Thank YOU, Vanessa, for prioritizing the social and emotional health of kids!


If you’ve used How to Be Angry, Friendship & Other Weapons, The Angry Smile, or 8 Keys to End Bullying with students, please let me know how the experience has been for you!

New Review of How to Be Angry


A middle school Special Education teacher from Wisconsin recently reviewed my book, How to Be Angry, on her blog, Half-Past Kissin’ Time and on Amazon.  She has some great insights about using the book with tweens and teens.  Please check her review out here:


How to Be Angryfinalcover

Feedback on How to Be Angry from Elementary School Students


Six students from the Freetown Elementary School in Maryland recently completed the How to Be Angry curriculum.  They were kind enough to share with me their feedback on the activities, lessons, and games and gave me permission, in turn, to share it with you!  Special thanks to Aimee Meyer, their teacher who led the lessons, and all of the kids who are such gracious and enthusiastic learners!


Most important thing I’ve learned so far …

  •   “Bullies are not cool.”
  •   “I learned how to use I messages instead of you messages all the time.” 
  •   “I learned about passive-aggressive behavior.  That’s what I do.” 
    • When prompted for more information, the student said “You know, like when I mope around, shuffle real slow down the hall, soft-talk and work real slow or not at all.  Now I know how to calm down better.”
  •   “I learned that you don’t have to take things out on someone else all the time.  I only knew how to do that.”


What I have enjoyed the most about these lessons …

  • “I liked when we did the activity with putting magnets underneath the types of anger. The magnets told us what the types of anger looked like and what we could do when we feel these.” 
  • “I’m moving to different parts of the room when we gained our opinions to something. We learned how to respect others’ opinions and that it’s okay to have different opinions.”
  • “I really liked the game where we lined up by our birthday but we couldn’t talk. It was hard and we had to use our hands, fingers and faces to do it.  We learned about nonverbal communication. It’s important.”
  • “I liked how there were a lot of games. There was one at the beginning of each lesson and they were pretty fun.”


If I could improve on this book in one way I would …

  • “Add more games. They are a lot of fun and active.”
  • “Give the kids a workbook so they each have their own.”
  • “Add pictures and colors to the worksheets or a Kid’s Workbook.”


Note for Educators:  Handouts for kids in How to Be Angry are reproducible!  You may feel free to make kids their own workbook to use as you are conducting each session.  The kids recommend it and so do I!


Thanks again, kids!


All the best–                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Signe

Conflict Metaphor for Kids


Through the wonders of Facebook, a friend of a friend of a 4th grader shared this pearl of wisdom about conflict resolution.  Only wish I had the pleasure of knowing this elementary school student personally!


In conflict with another person, if you come in fierce like a tiger, you’ll have to win. So only you will be happy.

If you come in like a bunny, scared, the other person will win, so only that person will be happy.

If you come in like a bird, with your wings and your heart open, both people in the conflict will win, and both will be free.


Will be sure to use this during How to Be Angry workshops with kids!

Referee Much? Why Sibling Rivalry Is Good for Kids


Some days, arguing comes as naturally to my kids as breathing!  I take heart, knowing that there are lessons to be learned.  Please read on and share this link if you, too, spend a lot of your parenthood hoping that all of this bickering will actually benefit your little ones down the line…

Asking Adults to Tune In & Listen to Kids: The Relate Talk to Us Campaign


 Check out this newly released video from Relate, the UK’s largest provider of relationship support for couples, families, and kids.  The Relate Talk to Us Campaign is designed to encourage parents to listen well to their kids and to understand the sources of the anger that are driving childrens’ needs for professional help.


Relate recently commissioned two surveys–one of counselors and one of young people–to find out what is really bothering our kids.  Click here to read what professionals and kids are saying about the stressors in their lives.


25 Rules for Daughters from People I Want to Punch in the Throat


I love, love, love these rules!  If I had a “theme rule” for How to Be Angry, it would be Rule 9:

Teach your daughter that she has the right to get loud.  Make sure she knows girls can get angry, they can have opinions and they can throw “lady like” behavior out the window if necessary.


3 Ways to Help Your Child Cope with Angry Feelings


Have you ever been in a situation where you were so overwhelmed with feelings of anger that you were at a loss for words? You had the presence of mind to know all of the things that you shouldn’t say, but weren’t quite sure how to express your true feelings without damaging your relationship. Adults often struggle with effectively communicating angry feelings. For children, this challenge is doubly difficult; kids don’t want to get in trouble for expressing themselves aggressively, but they often lack the skills for communicating assertively.

For three specific skills parents can teach kids to cope with angry feelings effectively, please check me out on Yahoo! Shine:


Or check out How to Be Angry: An Assertive Anger Expression Group Guide for Kids & Teens for even more kid-friendly strategies.

When Parents Mirror Kids’ Behavior: The Conflict Cycle on NBC’s Parenthood

The Conflict Cycle™ is Life Space Crisis Intervention’s (LSCI) major paradigm for understanding the dynamics of escalating power struggles between adults and children. In our training courses for parents and professionals, we explain that in times of stress and conflict, kids can create in adults their feelings, and, if not trained, adults will mirror their behaviors.  In the heat of the moment, when adults do what comes naturally–what thousands of years of evolution have prepared their bodies to do–they often only make matters worse.  That is why understanding the LSCI Conflict Cycle is the first line of defense against fueling further conflict.


This clip from NBC’s Parenthood is a perfect example of how Kristina gets caught in a Conflict Cycle and inadvertently mirrors Max’s behavior, thus escalating their power struggle.  Ultimately, both mother and son lose out.  The look of defeat on her face at the end of the clip says it all.



For more information on the LSCI Conflict Cycle and training for parents and professionals, please visit the LSCI link above or visit 

Not Just for Grown-Ups Anymore: Why Assertive Anger Expression Skills are Helpful for Kids & Teens


From the time they are toddlers, children are often coaxed by adults to hide their feelings of anger behind a social smile.  Worse yet, kids hear the explicit message, “Don’t be angry,” and are actively encouraged to deny this most basic of human emotions.  When they act out—either through the tantrums of their earliest years or the rebellion of their teenage ones—they are reprimanded for all of the behaviors that adults do not want them to use.


Rather that hammering away at all of the things kids should not do when it comes to expressing their anger, parents and caregivers can effect lasting change in their kids anger-inspired behaviors by teaching them specific skills for how to be (more…)

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