Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How do you reach anger management to kids who don't see violence as a bad thing?

If anybody has any ideas, and wants to come run them for my Yr 9 Pastoral Care class tomorrow that would be much appreciated :)


Janet Woodlock said...

I'd start with an exploration as to what it feels like to be a victim... the sheer terror and trauma involved.

I'm trying to think of a movie clip that could illustrate this... where someone is stalked, or forced to watch brutality, or where a child is being traumatised by domestic violence between the parents, or something of that ilk (but without any luck at all as I watch so few movies these days, and the ones I pick are usually funny!)

Anyone else have any ideas movie-wise?

I think drilling down into what it is to be a victim is the only way of generating empathy... and when you have empathy for the pain and terror endured by another you might stop glamourising violence. It reframes the issue.

Neal T. said...

Interesting that you bring this up - we're looking at putting some Anger Managment programs into Yarra Valley schools and ran a survey recently and that was the general response we got too. The other poitn was that violence and fighting is seen as the everyday thing to do - to get YOUR way if all else fails.

Would love to hear some ideas and thought on this too!

Janet Woodlock said...

I’ve just had a little cruise on Google, and found these comments interesting (particularly in relation to distinguishing between anger and violence.)

Anger management isn’t always about violence... it can also be about learning how to respond appropriately verbally and when “cool off” time is appropriate. Friendships are destroyed (and family relationships fractured) by abusive language more often than through physical violence IMO.

One important issue in relation to violence however is domestic violence and child abuse... which often are associated with inability to express and manage anger in appropriate ways. I don’t know whether it’s a good idea to explore this with year 9’s or not though. (there’s some sobering Youtube videos if you wanted to go down this kind of track.)

Just a question... are you trying to communicate the violence is inappropriate, or to communicate that anger can be expressed in more or less appropriate ways?

It's probably not outside the experience of young people that their own inappropriate expression of anger has gotten them into strife with their friends, peers, parents, teachers or others... perhaps they could discuss this in groups...

I was listening to Germaine Greer on the radio the other day (as you do!) who was talking about how men often are unable to express anger verbally (appropriately!) and this directs anger to be expressed in violence to others, risky behaviour and self-harm. An interesting thought.

Anonymous said...

I would expand the range of that comment Janet: Men in our society are commonly unable to express any emotion, particularly strong ones, in any helpful or healthy manner. This naturally leads them to a point where the only probable outcome is an explosion of emotion, typically violent, but always damaging.

So education must focus on:
* Violence is bad.... mkay
* Express your self. (Before you need violence, so as early as possible)

Some bullies probably do need it explained to them that what they do is truly damaging, but bullies rarely get labelled with "anger management issues".

I watched the 6th season of Scrubs yesterday (had the day off sick, I was actually sick) and the episode where Perry gets challenged about having anger issues was great. It summed up with the interesting conclusion, as a high level medical person his anger was good at work because it encouraged others to work hard, but at home with his 2 year old son it was creating distance and was a problem.

Janet Woodlock said...

So what did you do? Please tell all!

David said...

Show the kids anger management from a biblical perspective.

Use a picture book like "Illustrated Stories From The Bible", by Paul John Farrell.

Stories like Elisha and the Bears, Jephtha's Daughter, Little Gershom's Penis, Uriah the Hittite, David's Census, Moses Helps God Understand will give the kids sound biblical principles for use in anger management.

Remind the kids of the divine principles of nurturing and behavioural modification employed in situations like God banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden after giving them numerous chances, of God sending people to eternal torture in Hell so they may learn to become better people.

Remember, God knows best.

Digger said...

I found some decent videos about it on YouTube, then the Ed Depy blocked youtube again, so half my material for Monday's sesh was gone!

American History X is a great one if I could show it all and was the right rating.

I talked about the fact that i think anger as an emotion is actually neutral, it's neither good nor bad, it's just what we want to do with it.

I talked about the 3 different responses we can make to angry situations-passive, aggressive and assertive.

I taught them about doing the walk-away, count to 10 thing.

I gave them some muscle relaxing exercises to do as a way of dealing with stress, and got them to discuss what the good and bad things about using violence are.

Worked reasonably well i reckon.

Janet Woodlock said...

Sounds great!

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