On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Monday, February 8, 2010


Here's some "tools" Sissy has learned for coping skills and management of her anger that are extremely useful for everyone in the home. We've been actively employing them as Sissy learns them so we can all be on the same page when she comes home. Some are even printed and posted within eyesight in the kitchen. (I don't know about your family but 90% of the living in our home occurs in the 14x16 space that is our kitchen/dining room)

The Anger Rules
It's OK to fee angry BUT
- Don't hurt others
- Don't hurt yourself
- Don't hurt property
DO talk about it.

- stop the present action immediately
- think about what it is that made you feel anger/frustrated/sad/etc.
- assess the situation to find a solution that might work for you and for any others involved
- react to the situation with your problem solving plan and a better emotion

for managing tough situations
- engage in a completely different activity than the one that is making you feel bad
(ie) if trying to ride a bike is making the child frustrated, they can put the bike away and switch to jumping rope
- contribute to someone else's needs (ie) if the child is angry with a sibling, they can stay close to mom and help her fold laundry
- compare/contrast the negative emotion or situation to something or some event/activity that made you feel good, focus on the positive feelings
- try to change your emotion by doing something that will make you laugh or smile (ie) if you are angry about having to wash the dog, laugh when the dog splashes you and makes you sopping wet instead of getting angrier
Pushing Away
- conciously push away the negative thoughts and feelings and actively pursue the positive ones
- stop thinking about the negative things and concentrate on the positive things. (ie)instead of thinking I'm a bad person, I never do anything right think I have pretty hair, my friends think I'm nice, I feel good today etc.
- change the sensations you're feeling. (ie) rub your self or hug yourself if no one is available to comfort you with touch, bundle up under a soft blanket. Change into clothes that feel comfortable and not restrictive, take a hot, soothing bath or shower, swim, jump on a trampoline, etc.

1 comment:

FosterAbba said...

Although my kid is doing better right now, the moment that stands out the most in my mind relating to coping skills was the time that our daughter was having a meltdown and was reminded to use her tools. She grabbed the notebook that contained a list of her coping skills, ripped out the page, wadded it up and threw it in my face.

Then she screamed, "Coping skills don't work for me!"

I'm glad things are better now.