By Libby Wasem
Preparation for a child’s birth includes nursery preparation, child birth classes, CD’s of Mozart, visits to prospective pediatricians, a review of name possibilities. But shouldn’t this preparation also include knowing yourself and improving skills to address lifelong emotional and behavioral patterns?
A place to start could be with “The Assertiveness Workbook” by Randy J. Paterson and “The Anger Control Workbook” by Matthew McKay and Peter Rogers.
Another primary place a child learns anger management is in the interaction of the baby and parent. A really helpful book to understand and prepare for child raising is “The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are” by Daniel Siegel.
Teaching positive self-esteem is another integral part of anger management. “The Optimistic Child” by Martin Seligman and “Nurturing Good Children Now” by Ron Taffel and Melinda Blau are both very readable.
Ultimately, clear age-appropriate limit setting is necessary for raising an individual who is able to move through the world comfortably. The video “1-2-3 Magic: Managing Difficult Behaviors in Children 2-12 ” by Thomas Phelan is great for younger children. (We have provided the link to the book below.)
“Parenting with Love and Logic” by Foster Cline and Jim Fay is currently one of my favorite books for teaching parents a system of calm compassionate discipline. “You can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded): Strategies for Bringing out the Best in Your Strong Willed Child” by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is great for the more independent spirited child.
The bottom line is to stay calm, love your children, play with them, structure them securely, and find adult friends to share this experience with so you can remain sane!
Libby Wasem, LCSW is staff director for Fredericksburg Counseling Services, Inc. Libby has worked in the mental health/educational community of this area since 1977 in addition to raising four children. Libby is writing this article to highlight “May is Mental Health Awareness Month” sponsored by the Mental Health Alliance.