Don't “hug a hoodie”, if you really want to sort out problem youngsters you may need to start by getting help with your own anger issues, say the British Association of Anger Management and leading children's charities
We have all seen parents screaming at their children in the supermarket or dragging their child off from the playground. Anger is almost acceptable when it is directed at children.
But actually a child learns from example, and the angry parent spawns the sadistic bully of a child we read about with alarming frequency in the media.
That is why the British Association of Anger Management and leading children's charities are urging parents to get help with their anger. Just witnessing an angry outburst can leave its mark on a child.
John Cameron, head of the NSPCC's child protection helpline says that anger was the root cause of a a spectrum of issues which the NSPCC dealt with, from domestic violence to bullying in the playground.
He says: “What we see from our calls is just the tip of the iceberg. We want a change of attitude. Anger is stigmatised in society in the way that sexuality or mental health once was. Parents find it very difficult to seek advice. We are saying to parents, your behaviour impacts on the child's, you need to learn to manage it.”
Meanwhile, according to Parentline Plus, calls about problems with anger have doubled in frequency for the period October 2007 to June 2009 (from 206 calls a month to 407 a month), with 16% of those reporting a mental health issue citing anger as the problem.
Most parents who call to say they have anger issues have mentioned their children's mental health as well- children feel confused or fearful, according to a spokesman.
He says: “The anger issue reaches a peak at January and August. Based on that, we could probably say that Christmas or going back to school after Christmas and summer holidays actually tends to trigger more anger.”
Mike Fisher, director of the British Association of Anger Management comments: “A child emulates what he sees, angry behaviour rubs off in many ways. For example, a child from an angry household won't respond to reason when he gets to school, he won't understand relationships which don't display anger. Education then suffers, leading to career prospects suffering and on into criminality. The cost to society is enormous.”
Parental anger can range from emotional threats such as “I'll kill you”, to physical violence and even sexual abuse, which was motivated by power and aggression, he said.
Passive anger was also harmful to the child “I won't care for you, as when I was a child I was not looked after.”
The British Association of Anger Management offers a range of courses around the country to help parents and others learn to manage and express their feelings of anger in a positive way.
ANGER FEATURES PROMINENTLY IN CALLS FROM PARENTS TO PARENTLINE PLUS
Source: Parentline Plus (30,894 calls April 2009- December 2009)
Adult mental health issues reported*
% of calls
*50% of overall calls to Parentline Plus relate to mental health issues
REASONS PARENTS REPORT FOR THEIR ANGER
Source: Parentline Plus qualitative survey
% of calls
Angry with (ex) partner’s behaviour
Angry with child's behaviour
Angry because of conflict between child and adult
Angry with other adult (family member, teacher, etc)
Angry because of child’s (sexual) abuse
Angry at everything (no identified reason)
Notes to editors:
Case studies of parents who have been through anger management programmes are available.
For further information, please contact:
About the British Association of Anger Management/Beating Anger
BAAM was established in 1999 in the UK. It is recognised by the NHS, BUPA, court authorities and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Its services are available to anyone who is dealing with their own or another person's anger. It has worked with over 13,000 people, from the unemployed to the high profile, including many international celebrities. It operates Beating Anger clinics across the UK. A recent series of workshops on anger management for parents in conjunction with Ealing Council was doubly oversubcribed.
About Mike Fisher
BAAM’s Mike Fisher is a renowned anger ‘guru’, TV consultant and author of the best seller, ‘Beating Anger’, with more than 30,000 copies sold since its launch in 2005.
The NSPCC free helpline is 0808 800 5000
Parentline plus is on freephone 0808 800 222
Gingerbread, the charity for single parents, operates a free helpline which offers advice on dealing with practical problems such as contact arrangements and child maintenance on 0808 802 0925
4 The Bothy, Plawhatch Hall, Plawhatch Lane, Sharpthorne, East Grinstead RH19 4JL
BAAM is part of the Rainbow Bridge Project Ltd.
Company No: 4646405
VAT number: 830 476 435
www.angermanage.co.uk [email protected] • tel: 0845 1300 286 • fax: 01342 811 513