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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why Are You So Grumpy? Parent presentation on helping children express anger

Why It’s Important: After analyzing the school data on Positive Discipline/Office Referral forms, I realized that 87% of the write-ups were in some way related to children inappropriately expressing their anger. Because of this information, the school counselors have conducted classroom guidance lessons, led small groups, and counseled individual students on how to effectively manage their anger. When considering the child systemically, it is also important to have extra support from home in handling their anger. For this reason, we put together a parent workshop to help parents know what they can do to assist their child in handling anger.

Event Details: The parent breakfast/workshop was held on a Friday morning from 8:00am-9:00am in the school media center. This time included opportunities for parents to mix and mingle over breakfast, and ask questions at the end.

Advertising: To advertise, we sent home a small flyer about the breakfast workshop with each student. We also made a “connect-ED” phone call to reach all parents. Flyers were posted around the school and we gave teachers an electronic form of the flyer to email to parents. Paper copies were made for parents without internet access. Furthermore, the workshop was also advertised through word of mouth during parent contacts at school and over the phone.

Introduction: As parents arrive, they helped themselves to some donuts or bagels and coffee, and were able to speak with other parents and with the school counselors. The presentation began with a quick pre assessment to determine how much the parents already know about helping their child with anger. This served as a focusing activity to get parents into the right frame of mind. Answers to the pre assessment were discussed during the presentation.

Activity: We presented a PowerPoint that includes information about what to do when your child is angry and how to help your child calm down. Included in the presentation was a list of books and resources on where they can go for more information, as well as ideas for parents to include when creating a calm-down basket for their child. Specific ideas were discussed as well as some tips for parents to consider when disciplining their children. 

Conclusion: To wrap things up, we summarized the main concepts covered and asked for specific questions and concerns from the parents. Parents were invited to stick around to talk individually with the counselors about other concerns they may have for their child. Before parents leave, they filled out a post assessment, which included the questions from the pre assessment, and a section for feedback and suggestions for future workshops.  

Results: 15 parents attended this workshop, but informational materials reached an additional five parents who could not attend, and four teachers also requested the materials for their parents. As a result of this workshop, there was a significant increase in parent’s ability to name concrete strategies to help their child handle anger. Before the workshop, 8 of the 15 parents were not able to provide specific things to help their child calm down. After the workshop, 14 out of 15 were able to list definite at least two strategies that could work with their child. Overall satisfaction ratings for this presentation were highly positive, with suggestions for improvement being to have more interactive activities, more ideas for older students, and some specific examples for the points covered. 

—Information in our presentation came from: 


  1. Very well done! I'd like to model my own workshops on what you show here!

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