The Angry Child: What Parents, Schools, and Society Can Do

Rowman & Littlefield. Sept. 2019. 114p. ISBN 9781475848793. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781475848809. CHILD REARING
Anger gets a bad rap, but when properly harnessed, the emotion can help a child develop the confidence and boundaries needed to thrive in a changing world, says Novick (education, Rutgers Univ.; Parents and Teachers Working Together). According to a 2012 Harvard study, one in 12 teens has a classifiable anger disorder, thus learning to process these feelings appropriately is a skill needed now more than ever. Social media can also facilitate “viral” anger, with more shares present on posts classified as “angry” vs. those expressing other emotions, explains the author. Moreover, as 55 percent of any message is spread through body language rather than words, today’s teens are experiencing fewer face-to-face interactions (one in five admits to waking up in the night and logging on to social media). Practical approaches to addressing the issue, both in the classroom and at home, include incorporating routines and choices, teaching responsibility while allowing for mistakes, and emphasizing problem-solving and forgiveness.
VERDICT At just 100-plus pages, this breezy but impactful read provides concrete ideas for teaching children healthy ways to deal with anger.

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