Sponsored by the HealthcareTrainingInstitute.org providing Quality Education since 1979
Add to Shopping Cart

8 Strategies for Working with Grieving Children
10 CEUs 8 Strategies for Working with Grieving Children

Section 2
Aspects of Anger in Children

Question 2 | Test | Table of Contents | Grief CEU Courses
Social Worker CEU, Psychologist CE, Counselor CEU, MFT CEU

Read content below or click FREE Audio Download
to listen
Riight click to save mp3

On the last track we discussed denial.  Three important aspects of denial in children are how imagination leads to denial in children, death is overwhelming, and natural vs. non-productive denial.  We also discussed techniques for coping with denial. 

On this track we will discuss anger. Three important aspects of anger are anger as a manifestation of grief, anger history, and identifying triggers. We will also discuss two techniques for coping with anger.  The case study on this track involves a pre teen named Kendall who is grieving a personal loss as opposed to the death of a loved one. As you listen to this track, evaluate the application of aspects regarding anger as they are related to Kendall.  Also, compare these applications to those regarding a client who is grieving the death of someone close.

Three Aspects of Anger

Aspect #1 - Anger as a Manifestation of Grief
12 year old Kendall experienced grief which manifested itself as anger. Kendall had been disfigured in a car accident. Kendall suffered severe lacerations to the upper third of his torso as well as his face. Also, a portion of Kendall’s scalp was avulsed. Surgery and recovery times for Kendall were extensive, resulting in his being held back a grade in school.  Kendall also suffered the loss of his right eye. 

When Kendall finally returned to the fifth grade, he was scarred badly and had not yet grown back all of his hair.  Kendall began displaying anger and hostility toward other children and toward school faculty in ways that his father, Drew, described as tornadic or tornado like. 

Drew stated, "The kid is like a tornado. It’s like he gathers strength at night and then strikes with the force of lightning. Kendall goes after the kids at school, his teachers, and even me. But worst of all, he gets mad at himself. He’ll call himself names and bang his head against the wall.  I got a call from his school last Friday and they said Kendall broke a ruler over some kid’s head. Now he can’t return to school until his anger is under control.  I know that his anger is somehow related to the accident, because he was always a sweet kid until this happened. But I don’t understand it." 

Does it appear to you that Kendall’s grief has manifested itself in anger and hostile behavior?  I stated to Drew, "Kendall may be grieving from the loss of his eye as well as his self-image.  The emotions generated by his grief are powerful and confusing."  I believed that Kendall may not have been aware of how to deal his grief. 

I stated to Drew, "Kendall hasn’t learned how to identify, separate, and articulate his feelings.  Therefore, he has trouble understanding why he feels insecure. As a result, Kendall feels overwhelmed and is responding in the only way he knows how."  Do you agree that of all the emotions, anger may be one of the easiest with which to respond?  Think of your Kendall.  Could his anger be a manifestation of his grief?  Later on this track we will discuss a technique for coping with anger, which led to Kendall facing his grief.

Aspect #2 - Anger History
Before I began working on Kendall’s issues of anger, I talked to Drew about Drew’s own anger history.  I  believed that understanding Drew’s anger history would be beneficial in dealing with Kendall’s anger. First, Drew thought about his parents and how they dealt with anger. 

Drew answered questions like "Did your parents suppress anger or did they express anger openly? Did your parents involve you in an unfair manner? What were you taught as a child about anger? How do you feel about how your parents dealt with anger? And can you think of better ways to deal with anger?" Do you agree that parents’ methods for coping with anger reflect themselves in children?

Aspect #3 - Identifying Triggers
In addition to anger as a manifestation of grief and anger history, the third aspect of anger is identifying triggers. To begin to manage Kendall’s anger, everything Kendall could think of that generated anger. As you know, these were Kendall’s triggers. To help identify Kendall’s triggers, I began a line of questioning.

I asked questions such as "Do you become angry because you look different since the surgery? Are you mad because you have to make new friends at school?  Is it because you were held back a grade? Are you angry with the doctors who didn’t fix your eye?" After identifying Kendall’s triggers, I discussed these triggers with Kendall. This discussion succeeded in reducing the power of Kendall’s anger.

I also discussed Kendall’s triggers with Drew so that he could begin diffusing them at home. Think of your grieving client.  If he or she is angry, could identifying triggers help reduce anger?

Technique: Coping with Anger
To help Kendall cope with his anger, I introduced Kendall and his father to two techniques for coping with anger. 
Step #1 - The first technique I used was physical activity. As you know, releasing energy through physical activity can help reduce negative anger displays. Drew was encouraged to help Kendall engage in more physical activity. 
Step #2 - The second technique I used for coping with anger was a tape recorder.  Kendall used the tape recorder to discharge his anger. When he felt angry, he would voice his feelings and why he thought he was angry. Then Kendall would play it back, hear himself exploding with rage, and erase it. 

Kendall stated, "A lot of times, when I hear myself on tape, I sound kinda ridiculous."  Do you agree that this method of having Kendall analyze his own anger could help him to better cope?  Think of your Kendall.  Is your grieving client’s anger a manifestation of grief?  Could coping with that anger help your client to face his or her grief?

On this track we have discussed anger.  Three important aspects we have discussed are anger as a manifestation of grief, anger history, and identifying triggers.

On the next track we will discuss guilt.  Three concepts regarding guilt are guilt is common, unrealistic guilt, and the reassigning responsibility technique. 

- Count, D. L. (2000). Working with Difficult Children from the Inside Out: Loss and Bereavement and How the Creative Arts Can Help. Pastoral Care in Education, 18(2), 17-27. doi:10.1111/1468-0122.00157.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Brans, K., Van Mechelen, I., Rimé, B., & Verduyn, P. (2014). To share, or not to share? Examining the emotional consequences of social sharing in the case of anger and sadness. Emotion, 14(6), 1062–1071.

Green, J. A., Whitney, P. G., & Potegal, M. (2011). Screaming, yelling, whining, and crying: Categorical and intensity differences in vocal expressions of anger and sadness in children's tantrums. Emotion, 11(5), 1124–1133.

Sears, M. S., Repetti, R. L., Reynolds, B. M., & Sperling, J. B. (2014). A naturalistic observational study of children’s expressions of anger in the family context. Emotion, 14(2), 272–283. 

What are three important aspects of anger? To select and enter your answer go to Test.

Others who bought this Grief Course
also bought…

Scroll DownScroll UpCourse Listing Bottom Cap

Test for this course | Grief CEU Courses
Forward to Track 3
Back to Track 1
Table of Contents

OnlineCEUcredit.com Login

Forget your Password Reset it!