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Eighth-Grader Has Anger Problem
Q: My child is an eighth-grader. She has no friends and gets made fun of a lot. I want to help, but she tells me to stay out of it. Today, she was made fun of at school, threw a stool on the floor, and pushed the teacher out of the way. Then she walked out. When the teacher asked her to come back, she said no and went to the bathroom and cried. How can I help her? I'm worried that her anger will get her into more trouble, and she'll end up doing something that she'll regret.
A: I encourage you to talk with your daughter and point out that the way she is handling her anger is not working, and that you and she need to work on it together. Then call her school counselor and ask for a meeting to talk about the best way to solve this issue. When you and your daughter meet with the counselor, discuss the options of an anger management support group, a friendship group or peer mediation or counseling as a means of helping your daughter find some peace and happiness. You are quite right when you say that her anger may lead her to do things she might regret.
You also may want to check out some pamphlets on anger from the counseling office or get some books from the public library on this topic. Whatever you do, make it a project for both of you. That way your daughter won't feel alone.
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Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.