The Angry Child

The ANGRY Child

Insights and strategies for helping the volatile, impulsive and aggressive youngster



James D. Sutton, EdD

P.O. Box 672

Pleasanton, TX 78064



 Program Focus:

This program will focus on the cause and scope of persistent impulsive and aggressive behavior, and it will offer practical, doable ideas and strategies for effective intervention and management.

Participant Benefits:

This workshop will improve participants’ ability to:

–Understand factors and issues that most influence impulsive and aggressive behavior.

–Redirect behaviors that can threaten the safety of this child and others.

–Increase confidence in teaching this child long-term skills of impulse control.

–Learn new prevention and intervention techniques that are effective in different settings.


Intended Audience of this Program:

This program is designed to assist Special Education/regular education teachers and paraprofessionals, counselors, administrators, inclusion and alternative education specialists, assessment personnel, Special Education supervisors/directors, clinicians and allied health service professionals in working more effectively with the emotionally fragile youngster who easily is given to episodes of impulsivity and overly aggressive behavior.

Needs Addressed by this Program:

Why is it that some youngsters can recite the behavior rules and consequences chapter and verse … yet still violate those rules over and over again?

Why is it that it takes only one “cocked to explode” youngster to damage the learning environment for everyone?

Why is it our best strategies for managing the volatile, impulsive and aggressive youngster often don’t work … or seem only to make things worse?

These are not easy questions to answer. It’s tough enough for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for a child to control behavior that is slipping out of control.

Program Description:

There’s nothing new about the need for anger management with this youngster. What is new is information affecting the way we look at the issue of problematic anger and how we manage it.

We know, for instance, that aggressive behavior is primarily learned behavior and that, regardless of how it looks from the outside, the aggressive child feels like a victim. This affects how the child thinks, or, in some instances, doesn’t think. The highly impulsive youngster and the highly creative youngster are alike in one sense; they operate more out of “images” than traditional language. The problem is that the images of the impulsive and aggressive youngster are not pretty ones. Their behaviors follow the images.

The slowing down of impulsive thought and the damage it can create involves increased facility with language, the capacity to self-sooth and manipulate images, and the ability of youngsters, with assistance, to rid themselves of victim status and accurately evaluate their progress. This program addresses these skills.

Program Objectives:

Through this workshop and materials, participants will be able to:

1. Internalize the two factors that researchers agree most influence impulsive and aggressive behavior.

2. Address why the angry child looks like an abuser, but feels like a victim.

3. Overcome what a youngster might experience as “advantages” of staying angry.

4. Grasp the concept of Emotional Bandwidth as it accounts for “normal” and problematic psycho-emotional functioning.

5. Understand how rage operates primarily on images, not language.

6. Manage the characteristics of behavior that becomes “desperate.”

7. Learn how activities and language can be used to “slow down” and even contain the rage response.

8. Teach a youngster the powerful connection between Needs, Feelings and Freedoms, and how to use them to achieve healing and better behavioral control.

9. Implement a detailed, step-by-step process for teaching a child the skills of anger management and interpersonal empowerment.

10. Employ an intervention that shows the child how to “manipulate” negative images using visualization and metaphor.

11. Consider other modalities for helping a youngster gain control over anger and destructive impulse.

Qualifications of the Presenter:

James D. Sutton, EdD

Texas Psychologist License # 2790

Texas Professional Counselor License # 06979

Texas Education Agency certifications–see vita

Texas Licensed Specialist in School Psychology #6154

Certified Speaking Professional

Agenda (breakout to 2.5 hour format)

Part I


Emotional Bandwidth

Anger at the speed of light

Image Streaming

Desperate Behavior

Patterns in Behavior

 Part II

Language Lanes: Needs, Feelings, Freedoms

Affirmation and empowerment

Disruption of negative patterns

Teaching the skills of anger control

Teaching Noncoercive Response

Image “manipulation”

Other modalities of intervention