Disruptive Behaviors


Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

    Whenever Ms. Moops asks me to do something, I get angry and don't want to do it. Then I get in trouble and she sends me to Mr. Hamberger's office. Any suggestions?

Signed,

Alfred A.

Dear Alfred, 

    Besides anger, I wonder if there are other feelings you might be having that you just don't know about. If you keep getting into trouble, you might want to ask your parents to take you to see a therapist for individual therapy. It is always helpful to talk to someone about whatever is on your mind.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     Sometimes I get so angry I just want to punch a hole through my wall. The anger makes me really scared. Is that normal? 

Signed,

George G.

Dear George,

     A lot of children (and even adults!) have a tough time controlling their anger so you're definitely not alone. Sometimes it can be helpful to punch a pillow or pound clay when you're feeling angry. If this makes your anger worse, imagine a place that makes you feel calm while you are practicing your big balloon breaths. Once you find a way to make your anger go down, it will definitely feel a lot less scary. 

     Here is a worksheet that will help you find other things to do when you're feeling angry.

 

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I got a bad grade on Mr. Foozle's math test yesterday. I was in a really bad mood when I got home and started yelling at my family. I know it's not their fault I didn't study, but they're just so easy to get mad at...

Signed,

Milton M.

Dear Milton,

     I can understand how a bad test grade can lead to a bad mood. Whenever I am in a bad mood, I try to give myself time and space to cool off before I feel comfortable talking to others because I know it's not fair to take my anger out on them. Remember, Milton, the more you are aware of your own anger and what makes you angry, the better you can control your anger. 

     It might be helpful to start by figuring out where you feel the anger in your body. This worksheet well help you locate your anger.

 

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I can't help but lose my temper with everyone- my friends, my parents...even my teacher, Mrs. Bookbinder! People don't want to be around me anymore. Help!

Signed,

Winston W.

Dear Winston,

    Sometimes we lose our temper when we are hungry, tired, or both hungry and tired. Try to check in with your body to see if that might be the case when you're feeling angry. Other times we might lose our temper when there is a change and we don't expect it or when we feel like we don't have a choice. If you notice these are some reasons why you lose your temper, let your parents know! If it's still hard to control your temper, it might be helpful to meet with a therapist to talk about what might be underneath all the anger.

     Here is a worksheet that's all about things that can make you angry.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     My dad keeps telling me to stop arguing with my little brother about the small, silly stuff. I don't think any of it is small or silly! Nobody ever understands me...

Dear Rutherford,

     I can understand how annoying little brothers can be! While you can't really change your brother, you can change how you react to him when he's making you angry. First, you want to figure out what happens to your body when you start to get angry. For some people, their heart beats faster. For others, their fists start to clench. Once you've figured out what happens to your body when you feel angry, it might be helpful to go to a different room from your brother and calm down before you try talking to him again.

     This worksheet will help you locate the anger in your body.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I spent yesterday in Mr. Hamberger's office for bothering Morris during class. I tried to stop myself but I couldn't help it. Does this make me a bad kid, Doc?

Signed,

Alfred A.

Dear Alfred,

     It definitely does not make you a bad kid! Sometimes we might do things that are not right, but that does not make us 'bad.' Keep opening up in your therapy sessions and talk about what is bothering you, Alfred. The more you talk about your feelings and emotions, the less you're going to get into trouble at school.

     Here is worksheet that might help you from getting into as much trouble.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     My parents are really proud of my brother, Ralph, and are always really disappointed with me. It stinks to be the bad son...

Signed,

George G.

Dear George,

     It seems like your parents are used to giving Ralph positive attention and giving you negative attention. If we work on changing that pattern where you do morepositive things and your parents praise you for that, you will no longer feel like the 'bad son.'

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I got angry today after I lost at handball so I kicked the ball really hard and Ms. Noodle got upset. Actually, everyone kinda got mad at me and told me to go away. I want to control my anger, I really do...it's just super hard to walk away sometimes...         

Signed,

Milton M.

Dear Milton,

     I know how hard it must be to feel out of control when you get angry. It takes time to learn how to walk away. You've been so used to doing it a certain way that you just have to practice doing it a new way in order to start seeing changes. Don't give up, Milton- you're doing great!

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I lost my temper pretty bad today when my mom started cleaning up my toys while I was still playing with them. Anyway, now I'm grounded until Saturday. This stinks.

Signed,

Winston W.

Dear Winston,

     Being grounded does stink. I know it bothers you when your mom cleans up your toys, but it sounds like maybe she's just trying to help. When you are feeling calmer, maybe you can let her know that you would rather play with your toys and clean up by yourself when you are done. I know it can be hard not to get mad, Winston- remember, you can always go back and talk things through when you are feeling less angry.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I feel really bad for saying this but I don't think I like my brother very much...is that normal?

Dear Rutherford,

     Of course, that's perfectly normal! Brothers and sisters always go through phases of liking and not liking each other and there is nothing wrong with that. What's important is to let your brother know when you are feeling angry and frustrated with him instead of keeping everything inside. And if you need to take a little space from him when you're angry, that's okay too.

     Here is a worksheet all about brothers and sisters.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I got in trouble today for telling Morris he looked like he ate a horse. Okay, maybe that wasn't the nicest thing to say...but he has gotten a lot bigger!     

Signed,

Alfred A.

Dear Alfred,

     A lot of times we have no idea what is going on in someone else's life. It sounds like you were just trying to point out something to Morris, but it's also important to know how our words can affect others and that everyone is dealing with their own stuff.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I got really angry and started yelling really loudly in the library when Mr. Oglethorpe wouldn't let me check out a book 'cause I didn't return last week's book. Why does everyone always pick on me?

Signed,

George G.

Dear George,

      It must be really upsetting to feel like all these adults are picking on you. I know the rule at the school library is that you cannot check out a new book until you return the one you borrowed. While it might seem you are being picked on, I know Mr. Oglethorpe follows this rule with all students at Rodentia Elementary School.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     Mr. Foozle wasn't too happy with me today when I ripped the paper out of Garfinkle's hand. I couldn't help it- he was moving so slowly! Anyway, this stinks 'cause my parents said if I get in trouble at school again I'm going to get grounded for two weeks.

Signed,

Milton M.

Dear Milton,

     While I can understand your frustration when you don't get what you want right away, I also don't want you to keep getting grounded at home. In the future, it might be a good idea to take a moment and think about what will happen if you follow through with your actions when you are angry. Taking a moment has often helped me not act out of anger.

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     I got angry in class today and ripped the edge off Ollie's homework. It really wasn't a big deal, but she got all bent out of shape 'cause she's such a perfectionist so Mrs. Bookbinder said I couldn't go out for recess. Sheesh.

Signed,

Winston W.

Dear Winston,

     It might not seem like a ripped piece of a paper is a big deal to you, but it sounds like it was a really big deal for Ollie. Ripping paper is an excellent idea when you are feeling angry. Just be sure it's the right time to do it and it's not someone else's homework

 

Dear Dr. Woodchuck,

     Winston made fun of my little brother on the playground today so I hit him. I don't even know why I got so angry...I don't even like my brother! Anyway, I hurt my hand really bad and had to visit Ms. Bougainvillea before going to Mr. Hamberger's office.

Dear Rutherford,

     It seems like a part of you might like your brother based on your actions today. It's okay to like your brother and stick up for him, Rutherford, but hitting others not only hurts but will also get you into trouble. Remember, you can always tell an adult when someone is being mean.

 

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