Posts Tagged ‘anger’

“On stopping bad behavior.” – Doc Meek

Teddy Bear image from:



I suppose the best place to start is how to stop our own bad behavior. For example, if we are trying to stop someone’s outbursts of anger, it seems ludicrous to use our own anger in an attempt to do this. On the other hand, is there a place for anger?

 It’s “controversial”

And just what does controversial mean? At the most basic level, it means that opinions vary, sometimes very strongly.

So whose opinion gets to prevail? The biggest verbal bully? The most threatening to our health and welfare? What if our job is threatened?

 A school example 

(This will work at home as well, probably much better and much wiser, but only if an “outsider” does it, not the parent; the parent will probably not be able to withhold anger; some cultures have the “uncle” administer all “discipline” so as to preserve the parent’s gentler role and good relationship)

“Toughest” case I ever handled

I was called in one time to an inner-city elementary school because a Grade 6 boy was bullying other students on the playground at recess, at noon hour, and before and after school.

The principal and the teachers said he was unstoppable. They had tried “everything” and other students were suffering.

 No “hands on” allowed

 The teachers and all school staff were forbidden by school board policy to touch any student. Perhaps that is OK, I don’t know. All I know is that sometimes human touch is necessary to resolve violent human-touch issues.

I told the principal I would take the case if he would allow me to handle it my own way, without interference from him or any of the teachers or other staff.

Since the principal was totally defeated over this issue, he agreed.

Reluctantly. Of course. The man had wisdom and judgment.

 Calm “stealth” approach

I approached this boy (let’s call him Brandon) at recess. He was leaning up against the outside brick wall of the school, with his back to the wall. He was facing the schoolyard at the side of the school.

I put my back against the wall beside him, and said sideways:

“Hi Brandon, I’m Doc Meek.”

No response.

I continued:

“Brandon, I hear you are pushing other students around.”

No response.

He was only in Grade 6 but he was big enough to beat me up.

No response.

 Slow and gentle “wrap up”

“Brandon, are you able to just stop it?”

Came the slow answer:

“I don’t think so.”

“Here, let me show you something,” I said, sliding softly in behind him and the brick wall.

 The big teddy bear hug 

I reached gently around him with my two hands and held his left wrist with my right hand and his right wrist with my left hand. No anger in me.

Putting my knees slowly into the back of his knees, we slid softly to the ground. Now we are both sitting, Brandon with his legs extended and me with my legs extended around him. I put my legs over his legs in front of him. No anger in me.

“OK Brandon, we are just going to sit here until you just stop it, OK?” No anger in me.  

At this point Brandon decided he had had enough of this nonsense and decided to get up—tried very hard to get up in fact.

I held firm.

No anger in me. This was not my own child. I could be objective.

Since I had both of his wrists in my hands and both of his legs with my legs looped over his, he was completely “wrapped up,” thoroughly restricted in his efforts.

 No anger in me

The best he could do was try to bang his head backwards against my face, but I dodged by arching my head backwards just out of reach.

No anger in me.

Now Brandon attempted to get really violent. To no avail.

 Embedded “commands”

I whispered in this ear (no anger in me):

“The toughest cases always turn out to be the best guys.”

And I whispered other “comforting” phrases which did not reduce his violence one bit.

But his brain was registering. And his back was registering my slow and measured breathing and the slow expansion and contraction of my rib cage. No anger in me.

 The body registers kinesthetically

This will not work if anger is used.

I held him firm and whispered in his ear:

“I’ll let you go as soon as you decide to just stop it.”

And later: “Have you decided you can just stop it?”

His body was registering all along my quiet and measured breathing.

 Brandon has “enough”

 Finally Brandon decided he had enough and said:

“OK, I’ll just stop it.”

I instantly released him.

And he instantly began angrily swearing at me.

I instantly “wrapped him up” again and we sat quietly again with my back against the brick wall of the school.

I had to be really quick since he was not happy about me holding him.

No anger in me.

 More time… more embedded “commands”

I kept whispering good stuff in his ear, from time to time.

Brandon tried the “OK, I’ll just stop it” several more times and I had to “wrap him up” again several more times.

We sat there in silence (Brandon had quit resisting my gentle but firm hold on him) until school let out for the day.

 More time… silence

All the other students departed for home. No one bothered us sitting there at the side of the school.  The principal went home, without even seeing us “perched” at the side of the school.

We “sat on” in silence. I was getting tired. And so was Brandon.

The janitor came out of the school and came around to the side where we were “perched.” He observed from a distance and went back inside.

We “sat on” until sundown.  Measured breathing.

 Brandon actually achieves “enough”

Finally Brandon announced (with real conviction):

“OK, I’ll just stop it.”

And he did.

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, May 16, 2015

P.S. Another time, I was called into a Sunday School class to help with an “impossible” child. I “wrapped him up” in a gentle bear hug.

The parents and teachers were more trouble than the child.

We (child and I) only had to sit on the floor for an hour on this one.

Easier than than “all-day” Brandon.

30 Minute ADHD Consultations

“Anger Can Be Deadly [the solutions].” – Dr. Mercola

This is the second 1/2 of Dr. Mercola’s guest article, Anger Can Be Deadly.

A healthy way to “get your anger out”: a choir of 30 shouting men. 😮 Photo from:


I’ve written about anger management before in THE LEARNING CLINIC WORLDWIDE blog. If you missed those articles, simply click on the titles: Anger management in schools; Anger Management in Classrooms


Anger Can Be Deadly, by Dr. Joseph Mercola (this is the second 1/2 of the article posted Saturday, July 3, 2010); if you missed the first 1/2 of this article,  just click on the title here: “Anger Can Be Deadly [the damage].” – Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola’s entire article is from:

Your Emotional Health is Intricately Linked to Your Physical Health

Negative emotions will invariably impact your physical well-being, and anger is no different. Emotional factors are actually one of the most important contributing factors for all diseases, including cancer.

That is why an effective strategy to manage your emotional stress has long been a part of my top health tools, and this is because there is overwhelming evidence that your mind does matter when it comes to preventing, or triggering, disease.

The idea that your emotions impact your health and the development of disease is not new. Even the conservative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that 85 percent of all diseases appear to have an emotional element, but the actual percentage is likely to be even higher.

Your emotions can actually trigger your genes to either express health or disease… and if you’re chronically angry or prone to uncontrolled outbursts you could be inadvertently sabotaging your health.

This is why I highly recommend you work on overcoming your emotional barriers, whether they’re based on life’s anxiety-factors or more deep-seated emotional traumas that may have left you “angry at the world.”

There are a host of techniques to instill positive emotions and thoughts and create a sense of inner-peace, and the best rule is to find the one that works for you, whether it is considered conventional or “alternative,” and keep on using it. Prayer and meditation are helpful for many.

In my clinical practice, I have tried a variety of methods, and have been exposed to many more (both conventional and alternative) through my medical background, but none have come close to the success rate I have experienced with the Meridian Tapping Technique/Emotional Freedom Technique (MTT/EFT).

With EFT, while mentally focusing on the psychological/emotional issues in a positive manner through the use of affirmations, pressure is applied to the same energy points used for thousands of years in acupuncture (these energy points are finally even being recognized as legitimate by the pharmacy- and surgery-addicted American medical establishment.)

These energy points are only tapped, though, not punctured as in acupuncture, as it has been shown that pressure on these points is all that is necessary to activate your body’s bioenergy. This combination of positive mental focus on the issue(s) and physical stimulus to your body’s biochemistry is amazingly effective at eliminating the issue — be it anger, stress, anxiety, etc. — quickly.

Life’s Too Short to Live With Anger

Optimal health involves addressing and resolving your anger and other emotional traumas as quickly as possible — without letting old emotional wounds contribute to more negativity, and therefore disease, in your mind and body.

So in addition to using MTT/EFT as your primary anger-resolution tool, you may also want to try:

  • Relaxation techniques (slow deep breathing, meditation, prayer, positive imagery)
  • Empathizing with the person (or situation) you’re angry with
  • Exercising (vigorous activity is an excellent way to release angry energy that has built up, and gentler exercise, like yoga, can help you calm down afterward)
  • Asking yourself, “Will this situation matter in 10 minutes? Tomorrow? Next month? Next year?” Most often, situations you’re angry over mean very little in the greater scheme of your life. Keep this question in mind to help you remember that the situation you’re so angry about now will likely be irrelevant in a short time — and is probably not worth getting worked up over.

When combined, these techniques are extremely effective at both releasing negative energy and putting your mind at ease. ………………………………………………………………………………..

Thank you, Dr. Mercola!

Doc Meek, Sunday, July 11, 2010, at Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

P.S. For more information about healthy heart solutions to anger, see the associate links in my signature block below:

Associate Links:

J Collins Meek, PhD
>>> “What if you are smarter than you think?” >>>

Associate Links:

CANADA: PO Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1
US: 3688 W 9800 S, #138, South Jordan, UT 84095-3260
Phone: (801) 971-1812 (Jeannette); Fax : [801] 282-6026

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Dad can guarantee learning success for his children

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The best tribute to pay Dad on Father’s Day

The best gift to Dad is to remind him of his power to guarantee the learning success of his children, no matter what the task.

My previous article, showing how Dad guaranteed success for his little son who was learning to bowl, was posted April 14, 2010. If you wish to see that, click on the URL immediately below:

Guarantee Learning Success for Everybody

Learning fears and humiliating failures can haunt learning for life

When youngsters are first learning a sport, they often have great fear of failure. They fear that they will prove incompetent, that they will fumble and look stupid and be embarrassed and on and on.

Often these initial fears, if not “cushioned” in some way, are fully realized as the child attempts a totally new set of tasks, and then the stark memory of learning failure may haunt him or her throughout life.

“Cushioning” these learning fears in some way can mean the difference between ongoing success in school and life, and ongoing failure in school and life.

Sports leaders can guarantee learning success

My brother attended a baseball game in which his young son was playing, and was impressed to see that the team leaders had provided many ways to guarantee learning success, by “chunking everything down,” as they say, breaking the multiple learning tasks into more easily-learnable segments.

Dad was delighted. His young son was delighted too. He could “smell success,” almost before he got started.

The sports leaders were affable and kind, radiating a generosity of spirit (as opposed to aggressive competitiveness and outbursts of anger).

First, even though this was a baseball game, the leaders were using a softball, bigger than a regulation baseball, so that the youngsters would find it easier to hit.

Second, the leaders mounted the ball on a short stand at home base, at just the right height for hitting, thus providing a “batting tee” for the aspiring baseball players. This “batting tee” is analogous to a “golfing tee,” except of course that it holds the ball much higher off the ground.

Regular baseball rules were modified

If the batter swung and missed the ball right in front of him, a “strike” was called of course. If the batter knocked the ball off the tee and the ball rolled into “foul” territory, a strike was called. No “balls” were called. The young players either “struck out” or ran. No “walking.”

If the batter knocked the ball off the tee and it rolled into “fair” territory, the batter ran.

If the batter hit the ball any distance, he ran of course.

Most plays were won on errors 😮

The young boys had a ball (no pun intended)! 😮

The leaders had a ball. The parents had a ball. Other spectators and bystanders had a ball. 😮

And the young players more easily mastered essential baseball skills, guaranteeing learning success. 😮

No child cried (except perhaps when they fell down swinging or running) and no child stayed home the next time a game was scheduled. 😮

All the players were successful in learning how to play baseball. More importantly, all the boys felt good about learning and playing, and having fun in the process. 😮

These “learning success” feelings often last a lifetime, helping the child experience learning success in school and work. 😮

Parents and teachers follow the same principles for learning success

Parents at home and teachers in the classroom follow the same principles to guarantee learning success in all endeavors. This is not easy to do. It is, however, do-able:

(1) Make the starting point easy and enjoyable, perhaps even fun.

(2) Chunk down the learning tasks into smaller, more easily-learnable segments.

(3) Modify the rules when necessary; create a community of learners.

(4) Leave aggression and competitiveness aside initially, and perhaps always. It can help us be better citizens. It can help us achieve a more cooperative and successful society.

(5) Smile. 😮

(6) Smile. 😮

(7) Smile. 😮

We can all even use these learning success principles with ourselves!

If we all laugh more, and take ourselves less seriously more, almost any learning task can be done successfully.

With good memories that last a lifetime.

To lifelong learning enjoyment!

Doc Meek, Sunday, June 20, 2010 (Father’s Day)

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

You can’t change students (children) . . . you can care about them . . .

“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” – Horace Mann

Dr. Merrill Harmin, in his famous book, Strategies to Inspire Active Learning: Complete Handbook [for teachers], gives us the common-sense idea that if a student in the your classroom (or by analogy, a child in your home) is continually acting out of line, you can speak to them privately.

Line Drawing:Teacher lecturing student

From there on, though, his suggestions get seemingly odd.

Dr. Harmin says that the purpose of the private dialogue is just that, to have a private dialogue. Not to give them a lecture. It gets even odder. He then says that the goal of the private dialogue is not–as you might think–to get the student (child) to change his/her behavior.

What? I thought that was the whole idea. “Nope,” says my wise friend.

Guess what?

The goal of the private dialogue is to start to build a relationship between the teacher and the student (or between the parent and the child).

Amazingly, one of the key requirements is for the adult to listen, not the younger person so much. The younger person is not simply an inferior adult. They are persons in their own right, having their own life, and their own preferences about learning and their own dreams and life purposes.

If we as adults wish to actually influence younger people for good on a lifetime basis (not just get them to conform to our momentary demands), it is vital that we listen with respect, even if their performance or behavior is out of line.

The listening with respect, the building of a relationship is the basis for all change (learning).

Astute teachers and mothers know this without being told. Fathers can learn it too. 😮

Caring, Respect, and even Honor,

Doc Meek, Thursday, June 3, 2010

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

P.S. We as adults can have a lot of “fun” learning this change within ourselves: caring, respecting, honoring and listening to young people.

It is short-term so satisfying–in a perverse sort of way–to just lecture them. Our egos love it! Our lecture may change their behavior temporarily (as long as we remain present). It will not engender long-term self-responsibility and self-management in the younger person, which is, after all, ultimately the goal of all education (and all family life), right?

P.S.S. Hey this is really wacko! You mean to tell me that the purpose of  lecturing . . . uh . . . dialoguing  with . . . a younger person is to get me–me–to change (learn), not them? Yup. Real challenge isn’t it? That’s how many students (and children at home) feel about the changes (learnings) being required of them.

Parents (and teachers) may wish to explore the idea that we may be yelling at our kids too much. Copy and paste this URL in your computer’s browser line:

Self-management of Personal Anger

A teacher wrote asking me to speak about personal anger management, as distinct from classroom or whole-school approaches. He said that his own personal anger interfered with student learning and his own learning, and that individual student anger stopped many students from engaging learning in a useful and enjoyable way.

So I said, “Here is a specific anger removal technique for individuals. This is the kind of protocol you should practice yourself over and over again so you can experience its effectiveness when practiced repeatedly. It is easy to practice repeatedly because it is so simple.”

“Once you master this yourself, you can teach it to others, whether colleagues, friends, family, or students.”

As a matter of fact, it would be a lot easier to master it yourself solely to prove to  yourself its effectiveness, and then simply show the video example to the other person to learn from the video. I have found it much better to simply use the video in private, not try to teach it personally unless there is some reason the person wants you to teach it personally. The beauty of the video as a teacher is that it is endlessly patient and will never get upset or angry with you if you are slow to learn. 😮

Specific Anger Removal for Individuals

This has been called the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or more simply, “Tapping,” and is very simply demonstrated in the following video by Magnus on YouTube:

Use this video to teach yourself in private, and then you can consider having your students learn to use it in private as well. Needless to say, you bring this to the attention of a specific student after he or she has calmed down and is quiet. Bring it to their attention quietly and privately, and only if you are able to determine that the student is willing to learn how to get rid of his or her anger that gets them into so much trouble.

After you have demonstrated the credibility of this “Tapping” video to yourself,  you can also teach its usefulness to your whole class (when things are calm and there is no anger incident at hand).

REMINDER: Remember that neither you nor your student is altogether getting rid of the capacity or ability to express anger. There may be times when expression of anger is not only appropriate, it might be life-saving. Usually not, however. Usually it is the case that personal anger control is the situation-saver and perhaps even the life-saver, for most circumstances. And that is the reason for learning this valuable “tapping-away-the-anger” technique.

Once you begin using the Magnus “Tapping” video on YouTube to help you and others control personal anger, you will find that there are also many other general and specific videos on anger management nearby to this one on YouTube.

Doc Meek

Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, CANADA; and South Jordan, Utah, USA

Anger management in schools

Needless to say, anger gets in the way of learning in schools, for the student in question, and also for other students. Teachers sometimes need help with anger management for themselves also. We all do, to some extent. I sent a teacher who asked me about anger management in his school the following:

Short-term Solutions for anger management for everybody. The website below reminds us that scolding and punishing the angry student may stop the student’s anger at the moment (if the student fears the person doing the punishing). However, the punishment or scolding or yelling does not teach the student anything about how to change himself or herself. He or she will just get angry again when the punishing person is not around.
We want to give students the ability and talent and tools to manage themselves, to control their own anger, when we are not with them, so that they can learn how to manage their emotions better by themselves, on their own, not just when we are there forcing them just to do what we say when we say it. This website gives you a start on what to do that is better than seemingly simple punishment:
You will notice that there are many other anger situations shown on this website too, not just for teachers and counselors.
There are suggestions for home, couples, etc., and many different situations and places. Good stuff.
There are many other helpful things to do in dealing with anger, whether in school, at home or in the community. We need to know how to manage our own anger as well. More in future posts.
Blessings, Doc Meek
South Jordan, Utah, USA; and Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA

Anger Management at School, Home, Everywhere

A teacher wrote me asking for counsel on anger management for students in school, in the classroom and elsewhere. I responded with three different aspects relating to anger problems. I introduced the topic as follows and said I would follow up with him in my next post.

(1) Short-term Solutions for everybody.
Ideas and techniques and better ways to do things
about anger: “Get the Angries Out.”
Some tips and techniques showing how to do things
better, that will help a student (and teacher) to behave
better and get rid of anger. And to stop yelling, scolding,
blaming, and punishing, which may stop anger at the
moment and will not help the student when he or she
is on their own. I give you more information next post.
(2) Long-term solutions for schools, teachers, students.
Dr. Merrill Harmin’s book, “Strategies to Inspire Active
Learning” (2002) can be found in some school libraries
and is available on Every teacher should
have a copy of their own on their desk. It is a handbook
for daily use, not a theoretical textbook for future use.
If this book is read, studied and practiced (just a few
new strategies each week), great things do happen!
This is targeted to students becoming more involved
in their own learning, thus reducing boredom and apathy
and tending to produce fewer provocations for anger.
More detail in my next post.
(3)  Specific Anger Removal for Individuals (“Tapping”)
This “Tapping” is a method to practice
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)
which is very effective for individuals who wish to learn how
to get rid of their own anger. Works for everybody: mothers,
fathers, teachers, counselors, children, students, etc.,anybody
who wants to learn how to get rid of their own anger. More in a
future blog post.
Doc Meek
South Jordan, Utah, USA; Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
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