Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Angry Kids: Changing the Climate of Your Home by Lynne Namka, Ed.D.

Please welcome Lynne Namka, Ed.D. to the blog today. She is sharing advice on how to reduce the anger level in your home, and also provides some further reading to help.

You can also check out her book, 'The Mad Family Gets the Mads Out' here.

Angry Kids: Changing the Angry Climate of Your Home

Lynne Namka, Ed. D. © 2013

A reader wrote me to ask which of my books would I recommend for an angry teenager. And then a mother called me about her explosive teenager. So here are some of my thoughts about turning anger around at home.

Parents feel so helpless when the anger monster gets out of hand in the family and zooms back and forth from one family member to the next. Here are the resources I gathered, a few mine and from others for turning the problem of teen anger into an opportunity for learning.

First we must all take responsibility for what we have created in the home. No one family is singled out—changing the atmosphere in the home is a group effort. Each person has added their piece to the dynamics of anger that has taken over. System theory (a family is a system where contagious emotions bounce back and forth) says don’t blame but challenge each person to look for solutions.

Taking responsibility for words and actions is a sign of maturity. To do this you can learn to work with our sticky feelings especially the negative ones and express the loving ones to those we care about often. Helping others to understand and express their feelings in safe and sane ways that do not hurt others or ourselves is the core of my work.

Your child will not take responsibility for his or her anger if it is being modeled for them in the home. If one or more parent is angry and fighting with the child and using old, outdated “do what I tell you because I’m the parent,”

To turn things around, the angry parent MUST take charge of his or her own anger by taking an anger management class and then doing the anger containment and release at home IN FRONT OF THE CHILD! That’s right; the parent must model positive use of anger and holding their own temper! It’s that old proverb, “Little monkey see, little monkey do.” Then little monkeys grow up to be big monkeys with children of their own and the anger and abuse continue to the next generation.

Announce: This Family is Taking a Vacation from Anger! Refuse to engage in the baiting and picking that goes on. Stop sarcasm, name calling and eye rolling. See my article on Fair Fighting at for more ideas about better ways to express anger. Own up and be the bigger person. Apologize to your child or spouse in front of the entire family for anything that you said or did that hurt them. Ask if anyone else needs to apologize but don’t push for this. Remember sincere apologies are said with true regret and an intention to change for the benefit of all. (Yelling I’m sorry is not a true apology.)

Remind each and everyone in the home that they are responsible for their anger outbursts and they can learn to express anger in ways that do not hurt others or themselves. Get the young person in anger management class or counseling of course, but it is not up to them to change the family dynamics—every single person can contribute. If one person won’t, unfortunately that’s a sign of immaturity, but the rest of you can go ahead and do things that will make a difference.

Taking a Time Out in the heat of anger is a sign of maturity. Step back, take a breath and bite your tongue to keep from adding fuel to the anger fire. Excuse yourself by saying that you have to go calm yourself down. Parental time outs model appropriate anger containment!

Learn to be silly and lighten up the mood of the home. Kids love fun. No mean teasing, but jokes, laughing at yourself, smiling at your child and spouse often, affectionate gestures are all part of creating a loving home.


Here are some small books that teach parents and children how to be an effective human being even when angry. This approach may seem simple to you but it works.

These books are cheap from $.01 to $6.97 from the online bookstores. Invest in them to shift your outlook so that things can shift at home. [Click on a book title to be taken to its Amazon page.]

The One Minute Scolding: The Amazingly Effective New Approach to Child Discipline
Gerald E. Nelson

Keeping your reprimand to one minute and saying something positive about your child before giving a correction puts the responsibility on you for keeping it light. It also keeps you from ranting and venting. This book is full of common-sense skills for discipling children and teens while raising the self esteem of both child and parents.


The One Minute Father and The One Minute Mother by Spencer Johnson

Unconditionally love the child and correct the behavior quickly. Based on the wildly popular One Minute Manager for businesses (translated into many languages and sold worldwide.) These two books for parents teach the principles of the One Minute Manager in the natural context of the parent child relationship. Based on praise first to get the attention and set the mood and then give the reprimand. (I love you, but cut that behavior out!)

Who Moved My Cheese? For Teens by Spencer Johnson

This is a small story that gives the message written in parable form: “If you keep on doing the same thing, you will keep getting the same result.” Flexibility and the ability to stop doing what doesn’t work and change directions and tactics are necessary skills for getting a happy life.

Here are some of my children’s books on learning about the correct use of feelings.

Feelings are for learning. The more you find ways to work with them and release them, the happier you and your loved ones will be. The Mad Family Gets their Mads Out has been a best seller since it came out two decades ago.

The book I wrote to explain how to release feelings for children is Goodbye Ouchies and Grouchies, Hello Happy Feelings. It is the book I wish I could have read as a confused child. It teaches The Emotional Freedom Technique which actually releases negative feelings, irrational beliefs and traumas.

My newest book, The Case of the Prickly Feelings is about a little hedgehog detective who goes on the case to find out what to do with his angry feelings that he picked up from the prickly people in his family. All my books teach different methods of letting go of negative feelings.

And finally a hilarious You Tube video by comedienne Amanda Gore: How to let People Know You Love Them, Zoot Zoot! Zooties! You and your spouse watch this video four times and then do it! Yes, do it! Yes give yourself permission to have fun and do it. Yes it is silly, but kids respond to silly. Do Gore’s wild idea often to change the sullen energy in the home. Watch her other fun videos.

Share the positive! Please pass this article on to parents, teachers, therapists, counselors and those who might be in need of this information.

A subscription to my free weekly newsletter which gives much information about anger and healthy living can be found at

Start off your day with a positive message or two from me on my Facebook page. Look for the positive and you will find it! Join me on Facebook by making a request for becoming a friend at

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out' by Lynne Namka, Ed.D.

The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out


Are people in your family mad? Those pesky mads! They are part of being human, but they do keep us steaming and stewing. They make us irrational. They pop out at the wrong times. They make us say and do things we regret later. There must be a better way! The Mad Family Book gives choices! In this book, you can find out how to:
*Deal with an angry child by giving him positive alternatives. 
*Help your child understand his angry feelings. 
*Express anger in ways that do not hurt others or self. 
*Learn safe and fun ideas for anger release. 
*Learn to speak negative feelings to increase self-esteem.
~~Available on Amazon~~


Lynne Namka, Ed. D. is a Happy Psychologist in private practice in Tucson, AZ, and an occasional storyteller. Her last three books are about finding and keeping love: Love as a Fine Species of Madness - which is a tear-jerker; the metaphysical fairy tale, Castalia Ever After; and the hysterically funny, feminist fairy tale, The Loathsome Lady: The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell. Collectively, these three books take a hard-eye look at the wrong kind of loving.

Woven into the fabric of her numerous book and articles are models and metaphors of the science, psychology and the mystical spirit-world. Her writings contain ideas from Native American lore, Sufism, Buddhism and Taoism, with a basic overall Christian approach to becoming a kind, loving person.

The ideas in her popular children's self-help books are based on years of working in programs for children with severe behavior problems. These books include Good Bye Ouchies and Grouchies, Hello Happy Feelings: EFT for Kids of All Ages, Parent's Fight, Parents Make Up and the best selling, The Mad Family Gets Their Mads Out. In addition, she has written several curriculums for therapists, teachers and parents to work with angry children and has a CD for children called Get Your Angries Out, which features anger management techniques.

Her award-wining web site,, features a write-in advice column for angry children and has over 300 pages of articles on anger management information. Her web site receives 30,000 hits a month. She has also written an inclusive book on anger management called Your Quick Anger Make Over Plus Twenty Other Cutting-Edge Techniques to Release Anger.

Lynne's free weekly newsletter, Inspiration and Transformation is available at Currently, the newsletter has over 3,800 viewers and goes out across the world. In the newsletter, Lynne often writes about love and living in healthy relationships. One of her talents is translating the psychology research into everyday people-language, to provide practical ways of living a healthy life. Her light-hearted writings encourage the readers to be their highest and best self by using positive tools and techniques to work with their emotions. Her extensive research and writing has instilled a constant drive to practice what she "preaches."

Having a mystical bent, Lynne also has a separate practice listed at, and takes people on shamanic journeys to accomplish healing.

In a recent interview she said, "I know the ways of the depths of the human heart and our longing for love. As a therapist I work with people who want love but try for it with the weapons of war--the ego and its defense mechanisms which separate us from others. Intimacy is a set of skills to be learned, which happens when we address our deepest fears. I love being a Love Coach! It's part of my job as a healer helping people address their unruly and aggressive feelings and the negative ways of coping with them. Life is a great, grand mystery and we are here to connect with each other in loving relationships. There is a science and an art to creating loving relationships and my writings combine the two with practical advice and some fun."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Australia's Silent Epidemic; it's preventing good early year's sites and services from demonstrating excellence

While this guest post from Andrea Doyle focuses on the Australian education system, many of her points are also valid here in the United States. Read and let us know what you think.

Plus, check out the observation app that she has created for the iPad. It could come in handy!
This is a sponsored post via 

Is it just me? I don't think so. In fact, I know so. Early years carers, educators and leaders are frazzled, frustrated and in many cases burnt out.


Is it the myths and misconceptions we hold about what is required of us in our current roles, in the current educational climate of new regulations and frameworks? Do we do it to ourselves? No, there has always and will always be changes in education systems. As educators, we except, and expect this and have rolled with it for decades. I believe it is the magnitude of multiple changes all at once and the absence of support structures to assist in implementation and embedding into practice. We were balancing the ‘Reflect, Respect and Relate: Observation Scales’ and devising clever inquiry questions when we were handed the EYLF and almost immediately the NQS on top of it. We had no hands left. In comparison, look how slowly and steadily the Australian Curriculum has been rolled out. That's because when it was handed to school principals they had the strength and courage to hand it back, knowing that they would support each other in their refusal, that they would have one another's back, prepared to cause waves and rock the boat if necessary, to avoid additional stress and pressure and to maintain the dignity of their role. They said, 'The quality of my school, wellbeing of my teachers and learning of my students would be compromised if I agreed to such a task so no thank you, not until you tell me about and provide me with the support structures I require in order to implement this successfully. My teachers need training, release days and time to do this.' Leaders in the early years must find this courage too.

The sad fact!

I have experienced it myself and witnessed it personally over the past year or two and I bet you have too; Directors and team leaders stepping down from their role, an increase in significant medical and emotional illness and leave from work, family breakdowns and excellent, but bewildered, educators leaving the profession they once loved (and often still do).


Lack of understanding from the community, lack of support from demanding parents, lack of funding from government departments and therefore lack of sufficient administration time to do their job, the job they want to do to the best of their ability. They want the best outcomes possible for their little learners but there is no balance, most work many extra hours above their paid hours, they have to in order to try to meet the expectations of their role, they sacrifice time with their own families, time for their own professional and personal interests and as for leisure time, what's that? They are left with a deep aching conflict within themselves, the desire to make theirs the most exceptional early year’s site ever but an overwhelming feeling of job dissatisfaction because they are spread so thin they are unable to give 100% to any of the tasks required of them. This is not about a cry for more pay, I believe 99 out of 100 early years staff would just like a reasonable amount of admin time to meet the requirements of their role, time to write meaningful child observation records, to discuss and analyse the play program and plan together, to enter attendances into their Early Years systems and to follow up that issue that occurred today with a phone call to the parent - today.

Tell me why a small country school site with an enrolment of 100 students can have a full time Principal with no teaching load (and even a part-time deputy too) and yet an integrated Kindy site with childcare facilities and an enrolment of 120 three and a half (early entry) to five and a half year olds (due to the 'same first day' policy, I'm in SA) has a Director who is still required to teach two days on the floor?

In many sites, Directors, teachers and ancillary staff do not have breaks, they eat with the children because children must be supervised at all times with certain ratios but no additional staff has been employed/allocated to cover these ratio requirements. Even staff toilet breaks are taken at rocket speed, so as not to leave another staff member with too many children to supervise alone, the paper is off the roll before your backside hits the seat. It sounds like some kind of joke doesn't it? But, I am very serious. New young fresh graduates walk in with big smiles, plans and high hopes, excitement and a genuine love for children and go home by the end of their first week shaking their heads and asking 'This can’t be right, can it?'

The fact is, our early years sites and services are filled with maternal nurturing women (mainly, though I respectfully acknowledge and admire our few male colleagues dedicated to early years education) and they are wearing capes, scared that if they express concern over current demands placed upon them, if they question, complain, admit they need help or support, if they buckle under the strain or don't dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ as required they may be stripped of at worst, their job or what little super human powers that remain. Have I lost you? I’m talking about those super powers which allow these dedicated educators to miss their own children's Sports Days, Concerts, award ceremonies and school assemblies so they can be there to act as teacher, advisor, guide, counsellor, nurse etc to teach, challenge, develop imagination as well as water, feed, bandage, tie shoelaces, wipe noses, and generally 'mother' other people's children as if they were their own.

Do they receive medals, certificates, praise (let alone appropriate financial remuneration) or even just an occasional little ‘thanks’ for their choice, for the sacrifice they make? Rarely, in fact they mainly hear from parents when they wish to complain and bosses when they are requesting to add something more to the already overflowing sink of (becoming very cloudy) dish washing water. A commitment to continual improvement is one thing, I don't think there's many of us that don't want to be the best we can be, but to continue to raise the bar without proper acknowledgement of what has already been achieved is not just unfair, it’s plain rude.

The National Quality Agenda was necessary and long overdue, we all know why so I'm not going to go in to a lengthy rant about it, and I am not disputing that. I personally believe the National Quality Standards cover all they should and are well set out and written. I love the National Early Years Learning Framework. I believe it captured the recognised and unseen principles, practices and learning goals for children that Early Years educators have been dedicated to, enacted and aspired to for many years. To me it was like the old 'Teachers Work' document had been rewritten for the early years. It defines what we already believed about community, parents, children and learning, what we were already doing in practice and what we already aimed for children to know and do before beginning school.

Now, with implementation complete, QIP’s written and submitted, on-going assessment and validation continuing and a new deep understanding permeating all we do, as we deal with the continued lack of understanding, support, funding, and admin time, we need to be kind to one another, support one another, encourage one another and praise one another for all we have achieved in the Early Years over the past two to three years. For our sanity, we must prioritise the most important administration jobs, prioritise the needs of the children and let the rest go. It is hard and we hate it but the children will survive without pre-entry visits and huge bound scrapbooks of every painting they completed at Childcare. Some things have to go. It’s time to work smarter, not harder.

I wonder if maybe the next time we are handed that new massive framework of expectations we will have the strength and courage to hand it back, but likely we'll continue to be superheroes, waiting for the understanding, support, funding and time we need to make our good Early Years sites and services places of excellence.

Written by Andrea Doyle, Teacher, Leader, Learner and Business Owner of Teaching Made Easy

Teaching Made Easy’

During her Master Class, renowned author and educator, Maggie Dent, examines the role of stressors and explores ways to de-stress and relax to deal with the unique challenges of our teaching profession. We believe our ‘Teaching Made Easy’ resources compliment Maggie’s message perfectly.

In fact, I designed the ‘Teaching Made Easy – Child Observations’ app and ‘EYLF Made Easy’ programming and planning package after reading numerous blogs of educators crying out for help and after working as a Preschool Director and suffering health issues and stress brought about by the new requirements of the National Quality Agenda and implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework. Both ‘Teaching Made Easy’ resources aim to streamline the documentation demands of busy time-poor teachers to allow less time on paperwork and more quality time spent with children.

The ‘Teaching Made Easy - Child Observations’ app is a recording and reporting tool developed to assist educators in continuous documentation and assessment to meet the needs of individual learners. It allows users to easily develop a Child Profile Folder as they collect photographic evidence and align their learning story to the outcomes of current national curriculum frameworks (EYLF and the Australian Curriculum) and to identify extension ideas and intentional teaching opportunities.

You can view more screenshots & download your FREE ‘Teaching Made Easy, Child Observations’ app here:

We recommend you check it out and see if it would be an observation tool that might work for you.

The ‘EYLF Made Easy’ programming and planning package can be found in the featured products section of our ‘Teaching Made Easy Print’ website.

Please send me an email to if you would like more information or would like me to send you some samples.

If you are still not sure, join over 5,500 ‘Teaching Made Easy’ fans on our facebook page, and talk to other early year’s educators about why they love the support, features and benefits of ‘Teaching Made Easy’ resources.

Monday, June 17, 2013

iPad App for Teachers: Teaching Made Easy, Child Observations'

Description - 
'Teaching Made Easy' provides essential teaching resources to download and print immediately to save busy teachers both time and money. 'Teaching Made Easy, Child Observations' is our brand new app, a recording and reporting tool developed to assist educators in continuous documentation and assessment to meet the needs of individual learners. It allows users to easily develop a Child Profile Folder of photographic evidence and link the student learning to the outcomes of current national curriculum educational frameworks, the Common Core (PreK, K, Grades 1-8), EYFS, Australian Curriculum and EYLF.

Get yours from iTunes.

Visit the TME Facebook page.  

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'Lean Not on Your Understanding: A mother's journey from loss to recovery' by Frances Hart

"Lean Not on Your Understanding," is the story of a mother's personal journey, as she struggled to cope with death of her daughter. The author, Frances Hart, describes the event and the intense nature of the changes that followed. Beyond telling the story, Frances offers specific, first hand advice drawn from her own experience as a parent confronted with the terrible grief that accompanies such a deep and personal loss.

~~Available on Amazon in paperback and for your Kindle~~

Frances Hart is a former teacher and school administrator. She is a graduate of Virginia State University and earned her master's degree from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. She is a member of the Practicing Writers Group.