From mad to sad

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FROM ‘MAD’ TO ‘SAD’
(based on Dr. Gordon Neufeld’s conference on Aggression)

Parents face the complex reality of raising children and teachers face the daunting challenge of creating a safe,healthy environment in which children can learn and grow. We are in this together.
In a society in which being ‘cool’ when stirring emotions feel threateningly ‘hot’, children try to figure thingsout frequently without an inkling of what lies beneath the behaviors that seem often to only exacerbate the problems. Why do they repeat the same negative patterns of behavior over and over? Mostly,because they are not aware of the underlying causes, most of which happen on an emotional level. And in most cases, neither are we, their parents or teachers.
In a context in which punishmenthas euphemized into consequences and consequences have become an acceptable response to what has been seen as aggression and behavioral problems, which seem to be increasing in today’s society, we haveresorted to applying the ‘consequence that fits the action.’ And for many of us, that has been what has absorbed our responsive energies, our corrective actions.
Dr. Neufeld’s conference onAggression presented a model of the frustration that can be discovered beyond/beneath behaviors. Frustration differs from anger in that it does not identify an injustice nor who or what is responsiblefor that injustice. In most cases the source of frustration is not identified, yet it cycles into aggression if not channeled in another direction.
When frustration meets head on with no way togo and gets ‘stuck’, children should be guided to a sense of futility, the place where ‘sad’ exists, a soft heart, the reason for tears. In fact, Dr. Neufeld stated, research has been done on thechemical make- up of tears shed due to frustration and it has been found that they are made up of toxins. In crying ‘frustration tears’, we physiologically, psychologically and symbolically purify our...
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