Anger is a normal part of life, but many adults and children do not have positive opportunities to practice dealing with that emotion. For many families with children who have behavioral problems, working with their child to manage their anger can often feel overwhelming. That is why The Salvation Army in Lloydminster launched the RED CAP program.
“We find that 8-12 is the age range that is forgotten about when it comes to anger management and coping solutions,” says Major Lisa O'Doherty, corps officer in Lloydminster. “By working with this age group, you can significantly reduce hurtful behaviours and violent conduct before they reach their teenage years.”
The goal of RED CAP is to have participants come to a point where they will be able to pause and take more effective steps to deal with their anger.
“We teach the kids that there isn’t a right or wrong way to feel angry, but it’s what you do with that anger that matters,” says Marsha Anthony, the RED CAP Program Coordinator. “We really stress that it’s okay to get angry but it’s not okay to hurt people.”
The program runs for eight weeks with each session lasting around 90 minutes. Each RED CAP lesson focuses on three steps:
- 1. STOP and calm down
- 2. THINK of a plan
- 3. PROBLEM SOLVE wisely
“I think that the sooner children can learn to recognize and manage their emotions, the more successful they’re going to be in relationships as they get older, whether it’s relationships with others at school or in the workplace,” says Cheryl Campbell, a parent of a RED CAP participant.
Cheryl’s ten year old son has participated in RED CAP twice since the program launched in October. It was recommended by her son’s school counsellor. Since beginning the program, Cheryl says that her son’s behaviour has improved dramatically, and everyone in her home is benefitting from the tools learned at RED CAP.
“He’s been encouraged to stop when he’s feeling upset, slow down, and think about what’s happening, and then go ahead and make a healthy choice in how he’s going to respond,” says Cheryl. “It’s kind of become a whole family affair for us, where everybody uses it and everybody can help each other identify when we need to stop, slow down, and think about what’s happening here.”
Programs like RED CAP would not be possible without the continued support of our partners and donors. If you are interested in sponsoring the RED CAP program please call 780-875-9166 for more information.