Deal With It :A study on Girls’ Anger
Mary Huebner
Published by Zondervan/Youth Specialties

Every woman knows that middle school and high school years are prime time for “mean girls” to develop. Girls have a lot to deal with in today’s world and it would be important to teach our young ladies how to deal with their anger in a positive manner. Mary Huebner writes a wonderful 12-week study on girls’ anger. First, it is important to understand that girls’ anger is different than boys’. We are created different and we have different qualities. This would be a great small group study for the ladies in your group. If there are a lot of girls in the youth group it might be beneficial to break into small groups (6-8 participants).

The lessons are grouped into 4 sections:

     Lesson One: Admit You Are Angry

Why Are You Angry?
     Lesson Two: Threatened Self-Worth
     Lesson Three: Unmet Needs
     Lesson Four: Unique Values

How Are You Angry?
     Lesson Five: Suppression
Lesson Six: Open Aggression
Lesson Seven: Passive Aggression
Lesson Eight: Be Assertive
Lesson Nine: Dropping Anger

Anger Is A Choice
     Lesson Ten: Owning Your Anger
Lesson Eleven: Making the Right Choices
Lesson Twelve: You Are Not Alone and You Are Deeply Loved: Breaking the Bondage of Codependency

In the first lesson, Huebner leads the girls in exploring all the definitions or female anger. The first question confronted: “is anger bad?” The leader is asked to share this verse, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). Huebner uses the New American Standard Bible translation throughout the book so it would be important to have one on hand and be ready to compare to other translations.

The author validates that ALL people feel threatened at times and ALL people get angry. This statement sets the stage for the entire study and encourages honesty and transparency from all group members. Leaders are encouraged to share insightful stories from their lives and be honest about experiences. The first lesson challenges participants to broaden their definitions of anger and be open to different possibilities. Two examples are shared from the Bible when Jesus was angry with certain situations (Matt. 21:12-13 and Mark 3:4-5). This example gives the participants different perspectives of stories they may have heard before and insight into the natural emotion of anger.

At the beginning of each lesson the leader is given an overview of the lesson. The author shares insights from previous lessons and gives the leader the goals and objectives for the current lesson. The author is clear about the intent of each lesson. Huebner goes over word connotation and encourages the leader to broaden definitions in each lesson. Maria’s story is featured in each lesson to share real life examples of Maria, a teenage girl who is struggling with situations that make her angry. Through the course of the study we see how Maria handles herself. She is not always able to express herself and participants are encouraged to talk about how Maria could handle each situation. The situations presented in “Maria’s story” are very current. Participants would be able to easily relate to Maria and might have experienced the same type of situations. Instead of hearing an adult explain the she has been through the same situations as participants, Maria becomes someone the girls are able to get to know as a friend.

The outline of each lesson remains the same; Opening Activity/Question, Express Yourself, Maria’s Story, Relate It, and Finish Up. Each lesson features activities and group discussions that do not get boring. Some lessons feature games, music, role play, and creativity. The key to each lesson is the group discussions that are facilitated by a leader the girls trust, feel comfortable with, and who is honest.

All lessons are easy to follow and would not require a lot of preparation time (30-45 minutes per lesson). It would be VERY important to read through the entire lesson before presenting it to participants. There are issues that would be beneficial to think and pray about before presentation. Each lesson clearly lists the materials needed at the beginning of the lesson. Only one lesson requires many items that would need to be purchased. All other lessons have simple materials that could probably be found around the church or at home.

Many teenage girls (and youth groups) could benefit from a study on anger. Mary Huebner is able to present a relevant 12-week study that participants and leaders can appreciate. This is a valuable resource for all youth leaders to know about and be able to identify when the girls in their group could gain encouragement and learn how to successfully deal with anger.