Everyone gets angry sometime and anger is a normal, healthy emotion but some children are angry almost all the time. Angry children struggle to enjoy life. They get into fights when they play games, they argue when they’re doing something fun, and they can’t stand being told No. There are many factors that can contribute to a child being angry and hostile. Unresolved feelings, such as grief related to a divorce or loss of a loved one can be the root of the problem. A trauma history may lead to deep-seated anger too
Here are some signs that outbursts might be more than typical behaviour:
*Your child’s tantrums and outbursts are occurring past the age at which they’re developmentally expected (up to about 7 or 8 years old)
* His behaviour is dangerous to himself or others
* His behaviour is causing him serious trouble at school, with teachers reporting that he is out of control
* His behaviour is interfering with his ability to get along with other kids, so he’s excluded from playdates and birthday parties
* His tantrums and defiance are causing a lot of conflict at home and disrupting family life
* He’s upset because he feels he can’t control his anger, and that makes him feel bad about himself
When children continue to have regular emotional outbursts, it’s usually a symptom of distress. The first step is understanding what’s triggering your child’s behaviour. There can be many causes for anger issues which include:
ADHD: Children with ADHD tend to be impulsive and hyperactive which leads to trouble in controlling behaviour. They often have problems following norms and instructions which lead to frustration and anger outburst.
ANXIETY: In one of my previous articles I wrote about anxiety in children. Children who seem to be angry often have severe anxiety issues which makes it hard for them to cope with situations that causes distress.
TRAUMA: Children who are traumatised are often angry. It’s a way of expression and when a child has faced a trauma or neglect he tends to act out in school.
LEARNING PROBLEMS: When your child acts out repeatedly in school or during homework time, it’s possible that he has an undiagnosed learning issue. Say he has a lot of trouble with math, and math problems make him frustrated and irritable leading to anger outburst.
There are many other issues that can lead to anger outbursts like bullying, sensory issues or emotional imbalance.
* Talk to a trusted friend or relative about why they’re angry.
* Take some time to cool down when faced with an upsetting incident.
* Teach them to slowly count to ten when they feel themselves getting very angry.
* Breathe deeply when yousense an angry outburst coming on.
* Resist the temptation to end your child’s tantrum by giving him what he wants when he explodes. Giving in only teaches him that tantrums work.
* Ignore minor misbehaviour, since even negative attention like reprimanding or telling the child to stop can reinforce his actions.
What I too often see is that parents attempt to make excuses for their child, rather than dealing with or seeking help for their child’s violent outbursts. Sometimes, parents have not provided a healthy model for handling anger or have not wanted to constrain their child in any way.. Before uncontrollable angry behavior escalates to a point of no return, parents must confront it and get the professional help they need. Believing that a child’s anger is “just a phase” that he or she will eventually outgrow is to deny what could lead to a serious problem.