Your child may struggle with anger issues and expressing themselves appropriately. While this is a common issue, it’s best to get it sorted as soon as possible.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about anger issues in children.
Why is my child so angry?
If your child seems angrier and more aggressive than other children or has emotional outbursts frequently, there could be several reasons why:
Seeing other family members arguing or being angry with each other
Struggling with schoolwork or exams
Feeling very stressed, anxious or fearful about something
Coping with hormone changes during puberty
Underlying conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, an undiagnosed learning disability, sensory processing issues or autism
What can I do to help?
There are several strategies you could use to help your child with anger management:
Give your child tips to manage their anger
Try and work together to find out what triggers the anger. Talk about helpful strategies and coping mechanisms for managing anger.
You could encourage your child to:
count to 10
walk away from the situation
breathe slowly and deeply
clench and unclench their fists to ease tension
talk to a trusted person
go to a private place to calm down
Try to avoid shouting at a raging child, as this will only make them more aggressive and defiant. You should try and be a model of good behaviour for your child to look up to.
Don’t give in to their demands
Whatever you do, do not fold to their demands and agree to do what they want to stop their behaviour. This only encourages their outbursts - you need to make it clear that what is going on is not appropriate.
Praise appropriate behaviour
When your child calms down, praise them for composing themselves and reinforce this behaviour. Stress the benefits of them expressing their feelings verbally and calmly, as well as coming to a compromise.
Punish bad behaviour
You will need to maintain constant discipline to show your child that negative behaviour has consequences. When your child breaks the rules, you should follow through with a consequence - this could entail taking away a privilege or giving them a chore.
Help your child spot the signs of anger
If your child is able to identify the signs of their anger early on, they can make positive decisions about how to handle it.
Physical signs may include:
their heart beating faster
their muscles tensing
they clench their teeth
they make a fist
their stomach churning