Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old? We will explain the causes of aggressiveness in children from 6 to 12 years old; the negative effects of an angry parent and having aggression as an example. We will also give you advice on how to deal with an aggressive child. 

Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old?

Yes, temper tantrums are normal for a 6 year old. 6 years is a transition age. It is a time when the child tends to extremes of behaviour: yes and no, come and go; do it and don’t do it. The 6-year-old always wants to win and be the first. The outbursts of screaming, the brutal anger that seems to be irrelevant, the insolence, the stubbornness, are at their peak. 

When your child is in that state, there is no point in reasoning with him: you have to wait for the storm to pass. Then you can talk about what has happened, how he could do it differently next time.

The 6-year-old boy is becoming increasingly separated from his mother and for this, he needs to fight with her. It is one of the ways to build your sense of self. This is expressed in his resistance to the mother and also in his contradictory reactions: he can go from intense affection to also intense antagonism the next minute. 

Although the 6-year-old boy appears to be “quarrelling” with his mother, he is actually ambivalent with her. He can say, “I love you,” and soon after, “I hate you.” He is very affectionate with the mother, but all his tantrums are directed against her. He wants his mother to help him, but he refuses to receive her help.

It is important that you gather all the sense of humour and patience that you are capable of for this stage that can last about six months or so.

Aggressive behaviour in elementary school children

All children at some point have pushed another child, kicked an object when they do not get what they want, etc. However, a child who has an aggressive problem or disorder will have some of the following characteristics:

  • Often gets very angry
  • Is extremely irritable or impulsive and has trouble staying focused
  • Easily frustrated
  • Physically attacks and fights other children or adults
  • Often disturbing
  • Has poor performance in school or is unable to participate in the classroom or other organized activities
  • Has trouble acting correctly in social situations and making friends
  • Continuously argues or fights with family members and does not accept parental authority
  • Inevitably defies authority and refuses to obey rules
  • Frequently denies responsibility for their misconduct and blames others

An aggressive child will act in this way in more than one area of her life: at school, home, social events, sports competitions …

Causes of aggressiveness in children from 6 to 12 years old

It could be a learning, behavioural, or emotional disorder that makes it hard for you to listen, concentrate, or read, hampering your performance in school. Or it could be that the child is going through a bad situation like her parents’ divorce. Although in most cases children become aggressive because they have witnessed the aggression of others, some causes of aggressive behaviour can be:

Family difficulties. Fights, problems, or changes in a child’s home create stress for her, causing her to react aggressively, especially if she has previously seen someone in her family behave like this.

Learning disorder. If your child has a problem that makes it difficult for her to read, write, or understand language, she can relieve her frustration through aggression.

Neurological problems. Sometimes the aggressiveness is due to some neurological involvement.

Behavioural disorders. Some children with conduct disorders also have aggressive behaviours or oppositional defiant disorder.

Emotional trauma. Domestic violence or sexual abuse can generate intense anxiety, fear and depression. There are children who find in aggression a way to release that anxiety.

Exposure to violent television shows or movies. Many experts believe that witnessing violence on the screen can temporarily produce aggressiveness in children.

How to deal with an aggressive child

To know how to deal with aggressiveness in children from 6 to 12 years old, the first thing is not to get aggressive. Hitting, yelling, or throwing objects when your child pushes you to the limit will not solve the problem. It will simply give you an example of how to act aggressively. Show him that you can control your temperament and this will help him learn that he can control his.

Respond immediately to aggressive behaviour – Do not wait for your child to end up hitting his brother for the second time to say that enough is enough. Embrace it or touch it lovingly, if your child allows it. After a few calm minutes, talk briefly about what happened. (This technique can be used instead of sending your room a few minutes: time-outs).

Try to calm him down – Once your child has calmed down, it’s good to talk about what happened, but before she forgets about the episode, ideally a couple of hours later. He emphasizes that it is perfectly normal to get angry, but that it is not okay to show it that way: hitting, kicking or biting.

Consistent discipline – As much as possible, you should respond to each aggressive episode in the same way. Over time, your consistent response to these types of behaviours will establish a pattern that your child will recognize. 

Promote self-control – It emphasizes that self-control and conflict resolution are skills you will need to succeed and be loved whether in the educational or work setting. If your child struggles to make progress on this topic, you can reward her every time she manages to control her temper.

Hold him accountable – If your child damages someone’s property, they should know that it must be corrected. It is important for the child to understand that it is not a punishment but the natural consequence of an inappropriate act towards another person.

Educate him not to act aggressively – Show him that reacting aggressively is inappropriate because it hurts or affects other people. It is good to carry out exercises of supposed situations to show you how the actions of each affect other people and develop empathy. 

Make them read books that will teach them kindness and self control.

The effects of an angry parent

The children of an angry parent develop, over time, problems of insecurity, anguish and stress. This will also affect their cognitive, emotional, and linguistic evolution, as well as their socializing skills. Unfortunately, bad humour acts like an epidemic and soon spreads to the whole family. It becomes a “lifestyle” that repeats itself in the form of a vicious circle.

Anxiety is not a condition that facilitates learning. On the contrary. In that state, the attention is usually dispersed. There is a kind of “excess” in the emotions and this prevents the psychological energy from being focused on other aspects, and stress also constitutes an obstacle to the continuity of the activity. Typically, those who suffer from it become unstable in the face of their responsibilities.

The parent’s bad mood creates additional tension in the child. Academic demands are also a source of pressure for the child, so he will have to deal with two strong demands simultaneously. On the one hand, with the conflict of guilt and confusion that originates from the bad mood of his parents. On the other hand, with the need to respond to their obligations. It’s hard for me to get around all of this properly.

Aggression as an example

An angry and troubled parent sends aggressive and terrifying messages to his children. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find so many failed teens and adults and in some cases victims of some type of addiction. They are souls as tormented as their parents and wander through life without hope.

Without realizing it, the child also learns to be out of control with his emotions. These simply assault him and he believes that his response should be to give free rein to what he feels. Therefore, it is very likely that he will also end up experiencing conflicts at school. The child becomes as uncontrolled as his parent and has excessive reactions when he receives some demand from the environment.

The school climate is fundamental in academic performance. So if the child turns relationships at school into a new source of distress, it will probably further undermine his ability to capitalize on it. It is a chain that extends and that, in the worst case, leads to school failure, and this factor adds to his guilt, his doubts and his anguish.

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FAQ on Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old?

Is it normal for six-year-olds to have temper tantrums?

Yes, temper tantrums are normal for a 6 year old. 6 years is a transition age. It is a time when the child tends to extremes of behaviour: yes and no, come and go; do it and don’t do it. The 6-year-old always wants to win and be the first. The outbursts of screaming, the brutal anger that seems to be irrelevant, the insolence, the stubbornness, are at their peak.

How do I stop my 6 year old from having tantrums?

When dealing with tantrums, you have to respond quickly, remain calm, show your child the right way of doing things and expressing anger. Talk about why we feel angry, have patience. 

Why is my 6 years old so angry and aggressive?

In some cases, your 6 years old child can be angry and aggressive because it is normal and with the following of certain behaviour patterns, aggressiveness will be diminished, but on other occasions, aggressiveness masks another type of pathology or disorder. 

Can yelling at a child be harmful?

Yes, yelling at a child can be as harmful as physically abusing him. By yelling you show your child that this is the “right” way of expressing your anger and frustration. Thus, the child will do the same with his friends, colleagues, teachers – and also later in his adult life. 

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old? We explained the causes of aggressiveness in children from 6 to 12 years old; the negative effects of an angry parent and having aggression as an example. We also gave you advice on how to deal with an aggressive child. 

Temper tantrums are normal for a 6 year old. 6 years is a transition age. It is a time when the child tends to extremes of behaviour: yes and no, come and go; do it and don’t do it. The 6-year-old always wants to win and be the first. The outbursts of screaming, the brutal anger that seems to be irrelevant, the insolence, the stubbornness, are at their peak. 

To know how to deal with aggressiveness in children from 6 to 12 years old, the first thing is not to get aggressive. Hitting, yelling, or throwing objects when your child pushes you to the limit will not solve the problem. It will simply give you an example of how to act aggressively. Show him that you can control your temperament and this will help him learn that he can control his.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know!

Further reading

Anger Management Workbook for Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Help Children Stay Calm and Make Better Choices When They Feel Mad, by Samantha Snowden 

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger (What-to-Do Guides for Kids), by Dawn Huebner  

Starving the Anger Gremlin for Children Aged 5-9: A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Workbook on Anger Management (Gremlin and Thief CBT Workbooks), by Kate Collins-Donnelly

Anger Management Skills Workbook for Kids: 40 Awesome Activities to Help Children Calm Down, Cope, and Regain Control, by Amanda Robinson (Author)

Train Your Angry Dragon: A Cute Children Story To Teach Kids About Emotions and Anger Management (My Dragon Books), by Steve Herman

What we recommend for Relationship & LGBTQ issues

Relationship counselling

  • If you are having relationship issues or maybe you are in an abusive relationship then relationship counselling could be your first point of call. Relationship counselling could be undertaken by just you, it does not require more than one person.

LGBTQ issues

If you are dealing with LGBTQ issues then LGBTQ counselling may be a great option for you. Maybe you are confused as to your role and identity or simply need someone to speak to. LGBTQ counsellors are specially trained to assist you in this regard.

References

Childmind.org – Angry Kids: Dealing With Explosive Behavior

Nhs.uk – Dealing with child anger

Ahaparenting.com – 10 Tips To Help Your Child With Anger

Yalemedicine.org – Anger, Irritability and Aggression in Kids

Psychologytoday.com- Children’s Anger Management Strategies That Work

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