How do you know if your child has anger issues? (Tips)

In this article, we answer the question: How do you know if your child has anger issues?  We explain what are the main symptoms of anger issues in children, what signs should alert you and how to know what to do if you detect any of these problems.

How do you know if your child has anger issues?

In order to detect emotional problems in boys and girls, it is important to do a lot of observation. Often, a behaviour change in a child can be triggered by some kind of emotional problem.

Below we explain what are the main symptoms of anger issues in children, what signs should alert you and how to know what to do if you detect any of these problems.

If you watch your child, you will surely be able to notice some kind of behavioural change. 

The clearest signs that something is wrong and that it also has to do with an emotional disorder are the following, and are related in most cases to changes at the behavioural level:

Mood swings. You suddenly notice that your child has sudden mood swings. On the same day, he can be euphoric or angry, happy or sad.

More hostility. Your son is gruffer, more hostile. He does not accept jokes, he is more sensitive and everything seems to bother him.

Passiveness. Your child, who previously showed a passion for certain proposed activities, suddenly seems to lose the illusion and shows a great passiveness above all.

Disinterest. Loss of interest in activities that previously interested him.

Violence. Your child is suddenly more rebellious, and even aggressive. He answers with a scream, he is not able to control his anger.

Attention calls. When the child’s behaviour changes and teachers start to get your attention, it is a cry for help. Your child may be suffering from an emotional ‘mess’ and is unable to control his/her impulses. 

Changes in appetite. His relationship with food is an indicator of how your child is emotional speaking. If he changes his eating habits, if he suddenly eats anxiously or, on the contrary, refuses food or shows a loss of appetite, it is a sign that something is disturbing him emotionally.

Changes in sleep habits. Suddenly your child has more dark circles, yawns very often, has trouble sleeping, suffers from insomnia or has more nightmares.

What causes anger issues in a child?

Anger issues in a child usually have a really complex cause behind them. Anger is a natural emotion difficult to handle for children. It consists of a feeling of displeasure or discomfort in certain situations that disturb your calm in a negative way.

Children often express their anger physically by tightening the muscles, which increases their blood pressure. Also, other visible signs of anger are sweating, redness of the skin and headache.

Also, their behaviour can be different: they are restless and moving from one side to another without reason.

Other ways to express anger in a child may include: hitting, pushing, throwing toys, pinching, yelling, biting, breaking things, and threatening.

Most of the time its behaviour is a transitory response, especially if we stop it with our example. You are going through a particularly difficult time, you do not know how to repress your frustrations and you are looking for an effective way to communicate. We must make it clear that violence is not the right way.

For this, our response is: we deactivate violent behaviour as a way to channel their anger. Then we can ask ourselves about the causes of their behaviour. It is generally nothing more than misdirected frustration, but other times we can find reasons that we must attend to.

When the violent attitude of the child is of slight intensity, it is convenient to act as if we had not heard him. After all, he doesn’t even know what that word means, he has heard it around and repeats it. 

If in the face of slight inappropriate attitudes, in addition to not responding, we distract their attention to another topic, we blur their aggressive behaviour, instead of promoting it, which is what we would do if we responded angrily with a scream.

‘how does an angry parent affect a child?‘-Children might develop anger issues.

How to help a child overcome anger issues

‘How can I help my child with anger issues?’ This is a question, parents of children with anger issues are most concerned about.

If by anger we mean a tantrum or an attack of anger, accompanied by screaming and tantrums, there is not much to do. Show support but refuse to give in the event that the tantrum is on a whim or ‘affective blackmail’.

However, when it is not a tantrum, but deeper and more intense anger, you have to help the child. You can try the following:

Help your child recognize his anger. Sometimes the angry child is not able to realize what he is feeling. He only knows that he feels bad, but he cannot give it a name or understand the emotion. It is good that we say ‘you are angry, I know, and you feel bad’

Try to describe the feeling. Once your child knows she is angry, you can help her realize what that emotion is like: ‘You feel very angry, like a balloon about to burst …’

Help him get out of that emotion. It is not bad to be angry. It is a basic emotion and often responds to frustrated wishes. Anger also helps us think and reconsider and change some patterns or behaviours. 

You can help your child, once he has become aware of how he feels, to get out of anger by relaxing. Breathing plays an important role here, but you can also use other techniques, such as mental evasion through the calm boat, the ‘wrath box’ method, or counting… Any method that involves moving away from the emotion of anger will do.

Parents should also be aware of how to stop their child from yelling at them.

12 techniques to control anger in children

Although an occasional tantrum is normal, parents should strive to control anger in children. In order to do this, consider these strategies to educate your little one:

Don’t lose control as a parent. If you respond with shouts, you only make the situation worse and confirm to the child that his behaviour is normal.

Help him develop self-regulation skills. This way you will be prepared to face any adverse situation.

Give him time to calm down. Allow some space instead of going into battle with it.

Act with firmness, patience and love; the child will accept his role in the family environment.

Avoid correcting him when you feel frustrated or upset since you run the risk of mistreating it.

Teach your child by example. Don’t think the “do what I say and not what I do” trick works.

Let him know that it is okay to be angry, but that overreacting is unacceptable.

Teach him to identify his emotion, using spoken language to express himself.

List the reasons why she is being denied something she wants like candy or TV.

Provide fun activities that help your child channel his emotions.

Praise and congratulate your child for the things he has done well.

Teach him to recognize his faults, admit his mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

Some children have more problems with aggressiveness than others. If aggression is a frequent and serious behaviour in your child, and if it also interferes with school or other important activities in the life of a child of her age, consult a specialist.

Sometimes an undiagnosed learning or behaviour disorder is behind frustration and anger. Other times, the problem is related to family or emotional difficulties.

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FAQ on  How do you know if your child has anger issues?

What causes a child to have anger issues?

Anger issues in a child usually have a really complex cause behind them. Anger is a natural emotion difficult to handle for children. It consists of a feeling of displeasure or discomfort in certain situations that disturb your calm in a negative way.

How can I help my child with anger issues?

You can help your child with anger issues by talking with him about what is anger, how do we healthily express it, how anger can hurt us and others. Develop a plan to help your child calm down, teach him anger management techniques, ask for help when needed.

How do you deal with an aggressive child?

When dealing with an aggressive child 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 child so angry and aggressive?

In some cases, your 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 question: How do you know if your child has anger issues?  We explained what are the main symptoms of anger issues in children, what signs should alert you and how to know what to do if you detect any of these problems.

Anger issues in a child usually have a really complex cause behind them. Anger is a natural emotion difficult to handle for children. It consists of a feeling of displeasure or discomfort in certain situations that disturb your calm in a negative way.

Children often express their anger physically by tightening the muscles, which increases their blood pressure. Also, other visible signs of anger are sweating, redness of the skin and headache.

Help your child recognize his anger. Sometimes the angry child is not able to realize what he is feeling. He only knows that he feels bad, but he cannot give it a name or understand the emotion. 

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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