Why Is My Child Angry?
A child exhibiting aggressive behavior can be experienced by others as being a bad kid. However, this is not the case. Anger is used by children as a way for them to shield themselves from deeper emotional distress. Aggressive behavior can be an outward symptom of depression, guilt, fear, disappointment, jealousy, frustration, anxiety, sadness, or hurt, among other emotions.
Children can display angry, aggressive behaviors in the home and school settings. At home your child may challenge family members. In the school setting, they may antagonize peers or defy authority figures. Do you see any of the following happening with your child?
- Being physically aggressive toward other children/family members
- Breaking/throwing items
- Using sarcasm
- Yelling, screaming
- Having emotional outbursts
- Partaking in high risk behaviors (older children)
- Refusing to cooperate
These are just some of the common behaviors that can be seen in an angry child, but there certainly can be many more. It is important that when you begin to see these behaviors, you take the time out to hear what your child has to say. Find out how she is feeling, and what is making her feel that way. Oftentimes, these angry behaviors are overlooked and parents tend to jump to “punishment” out of frustration, rather than investigating and listening to what is actually going on.
Some suggestions to help your angry child:
- Avoid spanking or hitting your child
- Initiate a time out for a short period of time
- Pave the path for open communication
- Explain that feeling angry is okay, but acting aggressively because of those feelings is not
- Implement a reward system
- Limit your child’s exposure to violent games, television, and movies
These are just some simple suggestions to help calm and understand your child. Many approaches such as play therapy, behavior modification, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used to help gain a better understanding of what your child is going through and how she can be guided/helped. If your child is acting out in an angry, aggressive manner, and you don’t know how to help, please contact us at Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando at 407.443.8862. Schedule an appointment today.