Does your child have low tolerance for frustration and quickly lose control of his temper? Read on to learn about the five signs which will tell you if your child is growing up angry.
By Ashwin Lobo
Anger is an emotion that all of us experience when we feel hurt, pained or wronged. Very young children tend to get distressed quickly and become angry more frequently. They express it in various ways such as sulking, yelling, biting, and crying. But, as children grow up, they learn to deal with their problems and manage their temper. Also, they grasp acceptable ways of expressing their anger.
However, some children are unable to keep their anger under control and often resort to unacceptable behaviours. So, when your eight-year-old curses and breaks his pencil into two because he isn't able to write neatly, it is a cause for worry and concern.
Here are five behavioural signs which may indicate that your child's anger isn't normal and he needs your help.
1. Tantrums: It is usually toddlers and preschoolers who are associated with throwing tantrums. However, some older children also do so, and experience frustration. There can be several reasons why an older child behaves in this manner, and it usually relates to an unmet emotional or physical need.
2. Anger outbursts: From being happy and cheerful, some children can suddenly launch into angry tirades for even trivial reasons. They can lash out verbally or physically. This can leave parents feeling dazed and helpless.
3. Damaging property: Most children accidentally knock down things and damage them. Some, however, break things as an expression of their anger.
4. Threatening or assaulting: Young children often hit or threaten others as it makes them feel powerful. With age, most children give up this habit for more acceptable behaviours. But, some children are unable to do so. They often resort to threatening or assaulting their peers or others around them. When left unchecked, in some cases, the violent and aggressive behaviour escalates to such an extent that parents feel threatened.
5. Self-harm: Some children use self-harm as a mechanism to cope with difficult feelings like anger. They do so to give vent to the anger or frustration bottled up inside. Children also hurt themselves to cope with feelings of guilt or shame, or an upsetting experience. It helps in relieving their pent-up feelings. Some ways children inflict self-harm include scratching and picking at scabs, pulling their hair, or biting or bruising themselves.
It is very important for you to teach your child how to manage her anger. However, if you are unable to change this behaviour, connect with an expert to help your child resolve the anger within, and learn some anger-management strategies.
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