We all get angry, don’t we? Regardless of whether we are 40 or 4, anger is an emotion that sometimes gets the better of us. As adults, we are usually able to decipher our emotions and pin point why we are angry and what our triggers are. As children though, things are different. Part of our responsibility as parents is to know why our kids get angry and do something about it once we know the reasons.
It can be difficult to decipher the whys behind our children’s anger so in this post we thought we’d share with you 5 reasons kids get angry and what we can do about it as parents.
It’s good to note that anger is usually a progression from a state of anxiety. Kids aren’t equipped with knowing how to deal with anxiety thus internalising the anxious feelings and having them simmer until a full anger tantrum happens.
Reasons kids get angry: Their basic needs aren’t being met …
This doesn’t mean that you aren’t meeting their needs, it just means that there are needs that aren’t met at that particular time. It tends to be that the most basic needs are the ones that trigger your child more easily. As parents we can see when our kids are tired and need a break or when they are just “hangry”!
For example, instead of triggering my kids by offering a nap, I would offer some cuddle time. During cuddle time we’d take a break from being around everyone else and go have a lie down. We’d chat, tell stories, watch an episode of something together, or just lie in silence. Eventually, they’d fall asleep or feel a bit more rested and ready to continue their day.
Reasons kids get angry: They’re overwhelmed
Our children can be overwhelmed and that sense of overwhelm can lead them to anger. With so much over stimulation happening around us it’s no surprise that kids’ brains are just as overstimulated and overwhelmed as ours!
Dealing with the sense of overwhelm varies depending on the personality of each kid. Some kids are better off by taking a time-out and getting away from a busy environment and spending some time on their own. Other prefer physical activity to help them get rid of that excess energy caused by over stimulation.
Reasons kids get angry: Their feelings are hurt
How many times has your child been angry, and as soon as you asked them why they were angry they’ve welled up or burst into tears? A lot of times it can be because they aren’t sure of how to express the anger, but some times it can simply be because their feelings are hurt.
Depending on your child’s age they will act differently when they are hurt, but mainly anger will be the way to hide the underlying sentiment. The more upset your child is the more angry they may become. But I have seen that allowing them to feel the initial emotion of anger can then lead to dealing with the real reason they’re upset.
Their anger is misplaced
Picture this – you’re at home with your lovely kids and one innocently sits on the sofa and ends up sitting on the other child’s school jumper. Suddenly, the kid who left the jumper on the sofa is shouting and pushing and overreacting to a seemingly innocent thing.
This is almost certainly doesn’t have anything to do with the school jumper, and has everything to do with the argument they had with their best friend. Or the fact that they weren’t invited to so and so’s birthday party but everyone else was.
While it’s not okay for siblings to have such furious fights, it is sometimes necessary for the aggrieved child to vent their frustration. Once they have your attention then allow them the opportunity to discuss what the real issue is. On some occasions all they need is a little push to speak out.
They don’t feel heard
A big issue, and one that sums up a bit of everything we have discussed above is not feeling heard. As parents it is our responsibility to be there for our children and hear them even when they don’t know what they are communicating. We need to be available to hear their non-vocal requests, too!
By being more in tune with their needs we can make more time to “hear” them. Spending one on one time with our children is a great way to let them feel that they have that safe space that they can go to when they can share their worries, concerns, and fears.
Thank you for reading this post on reasons kids get angry. We hope that it helps you through your own journey into parenting.
If you’re looking for more parenting posts then you will enjoy these:
13 Powerful Phrases Proven to Calm an Angry Child
Beyond "Settle Down": Coping Skills for your Angry Child
The Hidden Messages Behind Your Child's Angry and Aggressive Behavior
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