Aggression and Anger Issues in Children with Best Reasons and Solutions
Aggression and anger issues and in children around 5 years can be a real problem for parents. But, recognizing these issues before they escalate is crucial to resolve them.
While it’s normal for children to get angry or throw tantrums occasionally, it becomes more worrisome when they cannot seem to control their anger.
Suppose they are frequently in fights, defiant when told to do a task, constantly irritable or frustrated, or express aggressive behaviour toward other people. In that case, it can result from a stressful situation. These abnormal behaviours may interfere with their normal development.
Hitting, Kicking, and Biting Anger Issues – Should I Be Concerned?
Not always. Children are very aggressive when overwhelmed by strong emotions -hitting, kicking, biting, and yelling are normal.
However, if your child tends to burst into anger frequently, don’t ignore it, saying, “Kids will always be kids.” As he begins to use words rather than physical force, he should outgrow physical aggression by this age.
During this time, children generally gain a greater vocabulary and improved grammar skills. They learn from trial-and-error and adults’ guidance that dragging their playmate’s hair or clothes will have a worse effect than talking out a dispute.
In some instances, children struggle with language skills or experience behavioural, emotional, or learning disorders that manifest as anxiety, fears, frustrations, or anger.
Fortunately, this problem can be unveiled on time. When it does, teachers, counsellors and parents can adopt careful means to guide the child to lessen or even resolve the problematic behaviour instead of exacerbating fear or anger.
In most cases, though, children become aggressive after witnessing aggression. If your child has been exposed to physical violence, whether at home or someplace else, where you had less control over the occurrence, you should take immediate steps to prevent it from repeating and to explain to him why it shouldn’t have happened.
Lastly, you might need to consult your pediatrician if your child’s tantrums or aggressive behaviour becomes frequent and severe or if your attempts to stop it haven’t worked. You can find a child psychologist or psychiatrist who can assist.
What Are the Characteristics of Children with Aggression and Anger Issues?
Preschoolers or children around 5 years old often scream themselves into an outright temper tantrum or grab their classmate’s toy. However, a child with aggressive behaviour is likely to behave in the following ways:
- Becomes combative with family members and opposes parental authority. It is usual for young children to hit their siblings or scream at their parents sometimes.
- But when your child’s anger outburst interferes with their ability to develop healthy relationships with relatives or family members, you should take steps to address this issue.
- They are easily frustrated and have a short attention span. This means that children can often lose their temper, becoming extremely angry.
- These children tend to become irritable or impulsive to everyone or anything around them. People, including their family members, will have to apply extra caution in dealing with them to avoid an outburst and sour moment.
- They are always in the habit of physically attacking and fighting other children and even adults.
- Children with anger issues are often in the habit of negatively affecting other people and are often argumentative and sulky.
- Kids with anger issues tend to perform poorly at school or lack the ability to participate in group activities and social functions.
- Children with aggression and anger issues usually display their irritable behaviours, not minding where they are (school, church, social and sports activities, or home).
- Young ones with this issue often lash out to others as their first line of defence. They find it challenging to ask for help, resolve conflicts or solve problems and thus resort to aggression.
Why Does My Child Display Aggression and Anger Issue?
Continual emotional outbursts in children are often signs of distress. The first step toward understanding your child’s behaviour is to identify what triggers it.
Physical fear is one obvious explanation. If your child feels cornered by another child, he may lash out.
In other cases, circumstances play a greater role than instinct. Children are learning a wide variety of new skills during this time, which can lead to frustration.
As your little one adjusts to new routines, like daycare, preschool, or nursery school, he will likely spend less time with you. When he feels rejected or resentful, he may pounce on a playmate that is nearby.
Furthermore, your child might punch, bite, or throw a tantrum simply because he is tired or hungry.
Still, there are many other possible reasons for aggressive behaviour. Here are a few that should be of particular concern:
The tension experienced by a family could trigger tantrums and irritability in their little one. This might happen because the parents disagree, the little one is teased relentlessly, the breadwinner loses his job, or the family relocated.
When such tensions and changes occur, children and their parents can find themselves stressed, and even youngsters, who do not understand all the details, may react negatively, such as hitting their friends and tearing apart their toys.
These kids can also react these ways, particularly if the older family members also display similar emotions and reactions.
Watching Violent Movies and TV shows
A child’s aggression may be temporarily heightened by witnessing violence on television.
Watch your child’s viewing choices closely, especially if he tends toward aggressive behaviour.
Ugly situations such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, divorce or a parent’s death can trigger depression, fear, anxiety and anger that cause a child to lash out in a way to express himself.
A kid who has been abused or exposed to violence at home or within his vicinity is more likely to act aggressively than other kids.
When your child is anxious, especially if hidden, he may have difficulty coping with stressful situations and react irrationally when things at school, such as tests, public speaking, leadership roles, put too much pressure on him.
Therefore, if your little one is confronted with anxiety-provoking situations, his “fight or flight” instinct might take over, and he might throw a tantrum or refuse to do anything.
The majority of children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also suffer from the oppositional defiant disorder, a condition characterized by aggressive behaviour. Children with ADHD need special treatment to learn how to succeed academically, socially, and within their families.
Dramatic meltdowns are also common in children on the autism spectrum. Any unexpected change can cause problems for your child on the spectrum, as he may be rigid and demand consistency as part of his safety routine.
Moreover, he may have sensory issues and become overwhelmed by stimulation, causing him to crash into a meltdown.
In addition, he may be unable to express his wants and needs because of language and communication difficulties.
Aggression and Anger Issues- Learning Disorders
There’s a possibility that your child has an undiagnosed learning disorder if he acts out with frequency over homework or school time. Assuming he struggles with math or calculations a lot, this could cause him to become very irritable and frustrated.
As a substitute for asking for assistance, he might rip up an assignment or start playing with other kids to distract himself from his real problems.
In general, children who have difficulty understanding what people say or learning to read and write may exhibit aggressive behaviour and anger issues.
Aggression and anger issues may also result from damage to the brain or chemical imbalances. If this situation worries you, talk to your kid’s doctor or a specialist.
How to Help a Child with Aggression and Anger Issues
While medication can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, ADHD, and other disorders to improve the chances of modifying the behaviour, behavioural strategies involving parents and children collaborative efforts to resolve problem behaviours are more effective ways to salvage the situation.
Discover the Triggers
To correctly deal with aggression and anger issues, parents must understand what triggers their children’s outbursts.
Get your child to explain the trigger. Then you stress that having angry feelings is perfectly normal, but hitting, kicking, and biting are not okay ways to express them.
Offer better methods of responding or seek a mediator. Perhaps you can suggest that he walk away from the situation or person that’s infuriating him to allow him space and time to reflect on his response.
When do the tantrums happen?
If your kiddo has trouble getting out of the door, a few solutions include giving them time warnings, laying out clothes, taking a shower the night before, and waking them up earlier.
It may be helpful to break tasks down into shorter steps and post them on the wall for your little one to see and follow.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
The more you yell, throw things, hit, or call your child names, the less likely he is to curtail his bad behaviour. You will just give him a new set of things to do to rile himself up even more.
Eventually, you will teach your child that he can control his temper if you show him that you can control yours.
Whenever he displays irritability or throws tantrums, or disobeys you, remind yourself that this isn’t a war between the two of you.
Furthermore, take into account that kids within age 3 to 6 age rarely follow instructions. They may be attempting to demonstrate the independence they have just developed or simply distracted by an intriguing sight or activity.
If at some point you are about to go crazy, briefly leave that scene, take deep breaths, promise yourself not to get angry, and return to them when you feel better.
Don’t Yield To Your Child’s Tantrums
In a way to stop or prevent your child from getting angry, you may want to keep doing anything he requests. For instance, if your little one freaks out at the mall because he wants to play games at the mall, don’t allow his aggressive behaviour to blackmail you into giving in.
This is not a good behavioural strategy to solve their aggression and anger issues. In fact, it will reinforce and promote their inappropriate behaviour.
Your kiddo needs to understand that he can’t always have his way whenever he wants.
Encourage Self-Control and Good Behaviour
Rather than focusing on bad behaviour only, try noticing when your child does something good, like asking to use the computer instead of grabbing the joystick.
It is more emotionally satisfying to show him the value of self-control and effective conflict resolution against bashing him over the head.
When he controls or limits his temper, you may want to reward him with a sticker, coloured marker, something he loves, or simply shower him with praises.
Explain Why Being Aggressive Is Morally Wrong
Your child should know that physically acting out hurts other people. Although he may not quite understand what right and wrong are, you must provide him with the foundation to become humane and ethical.
Discipline Immediately and Consistently
Once your child does something wrong, caution or discipline him- a time-out is an excellent way to get him to reconsider.
If he misbehaves, you can also reduce a privilege, like TV or playtime, by a certain amount.
Furthermore, respond the same way to every episode as much as possible. Your repetitive response to your child will set a pattern over time.
It’s the first step toward controlling his behaviour when he internalizes this pattern and anticipates the consequences before acting.
Make Him Responsible and Accountable For His Actions
When your child damages another person’s property, he should repair or replace it, either from his allowance or the extra money he earns by doing chores around the house.
You shouldn’t paint this image as a punishment from a parent to a child, but rather as an inevitable result of an act of hostility, and anyone (child or adult) who harms something that he doesn’t own would also be held responsible.
You should have realistic expectations about your kid’s ability to follow the rules and observe requests.
It is easier for young children to be distracted due to their short attention spans. It takes them longer to process verbal instructions. Implementing these strategies into your parenting may help you rein in your child’s behaviour if he or she struggles with self-control.
Aggression and Anger Issues- When to Seek Help
It may seem impossible to manage your child’s behaviour at times, but know that you are not the only one experiencing this.
- When the techniques above do not improve your child’s behaviour, or when he has difficulty participating in school, family, or other activities due to aggressive behaviour, you should consult your pediatrician.
Children’s psychologists and psychiatrists can identify behavioural or emotional problems, learning disabilities or problem behaviours among children that might drive aggression.
In certain situations, treating the problem may include behavioural therapy, specialized educational approaches in the classroom, family counselling, or even prescription medication.
Contrary to what one’s intuition might suggest, some medications that decrease disruptive behaviour, impulsiveness and distractedness are called stimulants.
The pediatrician may prescribe other types of drugs like hypertension, anti-depressants, and anticonvulsants medications.
However, the effects of these drugs may differ from child to child, so you should discuss this option with your pediatrician or your kid’s therapist.
Although some doctors prescribe anti-depressants to children, the FDA warns that these drugs may increase suicidal tendencies in children.
Aggression and Anger Issues- Take Away
Your child’s aggression can be terrifying, and you need to be patient when dealing with it.
You should also get some support, whether it comes from a support group, a counsellor, or a close friend. If you are well supported yourself, you can provide steady, loving guidance to your child.
A pediatric psychologist can help you and your little one deal with these behavioural and emotional problems. Also, you can ask your pediatrician for recommendations for mental health specialists in your area.
What aggression and Anger Issues are you experience with your child and what strategies are you using to curb the situation? Kindly let us know in the comment section below.
You can also read our article on parenting guide for first-time parents if you are just starting out your journey as a new mom or dad.