There can be many reasons why your child is angry.
Is your child angry? Here are some reasons why your child may be angry or grouchy or in a bad mood:
- Seeing other family members arguing or being angry with each other.
- Feeling that something isn’t fair or is unjust.
- Inappropriate viewing.
- Feeling stressed, anxious or fearful about something.
- Being “Hangry”!
The important thing is not to ignore their behaviour in the hope that it will go away and that your child will be back to normal. It’s much better to address their anger in a sensitive way.
You may notice that your usually placid child is suddenly hitting or throwing things, and shouting or crying more.
Some children act out their emotions through play, acting out fights with their action figures or dolls.
If you notice your little one showing signs of anger, say, “There’s a lot of fighting and shouting going on there. What’s all that about?”
This may open up an opportunity for your child to talk, and if they don’t want to, leave it and try again another time.
Other children will use art. Bold strokes, especially if close together, can be a sign of stress, strong feelings, determination or anger.
There is a really interesting article here on how to decipher your child’s drawing
Keep it down!
All of us get upset, frustrated and impatient at times. Anger is a very natural emotion.
We can show anger in different ways too. Me? I’m a sulker, others I know are shouters, screamers, door slammers and the final-worders!
However you deal with your anger, be aware of little eyes and ears. If you can’t avoid losing it in front of your child, do go back and apologise and tell your child that it was unacceptable behaviour, but don’t promise that it won’t happen again.
Be aware that fighting and shouting between Mummy, Daddy (or whoever) can be very upsetting for them, even if you’re on your phone.
It’s not fair!
“Well, life isn’t fair! Deal with it!”
Er…no. This is not what your 4 year old wants to hear!
This is the time your child needs empathy and understanding. “I can see how disappointed you are, Mummy would be disappointed too, but it just isn’t…
- Time for that, maybe you could have ice cream after tea instead of breakfast.
- Ready yet.
Empathising with children instead of saying “Because you can’t!” will give reason to unsuitable expectations that they will far more easily accept.
Watch out for what they watch!
Children may pick up aggression from older siblings or T.V or computer games. Be aware of what your child is watching or playing. YouTube videos can go from ‘Hakuna Matata’ to ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ in minutes.
Use parental control on your T.V. Here is a really helpful video on How to set the parental control for Youtube
Is your child worried?
A lot of children who are feeling worried, upset or anxious can become angry. This is because some children do not have the vocabulary to express themselves effectively.
Talk to your child and ask if anything is bothering them. Are there any changes in their lives such as
- Starting a new school?
- Not getting on with their best friend?
- Suddenly being frightened by ghosts/monsters?
- Being affected by news reports? People dying?
- Do they have a relative/friend who is terminally ill?
Your child may not want to talk about it directly to you.
This is where aunties and uncles, Granny and Granddad may be able to help. Just spending quality time with a family member of friend can sometimes help a child open up. It’s not a reflection of you as a parent, children don’t see things that way. Some children find it easier to talk about stuff to other family members.
Are they simply “Hangry”
I have seen children transform from Matilda Wormwood to Miss Trunchbull in the blink of an eye because they simply need something to eat!
I’m exactly the same. If I’m kept waiting at a restaurant for my dinner I could literally shoot the Maitre de! O.K, not shoot him, but definitely glare with intent!
Children are just the same, but instead of being able to say, “Hey Mummy, I’m getting really angry now because my body needs nutrients.” they get bad tempered and angry.
Whoever invented ‘Snacks’ was a genius and definitely a parent!
Obviously we are going to be handing out healthy and nutritious snacks between meals as they will keep your little Miss Trunchbull threatening to throw you into the Chokey for far longer!
If your child is being aggressive and hitting you or others, then of course this behaviour is unacceptable and he/she needs to know why.
“Hitting and kicking hurts.”
“It’s not a kind thing to do.”
A tip that I learned while I was child minding was to gently grab the offending limb that’s doing the hitting or kicking, look the child in the eye (If you can still open yours) and say “No. We don’t hit/kick.”
Be consistent, and try not to shout or get angry yourself.
The set of My Mood Stars includes an Angry Star. All the Mood Stars are soft and sensory and due to this, really help children find the words to express themselves as they fiddle with and stroke the Stars.
Order your set today for happier, brighter, and emotionally competent children!
My Mood Stars are an emotion resource with a difference. They are soft, sensory toy Stars depicting different moods and expressions that children find really easy to relate to and talk to.
The My Mood Stars work book is a wonderful book designed to encourage your children to talk about their feelings. With a Mood Stars on each page and a space to write or draw. This work book is perfect for children who would rather relay their thoughts through writing or art.