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Anger Management

In small doses, anger is an appropriate, normal, and healthy emotion. Everyone experiences anger. It helps us stand up for ourselves when we’ve been wronged and protect our own needs. However, in many circumstances, anger can have unwanted consequences.

 

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adolescents have experienced an anger outburst that involved threatening violence, destroying property or engaging in violence toward others at some point in their lives. These severe outbursts of uncontrollable anger are much more common among adolescents than previously recognized, a new study led by researchers from Harvard Medical School finds.

 

Yelling. Fighting. Hitting. Tantrums. Biting. Sound familiar? They are typical behaviors of quick-to-anger children. However, anger isn’t always displayed as an outburst, some kids hold their intense feelings inside. Unreleased anger and pent-up frustrations can lead to anxiety and even depression. Your first step to helping your child is to recognize the signs that your child may have anger issues.

 

Signs A Child May Have Anger Issues

 

  • Frequent angry outbursts, especially over seemingly minor issues
  • Unable to explain feelings beyond angry, mad or sad
  • Trouble calming down when frustrated or upset even to the point of hyperventilating
  • Resorts to using physical aggression such as hitting, fighting, kicking, shouting, spitting, swearing, tantrums
  • Doesn’t accept responsibility for their aggression; they blame others
  • Needs reminders, or redirecting to control temper
  • Behaves recklessly
  • Super sullen, silent and holds in feelings
  • Talks, writes, draws pictures, listens to music or watches videos depicting violence
  • Bullying or acting aggressively towards others

 

Of course, any of those issues could mean something else, so it is important to watch the behavior closely. Track the frequency that you see the behavior occurring on a calendar. You also may want to mark the time and place it occurs. Anger generally is situational: it happens more at certain times, with certain people, or regarding certain issues. If you track the behavior (just like you would for an illness) you may see a pattern that will be immensely helpful in curbing the anger.

 

Cameron Pediatric Counseling, Inc.

 

19 S. Cameron Street, Winchester VA

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