What is Anger?

This article explores the concept of anger as a common and healthy human emotion, while emphasizing the importance of effective anger management, especially in children and teens. It provides valuable insights and practical strategies for parents to support their children in understanding, expressing, and managing anger constructively.

7/31/20237 min read

text
text

What Is Anger

Everybody gets angry periodically; it's just a characteristic of being human. Anger is a common and healthy emotion that we might experience if:

  • Attacked

  • Deceived

  • Frustrated

  • Invalid or Unfairly Treated

It's not always a "bad" emotion; occasionally, it's beneficial. For example, getting angry over anything can:

Please help us identify any problems or elements that are harmful to us.

Motivate us to change, achieve our goals, and move forward.

Please give us a burst of energy as a component of our fight-or-flight response that enables us to remain secure and defend ourselves in dangerous circumstances.

Most people experience brief episodes of rage that feel manageable and have no impact on their daily lives. Our capacity to understand, expresses, and healthily manage anger affects our physical and emotional well-being.

How Soon Becomes My Anger a Problem?

Anger isn't a problem until it gets out of hand and threatens to harm you or the people around you. This might happen when:

  • You frequently behave adversely or destructively when you're angry.

  • Your anger is damaging both your physical and mental well-being.

  • Your default emotion is anger, which keeps you from feeling other feelings.

  • You still lack the skills necessary to channel your fury in productive ways.

What Kind of Angry Conduct is Harmful?

How you behave when you're unhappy will depend on how well you can identify, control, and communicate your emotions. Not everyone expresses anger in the same way. For instance, some unhelpful ways you might have learned to communicate your anger include:

Visible aggression and violence include shouting, cursing, slamming doors, smashing items, punching, or behaving violently or verbally threateningly against others.

Inward aggression includes:

  • Speaking negatively about yourself.

  • Denying essentials (such as food or things that would make you happy).

  • Cutting yourself.

  • Isolating yourself from the outer world.

Passive or non-violent aggressiveness, such as being snide or frightening without expressing overt animosity or fury, avoiding eye contact, refusing to perform tasks or performing them poorly on purpose, behind schedule, or at the last minute.

Even if you never raise your voice or engage in violent or aggressive behavior against others, you might still be conscious of some of these furious habits and feel they are a problem for you. For instance, you might hurt or deprive yourself of food to repress your fury.

If they watch someone acting violently and aggressively in the heat of the moment, children, in particular, may find it alarming and upsetting. Furthermore, it could have severe consequences like losing your family and your job or encountering legal problems. Obtaining assistance and support is essential in this circumstance.

How to Manage Anger Effectively

Anger is a positive and healthy feeling. When something is unfair or wrong, it might warn children. Anger may become an issue if a child's furious conduct spirals out of control or gets violent.

Why Is Your Child So Furious?

For a variety of reasons, including the following, your child may appear angrier than other children:

  • Seeing other relatives bicker or behave irrationally

  • Relationship problems

  • Being abused.

  • Having difficulties with your assignments or tests

  • Experiencing a considerable degree of tension, worry, or concern

  • Coping with the hormonal changes brought on by puberty

It's possible that you or your youngster won't instantly comprehend their irate. If that's the case, it's imperative to help them figure out what might be driving their wrath.

Face Anger All At Once

Together, you can assist your child in controlling their wrath. In this approach, you can explain to your child that their anger is the problem, not them. For younger children, this can be creative and fun. Try to describe their rage and give it a name; for example, rage might resemble a volcano exploding. How your child responds to rage can be influenced by how they act. You'll both gain from working together on it.

Differentiate Between Behavior And Emotions.

Children should be taught how to communicate emotions such as rage, annoyance, and disappointment. Say, "It's fine to be angry, but hitting is not fine." Help them realize they have control over their actions, even when angry.

Sometimes, negative emotions like despair or shame might lead to aggressive behavior. Encourage your kids to research their anger as a result. They may be disappointed that a play date was postponed, but they prefer to react violently because it is easier or masks their sorrow.

Identifying Explosive Conduct

Tantrums and meltdowns are very concerning when they last past the age at which they are developmentally expected—from the terrible twos to preschool. Aggression poses a risk to both you and the child as a child gets older. It might also become a severe problem for them at school and with their peers.

If your child repeatedly scolds you, a more profound problem may have to be resolved. Potential causes of aggressive conduct include the following:

ADHD:

Children with this condition become easily agitated, especially in certain situations, such as when they have homework or are expected to go to bed.

Anxiety:

When pressures at home or school become too much, an anxious child may hide their fears and act out. With a child who "keeps it together" in school, one or both parents will regularly lose their cool.

Unidentified learning impairment:

When doing homework or in class, your child may act out more frequently if they have trouble understanding the material.

Processing Issues with the Senses

Some children find it difficult to digest the data their senses provide. They may experience unease, discomfort, or overload due to loud noise, a large crowd, or even "scratchy" clothing. Aggressive conduct or other strange behaviors may emerge from that.

Autism:

When agitated or faced with a sudden shift, children on the spectrum are frequently prone to significant meltdowns at all levels. They usually deal with sensory issues that make them anxious and agitated.

An accurate diagnosis is necessary to give you the support you need because there are many potential causes for emotional outbursts and violent conduct. Think about starting with the pediatrician for your youngster. They can point you toward an expert after ruling out any medical causes. Any potential underlying issues can be found with the help of an experienced, certified child psychologist or psychiatrist.

Techniques for Dealing with Anger

To Parents:

The best way to educate children to control their anger is to model how you behave when angry. While it's essential to shield your children from most adult problems, it's also advantageous to serve as an example of good anger management. Point out situations in your own life when you've felt irritated to help your child understand that adults can also become angry at times.

It's fair to voice your annoyance that the car in front of you did not slow down to let the kids cross the street. Hearing others express their feelings will teach kids how to do the same. When you lose your temper in front of your kids, take responsibility for your behavior. Express your regret and then discuss the alternative course of action. Please accept my apologies for screaming at you today while I was angry. I should have gone for a walk to unwind instead of raising my voice while annoyed.

Create Anger Controls

Most families have unwritten rules about acceptable and unacceptable behavior when someone is furious. In certain houses, slamming doors and shouting are accepted behaviors, but not in others. Create written household rules that outline your expectations. Guidelines for managing anger should stress respecting others. Talk to your children about physical aggression, teasing, and property destruction so they understand they shouldn't throw things, break things, or lose their cool verbally or physically.

Educate People on Healthy Coping Methods

Children must be taught appropriate methods for managing their anger. Rather than telling them, "Don't hit your sibling," instead, "Explain what you can do when you're angry." Next time, use your words, or "Leave him alone when you're angry," are a few examples of what you could say.

What other options do you have besides hitting?" You can use this query to encourage your child to consider other alternatives. You might also put up a kit that they can use to quiet down if they become agitated.

Put things in a box that will soothe them, such as a coloring book and crayons, a scented lotion, or soothing music. By employing their senses, they can relax both their body and mind.

Use Time-Outs as a Technique to Promote Your Child's Relaxation.

Teach them to take a break if things get out of hand. Removing oneself from a situation and taking time to cool off can be very helpful for kids prone to being upset.

Additionally, teach kids conflict resolution skills so they can realize they don't always need to resort to violence. Talk about techniques for settling conflicts amicably.

Offer Repercussions If Required.

Give your children positive consequences for following the rules to control their anger and harsh punishments. For instance, when a child is angry, a reward system or token economy can encourage them to use anger management strategies.

If your child behaves aggressively, enforce the consequences right away. Effective punishments may include time-outs, privilege suspensions, or repaying the aggressor by performing extra work for them or lending them a toy.

In conclusion

Everyone experiences rage, a normal and healthy emotion. However, rage can affect physical and emotional health if it becomes uncontrollable, aggressive, and dangerous. Effective anger management is crucial to building coping mechanisms and healthy dealing with anger, especially for kids and teenagers. Parents can significantly influence how well their kids regulate their anger by setting an example of proper behavior and offering emotional support. Children's destructive outbursts can be avoided by locating and resolving the underlying causes of their rage. By introducing them to constructive coping mechanisms like time-outs, relaxation exercises, and conflict resolution, parents may help their kids learn how to express and regulate their emotions healthily. To support children effectively, it is crucial to recognize that anger might indicate underlying problems like ADHD, anxiety, or sensory processing impairments. Parents may help their children acquire critical anger management skills that will benefit them by fostering a positive and understanding atmosphere. Children's emotional intelligence and resilience can be built by implementing home rules, giving suitable punishments, and rewarding good behavior. This will help them learn to deal with their emotions and conflicts healthily.