Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
You are here because you want to help with children anger management for children with unexplained anger. The first step is to figure out why children get angry in the first place!
Keep in mind, regardless of how it looks to you, there is always a good reason for your child's anger. They are not "bad" for feeling what they feel.
At some level, all emotions make sense, and our job is to understand why your child is angry. Once we understand the cause (the "why"), we're ready to bring on the solutions.
One thing is for sure, and that is that you are the right person to help--you're here because you care!
So! Our question is not so much "why children get angry" as it is, "Why do we have problems with anger management in children?"
Let's take a look at some of the reasons that we're seeing children anger management problems.
By the way, I've been counseling with children and families for over 40 years, so this information on anger management for children comes straight from a lot of personal and professional experience.
A common cause of problems with children anger management is unmet emotional, physical and intellectual needs. Since many people don't know what the basic emotional needs of a child are, we'll start with a list of those:
Anger management in children is extremely difficult or impossible when these basic needs are unmet or only partially met. You may want to learn some additional parenting skills to help you in this area.
As parents, we tend to make two kinds of mistakes when it comes to role modeling anger management for children.
Showing too much anger
Not showing enough anger
Has your child been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)? If so, children anger management issues can often arise in association with these problems.
One thing that will create children anger management problems is when anger is hammered into them by an adult. Physical abuse is damaging to the body, mind and spirit of a child. If you aren't sure what physical abuse is (it might surprise you to know how many people really aren't sure about this) check out this article in Wikipedia.
Here's a quote from the article: "Physical abuse is abuse involving physical contact intended to cause pain, injury or other physical suffering or harm."
There is absolutely no justification for physical abuse of a child. Some parents or caregivers may explain their behavior by pointing to the child, but children do not cause adults to lose control and become violent. Remember, we are focusing here on healthy, successful anger management for children who just need love and guidance to be wonderful kids!
Anger is a totally natural response in a child who has been harmed by physical abuse. If the child has no help with their anger, however, children anger management problems will inevitably occur.These children definitely need child anger management counseling and/or family counseling.
Teaching healthy anger management in children may require that you do some studying and learning beyond what you're getting here.
Even though we have all heard about sexual abuse and most of us think we know what it means, you'd be surprised at how many people are confused about what is and isn't sexual abuse.
When a child's sexual boundaries are violated, there is always some anger that results. But when the abuse occurs, the child is small and helpless, so usually their anger doesn't come out very much if at all at first.
However, children who are sexually abused quite often develop anger management problems sooner or later. Keep in mind, however, that this does not apply to all children anger management situations. Many sexual abuse victims become quiet, passive and submissive, burying their anger so deep that it may not come out until they are adults.
Family counseling is sometimes very helpful for children anger management problems when children have been sexually violated. This is usually most successful in conjunction with play therapy.
Wow! You read all the way to this point! I want to encourage you in your amazing efforts to help the child or children in your care. You are indeed one of the champions, one of the heroes who is obviously devoted to saving and helping the children of our world.
Children anger management problems require us all working together, and you have shown that you are one of the ones who is willing to do your part! Believe in yourself, learn the parenting skills you need, and believe in the precious children in your life.
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