If You Have an “Angry” Child – Check Their Anxiety 

Some parents are bewildered at how their usually calm child suddenly has bursts of anger or aggression that seems to come out of nowhere.

Instead of identifying the root of the problem – some adults are quick to discipline the child for acting out.

But what some adults dismiss as “anger” or “tantrums” could actually be composed of a series of deeper emotions your child does not know how to handle.

And the problem is, until the “why behind the what” is addressed – children will continue to act out as they are unable to process what they are feeling.

This doesn’t mean every child who lashes out is anxious – but some parents have found that the root behind their child’s anger stems from anxiety.

So if you’re looking to help get to the bottom of your child’s tantrums – here are some helpful tips to help you identify if they could be anxious. 

Look for Patterns

First, take a look at what makes your child upset.

Is it a sudden change in routine or not knowing the schedule for the day? Your child may be uncomfortable with the unknown and anxious about what’s ahead.

Try setting a schedule for your child, even drawing it on a whiteboard and helping them learn to cross off activities when they’re done.

Does your child get angry around large groups of people or unfamiliar children?

If so, they might have social anxiety, and feel uncomfortable around people they don’t know.

It might be best to avoid overly crowded environments if possible, and instead opt for activities where your child feels as if they have room to breathe.

And consider setting playdates with a few children instead of a large group to help your child adjust to being around other children.

Help Them Process Their Feelings 

When the brain goes into fight or flight mode – it is a primal state where the body is prioritizing safety above all else.

This is not the time to try and reason with your child if they are throwing a fit.

Let’s say they throw a tantrum in the store – as they are screaming is not the time to ask them how they are feeling.

But after they calm down, you could consider asking them questions like “Hey, can you tell me more about how you were feeling in the store when you became upset as we were leaving?”.  

Teaching your child to think and articulate what they are feeling goes a long way in helping them to identify and actually name their feelings.

You might learn something made them sad, or they were anxious about a particular event.

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s wise to let your child throw tantrums and act out in anger – but in discovering what the root is behind the outburst – you are on your way to coming up with a solution.

Teach Them How to Regulate Their Anxiety 

It’s not enough to teach your child to pay attention to what makes them upset – you must give them tools.

Teaching them techniques like taking 3 deep breaths when they feel upset, or counting to 10 before they say something they might regret are all ways to help your child while they are in the heat of the moment.

If your child learns to take 3 deep breaths – this technique could literally calm them down in real time and might stop an outburst.

Every child is different, so you’ll need to see what works best for your family.

So moms, be encouraged! 

If you are dealing with an “angry” child – anxiety could truly be the root.

Work with your child to help identify what they are feeling and set up a plan to tackle situations together.

Have you ever had to deal with a child who was anxious?

What are some ways you helped your child learn how to regulate their anxiety?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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