Anger in Children: We Asked a Special Education Teacher About Tell-Tale Signs

Kids naturally enter a tantrum phase around the toddler years. Moms and Dads of kids below the age of four know what it’s like to deal with the crying, kicking, and shrieking. Anger and irritability are normal emotions, and we all experience them no matter what age. It’s also part of kids’ behavioral development, but there are situations wherein parents might ask: “Is my child’s anger still normal?”

We wanted to know more about the signs of anger issues among kids and what parents can do to help. So, we sought the insights of Tanya Tayag-Layugan, an Elementary School Faculty Teacher trained in Family Life and Child Development, specifically, Special Education. Teacher Tanya, as she is fondly called by her students, breaks down some of the possible causes of anger issues, its manifestations, and some methods for managing emotional outbursts.

Anger in Children: We Asked a Special Education Teacher About Tell-Tale Signs

What Causes Kids to Develop Anger Issues?
There are several causes for anger and irritability issues, and these include environmental factors that make children feel overwhelmed, anxious, or distracted as well as life events that possibly lead to trauma. It can also be caused by stress in school or at home; it may also be a symptom of conditions such as ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) or Autism.

Teacher Tanya tells us that some signs of anger issues are, “misbehavior, tantrums that are uncontrollable like shouting, throwing or destroying things that are near them, and hurting other people.”

When Does Anger Become a Problem?
Kids exhibit out of the ordinary anger, irritability, or aggression whenever it is uncontrollable and causes harm to themselves and towards other people. If such behavior occurs in more than one environment (e.g. school and home), Teacher Tanya recommends consulting a Developmental Pediatrician.

We asked Teacher Tanya how would an anger episode usually look like, and she shares, “From my experience, I had an encounter with a student who came to school in a bad mood. Something changed in their routine for the day, thus, the child was already agitated and easily irritated with the things happening in our classroom. Once our lesson started, I could see that the child was already misbehaving in class. The child did not want to listen nor participate. When the child’s attention was called, the student started shouting, crying and hurting the people nearby. Because of this, the class was disrupted and I had to move the child to a different room to keep the child and the people near the child safe.”

What Are Some Ways to Calm a Child Having a Tantrum or Outburst?
Teacher Tanya says that once an episode begins, you will notice that the child will become defiant and will be resistant towards listening to you. They will not be able to understand nor process what you are telling them.

“Let the child release their anger. Allow them to shout or continue their actions as long as you are able to separate the child from other people,” advises Teacher Tanya. “If the child’s actions or behavior may harm or affect other people, move them to a different room or environment to ensure safety.”

Teacher Tanya Recommends:
1. Allow them to  release their emotions. Just stay on the lookout to check if the child’s actions are already hurting themselves.
2. Once the child is able to calm down or once you see that their mood is slowly changing, you may start talking to help the child process their emotions and actions.
3. Ask the child questions that will help him/her process what happened (ex. Why are you mad? Did anything happen at home?)

How Can Parents Create a Safer and More Caring Environment for Their Kids at Home and in School?
Be open about your child’s condition to relatives, friends, teachers, and anyone else within your community. It’s best for everyone in the household to be aware of the child’s condition and the strategies recommended by the developmental pediatrician or therapists in order to be prepared for how to react or what to do when outbursts or episodes happen.

“For those with diagnosed anger issues, it is best to create a childproof and soundproof room in your house,” says Teacher Tanya. “This will be the private space of the child which will allow them to release their anger without hurting anyone.”

Teacher Tanya’s Additional Tips:
1. Follow a strict routine at home
2. Practice some hand messages to help the child relax
3. Practice activities like drawing, exercising, or cooking to help the child relieve stress

Tagged: / / /

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.