Does Your Child Need Anger Management?

When you hear about anger management, you probably think of violent adults who can't control their tempers. However, some children need early intervention for anger and strong emotion control. Early intervention can help your child progress on a path to self regulation.

Since every child experiences tantrums, loss of control, and even violence, how do you know your child needs anger management? Here are some signs to look for.

1. Developmentally inappropriate behavior.

It's common for a child when they are three or four to have a meltdown occasionally, but it's more concerning when an older child is unable to prevent a tantrum when he or she experiences anger or disappointment. Generally, tantrums should decrease in number and severity as your child gains more emotional independence.

2. Violent behavior that does not respond to correction.

Toddler and preschool children hit and bite as a method of conflict resolution. This behavior is socially unacceptable, and adults teach children so by showing alternative methods to express anger and frustration. With consistency, toddlers and children adopt new methods of coping, and leave physical outbursts like hitting, kicking, and biting, behind (for the most part).

Frequent violence toward others in times of emotional distress even after consistent and clear correction is a sign your child will need professional intervention for behavior modification.

3. Severely affected social circumstance.

Does your child's angry behavior affect his or her ability to keep friends? Are they invited to birthday parties, church activities, friends houses, and play dates? Or do you find yourself keeping your child home more often because you cannot predict how he or she will react?

These are all signs that your child needs assistance to learn emotional governance, beyond what is normally taught at home and at school. 

4. Upheaval, underlying conditions, or trauma.

Sometimes, angry behavior is caused by an underlying conflict or unresolved trauma. For example, a child experiencing the death of a parent may regress emotionally and react with anger or violence to external stimuli. Violence is also not uncommon if a child has been abused, injured, or experiences upheaval during early childhood.

These children need counseling to process the large and often confusing emotions that come from traumatic experiences. 

Others have trouble with anger because they have greater levels of frustration than normal. Children with ADHD are more likely to react badly to emotional stressors, as are children who have anxiety, learning problems, or sensory processing disorders. Testing can help find the root cause. For more information, contact a business such as NeuroHealth Arlington Heights.