By Debra Collins, Family therapist
If my son doesn't get his way he becomes very rebellious. He wants to be in control, and he gets angry if he doesn't get his way. This usually lasts a half-hour to an hour. How can we get through to him that his actions are hurting him? How do we counter his actions to get him over being angry and hostile?
I'm glad you understand that his behavior can be damaging to him and that you want to help him learn better coping skills. The reasons for displaying anger are complex and varied, but you are correct that the angry child feels out of control and uses anger as a way to convey that.
Boys historically tend to be more overtly or physically aggressive when angry, and girls tend to be more verbally or relationally aggressive.
Research shows that aggressive/angry children:
Anger is a normal and healthy emotion, but some children need help expressing it appropriately. The angrier a child gets the more they get rejected. They become viewed as "bad." This vicious cycle results in the child being more isolated, depressed and angry.
Finding out what triggers the anger is helpful. Some children are perfectionists. Some feel disconnected from their peers or family. How negative feelings are modeled or tolerated at home is also an influence.
Learning how to identify and use words to express what he really is experiencing - sadness, frustration, anxiety - rather than just reactingcan be useful in learning how to cope. When he knows more about what he is feeling he can begin to have better problem-solving strategies. Sometimes recognizing the warning signs, such as body sensations, can help him learn to relax before he reacts.
For helpful information for teachers, parents and children, go to Get Your ANGRIES Out for program activities. Also consider counseling to learn what will best meet the needs of your family.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.