In the children’s book When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry, the little girl, Sophie, gets so angry she runs out into the woods and climbs up a tree. After a very short time, she is calm and returns home to her family.

It is no wonder that Sophie got so angry. A young child has a lot of things to make them angry. First of all, because they are so little, they are often not allowed to do what they want to do. In addition, they fail at a lot of things they try to do. People who are bigger than them tell them what to do, and since these big people are stronger than them, they can force them to do what they say. Often, five year olds see danger even if it doesn’t exist and they overreact to it. The result is in their effort to seek protection, they go on the offensive and become aggressive. It is now difficult for them to overcome their self-protective impulses. They are unable to stop, listen to reasonable explanations of the other side, understand any negotiation, and compromise in any way. Simply put, they are angry.

Anger is a reaction to danger and an emotional signal. The expression of this anger can be a child’s way of declaring his or her independence. The triggers of a child’s anger can be many different things, and this anger can result into aggression. The child might be frightened by his or her feelings and all too often temper tantrums, biting, and fighting are soon to follow. However, children learn to control these aggressive urges to explode by the time they reach kindergarten age. They now show this aggression in other ways such as whining, pouting or sulking.

An adult recognizes when they are angry, but a young child does not. You can help your child to understand and recognize his or anger by naming the emotion for him or her. You can say, “I know you are angry”. You can also help by pointing out to the child what has caused the anger such as another child threatening him or her, an adult seeming to unjustly punish him or her, or another child taking a toy away from him or her. In time, the child will, with your help, realize that these things are what make him or her scream and kick.

Five Strategies in Anger Management for Children

It may be difficult for a child to master these strategies, but with your help and lots of practice, it can be done.

1. STOPING THE ACTION - If a child is out of control due to a feeling of anger, you should separate the child from the person who is making him or her angry. Another room or location is advisable.

2. CALMING THE CHILD DOWN – You should teach your child to recognize the symptoms of anger such as breathing heavily, his or her heart pounding, and feeling warm. Most important, teach your child physical ways to calm down such as drinking a glass of water, taking deep breaths, using a song or story for distraction, or playing quietly alone.

3. THINKING BEFORE ACTING – You should make your child understand that vengeance in the form of getting back at the other person will only cause more problems. It is much more important to be understood and make things right.

4. CONSIDERING THE OTHER PERSON’S FEELINGS – Empathy is a feeling a child as young as three can feel. However, the child needs your help. Try to explain to your child what the point of view of the other person is. Explain to the child that just as he or she wants the other person to understand his or her point of view, so does the other person want his or hers understood.

5. LOOKING FOR SOLUTIONS – You should look for a compromise both the arguing parties can agree on. Try to get both parties to apologize to each other.

When Aggression is a Result of Anger

Try these steps:

• You must restore safety by stopping the action.
• You should let the children know you are in charge. “If you don’t stop, I will stop you.”
• You must give the children consequences if they can’t play together without fighting.
• Apologies will help the children to understand that their behavior hasn’t made them bad people.

Anger can be a cry for help if the child exhibits aggressive behavior most of the time. If the child’s aggressive behavior interferes with family and friend relationships, it is time to consider seeking help from your pediatrician. For teenagers, a therapeutic boarding school might be considered.

Author's Bio: 

Karleia is a freelance blogger. Away from the computer she enjoys spending time with her daughters.