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Anger as an Emotional Reaction in the Child

  • Post category:Emotions
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Why the Child Reacts With Anger?

The emotion of anger in child is just as much a reaction to real or an imaginary danger as it is fear. The difference is that anger motivates a the child to act against the cause of that emotion, that is, with aggressive behavior, and fear leads to withdrawal from a dangerous situation. The child reacts with anger to various stimuli, most often to such an action of the parent that restrains it, restricts its activity, or imposes some prohibitions on it. The most common cause, therefore, is frustration, i.e. the child’s feeling of being prevented from expressing himself or herself and meeting their needs. Parents are the most common source of anger in the family, and other children, outside the family.

What Are the Common Reasons for a Child’s Anger?

According to Goodenough F.: Anger in young children, a child is most often angry about bathing and dressing. In the 2nd year, it clashes with the environment regarding the adoption of hygienic and cultural habits. A 3-year-old child usually reacts with anger to various adult parenting practices or in conflict with other children. In the case of a 4-year-old child, the causes should be sought in the difficulties that the child encounters in children’s play, in disagreements with peers. An older child is more likely to react with anger when its plans are thwarted, when someone rejects its ideas, insults its pride, deprives it of independence, and prevents affirmation. In puberty and adolescence, young people are most angry at the actions, supervision, and demands of their educators.

What Increases a Child’s Anger?

The child’s tendency to anger increases by the cramped space for play, the presence of many people, frequent visits to the house. Inconsistent actions of educators, their annoyance to the child with constant warnings and moral sermons, and timid behavior of adults are also common causes of children’s irritability. It gets easily angry when it is hungry, tired, sleepy or sickly. Tasks that are too difficult lead it to react aggressively.

Why Authoritative Upbringing Arises Anger in a Child?

Facts show that the causes of children’s aggression should be sought primarily in such an action of the educators that makes it difficult or impossible for the child to meet innate needs, either physically or emotionally, intellectually and socially. Such a procedure is regularly irregular and comes down to the authoritative upbringing of the child. The more the educator imposes on the diet, their personality, will and authority, the more likely it is that it will rebel, that it will offer resistance against violent authority, which will manifest itself in some form of aggressive behavior.

What Should Be Done to Avoid Causing Anger in the Child?

It cannot always be prevented that a child does not react with anger and aggression. Parents are sometimes forced to use their physical superiority over the child to prevent it from engaging in activities that may be harmful to it. If, for example, the child, despite the warning, goes to the window, the parents cannot wait for the child to obey them, but will remove it from the window themselves, even if the child is angry. But anger is still a negative emotion that does not promote the development of a child’s personality. Frequent emotions of anger, outbursts of anger, and aggressive reactions develop in a child a constant feeling of hostility, grumpiness, and a generally aggressive attitude toward people. Therefore, the emotion of anger should be prevented whenever possible. This is best achieved by avoiding the authoritative treatment of the child and by applying the right methods in the upbringing that are in line with the child’s basic life motivations. The child should be allowed free play and physical activity, given the opportunity to meet its emotional needs, to develop its abilities and to secure affirmation in the community in which it develops.

How the Child Manifest His Anger?

Initially, children’s anger is manifested by increased muscle activity, in the form of indeterminate, diffuse and poorly connected movements. Then comes the crying. But the older it gets, the less the child cries when it gets angry, and the more determined it directs its movements towards a person or object. Such an open expression of anger is most intense at 19 months. The child gains the experience that it is dangerous for it if it openly shows its anger, because it may experience unpleasant consequences, such as reprimands, beatings and ordinary punishments. So it moves on to other, hidden forms of aggression. It increasingly replaces physical attacks on the object of its anger with quarrels, it is a transition to verbal aggression. The child also transfers its anger to another person, animal or thing. This manifests itself in teasing playmates, swearing and insulting other children, terrorizing those weaker than themselves, torturing animals, or destroying other people’s objects.

How the Repressed Fear in a Child Turns Into Redirected Anger?

There are children who, under the pressure of a strict upbringing, suppress their aggression because they do not dare to show anger in a noticeable way. Then it turns into aggressive fantasizing or indulges in a game with dolls. One 4-year-old girl does not know how to play with dolls other than to beat them. When she thinks that no one hears her, she talks to herself and recounts the reproaches with which her grandmother constantly showers her, a typical authoritative educator who thinks that a child has to bother with warnings at any moment. She does not beat her granddaughter, but she accumulates intense anger in her. The girl tried several times to openly show her dissatisfaction with her grandmother. She objected to her demands, but she experienced unpleasant reprisals: once her grandmother denied her cakes, the second time she did not take her to the puppet theater as punishment. Then the girl’s accumulated anger turned into aggression towards the dolls.

What Can Cause Repressed Fear in a Child?

Suppressing anger from conscious behavior can cause a variety of child’s physical dysfunctions. The emotion of anger is regularly accompanied by physiological changes such as acceleration, pallor or redness in the face, increased breathing, etc. Sometimes aggression completely turns into a physical disturbance. We are talking about the conversion (turning) of emotional conflict into a physical disorder. There are people who do not show aggression in their behavior, but because of that, they suffer from duodenal ulcers, high blood pressure, bronchial asthma, and other psychosomatic diseases.

What Happens to a Child When He Suppresses His Anger?

Jones M. C.: The elimination of children’s fears experiments are interesting. He showed that aggressive young men show a much weaker psychogalvanic reaction than calm and withdrawn young men. It is likely that projecting aggression onto the environment reduces concomitant physiological phenomena, and suppressing that emotion amplifies changes in somatic functions. And everyday life experience teaches us that a person gets rid of anger faster and more completely if he “reacts” to it with shouts, curses, and lively movements, than if he “swallows” it and “bites himself”. This is confirmed by the experience of psychotherapeutic work with mentally ill people.

What Is the Cause of a Child’s Anger Towards Authority?

The youth express their anger by rebelling against social norms. This can turn into vagrancy, delinquency and sexual promiscuity. Such behavior regularly arises from the conflicts of young people with adults, who have developed in young people a deeply hostile attitude towards any authority, and even towards society as a whole.

What Causes a Child’s Self-Hatred?

Sometimes it happens that a child directs its anger against itself, then it is the object of its own aggression. It in itself experiences hostility towards the environment which it cannot or does not dare to direct against it. Even in small children, such a tendency is sometimes noticed: the child bites its fingers with rage, hits its head here and there, scolds only itself. Intellectually less developed children even injure themselves when they direct their anger against their own bodies. The case of an imbecile boy is characteristic. Whenever he is not satisfied with something, and he has a knife or an ax at hand, he tries to cut off a finger on his hand or foot, if he is not prevented from doing so. He is nine years old, and he is already missing two fingers on his left hand and one finger on his foot.

What Can Cause Self-Hatred in a Child?

Such aggression against oneself may become fundamental to masochistic tendencies in later life. Masochism is a sick tendency to enjoy – especially sexual – in one’s own physical and mental suffering. The tendency for such manifestations of aggression is also manifested in the child’s withdrawal, depression, reluctance, guilt, remorse and self-blame, and fear of one’s own aggression.

What Is the Association Between Personality Disorders and Anger in Children?

Boys are more likely to react with open anger than girls. If they also become extremely aggressive, then this behavioral disorder is a sign of deeper personality damage than in boys. This is confirmed by Macfarlane J. W.: A developmental study of the behavior problems of normal children between twenty-one months and fourteen years research, which found that the aggression of female children is regularly associated with a number of other personality disorders, such as irritability, lack of independence, grumpiness, defiance, timidity, sick need to stand out and more. In male children, in addition to aggression, defiance regularly occurs as well, and other mental disorders are encountered less frequently and less regularly.

Why Is Aggression More Prevalent in Boys Than in Girls?

The more frequent occurrence of aggression in boys can be partly explained by their constitutional characteristics, and partly by the upbringing to which they are exposed. Men are certainly more prone by nature to aggressive reactions than women. But the environment is also more lenient towards male aggression than towards female aggression. A boy’s behavior is less often blamed than his female peers’, and sometimes male children are encouraged to react aggressively because it is considered a necessary attribute of masculinity. Since educators usually suppress the aggression of girls, it becomes clear that in their behavior this trait openly comes to light only when it is on average more pronounced than in boys.

What Causes Hidden Aggression in Girls?

It cannot be argued that latent aggression is less common in girls than in boys. The attitude of the environment towards female children forbids girls to be openly aggressive. But this same environment usually raises female children more strictly, still starting from the patriarchal principle that a woman should not allow herself as much freedom and independent initiative in her life as a man can. That is why girls are more exposed to various frustrations, restrictions, and prohibitions, so it is likely that emotions of anger occur in them more often than is manifested in their behavior. Girls are more likely to suppress their aggression, so they are more likely to have various forms of passive resistance, neurosis, and masochistic attitudes towards the environment.