My son is still angry: what to do?

There are stages in life that can be particularly complicated for both children and parents. We mainly talk about childhood and adolescence. What can we do if our child is still angry?

In this article, you will find a series of guidelines for analyzing this behavior and finding effective solutions that improve both your well-being and that of the youngest members of the family.

    “My son is still angry” – a common problem

    First of all, we must try to carefully analyze what exactly is happening to our child (not so much the cause, which we will see later, but rather the behavior itself).

    Are you really angry? Many times behind an anger or a reproach hides another type of feeling or emotion. It may be that behind the anger there is actually only sadness, feelings of guilt, or even depression.

    In these cases, the underlying problem should be addressed first, as it will facilitate a later approach to the most observable behavior (in this case the upheavals) i.e. the behavior exhibited by our child. Going to a professional who can guide us can also help us.

    On the other hand, in addition to understanding our child’s behavior (we repeat, whether he is really angry or not), it is also important carefully analyze the context and consequences of their behavior.

      Why is this happening? Behavioral analysis

      A lot of people don’t go through the ‘my son is still angry’ phase. But it is important to go further, you have to ask yourself: what precedes your anger? Are they always the same situations / stimuli? Or on the contrary, is it changing? Could it be that apparently “nothing is happening”?

      On the other hand, it will be essential to analyze in detail the manifestations of our child (crying, anger, nervousness, conduct disorders, anger, etc.), as well as the frequency of appearance of these behaviors or states.

      Finally, we must also look at the consequences that appear when our child gets angry: that is to say Are we listening to him? What kind of attention? Is there a punishment? Or is there understanding and empathy from the environment?

      vicious circles

      It is important to pay attention to this because it can happen that you enter a vicious cycle, when, for example, the child shows “unwarranted” or mismanaged reprimands, And that their environment (eg parents or school) “reinforces” this behavior by paying attention, without causing change, thus perpetuating the problem and not really addressing it.

      From behavioral psychology, this can be understood from negative reinforcement mechanisms: for example, it would be giving a pacifier to our child when he wants one and he gets angry because we give it to him, and we do it; that is, we would get rid of this “inconvenience”, but at the same time we would insist that this situation would happen again in the future.

      Guidelines for action

      Once we have a mind map of those factors that can influence and / or perpetuate the situation, we will have to try to understand why these common angry behaviors appear in boys and girls.

      How do we do this? Here we will briefly see some guidelines that can help us:

      1. Show empathy

      Whether our child is a child or a teenager, we need to understand that he may be going through a more delicate time, and that he has his way of feeling, of suffering and of living things in his own way.

      That’s why it’s important that we use empathy to try to put ourselves in their shoes. How can we do this? Apply active listening: look for quiet times to talk to him and listen to their concerns.

      Sometimes he doesn’t want to tell us or just says that nothing is happening to him. We will have to be patient and investigate little by little (a good idea is to ask your teacher if he behaves the same at school), and finally gain his trust so that he feels free to open up. in case you need help.

      2. Apply techniques to reduce impulsivity

      In case we have detected situations where our child is generally angry, it is a good idea to apply certain techniques which allow him to remove himself from this situation, to prevent him from reacting impulsively. Some of them can be:

      • Count to 10.
      • Remove yourself from the situation to a quieter space.
      • Take 3 deep breaths.
      • Repeat a few words to reassure him.

      3. Do not pay attention if it is “unjustified” inconvenience.

      As we said, sometimes (not always) children they learn to get angry to get what they want.

      It is a dysfunctional response that will end up generating a lot of conflict; this is why faced with situations where our child gets angry “for no reason”, or in a “disproportionate” way, it is advisable to avoid giving him the attention which he seeks, and to apply techniques such as than reinforcement of a behavior that has been maintained by reinforcement).

      4. Understand

      All of us, adults and children, have gone through times and stages where we are the most irascible. Sometimes this is triggered by a particular situation, and others can influence other types of variables such as a bad day, a particularly sensitive time, accumulated fatigue, occasional stress, etc.

      That is why we must try to understand these behaviors within limitsWithout letting them evolve into persistent and dysfunctional upheavals.

      5. Do things together

      Sometimes it’s a good time to rethink if we are spending quality time with our child, and in case those connection and gaming moments got a little overlooked, start picking them up.

      If, for example, we find out that it is precisely our child who is angry because he is really sad (for example, because he had bad grades in school, or because he is in school). anger against his friends) (obviously, this will be questioned), we can consider devoting more moments to him where he can escape this feeling.

      This does not mean that we are neglecting the cause that gave rise to the conduct; in other words that is to say, it will always be necessary to look for moments to deal with the problem that is also worrying him.

      Some examples of activities that can be done together (depending on the child’s age) are: drawing, going to the park, cycling, doing crafts, watching movies, reading together, etc.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Degwitz, MV (2018). What if your child is still angry? Flutter, lifestyle.
      • From the Pilar, M. (2009). Music therapy intervention to promote prosociality and reduce the risk of aggression in primary and preschool children in Bogotá, Colombia. International Journal of Psychological Research, 2 (2), 128-136.

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