Anger can be present at any stages of life, be it as a baby, a child, a teenager or an adult. It can be caused by different factors and manifests itself in different ways from one person to another.
What Is Anger?
Anger is considered a secondary emotion. It can be linked to a physical or mental injury, a lack of something, or frustration. It can manifest itself physically or mentally, but some people are able to conceal it.
There are various degrees of anger: a person can experience anything from mild annoyance to an excess of rage.
According to Planète Santé, there are three types of anger:
- Defensive behaviour that occurs following an aggression
- Premeditated aggressive behaviour
- Impulsive anger, impossible to control, which translates to aggressive actions
The Causes of Anger
Children can often have anger outbursts, or temper tantrums, when they cannot express their feelings or their needs. These outbursts are part of the child’s development.
Here are some examples of when temper tantrums can occur:
- When someone or something is stopping the child from doing what they want
- When a child has to face something they cannot do
- When a child is overwhelmed by fear, powerlessness, frustration, or anxiety
- When a child is tired, hungry, excited, or doesn’t feel well
- When a child finds out that a tantrum can get them what they want
Here are some examples of where anger can come from in teenagers:
- If they feel misunderstood
- If they can’t handle intense emotions
- If they are compared to their sibling
- If they are upset about something
- If they are depressed
The Consequences of Anger
Children can experience so-called conventional temper tantrums, such as with the following examples.
Here is how children can express themselves:
- They can scream
- They can cry
- They can kick or punch something, or hit their head
- They can bite
- They can roll on the ground or have uncontrollable movements
- They can throw objects
- They can refuse to let themselves be carried
However, temper tantrums can hide a bigger problem. It can hide, for example, behaviour problems, if the outbursts don’t seem to pass.
Here are some examples of what can be cause for concern:
- When the child is a danger to themselves or to someone else
- When their siblings are afraid of them
- When the anger outbursts are too frequent
- When the child breaks or damages some things
Teenagers can have more or less violent reactions towards children if they feel angry. Indeed, they can yell, threaten, speak in a loud voice, clench their fists, and other obvious physical expressions. They can also express their anger through their attitude, such as with insolent behaviour, the refusal to participate in activities, or resort to hurtful remarks.
Generally speaking, anger can be harmful to the angry person and can tire out the person on the receiving end. The anger can leave damage within a family or a group of friends.
It can also provoke solitude or depression for certain individuals.
LOVE supports youth to thrive through programs and healthy relationships that build emotional intelligence and help overcome the challenges they face. Our participants emerge from LOVE’s programs with greater resilience, heightened skills, and the confidence to be inspirational leaders.