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How to Tell If Your Child Has Anger Issues

How to Tell If Your Child Has Anger Issues

Many children have difficulties in expressing their emotions. Dealing with child anger is certainly frustrating for many parents, as they don’t always know how to handle it. Parents need to know how to recognize when their children have anger problems, and take the proper steps to deal with these issues. Some of the signs to look for include.

1. Frequent Temper Tantrums

This is indicative of a child who is angry and always on edge.

2. Disagreeability

Children older than two years of age should be flexible. If they are disagreeable a lot, there may be some psychological issues to deal with.

3. Lack of Problem-Solving Skills

They are unable to solve problems, which leads to frustration, which results in anger outbursts.

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4. Hitting

When children are aggressive and hit others beyond the age of five, it is a sign that they have anger issues. These issues have to be addressed; otherwise, these children will likely become bullies.

5. Lack of Friends

Children with anger issues have problems making and keeping friends, and tend to alienate others.

6. Revenge-Oriented

Many children who have problems with anger tend to always want to get even with someone.

7. Self-Destructive Behavior

Anger issues can lead to children threatening to hurt themselves, and in many cases, following through with those threats.

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8. Property Damage

Anger can lead children to lash out, resulting in the destruction of things around them.

9. Words of Hatred

Often, anger issues cause children to express hate (verbal and physical) towards friends and relatives.

10. Hurting Those Who Are Weaker

When children are angry or feel picked on, they tend to lash out against those who are weaker than themselves, including smaller children and animals.

While anger issues are a sign of emotional immaturity, anger overload could be a sign of mental health issues. If your children show the signs of anger overload, you should contact child psychologist or therapist to assess the situation. There are ways for parents to effectively deal with children who have anger issues. It is important for parents to let their children know that it is okay to feel angry, and to express their anger. Here are some things parents can do to help their children deal with their emotions:

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  • Show them you care. If a child is angry, talk to them about it. Don’t just send them to their room to think about their problems and actions. Let them know that you care about their feelings, and stay with them for as long as they need you.

  • Acknowledge the problem. When your child is angry or upset, ask them why. Tell them that you understand their feelings, and if you know what the problem is.

  • Don’t lose your temper. The worst thing you can do when a child is angry is to get angry yourself. Show them how you can act calmly when angered, and set an example for them. Losing your temper is just going to add fuel to the fire.

  • Setting limits. Children need to know that they can show their anger, but there need to be limits on how much they show. For instance, they can cry, yell, or be silent, but they should not be allowed to get away with violence. Let your child know that you understand their anger, and help them find other ways to vent it.

  • Use anger management techniques. When a child feels an urge to hit something, give them a pillow or a stuffed toy that they can’t hurt. Tell them to stomp their feet, or draw or write down their feelings. Teach them about relaxation breathing, and other forms of stress relief.

  • Help children know the warning signs. When a child is about to lose their temper, there are warning signs. Parents will recognize these signs, and can make their children aware of them as well.

  • Help children understand their feelings. The more children understand why they feel the way they do, the easier it is for them to control their anger. Encourage your children to learn how to express their feelings in a constructive manner.

Featured photo credit: greg westfall via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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