Anger is a natural response we experience when we face something that upsets us. It is totally normal and even healthy to experience anger and other negative emotions. However, when overdone, it is not very healthy and may even lead to other things that serve more damage than good.
This is why it is understandable if your son’s anger concerns you. Especially when his anger appears so often you can’t comprehend what’s the root cause of his annoyance. In this article, we will discuss 20 possible causes to try to answer your question: why is my son so angry? It will help you have a better understanding and get the right steps to calm their temper.
1. They See Family Members Angry with Each Other
There’s a study conducted on children on this topic. When a child sees adults get angry, it affects their emotions deeply. It makes them fearful and feel unsafe. If your son has been exposed to anger or family arguments on a daily basis, there’s a possibility he will grow up into a furious person. This is a very serious thing to pay attention to and you may need to do some self work first before trying to help your son.
2. Parent’s Temper
Children were born pure and clean like a blank canvas. Who they become will depend a lot on their main caretaker as the artist who paints on the canvas. And during this process, children usually mimic their parents a lot. If they live with short-tempered parents or caretaker and get to witness rage on a daily basis, there’s a possibility that they will take it as a normal behavior and take it as their own personal trait. You need to look back and examine if there’s a major influencer who had temper issues when they were growing up.
3. Lack of Attention
More often than not, anger is a cry of attention. When your son gets angry all the time, there’s a possibility that it indicates they need more attention and quality time with their parents. You can try to spare more time to accompany him. It can be a simple activity whether just a casual talk or helping him with his homework. It doesn’t have to be long. An hour a day should be enough as long as you put your full attention to him.
4. Being Bullied
Bullying has an incredibly destructive impact on its victims. The outcomes can vary on each victim. It can cause deep sadness, depression, and also anger issues. If your son expresses unusual anger, you can talk to him carefully and ask him if he experienced some kind of bullying lately. If he did, you need to take necessary actions such as talking to the school principal immediately.
5. Struggling with Schoolwork
Schoolwork can be overwhelming and stressful. And this stress can lead to different outcomes including anger. You can ask him if he’s been struggling with schoolwork and if he needs any help. You can get your hands on helping him directly. It will be super helpful for him both in overcoming the stressful tasks and having the feeling of support he desperately needs.
6. Have Anxiety/Fear about Something
When we’re facing something we don’t quite understand yet, it may look fearful. Sometimes we don’t know how to react and get angry as a response. Teenagers have a lot to deal with and some things can appear quite fearful. It doesn’t have to be something physical. It can be a concept, idea, or news. This is why having a discussion with your son is very important so he doesn’t get a misunderstanding of things he may just find out.
7. Hormone Changes during Puberty
As teenagers growing up, they go through hormonal changes as well as physical changes. The hormonal part can affect their mood big time and cause irritability, intense sadness, and frustration. Even though all of these things are very normal, they may not understand it and just feel the intense emotions. It can make them more angry than usual. You need to talk about the whole growing up thing and explain to them about the chemical imbalance they may experience so they can understand it better and react properly.
8. Doesn’t Feel Understood
One common thing that appears so much during teenage years is not feeling understood. Teenageness is a phase where someone feels independent, has opinions, and develops their taste and standards. During this process, they may feel like no one gets what they actually want. Hence the phrase “No one understands me” is very popular among teenagers. Listening to their aspirations more and giving them the space to express their point of view can help them to overcome the stress.
9. Having Troubles Processing Sensory Information
Every child is unique and some of them may have different sensitivity towards sensory information. It can be sound, the weather, textures, and many more. These triggers can make them feel uncomfortable resulting in an uncontrollable temper. They will deal with it better along with time, but for now, they need your assistance in finding the triggers and try to avoid it as much as they can while trying to find ways to overcome it.
10. Relationship Issues
Relationships between teenagers are complex. Whether it is with their peers or with love interest, things can get confusing and also stressful. When they have troubles with their friends or crush, they may feel more emotional making them look angrier than usual. Per usual, you can play the role as his best friend and let him dump all of his emotions.
11. Lack of Pocket Money
This may sound a little bit ridiculous but it can be true. They may feel like they don’t get enough pocket money so they can’t afford things they want such as snacks, new comic books, or toys. If you think that you give them enough money, you can try to help them with simple financial planning so they can afford things they like. But if you think that his pocket money is below standard, you can consider raising his allowance.
12. Playing Violent Games
Does your son play games? You may need to take a look at what kind of games he plays. Some games have a more violent genre and if your son plays these games too much, it may influence them at some level. You need to take a careful approach when facing this problem because forcing him to drop the game altogether will only make him even angrier. You need to help him understand that game isn’t reality and they cannot apply game traits into real life.
13. Have His Freedom Restricted
Teenagers need a lot of space and time to go about their activities. They may like to spend some time with their best friends doing teenager’s stuff. They may want to go to a music concert, festivals, and other fun things. If you restrict him from doing all of these activities, they may feel like they have no freedom even for the simplest form of fun. Allowing him to do these things may actually be healthy. If you are worried, just make sure they call you and keep you updated.
14. Doesn’t get to Do What He Love
Children develop different interests and talents. They may have something they really really like. But it doesn’t always go along with your preferences. For example, they may be interested in art or music, but you think that they need to focus on their academics more. Lacking time to do things they love may result in unfulfilled feelings inside and it may make them feel furious. Give them the opportunity to explore things they love and appreciate their move because it can make them feel proud and lead to better self esteem.
15. You’re Being Too Controlling
We know that teenagers aren’t fully adult and as parents, we still need to guide them and supervise them at some point. But guiding and supervising isn’t the same as controlling. When you apply controlling behavior, they may feel like you don’t trust them and see them as incapable of doing their own things. Give them some freedom to do things their way. Have a regular conversation and give them practical advice but stop the micromanaging behavior.
16. Doesn’t Feel Good about Himself
As they grow, they will face some physical changes and not all of them are pleasing. They may get acne, body hair, and body odor that make them feel unconfident. This may result in stressful fear they will never go through the glow up phase. You need to give them an understanding that everyone goes through that phase at some point of their life. Encourage them to practice good hygiene because it will help them to feel better.
17. Sign of ADHD
If the anger issues seem unresolved even though you’ve already applied the tips above, you may need to consult a professional. There’s a possibility that your son has ADHD. Children with ADHD often have troubles controlling their behavior and adapt with changes. Even a minor change may trigger them in some way that makes them angry. Getting a diagnosis will help both you and them to take the right step.
18. Hasn’t Resolved His Childhood Trauma
Teenager’s behavior is often linked to their childhood. Like it or not, you may have some kind of role in shaping them and making them who they are today. You may need to take a step back and evaluate. There’s probably some events that leave deep trauma in them. You may need to take them to therapy to help them unravel thes traumas.
19. Doesn’t Get Enough Sleep
Teenagers need an average of 10 hours of sleep every day. Lack of sleep may cause so many issues related to emotional behavior such as anger. You may already make sure they go to bed early but they may not go straight to sleep after they’re in bed. There are so many distractions nowadays especially since entertainment is easily accessible through the tip of our hands. ASk him if he gets enough sleep daily or if he has trouble sleeping. Examine the root cause of the sleep trouble and help them to cope with it.
20. Struggling with Autism
Anger can also be a sign of autism. You need to get your son professionally diagnosed, of course, to get to know if he’s struggling with autism or not. Children with autism are often prone to dramatic meltdowns making them feel deep sadness or anger. A structured routine may help them to feel safe since unstable circumstances may trigger their emotions.
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How can I help my son with anger issues?
Understanding the root cause is the first step you need to do to help your son with anger issues. Different causes require different approaches and once you understand what triggers their anger, you can help them to resolve their issues smoothly. You may consult a professional if you think your son has some medical condition to look after.
What are signs of anger issues?
There are some signs of anger issues you may notice in your son. The first one is he may get irritated quite easily even by the smallest inconvenience. They may also express their anger furiously including hurting others verbally or even physically. They may have a hard time communicating and are unable to solve problems through calm discussion.
Can ADHD cause anger issues?
Yes, children with ADHD are prone to anger issues. Vasco Lopes, PsyD, a clinical psychologist says more than 50 percent of kids with ADHD exhibit defiance and emotional outbursts. Children with ADHD have hard times to focus and complete tasks and it may lead them to throw a tantrum when dealing with things that are considered as hard for them.
What to say to calm an angry child?
The best way to calm an angry child is by making them feel safe. Confronting them will only make their anger worse. You can say something like “It’s okay. We get this. I’m here for you.” Show them that you support them and they don’t have to feel bad because guilt may also make them feel even worse. Hug them if possible. It will make them feel safe and calm.
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