For some children, tantrums are not just down to age or an inability to understand their emotions – they are caused by feelings of anxiety.
Children act up and lash out, it’s what they do. The terrible twos often become the terrible threes and then the terrible teens follow swiftly after.
As parents, we expect to have to deal with outbursts and anger – for the most part, it’s due to age and kids not understanding or being able to communicate their emotions.
And, thankfully, it usually only comes every now and again.
However, for some children, tantrums are not just down to age or an inability to understand their emotions – they are caused by feelings of anxiety
Talking to The Washington Post
recently, Eileen Kennedy-Moore, a child psychologist and author of Kid Confidence, said that many of us automatically think of anxious kids
as being “delicate little butterflies”.
However, for some, anxiety - that fight or flight feeling - manifests itself as anger and aggression
For example, if your child is feeling unsure about starting a new class or is a bit worried about an event they have to go to, they may become angry, lash out and/ or be disruptive and bold.
It is their way of telling you that they are scared and unsure of the situation.
Like in adults, anxiety can make a child retreat into themselves or do the complete opposite, and in the latter case, punishing them won't make it better.
So what can you do?
Well, for one, you need to find out the root cause of the anxiety. What are they worried about? And then talk them through it.
While it might seem like a cliche, talking really does make a difference, no matter what age you are.
However, if nothing seems to be helping them to deal with their anxiety you should talk to their GP, who may be able to offer more advice.
Written by Mary Byrne, Content Executive at Family Friendly HQ. Follow her on Twitter: @marybyrne321