Seeing your child lash out or harm others can be upsetting and could leave you feeling confused about the root cause of their anger.

Helping your child to manage negative emotions becomes easier when you know what may be behind their negative feeling. Of course, sanctioning the aggression has to come first – firmly explain that hurting others is always unacceptable.

Why are you feeling this way?
Encouraging your child to talk about their feelings can be challenging, but parents are advised to always ask their child why they are acting aggressively. Encouraging them to open up can take time so consider trying different approaches. For example, try asking why they are hitting out during a game you are playing together.

Aggression can be triggered by many things, such as:

• Bullying
• Schoolwork and exam pressure
• Friendships breaking down
• Hormonal changes
• Seeing adults arguing and copycat behaviour

Helping your child to recognise the warning signs of anger may help them to feel confident managing their feelings before they boil over into aggression.

Common indicators of anger to make children aware of are:

• heart beating faster
• muscles tensing
• teeth clenching
• tightly clenched fists
• a churning stomach

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