Anger Issues in Kids: Here's Why Another Emotion Comes Before "Mad" by Cynthia Miller
Do you have kids, or deal with children, who have rage issues? Here's the secret: something always comes before mad. Maybe sadness? Fear? Embarrassment? Loneliness? There's always something.
Maybe an angry-looking adult – or perceived to be angry-looking adult – evokes fear. Maybe that child has experience physical abuse from an enraged adult or maybe that child is just wired to be fearful. But first fear, then, next thing you know, rage.
Teasing causes embarrassment, and embarrassment can feel really bad for kids because it's predicated on power imbalance, and that scary feeling that you're so vulnerable. So, embarrassment can trigger feelings of fear and vulnerability. Maybe those are really uncomfortable for your child. Bingo, here comes rage. Something as simple as not holding a door open may feel like abandonment in a child who's been neglected. Next thing you know, rage.
Helping your children understand what emotions come before mad gives them the ability to catch those triggers, identify those triggers and figure out better ways to handle them. And, it helps you as parents realize what you're doing to accidentally cause those feelings, too!