How anger can affect children
by Leila Youssef
Anger influences child behaviour
A moment of anger can teach your kids a lot about power! But anger over little things, may damage your little ones.
When kids come into the family, you may feel like you have all the love in the world to offer. You can get overwhelmed with their cuteness and all the lovely emotions of happiness and joy that accompany your first days with the new family member.
Then - out of nowhere (as you think) - you can become angry with them. Mad about ridiculous issues and simple (expected) behaviours from a little person!
Those emotions of anger and rage are not from nowhere; they have roots and they expand with negativity in your life, your family and relationship with your children.
Anger is a one of the basic emotions, which is completely healthy and normal. But when it gets out of control, it hurts your relationships and loses its positive side. Anger is a powerful emotion, but it is manageable if you understand its dynamics and get to understand it and get closer to how it erupted.
So how does anger get in the way of a healthy relationship with your kids and family?
When you get angry over little issues, like when your kids make a tiny mistake or cry, you express your anger towards them over the little issues. While you are actually angry about other issues, which you don’t express your anger from. So where does the anger go? To the little powerless ones, who pay for your misjudgment.
But anger not only affects your relationship with your kids - it could team them poor behaviour about power and fear!
1. The Power Game:
Your kids imitate your behaviours and they don’t know anything about the world but what you offer and perform in front of them. Accordingly, when you get angry over little stuff, or even worse – without an explainable reason - they learn that anger is a power tool to “get things done” by the party they are angry from.
That teaches them in simple words, "when you want someone to do something for you - get angry!" And yes, it is a very dangerous lesson, that might teach your kids to be emotionally violent to get what they want.
When you get angry you establish a fear-power duality, by forcing your kids to obey you, because you're angry (powerful), which makes them use the same technique later in their relationships with their siblings or friends, and later in life.
A moment of anger, can teach your kids a lot about power!
2. Emotional irresponsibility:
By that concept they learn that when they get angry, they should be obeyed, and that puts the responsibility of their anger on the other person they are angry of. That can be a very dangerous lesson: that they are not responsible for controlling their anger, which is completely unjust, irrational and unhealthy.
3. What’s worth the anger?
When you get angry with your kids about the little things - perhaps because of your own stress related to another matter - they don’t know what truly made you angry. Even though you may have a valid reason for being angry, your kids may misinterpret it.
By being angry over little things your kids learn that they can be angry over the little things. So EVERYTHING (what matters and what doesn’t) can be worth the anger, which might lead to violence at some point, even emotionally, or being stressed and worried over little things.
4. The fear loop:
Absolutely, when you get angry over little things, your kids learn to fear for your anger, which makes them feel that you can be angry because of anything. That makes your kids tiptoe in their relationship with you, creating detachment and mistrust between you and them. As a result, they will lie to you out of fear, which makes them more and more detached. Once their fear is translated into a behavior, it is a start for more unhealthy behaviors that will affect their character structure.
5. Your love is conditional:
As a result, to the fear loop created, resulting in detachment and mistrust, they feel that they are unworthy of your love, because they are responsible for your anger, which makes think and behave in a way that makes them reach for your love, trying to prove that they are worthy of it, and feel that they are not lovable by you or by anyone else accordingly.
6. Future relationships:
When your kids learn that they are not lovable, they are responsible for your anger, their self-esteem will hit the bottom; resulting in a variety of problems, insecurities and people-pleasing behaviors, which all will affect their future relationships with friends and partners on the long run.
For more advice on relationships, visit The Marbella Family Relationships Blog.