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Thread: Angry Child

  1. Angry Child

    My grandson is 9 months old and I've never seen such a small child exhibit such anger before. Raised three children myself and didn't see an attempt to show anger until much older.
    If you are trying to get him to do anything he doesn't want to do, sometimes he pulls his hands into fists, scrunches up his face, tightens his whole body and growls. (Sort of a growling noise,, he doesn't talk yet, so I guess it is his attempt to let us know he is angry. We are unsure how to handle it in one so young. My daughter tells him no,,, but I'm not sure he understands this. We could ignore him, but not sure that is good either. If he is showing this much anger at this age, I sure want to nip in the bud. By the way,,, we gave him an empty pepsi can last night to play with and he actually partially crushed it,,, using the same technique he uses when he is angry.

    My daughter has a very bad temper,,, could he have picked it up from her? And what do we do about it?
    Thanks
    Dj
    Art is Magic. Make it Yours.

  2. #2

    Angry Child

    Your grandson is still very young, of course, and it's still too early for him to have learned much in the way of skills or strategies for dealing with his negative feelings. However, I don't think it is abnormal to feel frustration or anger at not getting what you want at that age. If he is expressing his frustration or anger in this way and not striking out at other people, or pets, or objects, one could even see that as a good thing - if he directs this toward other people or breaks things, that's another matter. The empty Pepsi can probably isn't a good thing for him to be allowed to play with, however - even if he isn't angry, those cans can be sharp and children have been known to cut their tongues on the opening.

    As for the influence of your daughter, he is definitely not too young to be modeling some of her behavior - and that makes it doubly important that she address the issue of how she expresses her own anger or frustration, especially when her son is around. She needs to be modeling calm and appropriate and non-aggressive ways of expressing these feelings if she wants her son to learn that.

    If the problem with your grandson persists or gets worse, and definitely if it accelerates to the point where he is striking out physically, you should probably talk to his family doctor or pediatrician about a referral to a child psychologist. For the moment, based on the information in your post, I would think it's a bit early to be worrying about this being a permanent character trait.

  3. Re:Anger Management

    Thanks David for your info. I appreciate it. Interestingly enough, after I posted this inquiry, I thought about it and told my daughter that as long as he wasn't trying to hurt anyone or throw something, we should ignore him, much the same way you ignore a child throwing a fit. So having you confirm it helps a lot..

    I just remembered that prior to this behavior, golly, when he was even younger,,, he grabbed my shoulder and pinched it as hard as he could, he has done similar things to my daughter, but we thought up until his more recent episodes, that he didn't understand what he was doing... Now I have to wonder... On the converse,,, he is the most gentle child when it comes to things you typically can't stop a child from doing, like pulling hair. I have very long hair and from the time he could control his hands, he would touch it with his fingertips and run his hands through it, but never pull it... I'm begining to think that children have either changed a lot since I had my kids, or this kid is incredibly precocious.

    Thanks again so much for your help and thoughtful response.
    Dj
    Art is Magic. Make it Yours.

  4. #4

    Re:Anger Management

    Quote Originally Posted by johnstde
    I just remembered that prior to this behavior, golly, when he was even younger,,, he grabbed my shoulder and pinched it as hard as he could, he has done similar things to my daughter, but we thought up until his more recent episodes, that he didn't understand what he was doing...
    ...and that was probably correct: it takes a while before infants and toddlers understand that objects and people in their environment are separate entities, rather than just extensions of themselves, and they experiment with manipulating those objects (and people) in various ways - all very young children are egocentric: the world revolves around them - and in time they learn (as did mankind) that the theory is wrong :o)

    I'm begining to think that children have either changed a lot since I had my kids, or this kid is incredibly precocious.
    They could both be true - children have changed, I think - and he may well be precocious. Intelligent children are interesting but not necessarily easy to raise...

  5. Angry Child

    Hmmm,, well he may indeed be a challenge. Ever since he was about four months old, I found he was highly entertained by me showing him my fingers as I counted from one to ten. Seemed like an odd thing for him to enjoy. :) He would and still does sit for long periods of time watching me and listening to me, like he is trying to figure it out.

    Last night my daughter and I were singing to entertain him,,, the twelve days of Christmas, and I would hold up my hands with the number of fingers and sing the number loudly,,, poor little fellow looked so confused, it made me think he was actually beginning to understand what the counting meant and we totally screwed up his theory with the song. LOL.

    Well, thanks again, I'll come back and post again if I see any new developments in the anger area.

    Dj
    Art is Magic. Make it Yours.

  6. #6

    Angry Child

    Please do!

    Also feel free to add the URL for your website to your "signature" to help people find it. Let me know if you need any assistance in doing that...

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