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Ten and angry

10 year olds typically have an awful lot on their plates. What with impending puberty, ever more complex relationships and a change of school on the horizon it's unsurprising that they may feel overwhelmed and lash out. As such, angry outbursts are pretty common at this age.

They may be set off by the most seemingly trivial things - a request to tidy up after themselves, a minor incident with a sibling; or like my friend's son who had a full blown screaming match with her, because she apparently bought the wrong type of yoghurt!

How should you handle it?

Remember that more often than not this anger is simply a response mechanism - it may not be what they are actually feeling. Perhaps they're actually scared, hurt, disappointed, under stress etc - but as they struggle to cope these feelings manifest themselves as anger. By helping your child understand their feelings, they'll be better able to cope; which will hopefully mean less door slamming and shouting - which can only be a good thing!

Top Tips to Cope with an Angry 10 Year Old

  • Remain calm. If you get angry too, the issue could escalate to epic proportions - so keep your cool.
  • Encourage your child to talk about what's *really* going on - remember - the real issue is unlikely to be what seemingly caused the outburst.
  • Don't be too quick to offer suggestions and solutions. Sometimes your ten year old will just want to talk it through with you; and if you leap straight in with a solution then they may feel like you're not listening to them.
  • Similarly don't dismiss their concerns as petty or unimportant, take the time to listen and offer your support.
  • Encourage them to come up with a workable solution - talk through some of the ways that they might handle whatever it is that's upsetting them.
  • Make sure that you keep the lines of communication open - ask them how things are going and be available to chat again if they need to.
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