Anger: Helping Children Cope With This Complex Emotion (page 2)

By — NYU Child Study Center
Updated on Jul 9, 2010

When should I seek professional help?

Learning to cope with angry feelings is a regular part of growing up. Some kids develop effective anger management skills easily and others require more direct guidance and practice. If your child is having difficulty learning skills to calm themselves down when they are angry or has regular episodes where they are unable to stop themselves from being physically and/or verbally aggressive, your child may need the intervention of a mental health professional. Frequent angry outbursts may impede a child's ability to participate in regular classroom activities and raises the risk that someone in their classroom may be physically or emotionally harmed. A mental health professional can evaluate the underlying causes and triggers for your child's angry and frustrated feelings and can teach your child specialized anger management skills. Mental health professionals can also provide support and guidance to you and your child's teachers. A handful of children will direct their angry impulses towards themselves and may engage in self-harming behavior (head banging, cutting, suicidal gestures). Children who engage in these behaviors require immediate attention.

About the NYU Child Study Center 

The NYU Child Study Center is dedicated to the research, prevention and treatment of child and adolescent mental health problems. The Center offers evaluation and treatment for children and teenagers with anxiety, depression, learning or attention difficulties, neuropsychiatric problems, and trauma and stress related symptoms. We offer a limited number of clinical studies at no cost for specific disorders and age groups. To see if your child would be appropriate for one of these studies, please call (212) 263-8916. The NYU Child Study Center also offers workshops and lectures for parents, educators and mental health professionals on a variety of mental health and parenting topics. To learn more or to request a speaker, please call (212) 263-8552. For further information, guidelines and practical suggestions on child mental health and parenting issues, please visit the NYU Child Study Center's website,

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