By Dr. Linda McNair

Anger is an emotion and should not be ignored. Teaching children how to handle anger is better than telling them they are not angry and ignoring their hurts. Here is an example in preschool. One toddler takes the other toddler’s toy that he was playing with and he starts crying and yelling, “give that back to me.” The teacher hears this and says, “Now, now you must learn to share. Stop crying and play with something else.” At this point the teacher teaches the toddler, to ignore his hurt and pain, to move on and get over it. The older this toddler becomes he continues to learn to stuff and suppress his hurt and pain. Some of the behavioral symptoms can be: breaking things, causing property damage, disregard of others property, verbal and/or physical aggression, road rage, frequent fights, etc. As, time passes, he has learned ways to handle his anger inappropriately, by possibly becoming a bully and/or a very angry boy who turns into a very angry man. As a teenager or adult, he can be diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder (IED). Uncontrolled anger can lead to other disorders such as: attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), oppositional defiance (ODD), anxiety, depression, bipolar, along with some personality disorders. As a result of anger, the individuals will experience some physical symptoms such as tightness, tension, pressure in the head or chest. After an anger episode, tiredness, tremors, racing thoughts, inability to focus or concentrate, poor performance in school or at work, easily frustrated, moody, irritability, sadness and possibly blind rage. Learning to deal with the above signs and symptoms can help toddlers avoid a difficult life. Controlling or managing anger can help them avoid the pit falls later. If a toddler goes without learning how to control their anger it can lead to requiring medication and or therapeutic interventions for years to come. The toddler must first recognize when someone does something to cause bad or inappropriate feelings. By addressing those negative feelings with a trusted guardian, parent or friend they learn to verbalize their feelings and are in touch with their emotions rather than wonder