Why do children want to hurt others

Psychotherapists are no stranger to angry children. Many cases even want to hurt others.

“They use words like ‘I want to hit them’, ‘I hate them’,” said Dr. Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo at the University of Southern New Hampshire (UK).

Having worked in the field of psychology for more than 40 years, Dr. Mongelluzzo has met many angry children. They scolded, threw chairs, punched rocks, and after leaving the treatment room they rushed out into the street or ran straight into the nearby forest. There are preschool children who have to undergo psychological examinations after being expelled for a variety of reasons such as fighting, profaning, and insulting teachers and friends.

The angry children’s behavior and words shocked Dr. Mongelluzzo. On the other hand, she wondered why they were so angry and if the anger had existed for long.

There are many reasons why a child turns his or her emotional collection into anger and the desire to attack others.

“Emotions are like colors,” says Dr. Mongelluzzo. We have the primary colors red, yellow, green, and blue. When mixed together, these primary colors produce other colors such as brown, pink, and avocado. The same is true of emotions. Basic emotions include anger, fear, joy, happiness, and sadness. People often express anger release secondary emotions related to it such as disappointment, confusion or other basic emotions such as fear, sadness.

Besides, before getting angry, the child witnessed society use this emotion as a “remedy”. For example, children see tantrums at home and at school coming from teachers, friends, TV shows, movies, books and video games. They also see anger in the news, on the grocery store or on the cover of a magazine.

“Anger and violence are everywhere and children are confused,” said Dr Mongelluzzo.

As a child, a child can literally “translate” what they see. Angry parents mean that this feeling is accepted. Anger on television, in the media or from teachers, doctors and other adults has had the same message. Gradually, children learn that the first and best way to relieve themselves of anger is anger.

Image: Teerapon.

People who want to hurt others can also harm themselves, and the downside of anger is depression. Dr. Mongelluzzo found that angry children are actually sad, confused, disappointed and lonely. They often suffer a feeling of loss but no one knows it. They also have no one around to honestly talk to. Parents often think that physical training helps children develop social and emotional skills, but it cannot replace playing and talking with children about life.

In the context of a pandemic, the number of children who are angry and say they want to hurt others tends to increase. In fact, no child wants to feel that way, and parents need to be closer to their children to teach them how to handle emotions.

“Times change, stress changes and parenting changes,” says Dr. Mongelluzzo. “Parents need to find time to spend with their children. Without the right ‘mood controller’, the child will go to television, video games, a friend’s house or the Internet. Those are all alternatives. Not good because both parents and children will be separated. “

Thu Nguyet (According to the Psychology Today)


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