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Does Your Child Hurt Other Children? #SoteldoPsychotherapy #Counseling

Updated: Mar 26

Young girl reclining on a bed looking at a smartphone

Does Your Child Hurt Other Children?

The question of whether your child wants to harm fellow children may seem out of

place, but in reality, it is an issue many parents face daily.

Many child therapists confess to interacting with children who use strong expressions

such as “I want him dead”, “I hate him so much”, or “I feel like killing”. 

Many therapists have been ridiculed, sworn at, kicked, and hit by children they counsel,

just because of anger.

Today, many parents find it difficult to manage constantly angry children, and they end

up sending them off to relatives or therapeutic camps, schools, boarding facilities, or

outdoor programs. Many children are getting expelled from school and recommended

to seek psychological assessments from counselors.


The reasons they get expelled range from assaulting their colleagues, insulting peers and

teachers, aggression, use of inappropriate language, and fighting, among others.

Surprisingly, you may realize that this habit is with several children in school.

What’s the root cause of the problem?

Where does this desire to harm others come from? What causes anger? How does this

affect the teachers, family, and society? 

Many theories try to explain the cause or the origin of this collective anger in children.

One expert explains that there is internal unrest in a person who feels like hurting

others. The same internal unrest may also cause a person to harm himself, like in the

case of suicide or homicide. One cause of such internal unrest or conflict is depression.

Children learn from adults

Anger is a very potent human emotion. It is one of the primary emotions that dictate

human behavior. Other emotions include sadness, happiness, joy, and fear. Anger is

more dangerous than all these other primary emotions, and it can cause other primary

emotions like sadness and fear or secondary emotions such as confusion and


When a child gets angry, then he must have witnessed anger used as a remedy in certain

situations. He may consider anger as an avenue of releasing emotions in school or at

home, as demonstrated by video gaming, books, movies, television, friends, or even


Children witness anger everywhere, on the news when people are demonstrating or

when there are terrorist attacks, at the grocery store when there’s a disagreement, or

when mom and dad are fighting at home. Anger goes hand-in-hand with violence

because violence is the quickest route to relieve anger. 

A child brought up in an environment full of anger will develop the habit of hurting

others. Adults send mixed messages about anger to their children. For example, when

mom and dad get angry at each other in front of the child, the child will believe that

anger is acceptable. When they see nurses, doctors, teachers, and other adults getting

angry, they’ll learn that anger is part of life and is acceptable.

What’s the way forward?

As a parent, you need to teach your child early enough that anger is unacceptable. Try to

let them know there are better ways of solving conflicts rather than resorting to anger.

Be a role model by bringing them up in an anger-free environment. Show them love and

try to understand any challenges they might be facing that can lead to anger.

Raquel Soteldo RP(Q), MA, ABA, PMP, CCC

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