I feel ashamed about my child’s bad behavior; what can I do?

Question: My child is quick-tempered, quarrelsome, and aggressive. He asks for some things at inappropriate times. He wants to possess whatever he likes, and sometimes he seizes others’ things and holds them whiningly and stiffly. I feel ashamed before others because of him. Would you please give me a solution?

The answer: Anger is a kind of excitement inside man that appears through his words and gestures. Excitement has external incentives at some times and internal ones at other times.

In fact, the power of angriness is a good defensive instinct in the life of man and nations that Allah has created in man to help him be in certain situations brave, valiant, and heroic. However, it is like other instincts. If it is not guided in the way of goodness, reform, and piety, it will move in the opposite direction and destroy the noble values.

There is a saying that courage and full-heartedness are among the hereditary aspects, and so are anger and quick-temperedness.

As for anger in children, educationists say that it begins in the third year and decreases when the child becomes five and a half years old. Children learn anger and nervousness from their parents and the persons around them in the house, kindergarten, or school. Children also learn that from some exciting films. They imitate what they see in those films thinking it is a condition for them to be accepted by society or to prove their personalities and existence among their fellows. Thus, they feel the pleasure of pride and importance.

Regardless of the age differences of those who show their anger, the common thing between all kinds of anger is that the angry person places himself at the center of all things and becomes utterly selfish when he wants something, which could be his or others’, and he then disagrees with others.

On the other hand, an angry child provokes his parents’ anger and then his desire to defend his pleasure and aim increases in him. In this wrong way, angriness deepens in the child while his parents and relatives do not feel it.

To cure this state, one should not reciprocate the angry child with anger. When the child becomes angry, parents should not be angry with him, because in order to put out the fire, one needs to pour water on it and not add fuel!

Besides, you should make the child understand that the pleasure of proving his personality and existence among others is not gained through anger or forcefully seizing things but is instead gained through love and cordiality.

At the same time, the parents should not submit to the unreasonable desires of the child. Submission to all his desires makes him ask for anything at anytime and deepens in him obduracy and obstinacy, and then he does not care whether his parents are able to meet his requests or not. In fact, excessive pampering makes the child ask for everything and with no limits. Of course, he becomes angry if he faces a limit that he has not faced before. Hence, the parents may be, most of the time, the cause in making the child grow accustomed to asking for everything because they meet all his requests in order to avoid his insistence, as they think, but the fact that is not known to them is that their child will now ask for new things again and again.

Yes, if parents are able to buy for their child what he sees in the hands of others and wants, they should do so; otherwise, they should be patient enough to tolerate their child’s angriness and insistence.