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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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my 9 year old daughter gets so angry when I dont react in

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my 9 year old daughter gets so angry when I don't react in a certain way to her pain/upset/frustration. I have tried remaining calm. talking her through strategies of calming, but nothing is working. It is causing so much upset with the whole family. Once she is over it, she is very sorry. I am at the end of my tether. Would talking to someone outside of the family help
Thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd like to help you out.

If you get the impression that your daughter has a significant problem controlling her emotions, then it would certainly help for her to talk to someone outside of the family. Ideally a family therapist would be the best person. That way you can also be included at times so that everyone can work together on a better way for her to communicate and manage her anger.

If your child generally is well adjusted and is able to eventually get themselves under control, then often times the behavior that you've described is attention seeking behavior. If a child learns that they can get the attention of the whole house by having a temper tantrum, that can start to reinforce the behavior even though it isn't necessarily positive attention. In that case, you are doing the correct thing to remain calm and try to reason with her, but at this point you may even go as far as having everyone completely ignoring her inappropriate behavior until she calms herself down and starts to act appropriately. You can tell her that you won't be talking to her until she calms down. At first she may get more angry once she sees that she cannot get everyone's attention in this way, but at 9 years old she is old enough to understand that this is not a behavior that will be tolerated anymore.

If that doesn't work or if you feel like her behavior is unmanageable or abnormally destructive or dangerous to her I wouldn't hesitate to be on the safe side and have her talk to someone outside of the family. I definitely wish you the best with all of this, and if there's anything else I can do to help please let me know.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks. this is all stuff I know, but find so hard to enforce, as she will break the house down. Its us, the rest of the family that suffer.

is there such a thing as 'mummy syndrome'.

Or is she trying to punish/test me?

is it a case of being cruel to be kind...for me to just have a zero tolerence


I agree it is easier said than done and hard to enforce. Mummy syndrome isn't an official syndrome so I suppose it depends on how you are defining it. Most of the time this is a boundary testing/limitation testing type of behavior. Ignoring her isn't being cruel, it's just a showing her in a different way that this behavior isn't an appropriate way of communicating her anger. Before doing that, it may help to pick a time when she is calm, and tell her that you're going to do this the next time she gets upset. You can also talk about some ways that she can calm herself down the next time she gets mad, and that way when you ignore her behavior she is not surprised by your reaction.

However, if this is at the point where you have to literally be concerned about her destroying things and she is causing a significant problem to the rest of the family, then the first thing to do would be to have her evaluated by a child psychologist or psychiatrist in order to determine if she is struggling with some emotional problems that are outside of her control. That would give you the best idea of how to go about treating this, especially if it is currently unmanageable.
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