Is it normal for a 3 year old boy to get angry so easily??

Ashley - posted on 11/07/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




For the past month or so my 3 year old son will get angry when me and my boyfriend don't do what he wants right then and there. He will also get mad when we punish him. He will throw his sippy cup if he wants something to drink right away and we dont get it right when he wants it. Most of the time he will throw his toys, or just drop things on the floor when he's mad. We put him on timeout to punish him. I just want to know if its normal for him to act like that. It makes me crazy sometimes because I don't know what to do. Is it something I am doing or what?


View replies by

Gwen - posted on 11/08/2012




Three years old is prime time for angry outbursts! :) They are at the age where they are beginning to test their independence and want more control over things in their surroundings (clothing, food, etc.). It is also a very frustrating time because they want to do things on their own, but often don't have the skills or coordination to pull it off. My daughter wanted SO BADLY to tie her own shoes, she would work at it over and over and over until she got so frustrated she'd yank the shoe off and throw it across the room. Instead of focusing strictly on punishment, help him find more effective ways to show his anger or frustration. Tell him when he's angry he can stomp his feet or punch a pillow. However, make it very clear that throwing a tantrum is not going to change your answer. He's normal. Hang in there.

Javeia - posted on 11/08/2012




Anger is normal for anyone. However, it is important to control these impulses.

If you feel as though he is loosing the "purpose of time outs" take the actual toy away, to let him get a feel of the natural consequences to throwing.

Get him to talk about his feelings using his big boy words instead of having a fit by repeating his feelings back to him such as "I see that you are angry because you can't have juice right now but we will get some *as soon as* you eat all you food"

In free time make a feelings chart with happy, sad, angry, scared, etc. faces on it and imitate the faces on it. When a situation arises he will be aware of what he is feeling.

In order to control his impulses try games like red light green light, have him run where you call out fast slow slower faster, things of that nature, or bite a rag where you call out bite harder or softer.

I understand your situation fully, my son can be fairly aggressive at times as well and I have tried all of these things that I have told you about and he is so much more easy going. I have read that when children reach the age of about three they are starting to develop a memory and he remembers what is was like if he cried just once someone would come and fix this immediately. Let him know that you love him and you are there and it is completely normal for him to feel that way but its not the best way to show it.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms