The Angry Six-Year-Old

I find many of the boys and more physically-oriented girls seem to enter an angry phase around the age of six.  Door slamming, yelling, stomping of feet, true

Six-year-olds can become frustrated rather quickly, so rhythm and connection are so important.  Modeling what you want to see, and ignoring what you can, is also important for this age.

One thing that seems to work exceptionally well for this phase is to make sure that this child is really getting their physical energy out – lugging, tugging, pushing, pulling, really working hard and sweating!  Think of what physical projects you really could do together around the house or yard. 

I think work also can work as restitution as well.  If a six-year-old’s temper tantrum (and yes, six-year-olds can still have temper tantrums and other physical expressions of their anger)  really disrupts the whole family’s rhythm and work, that child can work in  practical ways to help you, with you,  around the house in exchange for that time.

Anger and aggression are not the same things.  If a six-year-old is being aggressive due to frustration and anger,  then it is our job to step in and help that child through physical activity and restitution.

Many blessings,


9 thoughts on “The Angry Six-Year-Old

  1. Hi Carrie,

    Qigong exercises, particularly the Inner Smile and Six Healing Sounds are great tools to help children to deal with anger and other disturbing emotions.

    With my book: Six Healing Sounds with Lisa and Ted, Qigong for Children, these techniques are easily learned just by following the stories. In practicing them children gain a better understanding of how the body and mind are linked and how they can use this connection to help themselves take control over their emotions. And they work just as well for parents too of course!

    Here’s the publisher’s link:

    All the best,
    Lisa Spillane

  2. Oh my goodness, this came at the best possible time for me. I actually came to this site today to type in seven year change, as my almost seven year old has been so grumpy and hates anything I offered to do lately. She has also been giving me a lot of attitude and just seems generally angry/ unhappy. It’s nice to know this is normal. Now to find out what to do! Thanks for the help.

    • Emily – work, work, work, practical work and physical activity, and keep your rhythm a bit tighter to hold him in some structure.
      Lots of posts in the back posts!
      Many blessings,

  3. Thank you for this, Carrie, and all your posts about the six-year-old. I recently reread all the six-year-old posts and printed them out to read again. My almost six-year-old is a joy and a challenge. And your words have been such a help as I navigate this new stage. Your tone is so helpful – consistent and strong but still joyful and reassuring. I am so grateful for your blog. Thank you again and again.

  4. My name is Heather,i have a 6 year old son.At home he’s an angel,the moment he goes into class,total opposite,i dont understand what’s going on with him,he is an only child.At school he’s aggressive,temper tantrums,throwing his pencil across the class room,name calling,including at his teacher.Im at my wit’s end,any suggestions?please help….

    • Hi Heather –
      Is he in kindergarten or first grade? If it is first grade, it could be that he needs to be in kindergarten. What does his teacher say? What is the school environment like?
      Sounds like there are questions to be answered. Would be happy to dialogue with you if you email me at

  5. Hi,

    I am new to your posts and I am in the UK so I think the schooling is quite different here but thanks you for your posts on 6 year olds. My LB is 6 in a couple of weeks and he is displaying some angry behaviour.

    He plays really well with his sister (3 and a half) but he is quick to lash out when he doesn’t get his way and can hit her regularly. I really like the idea of doing something nice for her in these instances!

    He is really intelligent and is quite advanced in his class, particularly at reading but his teacher has pointed out that he is nudging other children regularly for no reason and he sometimes has difficulty doing as he is asked and can be very stubborn!

    When he is good he’s an absolute angel, but on his bad days he doesn’t listen or do as he’s told and he answers back terribly! I guess its just nice to know he’s not the only one!!

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