Why kids in fourth grade often get angry

By Bob Cunningham, EdM

Kids can go through periods of being angry at any age and for many different reasons. But fourth grade is a common time for temper flare-ups. You may see anger in kids who didn’t show it before. Or more anger in kids who were already prone to it. 

What is it about fourth grade that brings out anger issues? For many kids, it’s frustration over school. 

In fourth grade, school becomes more demanding. All subjects get much harder. Teaching changes. Kids who were doing fine may suddenly have trouble keeping up, and not know why. 

Friendships and socializing also get more complicated. Kids who have trouble with social skills or who are different in some way may be bullied or left out for the first time.

Ongoing frustration and pressure can lead to anger. And kids may not always have the self-control to keep their temper in check. That’s especially true of kids with ADHD.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Bob Cunningham, EdM serves as executive director of learning development at Understood.