Angry rude 10 year old who then dissolves into tears and feeling bad

(52 Posts)
GoldRhino Tue 04-May-21 20:49:26

In need of some advice.

My 10 year old is very sensitive but can explode, says things he shouldn’t and then bawls his eyes out when he gets told off. I don’t know how to handle it!

Example: today we were in the park with some friends and he came to me and said he was thirsty. I said ok we are just going, your bottle is in the car. He got into a massive strop even though I said we were just going, had a face like thunder and said ‘I’m so bloody thirsty’ (he knows he’s not allowed to swear). We walked back to the car and he ignored all the others which was really embarrassing and rude and would barely say goodbye. Then when I told him off in the car he cried his eyes out and said ‘I’m such an awful person’ and suchlike.

A few hours later and we are still hunting for his missing glasses. He always leaves them around the house and I’m forever saying don’t leave your glasses on the floor/ pick them up/ make sure you know where they are. Dh says to him that if they don’t turn up that he will have to put some of his pocket money towards a new pair, in a bid to get him to take care of his things. Ds explodes, calls dh an idiot and tells me I’ve got a small brain. He then cries again five minutes later feeling awful.

He is such a Jekyll and Hyde character, and so hard to deal with. He can be so sweet and caring and then other times so rude and angry.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
00100001 Tue 04-May-21 20:51:39

Sounds like he's got something going on there.
Is this a change in him? Or has he always been like this?
How is he at school?

Does he do the tears to get out of trouble?

allycat4 Tue 04-May-21 20:51:40

Does he have siblings? Any chance he's feeling envious of a sibling or something like that?

SmidgenofaPigeon Tue 04-May-21 20:51:53

Sorry but if i was spoken to like that I’d not care a jot if he cried and felt awful afterwards.

00100001 Tue 04-May-21 20:53:22


Sorry but if i was spoken to like that I’d not care a jot if he cried and felt awful afterwards.

Well, it surely depends on WHY he's explosive? Is he actually? Is he building up to it, OP just doesn't see the warnings? Is he being bullied. Has he always been able to act likes this without consequences etc etc etc

SmidgenofaPigeon Tue 04-May-21 20:54:22

And it may not be the case here, but I nanny for a nine year old who can put on an Oscar winning performance of tears and self-loathing when pulled up on rude behaviour, or if she’s caught out in a lie.

It makes her mum stop telling her off, give her a hug and buy her a cupcake most times, so it works.

Oly4 Tue 04-May-21 20:55:47

I actually think I’d ignore the outbursts then very calmly talk to him about it later on, saying that is not an acceptable way to control anger. Tell him if he feels cross he should walk away and go to his room.
It sounds like a tricky age

ThePlantsitter Tue 04-May-21 20:56:34

Is this new? There's a chance it's hormones (the sudden outburst would suggest that). Otherwise it could be generalised anger at the world as a reaction to all the shit that's going on with covid and school etc. I know my 10 year old has been feeling a bit helpless.

However obviously the behaviour is not on. Maybe time to teach him to count to ten before replying? It's OK to feel angry of course but not to call you names or swear!

If it's not in character I would be having a chat when he's calm and saying 'you seemed very angry earlier when x' and wait for him to talk.

EdwinPootsLovesArchaeology Tue 04-May-21 20:59:24

today we were in the park with some friends and he came to me and said he was thirsty. I said ok we are just going, your bottle is in the car

Why didn't he have his own bottle of water with him?

Does he have much autonomy? He's 10, so year 6? He's might be very frustrated.

NameChangedForThisFeb21 Tue 04-May-21 21:00:47

Just a thought due to the extreme thirst AND anger combo...

Are there any other physical symptoms? Weight loss, tiredness, frequent urination?

Sounds a bit like an experience I’ve had with Juvenile Diabetes (Type 1 Diabetes)...just the thirst plus uncontrollable outburst reminded me. If not, it could be hormones or just general growing up issues!

Livingmagicallyagain Tue 04-May-21 21:07:14

Sound like a mix of preteen hormones and low self esteem (very common in kids at the moment after covid and school closures). You're a Star by Poppy O Neill is a good place to start.

GoldRhino Tue 04-May-21 21:29:59

He has always been like this. It’s just got worse as he has got older.

He does have self esteem issues and has a stammer which upsets him a lot (on the waiting list for SALT).

There really aren’t any warnings, he just suddenly explodes.

Re his water bottle, he asked me to put his school bag in the car while he had a kick about with his friend for 15 mins. The water bottle was in the bag.

OP’s posts: |
Tuesdaysintheazores Tue 04-May-21 21:33:07

Does he lose things a lot? I'm wondering about SENs

JenerationH Tue 04-May-21 21:35:50

Sounds like natural temperament plus general unhappiness with possibly a side order of hormones to me.

The only one you can really change environment wise is the general unhappiness.
Temperament wise he'll need to learn effective methods for dealing with his anger before the expplosion.

GoldRhino Tue 04-May-21 21:37:30

@Tuesdaysintheazores he can be a tad scatty, yes. Also doesn’t respect his belongings though.

OP’s posts: |
GoldRhino Tue 04-May-21 21:38:07

@JenerationH breaks my heart to think he might be unhappy. He gets absolutely showered in love and attention .

OP’s posts: |
JenerationH Tue 04-May-21 21:41:21

Unhappiness can be due to any number of reasons, including temperament.
It's not necessarily anyone's 'fault' - lots of kids will be desperately unhappy for periods in childhood, growing up is hard.

00100001 Tue 04-May-21 21:47:20

Does he get out of trouble after he cries/feels bad?

JenerationH Tue 04-May-21 21:48:41

From the water bottle example it sounds like he was just being a bit of a jerk. Sometimes kids are jerks, just like everyone else is. He was frustrated that he couldn't have his drink NOW and didn't care about modifying his frustrated reaction for the sake of others, because he's 10. You told him off for it and he felt sorry. That's what was needed. He'll learn.

In the glasses example, I think it would have been better to not say he would lose pocket money to pay for a replacement at the time that it was said.
Consequences like that need to be discussed and known before the event triggers them. I'm not surprised he got upset and exploded - he was probably already frustrated by the glasses being missing, and having that dropped on him tipped him over the edge.

00100001 Tue 04-May-21 21:49:15


*@Tuesdaysintheazores* he can be a tad scatty, yes. Also doesn’t respect his belongings though.

What consequences are there for not treating his stuff carefully?

Is he losing them, or just wilfully mishandling them (eg, chucking his stuff around, dropping it in floor, not putting in its case etc)

Tambora Tue 04-May-21 21:51:10

Does he do the tears to get out of trouble?

I was wondering that too. Turning on the taps.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 04-May-21 21:52:55

He gets absolutely showered in love and attention.
Does he also have boundaries and consequences?

PragmaticWench Tue 04-May-21 21:56:08

There's a good book called 'Between' about parenting 8 to 13 year olds.

GoldRhino Tue 04-May-21 22:03:22

Yes he does have boundaries and consequences. Poor behaviour means he doesn’t get to play PlayStation etc.

I have wondered about the tears being to get out of trouble...

@00100001 he just comes in from school and dumps his stuff on the floor. I keep asking him to put his shoes and coat away. Frequently dumps his changes of clothes on the floor and doesn’t put them away etc

OP’s posts: |
00100001 Tue 04-May-21 22:07:24

So he comes in and dumps the stuff.

You ask him to pick it up.

He doesn't.

What happens then?

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