6 year old boy violent tantrums

(7 Posts)
Hennie07 Wed 05-Jan-11 20:43:48

Hi - I am hoping for some pragmatic advice
On Christmas eve my 6 year ol son errupted into a violent tantrum we have never seen before. The trigger was he wanted to leave the park earlier than planned. This tantrum included thumping me so hard I got bruises and telling us he hated us. I had to hold him down in the back of the car so we could drive home. This has happened every few days with no consistent triggers. Themes seem to be about him being in control and threatning to hit us or to smash up our house if we dont do what he says. We have not been able to do a time outs due to his violence in his room. Any threat of punishment adds fuel to the fire. Talking about it after can retrigger a tantrum. We have taken away his favourite toy for a day. However no treat or punishment combination has any impact when he is in full flow. He is very rude and says he wishes he had not been born and he we are rubbish parents. He repeatedly says we dont want him. We have ended up restraininig him on the floor to stop us and our house being damaged. We continue to tell him we love him and also correct him when he says things that are not true such as we hit him. To be honest it ruined our Christmas. Whilst inevitably there is some disruption to routine over christmas we tried to keep things as relaxed and low key as possible.

My 6 year old boy is usually well behaved, he does well at school and makes good relationships with other children and adults.
(he is an only child). My husband is a full time dad and last July we moved to be in the next road to a lovely school. I work full time but am at all the key events at school. We have enough money. We have a mix of treats, projects and free time and plenty of attention. He has a good healthy diet and small amoutns of TV and computer time. He has watched more TV and movies over the xmas break especially in the snowy weather.

Any suggestions to either stop him in full flow and stop it happening again? Advice much appreciated.

scurryfunge Wed 05-Jan-11 20:51:24

If he is otherwise developing well at school and can have a good relationship with other children and adults, he has learnt that violent outbursts get him what he wants. He is getting a lot of attention from his bad behaviour it seems. I would not use a bedroom as a place to remove him to. It needs to be somewhere totally boring, like the hallway, for example.

Give him one warning about behaviour then remove him from the situation. Talk to him about it afterwards not while he is in full swing.

Use TV time, toys, games, activities as sanctions - he will soon learn that he cannot manipulate you both in this way.

ohanotherone Wed 05-Jan-11 21:39:58

I have had this with my five year old. He bit me on the arm nearly through to the bone. Time out was not appropriate due to level of violence in room and too scary to get him in there anyway. I got lots of social skills books about being angry, coping with anger, different ways of calming self. I tell him 5 mins before we have any changes and say that I will withdraw TV if he doesn't comply with anything I want him to do. I give him lots of praise when he demonstrates good polite behaviour. I think alot of the problem for us was that Dad looked after him 2/3 days per week with me going to work early and I looked after him the rest of the time. My husband started working away and his behaviour really improved but I think this was to do with consistency. Also I told him stories about people who I have worked with in Social Services who didn't have all the things that he has, like a proper bed, swimming lessons, computer etc.. , cats, a nice mummy and daddy and that seemed to have an positive impact as well.

Tgger Thu 06-Jan-11 21:05:28

Sounds like he is doing 6 year old "testing the boundaries".

My oldest is only 4 but I've found every so often they do this and it catches you unawares! Then you catch up and deal with it and everything settles down again.

Think you need to take charge, take no sh**, and deal with efficiently so he knows this is not acceptable.

So.... understand the bedroom issue...how about a chill out room/space that you can "dump" him in and he can whack cushions etc if he is angry. You need to detach yourself from him physically and emotionally so he can calm down. Also to avoid giving too much attention to the behaviour.

Consider if some things are making him unhappy and he is acting out in this way. If you can get onto a happier footing (as it sounds he normally is) then hopefully this behaviour will disappear?

Hennie07 Thu 06-Jan-11 22:11:10

Thanks all

Tgger Thu 06-Jan-11 23:05:56

Oh yeah, forgot to say, TV in big doses seems to fry the brain, that's probably most of it smile. This certainly happened with our 4 year old, I think older ones shouldn't be so bad but some are more sensitive to it than others (esp if not "used" to it I guess!).

If in doubt blame the T.V smile

Hennie07 Fri 21-Jan-11 13:33:23

Thanks all - making progress after reading 123 magic - would recommend

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