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Anger management tips for a 9 year old

(17 Posts)
oneofthegiantsisme Fri 03-Jun-11 17:09:46

My DS is lovely, kind and caring, most of the time. Unfortunately, he gets very involved is his computer games (DS, PC, etc), and when they start going badly, he completely loses the plot. He gets extremely aggressive, shouts, screams, and attacks his big sister, me, his dad, and anything else he gets his hands on.
We try to limit how much time he spends on these games, but that's not really the answer, as he can reach boiling point in 10 minutes if things are tricky. I think the root of the problem is the lack of control of his temper, rather than the games themselves.
Has anyone got any tips on how to help him with this, before he does someone some serious damage (I've got scratches down my arm after an episode earlier this afternoon)?

5318008 Fri 03-Jun-11 17:15:30

um if he's scratching you in anger/frustration then I would take the games away, end of.

let him earn back screen time, use a timer for a ten min session or however long you think suitable.

chat about unacceptable behaviour - and follow through on sanctions

he cannot be allowed to continue attacking you and your family and if that means cutting off the plugs/putting games up in the loft then so be it

scurryfunge Fri 03-Jun-11 17:19:09

Take the games away until he behaves appropriately. He doesn't need anger management, he needs firm parenting, sorry.

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 03-Jun-11 18:14:25

We do take the games away when it happens, but that doesn't stop him doing it again. When he calms down he's very sorry, but it doesn't seem to fix the problem long term.

LynetteScavo Fri 03-Jun-11 18:18:42

As a mother who's DS has had anger management, I would not be letting him play computer games until he is much more mature.

I have always had a very strict rule of we do not hurt other people. If he wants to trash his room, beat his pillow/wall fine.

But if it was only computer games making him angry, they just wouldn't be in the house.

ZZZenAgain Fri 03-Jun-11 18:24:58

is it just happening in rellation to the games or is he like this at other times too when he hasn't been playing?

You know, I really think I'd cut them out completely if they are having this kind of effect on him. Now it is nice and sunny again, get out with him more and have him kicking balls about, throwing and catching or if you don't want to (which I totally understand btw) , try to get him doing that kind of thing with some neighbourhood dc. That would be my strategy.

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 03-Jun-11 20:07:41

The games are the most common trigger, but not the only one. Perhaps we do just need to ramp up the sanctions.

LynetteScavo Fri 03-Jun-11 21:52:26

Every time you take the console away from him he will be angry again. You're caught in a vicious circle. Get him a scooter/skate board/bike and loose the games completely.

GreenTeapot Fri 03-Jun-11 21:57:53

I don't have a 9 year old so maybe I'm missing something, but if games = angry attacks then games go in the bin. Obvious, no?

oneofthegiantsisme Fri 03-Jun-11 23:32:39

Games could go in the bin, but that's a bit harder to do with the family pc - I guess we have to just ban access until he can be reasonable.

LynetteScavo Sat 04-Jun-11 08:00:26

Don't make banning access a big thing...or he will get resentful and want them even more. Take them away when he's not looking, and offer other activities when he asks for them.

HystericalMe Sat 04-Jun-11 08:04:25

What about offering rewards for good behaviour. For example today, you could all go swimming and say that if everyone behaves nicely in the morning, you will all go to Pizza Hut for dinner/cinema. But if there is any anger, or physical violence, calmly say that it is not on tonight, and if he behaves it could happen next weekend.

QuintessentialOldMoo Sat 04-Jun-11 08:08:34

We had this with our 9 year old. He gets stressed and aggressive when playing computer games. The stress levels were increased for hours after he had played, so even if he did not lose his rags when playing, he would be very short tempered afterwards, for hours in fact.. We banned the games for two months as a test, and he was nice and friendly overall. We are now experimenting with allowing him to play a little, to see how it affects him now. The first morning after an hours play, he was really grumpy, and he said he felt angry inside him but did not know why, so I linked it with the game and told him he had to snap out of and learn to control his emotions, it was the only way if he were to be allowed to keep getting play time. But he only gets to play on the wii, not his dsi.

2gorgeousboys Sat 04-Jun-11 08:10:15

DS2 (7yo) really struggles with his temper, if he can not do something (this can be anything from getting dressed to his spellings) and lashes out, calls himself "idiot" and throws things about.

He has recently started Karate classes and the discipline and control they are taught is helping him enormously. Appreciate this may not be the answer for everyone but for DS2 it has been fantastic.

ppeatfruit Sat 04-Jun-11 13:34:32

Another thing to look at is his diet, D.H gets a terrible temper when he's been eating wheat or too much sugar and he's 60 !!!We know and he avoids it but sometimes its difficult and he gets the moods again.

Gonzo33 Sat 04-Jun-11 14:09:51

2gorgeousboys: I used this with my son (who is now 10) he is taking his purple belt grading at the end of this month. He now also takes part in a lot more physical activities after school because it channels his energy.

I decided to get my son involved in everything physical after school because it helped him to calm down. Where we live I can safely send him out for a bike ride to calm down, but before that I did take to stopping the computer games and everything else.

Now I am getting the pre-teen emotions, and that is becoming really interesting.

oneofthegiantsisme Sat 04-Jun-11 20:27:40

Thank you all for your advice; DH & I have had a long discussion, and here's what we've decided to do. We had a serious chat around the breakfast table this morning, reinforcing the family rules (no hurting), and introducing new, tougher sanctions (no screen time for the rest of the day/next day as appropriate) for breaches. It all seemed to be taken on board at the time. That said, he's just (in the last half hour) lost his rag with a game on his sister's mobile phone (she's been told not to let him borrow it, but hey ho!), and has forfeited screen privileges for tomorrow. We'll have to see whether this bites enough for him to get a grip! He's had plenty of outdoor time today, so it's not just that.

If this doesn't work, I guess we'll have to try banning the things completely for a while & see if that helps.

We have gone down the martial arts route - he's been doing ju-jitsu since August, but it doesn't seem to have ironed out this issue.

Perhaps I should mention, in case anyone is concerned [anxious self-justification emoticon], that by computer games I mean Club Penguin, Lego Star Wars and the like - we're not talking Call of Duty here!

Taking a step back from the problem, I think his main issue is that in his mind/self-image, he is perfect, master of the universe, so anything where he comes up against failure (Game Over) doesn't fit his picture of the world, and therefore must be wrong and will be destroyed. I'm sure he'll learn, eventually!

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