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How to help DS with his terrible temper

(7 Posts)
StoneCuttersStreet Wed 08-Jul-15 08:14:21

DS (3) has an unbelievably short fuse. He completely flew of the handle yesterday because a picture I drew for him had a tiny tiny line off. I see the bubbling anger in him often and once he has really gone for another child. I know it is not uncommon for his age group, tantrums etc but I think it's more than that.

I have an absolutely terrible temper which I have struggled with all my life. I remember having such unbelievable rage when I was young and having to teach myself how to deal with it. I was neglected a fair bit as a child so I never had help from my parents on it. I still have to work hard to control it now.

I don't want to just punish DS for getting angry. Obviously I do punish him if he lashes out, shouts at someone etc. But is it right to punish him for getting cross? Eg yesterday He made a mistake colouring a picture and he started tearing it up. I just let him do it and said 'that's fine I think it looked really good but it's yours so if you want to tear it up you can'. Then I tried to talk to him calmly about his anger and how to deal with it. I am trying to tell him it's ok to get cross but to not take it out on other people and things. I don't want to teach him that he has to just suppress all his emotions but I'm just not sure I'm handling it right.

TheHouseOnBellSt Wed 08-Jul-15 09:07:29

My Dd was a perfectionist like this and got angry at small mistakes. I realised that I had been unintentionally critical of her...suggestions like "Oh and try to colour in the lines" were completely wrecking her confidence and I didn't even notice I was doing it. Are you doing similar perhaps?

StoneCuttersStreet Wed 08-Jul-15 09:25:45

No I definitely don't as v conscious of it. I perhaps overdo it on how much I compliment! It isn't limited to colouring, skilled activities etc.

Andro Wed 08-Jul-15 10:55:30

We have a policy of 'you will never be punished for what you feel, only for what you express badly'.

LowBumsMum Wed 08-Jul-15 20:51:59

My son age 9 has similar problems and has just punched another child in the face at cubs due to not having any other way of dealing with his frustration and anger.
It happens at home and has happened at school and I came here this evening looking for information on how to get him some help to handle frustration better and deal with impulse control. He knows it's wrong but says he gets so angry it's like he's not in control of his body. Punishing him or digging my heels in makes an already difficult situation more difficult.
When he's not frustrated he's a lovely caring child with strong moral values and a keen sense of injustice but boy can he fly off the handle.
I'm reading a book at the moment called the explosive child that you might want to have a look at. It's by Ross w Greene and is helping me understand that he lacks the skills to deal with certain situations and needs some help in developing these skills.
I'm going to talk to school tomorrow and see where I go next to get him some skilled help to move him on as this evening has made me realise that he needs help rather than punishment.

Ahemily Thu 09-Jul-15 16:41:11

It sounds like you're doing a great job, actually. Have you ever read Where the Wild Things Are? It's a great children's book about a boy who loses his temper, joins some wild monsters for a bit, but eventually comes home to his mummy. I started reading it to my DS recently, who also has a fierce temper. It helped us, being able to visualise the rage. That's not to say we're out of the woods yet though! Good luck x

LongDivision Thu 09-Jul-15 17:46:53

It sounds difficult. the only thing I can think is to teach him to learn to acknowledge his feelings out loud. so, "you're upset that the drawing isn't perfect, aren't you? it" s frustrating when it doesn't look as you'd expected. should we try again or do something else?" I think (for me anyway), just learning to say out loud, "I'm really angry right now" can calm me down a bit.

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