Help please with 8yr old ds!(3 Posts)
I'm at the end of my tether with ds at minute and literally out of ideas what to try next.
Dd is currently under assessment for add/ sensory issues but to be honest at minute she's a breeze compared ds!
He flies into the most amazing rages over trivial things, really kicking off, rolling on floor, screaming and just generally grumpy, rude and argumentative 95% of the time now. In the small moments he's not angry he's lovely helpful and cuddly but generally doesn't see what he's done wrong normally. A example would be at the weekend he wanted in trampoline but dd was just on it so I said he had to wait but he just lost it screaming and I told him he couldn't stay in garden that noisy so he was kicking, running around and calling me names. I picked him up( with trouble) took him in and said that was it he had to stay inside because he was too noisy outdoors this led to a hour of full on tantrum before he calmed down and rather unusually made me a note to say sorry.
We've tried sticker charts, losing privileges, marble jars etc to no avail. Even his teachers are commenting his behaviour is deteriorating, that he's very impatient, impulsive but he's been experiencing some bullying which has been dealt with so we initially put it down to that.
Any advice gratefully received please.
My boy (also 8) goes through this quite a lot. I think it's a stage of development (in DS's case almost always that he is dealing with big emotions he doesn't know how to process -- but we don't always get any sense of resolution).
Things that we try:
- Get him to articulate the emotion he's feeling (You're angry because ... / You're frustrated because ... / You're really annoyed with your sister because ...)
- Talk to him about it way after he's calmed down (what was going on there? what could we have done differently? Is there anything I could have done that might have helped? What could you have done differently? Had you had enough exercise etc etc) At one stage we had a big poster up on the wall with all the things he could do if he felt the red mist descend (punch a pillow; go into a room on his own and scream, go out to trampoline on his own etc. etc.). Also talk about how managing anger and emotions generally is a really hard skill which some adults can't cope with. And model what you want him to be doing: when you know you are angry, tell your kids with those words and show them ways to manage it -- and apologise when you fly off the handle and say "I'm really sorry I [insert whatever you did -- in my case shouting]; I got really angry then. I should have taken myself into another room and calmed down before I asked you to stop" (or whatever)
- Exercise. Exercise the fuck out of him. DS is much better at managing his emotions if he's had two hours of hard core exercise. This is difficult to arrange sometimes, especially if you've got other children (and one in particular is very low energy) but it makes a huge difference where you can
- Pay him attention. Try to fit in 1:1 time. Listen to what he's saying and talk to him about it even if it is the world's most awful monologue on minecraft. Have time with him without his sister. The more angry fits he is having the more important it is to do this.
- Limit screen time. DS doesn't watch TV or films at all, but I am a gorgon when it comes to computer games.
- Make sure he's getting enough sleep
- Limit sugar / high GL carbs, and focus on fat and protein
- Supplement with fish oil (we've been doing this for six months now -- I was dubious but desperate. He's been better -- might have nothing to do with it)
Not saying any of the above will work -- or will always work, but it's what we try. It makes me feel better to have a list of things to turn to and to try -- it stops the helpless feeling. Good luck. xx
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