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Aggressive behaviour in my 10 year old boy

(21 Posts)
Lea Sun 25-Mar-01 17:22:30

My 10 year old boy is very aggressive in his play and in his general behaviour. It is unsettling for us as a family and makes me worry for his future. He does not have learning difficulties but throws tantrums and is generally arguementative. Help!

Rhiannon Mon 26-Mar-01 14:01:19

What does his teacher say, is it obvious at school too? Does he have friends round to play, do other parents notice? What is watching on TV/playstation/GameBoy is he copying. Sit with him and see what he watches on a regular basis. Ask him why he behaves in this way, he's old enough to tell you now. Withdraw treats for poor behaviour and reward him when he does behave well. Make sure you notice when he does a good thing and tell him so. Give him a goal to work to, cinema or an outing etc if he improves his behaviour. Hope I'm being of some use.

Lea Mon 26-Mar-01 18:23:20

Thanks Rhiannon,its good just to have some feedback. TV, playstation, etc usage is and always has beeen monitered - usually only weekends and school holidays and almost always only suitable for his age (the occasional film rated 12, but only after one of us has watched it first. We have always tried to reward and encourage his good behaviour although we are most certainly not perfect. As for friends around to play and other parents noticing, this is what has brought the matter to a head - a very dear friend felt the need to come round and say that one of her children was upset by my sons 'violent' behaviour and she was worried about how it would affect our friendship! I am feeling increasingly concerned and would welome more chat from you and any one else who may have come across this problem. My son is not an only one.

Rhiannon Mon 26-Mar-01 18:39:07

Is he being violent by hurting other children or is he smashing things up etc? Has he just got lots of energy, what about after school activities where he could burn up energy swimming, football etc. Would he be interested in going to Cubs where he could learn new skills (another evening filled).

Don't be upset by what your friend has said, it was very brave of her to say it. Friends are the hardest people to give advice to I find anyway.

You could call his bluff by pretending you're going to get a doctor to take a look at him and see if he'll talk to you instead of the doctor.
Ask him if he thinks his behaviour is unusual and if knows he upsets people when he behaves the way he does.

Do a couple of food experiments with him. What does he eat/drink a lot of. Cut it out for a few days and see if it makes a difference.

Got to tell my son a story be back in a minute.

Rhiannon Mon 26-Mar-01 18:48:33

Recent experiments on my 6 year old have resulted in no Coke, Smarties on those penny sweets that you put in a bag, or orange squash and anything with a large quantity of E numbers listed on the back. Sunny Delight has a huge number of additives, but thankfully I've never bought it.
Good Luck.

Helen123 Mon 26-Mar-01 21:32:53

I have a daughter who is 10 year old and has agressive behaviour. She is at present being assessed for Aspergers Syndrome. These children can be aggressive and are often clever. They sometimes have rituals of behaviour, liking the same things every day, getting obsessed with things like computer games, video and music. If these symptons sound like your son, he can be referred bu your own doctor for referral to a specialist. Thought I might put a different side to the allergy theory and we tried all this with my daughter and they made no different to her behaviour.

Lea Mon 26-Mar-01 21:48:35

Thank you Helen no I do not think my son is suffering from something like that. Rhia I have just sent a long and convoluted mssage to you conceeerning your advice and got cut off by computeer errors!!

Lea Tue 27-Mar-01 11:08:54

Hello Rhiannon I will try again! He is rough with things, breaks toys, tears books, slams doors, cries at the drop of a hat. He and his brother do not eat any rubbish (except at partys etc), they have pack ups at school and cooked food at home - which is almost always organic.

They go to cubs, swim regularly and he also plays table tennis in a league.

He does however absolutely love chocolate, or anything sweet. It almost seems like a craving. What do you or anyone think?

Sml Tue 27-Mar-01 13:34:48

Lea, chocolate on its own could be causing a behaviour problem. Also, it's quite hard to cut out additives, as even organic pre processed foods usually contain them. Addiction to sugary foods may indicate an excessive amount of candida (yeast) in the gut - the yeast thrives on sugar and produces lots of yeasty byproducts which the body can't cope with, hence funny symptoms. Must say though, that aggression sounds more like good old food additives.
It might be worth giving the food approach another go, as the symptoms you describe do fit in with classic food allergy reactions. There's more stuff on this subject, including more symptoms to look out for on other Food and Behaviour boards on this site.

Rhiannon Tue 27-Mar-01 17:29:03

Hi Lea, ask him why he does it? Does he do it away from home or just for you? Does his teacher say he behaves badly? If he doesn't have choc. all day at school and he behaves but then eats choc. when he gets home and misbehaves then maybe it is linked. The only thing you can do is experiment.

Why don't you get your friend to talk to him about it? She could tell him that it upsets her and her son and he might talk to her more than he would you.

Sml Tue 27-Mar-01 18:28:58

Rhiannon, from my own experience, the reaction is not that quick or defined. It may come up to 24 hours later, and last for 2-4 days, by which time it's merged in with other chocolate eating sessions, or other foods to which a child may be reacting.

Lea Wed 28-Mar-01 08:50:35

Thanks to both of you. I now feel that I have something to work on and will look into the additive situation because although we are very careful about what we give our boys I do find that my 10 year old is ingenious at finding ways to get choc. He also had an awful lot of antibiotics when he was very young - am I right in thinking that there could be a connection between that and candida. Is there anything that I can do about it?

Snowy Wed 28-Mar-01 11:04:56

I teach boys at the moment mainly 16 - 20, but have taught younger in the past.

I find praise is the key, constant positive feedback even for small things "well done you've managed to write on the line".

I'm sure you do it anyway - but try having a week when you make sure you really tell him how good he is. What is he good at? "how far did you swim? well done, you really are good" Even when you think you sound silly and they say you are embarassing them.

Have a rule in your house you can only tell him off when you have said 2 positive things to him.

The other thing is try telling off quietly, not shouting. Try using stillness to convey anger not jumping up and down. A quiet "Can I have a word please" may be more effective than a shouted "I've told you before"

Having said all this, the voice I use at work that leaves 6ft 18 year olds sobbing, reduces my 2 year old to gales of laughter.

Tigermoth Wed 28-Mar-01 11:45:53

Snowy, what you say rings really true regarding my 7-year old son. He's a ball of energy, so sitting still, listening and doing what he is told aren't things that come easily to him. Along with his teacher, we are really working on this, and I find the more I praise him and let him choose a treat when he's been really good, the better behaved he is. In class his teacher lets him choose a treat for the whole class to enjoy when he has met a good behaviour target, and we had a lovely report back about this in his home/school book yesterday. His good behaviour in assembly meant his class got awarded the 'class bear' which he proudly went up to accept.

Talking to him I know that even at this young age he hates to be thought of as a'bad boy' at school or at home, so I'm making a real effort to give him a very positive image of himself.

Jac Wed 28-Mar-01 12:07:54

That sounds really good tigermoth. As parents it's sometimes difficult not to get cross with them, but having support from teachers must be really helpful. My daughter is starting school this September and it is nice to know that things are different these days - no more standing in the corner when they are naughty or in my case teachers used to send 'naughty' ones to other classes with younger children, maybe they were trying to saying you were acting their age, but it certainly didn't help.

Rhiannon Wed 28-Mar-01 12:51:12

I once went on a Positive Parenting course which I think you can find out about through your Health Visitor (the last week was about being a Christian but didn't go to that one) no religion mentioned in the other weeks. We were basically taught that children crave affection and they don't care whether it's good or bad and more often than not they get more attention when they are bad. The idea was to try to reverse the 'tables' and praise the good behaviour and ignore the bad whenever possible. Keeps in with what Snowy said.

Sml Thu 29-Mar-01 12:14:05

Lea, yes, there is a connection between antibiotics and candida. If the problem's candida it's pretty obvious - lots of farting! with all that yeast bubbling away inside you. If in doubt, try not eating any sugar or yeast for a few days, then eating a lot at once. You won't necessarily feel better, because there hasn't been time to get the yeast out of your system, but while you're not eating sugar, the yeast goes quiet, and when you eat the sugar, then it'll all explode into life again! This condition can cause an amazing variety of symptoms, but there are some quite good books on the market which list all of them - get one at a health food shop maybe. One symptom which is quite unmistakeable, but a child might find difficult to describe, is the unreal feeling, for example, "I look at my hands typing this, and it feels as though I am looking at someone else's hands. When I walk around I feel as though I am in a glass capsule and can't connect to other people." If it's candida, the good news is that it's quite easy to clear up, though may take some time (several years). Basically, you have to starve the yeast by not eating sugar, and get your body to recover from the reaction to yeast, so no yeast either, and maybe homeopathic remedies to strengthen your immune system til its better. Eventually, the balance in the gut gets back to normal, ie small amounts of yeast, but not out of control, and you can start eating sugar again. One associated problem is that if you get really down due to reacting to all that yeast, you may then get other food reactions, which have to be treated as well. But you can definitely make a 100% recovery from this condition.
If you're going to explore the food additives/candida aspects, I think the best thing you can do is get a few books, and for additives, visit for more info. You can then make a more informed judgement about whether either of these might be at the root of your son's problems. I think all the other advice given on this board is excellent too for treating the symptoms, the two approaches go hand in hand.
Good luck with this - please do let us know if you find out what it is! or if there is any more info that I can provide, please do ask.

Lea Thu 29-Mar-01 20:40:31

Thanks all. Especially sml. I need to think about this for a while.

Jezzz Sun 08-Apr-01 14:48:17

Just read through the messages, there's some good advice. My son, now 6, has caused us endless worries with his aggressive behaviour, we've tried all sorts.
I just wanted to comment on the use of homeopathic remedies. It was the only thing that made a real difference for him, they treat the person as a whole so candida would be addressed, I do suggest you refer him to a registered homeopath rather than read up and prescribe yourself.
Good luck

Annalla Sat 13-Oct-01 14:42:17

My friend has a ten year old son, who was also on a lot of anti biotics when he was young and can be aggressive and low self esteem. He is very stressed out with 11+ exams coming up. Have you got any advice for her.

drwho67 Thu 28-Nov-13 13:31:25

my 10yr old son sometimes refuses to do anything we ask him to.He can be argumentative and aggressive, although school say his behaviour is impeccable.

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