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9yr old ds is awful. I'm out of ideas!(11 Posts)
Ds is oldest of 3, he'll be 10 in March and still cannot control his temper/emotions.
He was always prone to a temper tantrum when younger, then we had a couple of years when he seemed to have grown out of it but in the last 6 months it has come back with a vengeance.
It has culminated today in a massive sobbing breakdown at rugby, screaming at all his teammates and coaches they were silly and rubbish. I wasn't there but dh was mortified, tried to calm him down/tell him off and was screeched at to shut up! Dh is fucking livid and has asked me to remove the Xbox before they get back.
He's done this at home before but never in front of his mates etc, and I just do not know what to do. He is usually calmly reprimanded and removed to his room at hhome but he comes back again and again for attention and to try and provoke us to a shouting match.
I don't know what to do but I really feel this is getting to the stage where he actually needs outside help in managing his feelings.
Does he like rugby ? Hopefully he will not be playing again for a while. Is he very competitive? How does he behave a school?
I see from your post that he was sobbing - so he was upset, not just angry. Do you think there could be anything going on that you don't know about? Bullying or something?
You need to talk to him as well as punish him.
If it's just anger you could consider an anger management course or CBT type approach.
Loves rugby, does scouts, karate and school play currently although I am tempted to say he can't attend outside activities this week.
Well behaved at school, sometimes cries out of frustration he tells me but I am never called to school and he's never had a detention. He achieves above average levels usually.
He is tiny and at home reacts immediately with his fists (if younger brother teases for eg) for which he is told off. I suggested at the last parents evening he might not be the same as other children and that he might be on the spectrum but he teacher laughed and said definitely not.
He sobs from frustration and rage really. What particularly bothers me is that he won't/can't take responsibility for his actions.
In his eyes nothing is ever his fault, eg brother teased me so I hit him, dad told me off so it's his fault I shouted at him, French is stupid and pointless to learn so that's why I find it hard. He has loads of friends and is always invited to parties etc, I've tried to reason with him that he friends won't put up with overbearing behaviours indefinitely and he understands when he's calm but when the red mist descends you can't get through to him at all.
I am genuinely worried now as this is just the last straw.
I have a 9 yr old DD & feel your pain! She's v similar. I'm trying to talk to her about her feelings, when her anger & frustration starts to build & how to recognise the signs, with ways to then deal with that (other than scream at me with frustration & tears). I'd love to say it's working but I think it'll take time for her to be able to successfully manage these kinds of extreme emotions. Unfortunately I think lack of maturity does play a part & it is a case of 'rinse & repeat' in the hope that eventually they will learn ways to control & manage these kinds of episodes.
I think you need to try and speak to him in a calm moment, ask him a bit about how he feels when his feelings are building, find the sort of things that trigger him i.e. DD has a very strong sense of injustice but only from her own perspective - I tend to try and point out the other angles/perspective to the given situation to try & take her focus off what she feels aggrieved about, but doesn't always work.
I've suggested to her that when she feels really angry/frustrated, she try to remember a word or phrase to tell me she needs to be alone to 'scream it out' and depending where we are, she can go to her room/quiet corner, preferably with something soft to hit/punch if needed, & then come back & talk to me when she feels calmer.
I tell her it's perfectly normal to feel angry/frustrated but how we manage those feelings are what make the difference to how others around her react. She's had a few instances where her 'surly' behaviour has had an impact on her/opportunities & as a result she's had a glimpse of the message I've been trying to get across - how you behave affects those around you & you need to be aware of the consequences of kicking off i.e. Friends not wanting to play/parents not wanting her to visit on play dates etc.
Not sure any of that helps & I'm seeing mixed results tbh but Ive seen enough glimpses of it working to see it is worth sticking with this for now.
The fist thing wouldn't mean he is on the spectrum but something is wrong and I would cancel all extra activities this week and it will make him think twice before outbursts.
I would inform his teacher again, maybe strategies (eg Jenny Moseley ) can be introduced. He needs ways of controlling his temper before it escalates.
It's not so much the violence/hitting that makes me wonder if there is something deeper but the utter refusal to entertain the idea that he is not blameless / right at all times and in all instances.
Surely by year 5 the norm is to be slightly more aware of the emotions and needs of others. He just doesn't seem to give a shit about who he hurts and doesn't get it when I try and say that his friends won't want to play with him anymore if he isn't kind
Tension - I find it hard trying to match the behaviour and punishment, in terms of he behaved very badly today, he has apologised to his teammates and coach but the Xbox is gone and the rest of the clubs are cancelled this week. Is that proportionate? By Wednesday he can't even relate the punishment to the crime.
You are right in terms of space though, we have a small house and he shares a room with his brother so he has no real escape.
I'm just second guessing myself at every turn!
I'm not sure it's a punishment issue, more a 'show the child the way to go' matter and time and practice and trial and error on his part will provide the natural rewards and consequences he needs.
So he needs to learn to hold on to his emotion, to 'swallow' it to talk out or write down or deal with some way later. So a good idea to provide him with some rest time alone, then some 1to1 time with a parent to talk over those frustrations and let them out. Sounds like a lot of frustrations are bottled up so he might need this daily for a while, but once or twice a week is a minimum on an ongoing basis. If he won't talk to a parent, then a trusted other relative or a good friend would do just as well. Just do it, as though it is expected and natural.
The time alone could make all the difference. For some though, it is having a hobby where you can be more in control. So...cooking, fishing, woodwork or some other solitary activity where they can be mainly operating alone, but with some contact and loose conection with others. Talk to him and see if that would be something he'd like to do.
Other ways of releasing tension could include a big bull's eye at the end of the garden and old things to throw at it. A floor standing punch ball (needs some space though) or access to something that gives them some sense of value and satisfaction.
You've mentioned that he's tiny, has the teasing crossed the line into bullying (from his brother and/or at school or clubs)? Is he feeling 'got at' - rightly or wrongly - if he is then it can blow everything out of proportion.
Does he feel that his brother is allowed to 'get away' with teasing him?
Some children do need help to develop emotional resiliancy and awareness.
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