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DS13 Anger issues(15 Posts)
Looking for some advice please.
DS13 has had self esteem issues in the past (saying he was rubbish at school work) but no other visible signs.
During lockdown he has started self harming (punching and hitting himself) this was due to being angry when not being allowed to play on his Xbox until he had finished his school work. He would make his school work last all day when is he had just got on with it, he could have finished in a few hours.
I had hoped that when school work finished it would improve but he still just wants to play on his Xbox all day and if we try to limit it, then again he gets angry and starts punching himself.
Pre-lockdown he was very active but is refusing to go back to his sports clubs as they are boring and would prefer to play on the Xbox. I have said he can choose a new club but he doesn't want to. He has put on nearly a stone in weight and is now quite unfit. When I suggest going for a walk or run, he will begrudgingly come but either not talk to me or be verbally aggressive towards me.
If he doesn't get his own way about anything he is verbally aggressive. I feely like i am constantly walking on egg shells around him. I do ask him not to be rude towards me and other members of the family but he still does it.
He is always remorseful at the end of the day but continues to behave like this the following day.
I can't turn off the wifi as all our phones are connected to it but even if I could he just punches the wall when we have tried to limit the time.
I'm at my wits end. I don't know how to help him. I read somewhere about letting him do what he wants and he will eventually limit himself so I have tried that this week but it hasn't helped.
have you tried setting time limits on the xbox itself? there is an article telling you how to do it here, as that way you aren't the one telling him that it's time to come off the xbox, its just the game shutting down after a certain time period
If his sports clubs are back on, I would be insisting that he went back to at least one of them. He can pick which one, but I would make sure that he was getting out of the house and getting some exercise
If he’s had non stop access to the Xbox and you’ve now put your foot down he’s probably just throwing his weight around to get his own way. It’s probably a last push to see if he can make you give way. I would sit down with him and create some new rules with him when he is remorseful. Write them down together. Personally I’d say homework and excersise needs to be done before x box each day. WiFi off midnight. Poor behaviour means no more Xbox that day. No discussion. New day fresh start regardless of what happens following morning. However if he hurts anyone or anything remove the Xbox completely for a week. Be immovable. Be set in stone. He will adhere as long as you are routine with expectations
Thanks for the replies.
I didn’t know about setting how to set a time limit, I will do that.
He won’t go to the clubs, I can’t physically make him go.
The anger and self-harming started prior to non-stop Xbox. I tried letting him control his time as I read somewhere about them trying to be independent but that didn’t work🙁
We write a new set of rules every night. We make them together and he writes them down but then the next day he ignores them. Last night, we agreed to play tennis in the garden for half an hour, we went outside to play but as I wasn’t very good at it, he got frustrated and came in after 10 minutes and was angry with me for wasting his time. I tried using it as a positive experience - I wasn’t going to give up even though I struggled but it didn’t make any difference.
He’s angry all the time and I can ignore that, it’s when it then turns into self-harming starts that I feel out of my depth.
I think PP is right, create a set of rules that don't change from one day to the next, rather than different rules every night if you see what I mean.
Would he go swimming with you or a friend?
Just to let you know I think there is a way around the parental controls on Xbox one; I think they can just make a new account? The way around it I have found is to change the settings on the main account to locked, so when you the Xbox is turned off, it needs parents to put in the password before it can go on again.
Also I wondered whether he would be interested in different exercise eg strength training (can be done inside or outside using YouTube trainers). All the teenagers I know like the idea of muscles... and good for anger release.
Perhaps his exercise with you outside like tennis or whatever or club going could lead to a ‘reward’ of more time in his games console? As could vigorous housework? So he could earn what he wants most?
Could his reluctance to go be because he feels he’s shit at sports including even tennis with you and that’s why he sees no point and gets angry with himself - and you for reminding him of his failures?
Can you try something else sporty he may be good at? cycling, joe wicks, boxer training (skipping) trampoline etc? Something he can win at!
And could you try other things too to improve his confidence? Something he could be good at? Sketching his games console characters and explaining who they are to you, or decorating his room or something, dunno what.
Once he gets his confidence he will be a different boy. It’s just getting it that’s the tricky bit.
Won’t do any video from YouTube - they are all boring apparently. I have even tried doing them with him.
Our swimming pool is still closed. He is very good at sports, all of them. One of the clubs he refuses to go to is a martial arts one. It was me that was useless at tennis. He won’t draw or do anything like that it’s not one of his strengths and it’s boring too!
He won’t go cycling as I make him wear a helmet.
Keeping the same rules is a good idea and I will try that.
As I am typing, I realise that it looks like I am not taking your ideas or suggestions onboard - I am and I am grateful, I just have tried so much already.
Yes, dad is around and they will have kick a football around for half an hour in the garden in the evening. The garden is so small, there’s a field by us, where they could go and have a proper game but he won’t go.
whereabouts are you if you don't mind saying, OP? maybe someone knows a trampoline park or swimming pool near you that he could cycle to with a friend?
Op it's so hard. They are bored, frustrated and hormonal. It will pass.
OP, Have a look at Ross Greene's book The Explosive Child and his website www.livesinthebalance.org/
Yes you need the same rules each day to create structure and routine. If rules are constantly changing it will be hard to cement and reinforce them as he knows they are movable boundaries.
Also try exercise first thing. 10 thousand steps with you or a sibling before 11am. Errands and quality time. Endorphins to make him feel good. 11-3pm school work. Help parents cook then a few hours of screens after tea.
Concentrate on making him feel loved and treasured. Be respectful and kind to him. Nurture him and give hugs. Tell him you love him. That doesn’t mean being a walk over and letting him get his own way. You need to give fair boundaries and warmth to make him feel valued
Thank you all.
We have made a plan so hopefully that will start to work.
That link is really interesting, I am only halfway through but it has really made me stop and think.
A bike ride or walk first thing every day will really set him up in a more positive space. Quality time with yourself and DH. It’s been hard for teens with lockdown
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