View Full Version : Angry little boy

12-17-14, 01:22 PM
I'm not sure if anyone has any advice or has dealt with this sort of situation before...? I'm new to this as we have 5 year old boy who has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. Whilst we have been given a number of behavioural techniques which seem to be working t a degree in school and at home, we are struggling with his angry outbursts.
The latest one happened today when I was walking him and his two sisters (6yrs & 2yrs) back from school. He was racing with his older sister down the hill and being that bit older she just beat him too their finish line. I couldn't get there in time but I saw him go for her. When I got to them, she was in tears - he'd grabbed her by the shoulders and banged her head back against the brick wall behind them. I was (naturally!) furious and said something to that effect before tending to my eldest daughter. By the time I looked up, my son had disappeared. After much searching and checking of a nearby hall I found him hiding up a tree. I just about managed to coax him down and get him home and he is now in his room for the rest of the night (partly cos I am so cross that I think it would make matters worse if he was around me now but obviously also because he needs to understand what he did was wrong).
I feel so helpless in these situations (it's not the first time) and also embarrassed - other mums watching & I feel like saying - it's not what it seems - he isn't just being naughty and I have got control and I have set boundaries!!!
I have thought about what I can do to avoid the situation again - I have asked my eldest daughter not to race against her brother - I will (try!) yet again to ask them to walk instead of running home from school. I will talk to my son about what is acceptable behaviour and what is not and the reasons why but what really scares me is that I have no idea when the next meltdown will happen - there is never a warning and I'm frightened he doesn't seem to know any limits when it comes to hurting others n the process.
If anyone has experienced similar I would be very grateful to hear of any ideas / suggestions!
Thank you!

12-17-14, 04:47 PM
I had a terrible temper as a kid and I hated, hated to lose. I would act like a complete baby including getting nasty. Up until I was at least 20 years old!

My brothers were that way and so was my dad. Everything was a competition.

Yes, when I worked with kids I use to keep the biters close to me and the kids with short fuses. I wanted to be there to catch them and give them alternatives before the damage occurred. It tends to be more effective then after the tantrum.

The best thing to do is to teach your son that getting angry is okay, hurting others when you're angry is not okay.

He needs options so he can vent and let lose without hurting himself or others.
Hitting a pillow, kicking a ball, yelling anything you can think of where he can be physical in a safe manner.

The way that you start to turn this behavior around is to praise and reward on the smallest successes. When he controls his temper make sure you make a big deal of it and let him know how proud you are of him. As an AD(H)D kid I most of my days were full of negativity.
"Stop doing that" Go sit in the corner! Your going to the principals office! As a kid you get use to the negative attention. we need to change that!

Set up a plan around things that empower him. Later bedtime, gets to pick what's for dinner, doesn't have to do a chore. What ever motivates him, use it!

It takes time but it does work. I remember that after I lost me temper I was truly sorry for what I did, and part of my anger after a tantrum was just me being mad at myself for acting that way!

So most of the kids that act out physically are not bad kids set on hurting others, they truly feel bad afterwards even if they don't show it.

He has to be held accountable, he must make restitution. I never made a kid say they were sorry unless they truly were and sorry and wanted to say it. When you force it is meaningless. But I would have them tell me verbally how they would feel if someone did that to them and I would have them verbally express how they thought the person(s) they hurt might feel!

I would do contracts with kids and have them sign it and agree to the terms so it would empower them and make them part of the solution.

Prevention is the best method but also having a plan and following through! All care takers should be aware of the plan and follow it consistently!

I would kick a soccer ball when I was angry. The guy who had me do it was so smart. He would tell me to kick it as hard as I could. Then he would tell me "you can't kick it passed that tree."
I would work hard to kick it pass the tree and when I finally did he would make a big deal of it and say "Wow, I have never seen anyone kick a ball that far!" he would high five me and tell me what a good job I did and before I knew it a smile came out and I was okay!

I ended up playing soccer in high school, college, and semi pro! So you never know!

Hang in there mom. His negative behavior is not a reflection of your parenting skills so don't worry about what other people may think or say! It happens to all parents in one way shape or form and I applaud you for having the courage and intelligence to seek help!

You rock!
I wish good things for you!

12-17-14, 09:18 PM
Thank you for your reply. It's really good to hear from someone who has first hand experience and who sounds so together. You obviously had a great support network. I just hope we can do the same for our son. You have some great ideas here - I hadn't really thought about letting him get angry (in a controlled way) so we will definitely be trying that. Someone mentioned to us the other day about setting some house rules that the kids are involved in writing - similar idea to your contracts but I like the idea of them signing it - I think the kids would like that too! We have done, and are continuing to do, reward schemes of various types - it always seems to be based on buying them toys though - perhaps giving him some grown up rewards like staying up a bit later and choosing what to have for dinner could work - I will be trying! Thank you so much....

12-17-14, 10:27 PM
The book The Explosive Child by Ross W Greene is worth a read. He also has a website with free videos called LivesInTheBalance. His method is to identify the skills that the child is lacking (in this case: doesn't handle disappointment well) and the specific problems that lead up to incidents (racing with sister), and then to work together with the child to come up with solutions (maybe the kids will decide to take turns winning instead of just a blanket ban on racing.)