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Help! My 10 year old son has chronic difficulty controlling anger impulses.

My son is a very sensitive and sweet boy most of the time, but when something happens that he doesn't expect he reacts with impulses of anger. Recent things that set him off are things like getting a drink or food accidentally spilled on him by his sisters or a friend at camp, or someone accidentally hit him in the face when playing dodgeball or someone moved his book and lost his place. He takes everything as a personal affront and starts pushing/shoving and sometimes tries to hurt the person that caused this sudden anger in him. This doesn't happen at school, but he just got kicked out of sleep away camp for all these and several more reasons. I know he needs help. I just don't know where to start. Any ideas or insights?

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Asked by suesea at 11:44 AM on Jul. 21, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (4)
  • Talk to his ped. He/She may want refer you to a child psychiatrist to see what is at the root of his behavior. Have you looked up any information on Intermittent explosive disorder or anything along those lines?
    I would definitely speak to his ped though.

    Answer by Melindakc at 1:05 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • I just looked up IED. I'd never heard of it. . I wouldn't say he is as violent or destructive as this implies. Its seems like he just doesn't think there is another possibliity to explain why these things "keep happening" to him. The things that happen are really run of the mill everyday things, but he just blows them out of proportion. His response is either to stomp away and slam a door or two along the way or to push/shove the person who has made him feel embarrassed or insulted.

    Answer by suesea at 1:22 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • He needs anger management therapy. My son went through this for a couple of months and it made a world of difference. He learned that it is ok to be angry but he had to learn acceptable ways to express it. He learned ways to express other emotions as well.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 6:09 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • Counseling to work through this....It sounds to me like anger comes out when he feels embarrassed or somehow disrespected/humiliated. He exaggerates the situation in his mind and takes it personally.....Counseling can help him sort through that, as well as more approriate ways to deal with his feelings. (It sounds like he translates any negative feeling into anger---maybe because he doesn't like to feel vulnerable). The anger comes out when he feels vulnerable and he uses the anger to reassert his power and control. He can learn other ways to deal with well as ways to feel less vulnerable!

    Answer by BJoan at 10:30 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

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