Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How do I get my 8 year old son to express his anger/emotions?

I have an 8 year old son, 7 year old son & 5 year old daughter.
My oldest seems to get angry easily. And if the other two do or say something he doesn't like, he yells at them, & sometimes will shove or even hit them. Separating them works of course, so if I'm busy doing something I have him help me & give the others their little things to help with as well, but I can't always keep them separate, especially when we're out and about. I want & need him to learn it isn't ok to treat his siblings, or anyone, this way.
Of the three, he is the more reserved, less verbally expressive one. He is very creative artistically: LOVES to draw.
Has anyone had this issue? What advice would you give? Can I somehow use his interest in drawing as an outlet for him?
BTW, I'm the 3rd of 4 children, & in the middle of my brothers ;-P So I know sibling rivalry is expected. :-) My concern is his anger. A school teacher noticed it as well, before I began homeschooling.
Any advice is greatly appreciated ;-)
Thanks in advance.

Answer Question

Asked by MamisAngels at 8:55 PM on Jun. 13, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 11 (502 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • have him try counting backwards from 10 when hes angry (to himself) and then when he calms down a bit he needs to tell u or his siblings hes angry and why....if hes still angry and wants to hit try getting a punching bag....i had one growing up and it helped soooo much...i took my anger out on it!

    Answer by ilovemyboys84 at 9:55 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • Work on strategies he can use in those situations; he's gotten into habits that work for him in the short-term (it lets his anger go), but not the long-term (he gets in trouble, problem is still there). Counting to ten might not work so well if his siblings are still around bugging him, so try the "walk away" method. Do a grade-school time out: give him an mp3 player and sketchbook, and encourage him to go to a quiet corner or his room and draw. The music is to block out what's making him angry This can work in public, too...have him carry them around in a backpack. Encourage him to do this BEFORE it gets to yelling or hitting, and don't belittle him for needing his space away. Make sure his siblings leave him be, too. After a few minutes, go over and talk it out with him, and try to get him to tell you what's bothering him. Other mediums, like sculpture or canvas painting, might also be effective outlets for his emotions. :)

    Answer by GlowWorm889 at 11:59 PM on Jun. 13, 2011

  • Have you tried maybe a time out. My kids did that stuff. But, if you really want them to stop, take something away. My kids were so out of control I was brought to spanking. I think that's what helped. The way I did it is to pull down their pants and underwear and spank them as many times as how old they are. They dont like it of course but, what else should I do. It worked for me a little maybe it would work for you.

    Answer by WinterPup at 2:03 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • My oldest has Aspergers so he doesn't get bounderies. I would probably use the drawing, asking him to draw a picture of a person, then draw how that person would feel to be hit or demeened. Sometimes they have to personalize it...then he'd start to get punished for physical violence (not allowed in my house). HYe gets grounded with his favorite things getting taken away. And he has a definite plan of action for when he feels himself losing control.

    Answer by KickButtMama at 8:46 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I like the music & drawing idea because he is artistically creative & likes to draw any and everything. He probably actually prefers it over reading & writing ;-)
    I would probably try that as a prevention method. However, if he continues with this behavior, I may have to take that privilege away until he understands the connection: He can't get away with bursting out in anger towards his siblings AND get his time to draw by himself.
    I know I have to work on consistency on my behalf. My SO says I'm too forgiving, they do something in the morning & by afternoon I'm rewarding. Sometimes I just forget because they've changed their behavior for the better. This anger thing is different though. I can't forget it or just let it slip by as not a big deal. I feel it will lead to him not being able to control or express his anger as a teen, adult, etc. and he can just become overly aggressive. I want to prevent that.

    Comment by MamisAngels (original poster) at 3:16 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • how about enrolling him in an activity such as karate where he can learn how to control his anger. it may help.

    Answer by Kainalu55 at 4:00 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I tell kids that it's OK to be angry, but it's not OK to hurt others because of it. Find ways that he can express his anger w/o hurting others, but never make him feel about about feeling angry. Everyone does.

    Answer by Pnukey at 4:55 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Maybe get him into different recreational activies.

    Answer by iam4you2 at 8:03 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • You probably need to get to the root of his anger; if he won't open up to you, find someone he will talk to. If you can't do therapy, maybe the teacher or the school guidance counselor if they have one.

    Answer by elasmimi at 8:04 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I hope you find the answer that you're looking for .

    Answer by AllThatBabyJazz at 8:54 PM on Jun. 14, 2011

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.