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Foster Son is Very Very angry I need advice from someone with experience

Posted by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM
  • 18 Replies

Good afternoon Ladies,

Long story short(i hope) I have 2 bio Sons and a sib. Group 2year old little Girl who is doing great, and a 3year old little guy(foster to adopt).I am having trouble with my foster son. He can be fun loving and a Happy dude when he is getting his way. But and here is a big BUT when he gets a time out or in trouble or told to do something he does not want to do he will punch the walls do an all out body thrashing  and scream at the top of his lungs either NO NO NO over and over or just scream. We have to do time outs as that is DCS policy for punishment and I am not here to talk about if spankings are OK or not... What I would like to know is what are other ideas for me to get this little guy under control. As I said he is in foster care system so who knows what he has been around. I know there is some violence at his bio-home. We have tried positive reinforcement like stickers and treats. I got him a squishy ball to take his anger out on(he broke it) He is currently in counselling but I really want to know from you ladies what experiences you have had and what has worked for you. PLEASE HELP!

Thanks so Much

by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 4:58 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Malley
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 5:32 PM
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Try time- ins instead. Have him sit next to you or on your lap until he calms down. You'll probably need to hold/hug him to get him to stay. Do you have a rocking chair? That seemed to work the best. My son's PT also suggested wrapping him in a blanket or big towel or sandwiching him between pillows while I held him for the sensory benefits. If I see my son is heading for a meltdown,.I take him by the hand and we walk around looking for his composure which he lost. When he stops crying and screaming I tell him he found his composure and we can go back to playing.
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SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Aug. 4, 2012 at 7:24 PM
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I agree, time-ins may be the way to go. If he won't cuddle to calm down, just sit quietly in the same room with him to let him see that you are there.
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raleyfamily
by Carla on Aug. 4, 2012 at 8:02 PM
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Have you tried calmly telling him if he wants to throw a fit, that's fine, but he may NOT do it around the family?  Then take him out and plop him on the front or back porch, and tell him when he is through screaming, he may rejoin the family.  Then go back inside and go about your business, pretending that you can't hear him.

I have done this with SO MANY children of that age.  (I've had over 50 foster children).  I am doing it at this time with a 6 year old who can throw a fit over anything.  Calm is the key.  Just be very firm that they can't throw a fit around the rest of the happy family.  I've had to stand on the inside of the door before and hold it closed while the child tries to open it back up.  When they are finished, welcome them back in with a kiss and tell them you missed them, and here's what fun thing you were all doing while he was fussing, would he like to do it now?

It's amazing how it works.  Kids are smarter than we realize.  The main thing, the MAIN THING is that a fit never, never gets them attention. 

If you can't put them outside because of the neighbors (we live on the end of a long country road), then put them in the bathroom where they can't tear anything up, and don't let them out until they finish screaming.

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 10, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



adoptionbound
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I have tried a time in or what his counselor calls a bear hug. However the only thing is that he will scream  more if I am holding him or sitting by him or if he is in the time out chair. The time in prevents him from punching the wall or hurting himself from slamminghimself into the wall. If I am anywhere around and he knows it he will keep the screaming going. If I remove everyone from the house or place him alone in a room he will stop asap until  he hears someone and here we go again:(  I realize this means he wants the attention. But we give alot of attention to him however he is use to being an only child at his last placement as his bio-sis was at another house.

thanks so Much for the advice

MedicMommy2
by Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 8:51 PM
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Maybe try and take a step back and start from the bottom up. He wants attention......flood him with praise for all the good things, ignore the minor infractions, punish the bigger ones but just be matter of fact. Give him "chores" to help you with even if it is wiping the cubbards while you are cooking in the kitchen, but things that he can easily complete, do in close proxemity to you, and recieve positive inforcement.

My almost 6 year old has major melt downs and we have started giving him playdoh to get his frustrations out on and it has helped.

adoptionbound
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Wow you are an amazing person. God Bless You and your family!! I will try the outside trick. we have tried another room and yes he wants the attention because he will stop within a few min. if he is not around anyone but as soon as he hears or sees me he will start all over again:( I try my best not to let him see that he is getting my last ounce of patients. He has also started to scream OUCH when you are  feet away from him. We have NEVER spanked him or hit him so Idk where this is coming from? Have you ever had a child who makes up this kinda stuff for attention. any advice would be great

adoptionbound
by on Aug. 4, 2012 at 9:02 PM

We have started the praise for anything and everything. I will even talk about him to someone in front of him. "wow i love how xxxxxxx is acting right now he is being a great boy he should get a treat" and stuff like that and he loves it. But nothing is working. How long do you think it will take to stop the all out unhealthy fit. I am afraid he will hurt himself or someone else. I am thinking about getting him into a sport to relieve his frustration, any advice on what sport would be best for a  year old to relieve stress

raleyfamily
by Carla on Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:17 PM


Quoting adoptionbound:

Wow you are an amazing person. God Bless You and your family!! I will try the outside trick. we have tried another room and yes he wants the attention because he will stop within a few min. if he is not around anyone but as soon as he hears or sees me he will start all over again:( I try my best not to let him see that he is getting my last ounce of patients. He has also started to scream OUCH when you are  feet away from him. We have NEVER spanked him or hit him so Idk where this is coming from? Have you ever had a child who makes up this kinda stuff for attention. any advice would be great

If you put him outside or in another room, and he stops and comes in the room with you and starts again as soon as he sees you, calmly take him by the arm and put him back out on the porch again.  Tell him firmly but calmly again, "You may throw a fit outside, but you may not throw a fit in the room the rest of us are in.  As soon as you finish your fit, you may come back in with the rest of us."  Be very firm about his having to leave the room to scream.  Never give in.  Obviously, it works if he stops within a few minutes without an audience.  As for the "ouch" stuff, ask him if his invisible friend has pinched him again.  Make a joke of it.  Don't let him see you take it seriously.  Ignore it.  It's amazing what these kids can come up with.  The six year old in our house was a terrible crybaby fit thrower and tattler the first week or so, but she has almost completely stopped the fit throwing, and the tattling is getting better, too.  She's learned that without exception I will sit her on the porch to do her screaming - and here in Texas, it's HOT to throw a fit outside in the 110 degree weather!!  When she's done and comes back in the house, I smile happily at her and say "All done?  Good!"  and go on about whatever we are doing!

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 10, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



raleyfamily
by Carla on Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:20 PM
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Another thing, kids see through false or excessive praise.  It is good at the end of the day to tell them you are very proud of them for not throwing a fit that day, and to sometimes tell them they are doing something really well, but make sure it is truly earned praise, or pretty soon, it won't mean much.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be excessive with it.  BUT...make sure the child knows you are enjoying him or her, too.  Smile when they walk in the room.  Touch them lightly when you pass them.  Let them hear you brag on them about something they did well.  But don't spend the day praising them excessively for things they should be doing anyway.  Does that make sense?

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 10, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



doodlebopfan
by Bronze Member on Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:59 PM

 

Quoting Malley:

Try time- ins instead. Have him sit next to you or on your lap until he calms down. You'll probably need to hold/hug him to get him to stay. Do you have a rocking chair? That seemed to work the best. My son's PT also suggested wrapping him in a blanket or big towel or sandwiching him between pillows while I held him for the sensory benefits. If I see my son is heading for a meltdown,.I take him by the hand and we walk around looking for his composure which he lost. When he stops crying and screaming I tell him he found his composure and we can go back to playing.

 How long has he been in your home and how verbal is he? Most toddlers/preschoolers who have limited vocabularies show their frustrations aggressively. Three is the MOST difficult age because they are starting to comprehend more than they can express effectively & immediately. And most have not been in foster care, so that he has much more to be scared & frustrated about. 

Try being proactive about the things that upset him and maybe you can head off the tantrums & also reassure him that his needs will be met. CPS doesn't instruct to use only time outs, they simply require a non-physical type of discipline. Get creative. :) Does he need a picture schedule to remind him what's coming up in the day? Meals, snacks, play time, bath time, story time? This might lessen his anxiety about being fed or having play time. Do you praise him often? Use sticker charts for desired behavior? I used the sticker charts to remind MYSELF that he was being great much of the time, because unfortunately my attention had become focused on the times he wasn't. :( 

One thing that helped was telling him after a fit of anger, that he did a great job of calming himself down. Making him realize that he CAN choose to calm down is key. Eventually, hopefully, he will calm down much quicker each time.      

This article was sent to me by someone precious to me. It helped me try to figure out things ahead of the crisis that would help me during the crisis. (It's coming, over and over, prepare for it.) A couple of things to keep in mind is that 1) anger is a natural and healthy emotion and we have to teach them that it's OK to be angry, but they can't hurt themselves or others while angry, and 2) Rome wasn't built in a day, it's going to take a lot of consistency and patience on your part. And thanks for posting. You aren't alone. http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/08/09/angry-yell-cry-repeat/

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