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How do you calm an angry child?

Posted by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM
  • 9 Replies
I have an issue with my getting kind of out of hand. He is 9 and is a very emotional child. When the world isn't going his way (which is most if the time) he either gets very angry, which results in physical and verbal aggression to who ever is in the line of fire or he breaks into uncontrollable crying. I have noticed that he isn't a very good communicator. So to try to resolve that issue, I often find myself saying things like it looks like you are angry or sad or confused, how can I help you fix that. When he becomes aggressive, I immediately tell him that it is unacceptable and ask him to go to his room until he can control himself physically and verbally. I have asked his doc and she sent him to a behavioral theripist that has him on a reward and cnsequence system. We have been doing this for about 6 month and I see very little change. Is there something else I can do? Is this normal? If he is having these issues now, what is going to happen when he becomes a teenager with hormones, attitude and want of independance? Suggestions?
by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 9:13 AM
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by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 9:21 AM
Have you told his therapist that you haven't seen much improvement in his behavior? Also I assume he has been tested and checked for ADHD and autism? What is his behavior like at school? Same, better, or worse?
Wish I could be helpful. This has to be frustrating to both you and your son :(
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by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 9:22 AM
I'd talk to his Dr. And a psychiatrist.
by Bronze Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM
My oldest son was like this at that age, but he outgrew it when he actually started puberty. My other son who is always been laid back and calm went through a similar stage just not as bad. I think it is when that testosterone starts increasing. They tried to say my son was ADHD but we never did meds because I believe it is way over diagnosed. We worked on behavior modification like you are and he is just fine.
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by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 9:41 AM
We see a therapist my twins have ODD. They can act just as you described I know it's hard. It sounds like you are doing the right thing. Sometimes it is best to walk away because you can set him off more.

My son is aggressive as well he's on meds to help with that. I do the same thing you do calmly talk to them and if they are to aggressive I send them to there room to cool down. Your therapist should be giving you tools to help you handle him better. The reward and consequence isn't going to work. It sounds like he may have a defiant disorder.

Have they tested him?
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by Platinum Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 10:03 AM

DD is 9 and attitudy too but not to that degree ; I have the rewards system too for her, we do the stickers (for good) or X (for bad) on the calendar and once in a while we will work towards a goal.  If she can give me 15 days in a row with no X she gets whatever the goal was ; right now she's working for a Monster high doll.  We are on the week 2 but only day 3 of her countdown to her doll.  In my DD's case it works, it works so well that I had stoppped with the calendar for while and she's the one who asked me to re-instate it. Also what happens is a the end of the month we can look at the calendar and reflect on what happened. 

For your son tolerate nothing, the minute he gets aggressive, ignore, send to room and only work on rewarding good behavior.   I would also call the therapist again and tell her that whatever program she suggested doesn't work.

by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Talk to the therapist first, maybe it needs more time or a different approach.

My son is 13 and leaving him alone can sometimes just gear him up to NOT deal with me. He's taller than me now too, so I won't let him think he can push me around. I tell him that he will not get in my face and after he backs off I empathize with him I tell him that I understand him being angry but now its time let go, breathe, and reapproach. ( I never say 'I know how to fix/do' something. I just go over the facts and help him find the solution) Logic can sometimes be a help when they calm down a little.

When we get through it then I have him do something physical to burn off the leftover tension- kick a ball, run around the house a few times.

by Gold Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:41 PM

My middle son has always been very dramatic. Not really aggression like you are dealing with but the crying outbursts for sure. We eliminated gluten(and artificial coloring) from his diet(for tummy issues, not behavior issues) and there has been a HUGE improvement in his disposition. I have heard that gluten free diets have been huge helps to many families with kids with behavior disorders. It might be something to look into.

by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Oh my gosh, I thought you said, how dare you calm an angry child.  I think my brain is so used to picking up on drama over here :-) 

by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I would think you probably need to take him to childrens and start testing him. My ss has RAD and oh my gosh he can throw a fit like a 2 yr old but its not so easy when its a 90 lb kid who is 11. he throws things, breaks things, kicking, screaming, cusses, freaks out completely, will pound head into wall, etc. it used to be so much calmer, still bad but if thats where you are at now, it will only get worse.  It sounds emotional to me, like when they cannot control a certain emotion, it just gets out of hand. dont physically try to stop it, this is when you get hurt yourself and then its more like a game, who is in more control mom or me?  and our son is an angel at school most of the time, so that dosent help. just get help now..

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