16 answers

6 Year Old with Anger Issues

I need help with my 6 year, he has anger issues. Everytime we tell him no he throws a fight. Everytime time we tell him not to do something or to do something. He mummbles, kicks toys, hits walls, or yells back at us. It could be the littles things that just put him over the edge. I don't know what to do and I see my 2 year old following his footsteps. If anyone has any advice I could really use your help.
Thanks!!!

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J.,

Take a long hard look at all of his development. Sensory, learning, language, speech, hand skills, coordination, social. If you see things that are odd, or if you have ever asked if this is typical, don't wait and see anymore. Take him to see a developmental pediatrician and have an evaluation. Anger, frustration and oppositional behavior of the magnatude you describe is a warning sign that something is making him pretty miserable; they are most often a symptom of a developmental origin. One big soft sign in any developmenal profile is going to be behavior and his ablity to handle frustration and anger is not age appropriate. While you may be able to help him with intervention, if you need intervention other than what you can simply provide through dicipline, all the dicipline in the world is not going to help him, and from what you say, he needs help.

Good luck to you.
M.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

J.,

Take a long hard look at all of his development. Sensory, learning, language, speech, hand skills, coordination, social. If you see things that are odd, or if you have ever asked if this is typical, don't wait and see anymore. Take him to see a developmental pediatrician and have an evaluation. Anger, frustration and oppositional behavior of the magnatude you describe is a warning sign that something is making him pretty miserable; they are most often a symptom of a developmental origin. One big soft sign in any developmenal profile is going to be behavior and his ablity to handle frustration and anger is not age appropriate. While you may be able to help him with intervention, if you need intervention other than what you can simply provide through dicipline, all the dicipline in the world is not going to help him, and from what you say, he needs help.

Good luck to you.
M.

1 mom found this helpful

Has something happened to him? When this starts quietly go over to him and take him by the hand and take him into another room where the two of you can "talk" with out anyone else and sit and hold him. Find out what the problem is. Spend more time with him. It maybe just a behavioral issue.

Here is what I would do. A swat on the bottom and stand him in the corner. Tell him he has to stay there until he decides to do what he is told. Be very firm but don't lose your temper. The swat is to get his attention and let him know you are serious. Use physical force to keep him there if you have to or put him in his room with no TV, video games, toys, only books.

Explain to him that he has 2 choices, do what he is told after fighting with you and get a punishment, or do what he is told happily. The second option being much easier and less time consuming than the first.

Increase the punishment each time he acts up, talks back, etc. An hour in his room, then 2 hours, if it is late in the day, leave him there the rest of the day and bring his supper on a plate to him, let him know he will be there the next day too until he does what you ask of him. This is going to take resolve on your part, stick to it and be consistent, every time he talks back, no matter what is going on in his day after that, whether it be a party, a soccer practice, etc, make him go to his room. You will be so relieved and happy when he starts behaving. I'm willing to bet it will only take 3 times for him to stop.

I believe every parent that has a child that is being tested for ADHD or ADD, should try a stricter discipline regime on the child before resorting to medication. Believe me, I raised 3 kids, I have 2 grandkids, I have worked in the schools and in doctors' offices. Punishment is the only way to "deter" the crime, and it must "deter" it, not "fit" it. Rewards only work when the child wants them to work. Punishment will work forever.

there is a great book called The Heart of Anger and i think it's written by Paul David Tripp, but i could be wrong. Maybe that would be helpful to you.

Frankly I am not a good one to give advise. I had problems with my DS and am now raising my foster daughter's child and having the same problems.
We finally discovered after years of frustration with my DS that he was learning disabled in 2 areas and yes, he was in fact ADHD. Didn't get to the bottom of all of this until 7th grade and sophomore year of high school. He had been in anger management programs, stop over, therapy, etc., all because (even though the family physician had requested the testing in writing) the school would not give him the correct testing.
This younger one (is now 10) was diagnosised with "border-line asperger and ADHD at 5. At 7 the school did some testing and decided he has "emotional disorders".
Whatever it is or isn't we have the same problems. I give him a verbal warning and a hand signal both when he is starting to act out, the second step is to firmly remind him of his tone of voice and his actions. He then goes to his room with a stress ball to calm down and if he was kicking etc., the toy whatever is removed and he isn't allowed to have it back for a week. When he is calmer he is expected to apologize for his behavior, no apology then he is back to his room with no TV, video games, or toys until he sees where he is acting out.
My prayers are with you.
I would suggest some testing be done. Talk with your doctors regarding this behavior and see what they think is the appropriate way to go.

anger is almost always a secondary response to being hurt in some way. it might be because of the baby..try talking to him, and giving him some options, try to make him feel included..ask for his opinion tell him all the time you love him as much as the baby.

This isn't typical behavior for a six year old. You should talk to your pediatrician because they could be something else going on medically to make him act out like this. I have a nephew who is 6 and has acted like that since the age of 4, and they discovered that he had ADHD, and ODD (which is oppositional Defiance Disorder). Just check with your ped...to be safe. You don't want your other child acting out your 6 year olds aggressions and it won't get any better if you don't change it now. Good luck.

You haven't mentioned whether you talk about appropriate as well as inappropriate behavior. Instead of, "Don't....." or "Stop.....", how about "Let's......instead". Sounds like you need CONTINUOUS conversations about this right now.

Instead of giving attention for the bad behavior, tell him you'll address him, take care of a situation, etc. IF/WHEN he does such & such or behaves appropriately. AFFIRM good behavior. When you see it on TV, in the grocery store, etc. TALK ABOUT IT! Talk about whether it was appropriate or inappropriate. What could he/she have done differently? How did watching or listening to that kind of behavior make you feel? Even the two year old isn't too young for this. He may not be able to communicate as well, but he CERTAINLY knows right from wrong and can listen! Affirm the big brother for big brother behavior and try to get him to step up when at all possible. Sounds like he needs attention, but it just needs to be re-directed to POSITIVE BEHAVIOR.

Make SURE there are consequences to the poor behavior. When you tell him there are consequences and tell him what they are.....STICK TO THEM. Otherwise, there is no credibility in what you say......AND....lack of respect develops as well. Kids need to know you DO make the rules as WELL AS stick to them.

I have a friend who is going through the same thing and they took him to a behavioral councelor in about 6 weeks he has made a complete turn around. Now when he gets angry he stops and takes 6 deep breaths (bc he is 6yrs old) and that is all it takes. I would suggest try that he will be more likely to listen to them than his parents... sad but true and I think parents are starting to be "stupid" earlier and earlier these days... my 4yr old is already telling us we don't know what we are talking about.

I actually saw an episode on TLC where a psychologist addressed this very issue. He said that you cannot allow this behavior and that you have to immediately take the child and place him in his room and tell him his behavior is unacceptable and that he must stay in his room until he can decide to not behave that way. He said to allow the child to act as awful as he wants in his room but he cannot come out. He cannot get attention from you at all, not even eye contact. When his behavior settles down, and only when it settles down, do you let him out of his room. Even if it takes hours. This may seem harsh, but it really worked. This particular child would calm down, come out and a few minutes later start again. It ended up that he learned that "my behavior is going to isolate me from my family and being able to participate in things". After a period of time dealing with his anger this way, he completely stopped because he knew that it would only get him put in his room by himself. They had a lock on the room so that he could not come out. The psychologists told the parents that it would be equally as hard on them because they would have to stick with it and not give in and let the child out no matter how bad it sounded in the bedroom. It definitely worked for this family...it took time but their little boy turned around. I am not a psychologist and not advising you of anything but wanted you to know what this family I just saw did to solve their issue.

My son also had anger problems. Starting at 3 and 4. He didn't know how to vocalize his frustrations (and he's ADHD). I took a class at on anger management for kids. Teach him that 1.) it is okay to be angry and frustrated but he needs to tell you that 2.) it is not okay, to harm toys, walls, others or himself 3.) Teach him to take deep breaths (6 would be cute idea) 4.) Teach him it's okay to put his head into a pillow and scream really loud to help get it out 5.) Give him his very own "personal time" area - a chair away from everything and everyone that he can go to to get away 6.) Get sand or water or playdough for him to play with - those things are calming for a child and they can squish and squeeze their frustrations out and then once he's calm you can talk to him about what has him frustrated and/or why he didn't want to do what he was asked to do.
A good time would be while playing w. playdough - boys tend to listen better when they don't have to look you in the eyes. Good luck and God bless!

I would highly recommend the book "To Train Up A Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl. The tools we have learned and implemented with our daughter and nieces have given us amazing results!

This a learned behavior. I don't how things are handled in your home, but look at yourself and husband and how you handle certain situations. It is either from watching it in someone else or trying to get attention. Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr Kevin Leman is a book you should take a look at. This book shows you how to change your child's attitude, behavior and character and they have suggestions for younger children. I wish I had this when my kids were younger. I have a 14 year old prima donna now. SHe is a real pistol. I can look back now and see what I did wrong. I should have not been afraid to put my foot down with her. Good luck to you.

J.,

I have not read any of the other responses and may be you have already tried some of these things. Let your son know that it is ok to be angry. Find more constructive anger activities. Examples of this would be running outside around the yard or around the house, pushing on the walls, breaking up or mashing or kneading pieces of clay. Most of all he needs to learn anger is ok if learns to express it properly by talking about it. My daughters preschool (ages 3-6) uses these methods and they seem to work nicely. So we have implemented them in our household.

In my experience, (I have 2 boys 12 and 6) the key is CONSISTANCY! Start choosing your words carefully. You must alway follow thru with what you say you are going to do. If you tell him, one more outburst and you're going in a time out...you have to MEAN it. Have your words carry more weight. It might seem strict at first but, ultimately it is the MUCH kinder option because you will see your son understanding he has boundaries and he will come to respect you more. Which equals a happier, less confused little guy!

We always did the time outs. I watch Supernanny on tv for inspiration!

Oh, and one other possibility...are you spending enough "sit down and play or read with your boys" time with them? If he needs more one on one with you, he might have discovered this anger technique to get more of your attention. I know we are all so busy but I've discovered that it makes for a much happier home to sit down with them (it can be for just 10 minutes at a time!) here and there thruout the day.

Good luck you you! You sound like a good mommy...realizing that it's time for a change.

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