Anger Issues

Updated on April 22, 2008
K.M. asks from Forest Hill, MD
7 answers

I have a very sweet 4 year that lately as been having issues with dealing with his anger. He can be playing so nice and then something sets him off and he just looses it. He lashes out, sometimes hits or pushes other kids and grunts in anger. Once he can calm down, he's fine and apologetic, but he can snap so easily. He is starting a new daycare, and I thought maybe it was his old daycare that had a bad affect on him, because it started while he was at the old daycare, and there was alot of chaos and lack of control in his class. But he can't seem to calm himself down and thinks everyone is being mean to him. I've worried about him for awhile because he is a very active, busy child, extrememly smart, but can't sit still for long or really focus if you are trying to talk to him. But he can concentrate on things that are challenging, like puzzles or constructing. I'm worried about him having conduct disorder or ADD,ADHD, but figured he still is too young to be diagnosed. Has anyone had a child with these issues and how do you help them?

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

Dear K.,
I think it's good that you are aware there might be something medical going on and you can always talk to your ped. However, some other things to try that might help.
1. Try role playing when Logan is calm. Have him pretend he is upset about something, and practice catching that emotion and calming himself down by breathing or counting.
2. Make sure he tells you about his day everyday, and that you want to know if something is going on at daycare good or bad. Just to be sure you don't uncover something consistent that he might be reacting too.
3. He may be going through a growing spurt or transition that is unconnected. Make sure he's eating right and getting lots of sleep.
4. Be sure when he does lash out, the effects are consistent. Unacceptable behavior is always unacceptable no matter the root cause. The root cause can be dealt with after, but consistency is the key.

I think you are a very consciencous mother and very attentive to worry and watch out the way you are. I worry that for my kids, they will get diagnosed with something like ADD but it seems to me they are very quick to diagnose kids with those disorders these days and put them on medications. In one study I ran across,they showed most kids changed their sleeping patterns reacted better than kids on meds. I wish I remember the study and could give you the reference, but alass, I don't have it. It might have been on WebMD, and another similar one on
Good luck! You sound like you have a good grasp on the situation as it stands, and very great for recognizing the situation for what it is and trying to adjust.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Hi K..

I am a mom of 1 little boy, Kam. He is 14 months. I have also started a mom's club.

I am currently taking a course called the Child Dianetics extension course. Extension course means that it can be done at home.) Dianetics is a term that means "through the mind". It can be applied to a child of any age. It helps you understand what's behind why your son has great focus with some things and maybe not so good focus on others. The course can be done in 1 week. I'll be done tomorrow and I'm sooooo glad I am taking it! It is very affordable and you will be pleasantly surprised. Call me at ###-###-#### to learn more about how to get started applying data that really works.

Also, check out Please click on the section about ADHD and learning disorders.

I leave you with this note: There is definitely a lot you can do to help balance your child out in areas that need growth. Don't let anyone label him falsely. He sounds bright and energetic. Keep up the good work mom!!




answers from Washington DC on

There are many variables that could lead to your sons outbursts:

Is it his age: he is at an age where he is becoming a good imitator, and perhaps he picked up his angry reaction from other children he's been around in the old day care.

Is it his personality: perhaps he just needs to be worked with to learn better coping skills for when something upsets him or does not go as he would want or expect. At 4, you can't have long, deep dicussions - you can't explain situations - but you can tell him his behavior is unacceptable. You can teach him ways to cool down, and you can come up with a plan to work with the daycare provider, so that there are appropriate consequences at daycare and at home (good and bad) based on his behavior.

Is there a disability of some sort: many bright children have disability issues that are not severe and are not evident until later in their development. My nephew is one such child. He can't sit still, but loves puzzles, math, and constructing things with his hands. In fact, in elementary school, they allow him to stand at his desk if he gets antsy about sitting (so long as he doesn't disrupt the class). While my nephew does not have ADD or ADHD, it is not uncommon for extremely bright children to have ADD, and it is often not detected until years later as play time lessens and sit and study time increases in school.

Although a lot of people would disagree with me, I believe that that are an alarming number of kids labeled as ADD or ADHD but are really kids that were not properly disciplined or taught how to cope with various circumstances. Also, some ADD and ADHD children are not serious cases that can do well with extra effort in the mainstream and may fare better in the public sector without the label. I would be hesitant to go down the evaluation path until I was really certain about the peculiarities in my child's behavior. I recommend addressing the behavior issue first as the discipline problem it is turning into, and see if your pediatrician can offer suggestions. Many people don't think to evaluate their pediatrician before they pick him/her, but I always suggest that they find an office which specializes in behavior and development issues, so the doctor can help with behavior concerns such as yours. I hope you have such a doctor for your children.



answers from Washington DC on

Your little boy sounds just like my son who is now 5 years old. He started around 4 with the same behaviors. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 41/2. I think a mom just knows when something is not right... He was started on adderall at that time, but I think he was just too young because it made him so tired that his fits got more out of control so we took him off of it until he turned 5 and his moods and behaviors were out of control. It has helped him a lot now. He still has problems with his temper and his moods, but that is usually because his dose needs to be adjusted. The doctor is not sure if there are other things going on with him too??

Anyways, I'm not saying that is what your child has, but don't be afraid to talk with his doctor about it because the sooner you can help him more if you can understand what is going on with him.

Best of luck,

J. :)



answers from Washington DC on

My step son went through this at the same age. We took him to John's Hopkins for their ADHD/ADD testing and found it was not that at all. He just seemed to have no way to deal with his anger, bad days and life. He would punch holes in walls and doors at the age of 4/5. He would literally bang his head against walls, doors, floors. He still at 14 can not sit still. We found out later that it may be Restless Legg Syndrome, which is more common in boys. But, he still wiggles and jiggles every chance he gets. We have worked with him over the years on how to deal with his anger. Chicken Soups books have been a great resource for all of us! He is NOT to young to be diagnosed! JH did a series of tests that are both written, oral and motor. First, know that this is not you! Next, each time you see a "anger" issue beginning to occur (or day care), calmly tell him to "control" his anger. Let him know it is all right to feel they way he does, but he needs to be a "big" boy in how he controls it. Try and figure out a way to work on how he controls his anger. Each family is different, so you need to find your own thing that works. Make sure to positively encourage the good behavior and ignore the bad behavior. Make sure that your day care follows your regimen you have established as well. He needs to see that it is not just you who encourages the good behavior and that others expect it from him too. Good Luck! HTH
Mama to Bryce~9, Austin~6, Taylor~16 mnths
Step Mama to Nich~15 Christian~14



answers from Washington DC on

My son has been in special classes for PDD for almost 2 years now. He gets a lot of 1 on 1 attention. You can contact the alliance for children and toddlers. I started by taking him to his Dr when he was about 2 because he wasn't walking/talking. I don't think it is too young to diagnose. He is 4 1/2 now and very verbal..much better!



answers from Washington DC on

Hi There:

I would like to really recommend Dr. Kenneth BOck's new book called:

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies

Its a terrific resource for anyone in your situation.

I would say two things really:
1) Trust your Mama instincts. If you think what he is doing is not quite ok, then you are probably right.
2) Recognize that even if it does turn out to be some sort of ADD or some related issue there are many many nutritional and biomedical factors that can impact this sort of thing (diet and supplements - not medication). To often people are told that ADD is a behavioral issue

GOod luck!

Certified Organic Products for the Whole Family

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions