Angry Kid???What to Do?

Updated on October 03, 2012
R.M. asks from Cedar Park, TX
14 answers

My son has a diagnosis of ADHD and PANDAS. He gets angry a lot and doesn't know how to reign in his anger. He throws things, goes into rages and can hurt people (family members). He is 12. How would you help a child like this? My husband says to find him "courses to teach him how to handle his anger". I have never come come across anything like this for a 12 year old.

Any thoughts? What has helped your child?

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answers from Houston on

He needs to see a therapist about his anger issues. They can help him on how to deal with his anger in a more positive manner. It certainly helped my son.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Cumberland on

The person that diagnosed his problem needs to offer a viable solution.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Please don't put him in martial arts as was suggested. A child who cannot yet control anger definitely does not need martial arts to help him "work it off." Instead he is likely to use it to lash out (NOT what it is intended for), and if he gets angry at another kid while IN a martial arts class -- disaster. Please work out some serious professional therapy done by doctors. This is medical and needs medical attention, including therapy.

I hope your husband understands that "courses" won't do the job and medical intervention is what's needed, or you will have a teenager who is out of all control. And you will be hearing from the school or even police if he fails to control his anger much longer -- he is not a young child and it's imperative that you get him to learn control as soon as possible. It may involve more or different medications as well as therapy. You indicate that he has ALREADY hurt family members -- what will it take for you to get him into frequent therapy? That should have happened already or the instant he injured someone. Please, go back to the doctors handling his ADHD and get referrals immediately.

Or, truly, he will end up expelled from school or in the hands of the police. I know you don't want to hear that and it's painful, but he's not four and raging; he's 12 and raging.

It sounds as if you are trying a variety of alternative ideas but not going back to your medical professionals.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

A "course" would be counseling. It seems like you're trying (no insults intended, truly) a lot of ineffective ways to help your son. Nuerofeedback, past lives cleansing, new age diagnoses, and all this other stuff, is not practical. He needs practical, attainable ways to help him deal with anger, confusion, depression, and violence. This can be learned from a trained professional, who understands these behavior disorders. (Possibly, in conjunction with medications.) If you want to help your son and your family, you're going to have to do something that involves PROVEN results. Please, seek out a behavioral therapist. The doctor who diagnosed him SHOULD have given you advice. Did they? If yes, you need to follow that advice. If not, you need to find a better doctor.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hospitalization and medication have helped my child much later in life, than the gift you have now in this website-people are here to help!because I refused to look at his world or do much about it other than give 'logical consequences' (such as No you can't do that and if you do you won't go to...blah, blah, blah), alternatives to his anger or sports to 'reign' him in. And as I said in a previous post I found out later that my son has bipolar disorder and is able to function beautifully now that he is medicated had therapy and has lots of reasons to live! However, I was also one of those parents who said, 'not my kid he doesn't need medication' until he was totally on the verge of suicide. Even after that I couldn't dare put myself out there as a mother of a son with this condition, because I had only come across it from 'other' families. So, I'm saying spare yourself the horrible extra years, find out if there is any other condition that could warrant a 'mood stabilizer' (not saying he has bipolar, but perhaps something that could benefit from a medication that actually works and THEN some counseling. Not only is he twelve, but he is also the same twelve as all the other changing moody middle schoolers out there and they have to live through that just living life!!! Good luck, I know how hard it is. And by the way, if I can't find it (and I work in special Ed, too, what is PANDAS? sorry I rambled.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

In school, they typically have a skills trainer/Aide in class with the child, and then the child typically sees a Psychologist/Therapist or Psychiatrist. And ONLY a Psychiatrist can prescribe meds.

A family and child cannot do it alone.
All, the ENTIRE family, needs to learn skills, to help the child manage and the parents too.

Anger can arise due to his conditions as well as general frustration and inability to express himself and lack of coping skills and support.
It is not something that a child does alone. Meaning, the parents, even if the child is in a Therapy or "classes", this alone will not "cure" the problem. The parents needs to learn skills too, to help the child. And there needs to be ONGOING continual Therapy, for him. As well as the family.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My 9 yo grandson is on the Autism spectrum and has serious speech difficulties. He was an angry toddler and is still an angry kid. He's been in special education with the school system since he was 3. The professionals involved with the program have helped us learn how to cope with his anger. All of us have been helping him learn how to cope.

I suggest that you need professional help. Special needs children do not usually respond in the same ways as the average child. You need to learn some specialized skills. Talk to the person who gave the diagnosis. Ask for help from a therapist who works with ADHD and PANDAS children. Talk with the school counselor.

Probably the most helpful thing that we've learned is to not interact with my grandson when he's angry. Treat his anger in a similar way that one treats a temper tantrum in a toddler. Walk out of the room. Do not try to reason with him. Before he gets physically agitated sympathize with the way he's feeling. Give him space in which to calm down. Make his room a safe place in which to be. Teach him to go to his safe place.

At school, when my grandson is refusing to co-operate the teacher/aide helps him by taking him to another part of the school away from the tension in the classroom. He's allowed to ride an exercise bicycle sometimes. They do not insist that he participate in class while he's angry. They give him time to cool off and teach him skills to help him do that.

It's important to acknowledge his "right" to be angry. He is "handicapped" by ADHD and PANDAS. I know that it's not pc to use the word handicapped but I can't think of a more descriptive word. He has difficulties that the average child is not forced to deal with. He needs empathy and an understanding that in many ways it truly does suck to be him.

When a child is angry it seems to be second nature to get angry right back. What he actually needs is for someone to accept that he is angry without trying to force him to not be angry. Sympathize with him when he's not angry and teach him things to do to prevent the angry outburst.

When my grandchildren were younger, I'd send them running back and forth in hallway when I noticed that they were becoming agitated. Anger creates lots of energy that we need to dissipate quickly. Jumping jacks help.

Do not try to teach him anything when he's angry. Teach only during calm times. Leave him alone, if at all possible, when he's angry. He will not hear words.

If he physically attacks you and won't let you leave then you need to learn how to physically restrain him while remaining calm.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I don't think an anger management course is going to help your son.

Your son needs professional help, NOW.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Do you have a behavioral therapist? If not, you really need to get one. It's critical when you have a child with ADHD. A therapist can give you the necessary tools for dealing with rages.

I can share with you a couple of techniques our son's therapist shared. For the rages, get your son in his room. If he won't stay in there, install a lock with the lock on the outside and lock him in. Again, this is for use with the severe rages that can come along with ADHD, where he's a danger to others. This will give him time to work out his rage while keeping everyone safe.

The other technique to try is using a calm voice and repeating the same thing until he stops, "I won't talk to you until you calm yourself down." The goal is to get him to try to calm himself down, keep you calm and keep it from turning into a shouting match. We've had mixed results with this technique, but it's worth a shot for the times it does work.

Do you belong to CHADD or read ADDitude magazine? Both of those are also excellent resources for dealing with children with ADHD, since the information is completely tailored to our unique needs as parents of kids with this disability.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

I think talking to him when he's not in one of his rages would be good. Ask him how he wants to handle it. Be honest with him, you understand he get's upset, but he becoming too big and he's hurting others and it's a problem. Suggest counselling, someone trained in anger issues and young adults. Is there a semi-calm moment before the full on rages? Can you have a "safe room" for him in your home. Some place he can go and scream and kick all he wants without hurting someone?

Just some thoughts.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from College Station on

Get a good therapist. They will be able to help him with all those issues- where the anger comes from, how to deal with it, even the ADD.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

team sports with a no nonsense coach. And please allow the coach to coach.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

my son attended an anger management class during his middle school years. He also used a counselor thru our dr's office. & we used the school counselor a lot.

Hope this helps. Oh, Oh....what about a martial arts class?

Disclaimer: my sons did not have your son's diagnosis. Older son was battling a degenerative hip disease, creating living conditions similar to yours. Younger son has untreated ADD.



answers from Los Angeles on

My oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD. But I had forced him to conquer his bad behavior and gain control of himself using positive reinforcement and corporal punishment.

That is what was used before society invented the terms ADHD and it worked then. It will work today, IMHO. My son never took any drugs, but we did take him to an allergist and found that if we took him off FD&C yellow # 5, FD&C red #? and FD&C Blue #? he had milder or no symtoms of ADHD. He was also allergic to anything that had been fermented. Vinegar, soysauce, tabasco sauce are all examples of foods that were fermented. Taking him off all those things helped tremendously.

Good luck to you and yours.

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