My 8 Year Old Sion Has Frequent Tantrums

Updated on March 06, 2009
D.L. asks from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
6 answers

My 8 year old son has daily temper tantrums many times a day. they start at breakfast and are over anything from he doesn't like what is served to brushing his teeth and getting dressed to who gets to sit in the front seat and after school they stat up again if we have to go on an errand and he does not want to go and then again at dinner for some other reason. they are so frequent and we are so exhausted from him. we try very hard to ignore the behavior but he flails hims arms, rips paper screams anything to get our attention. i have 4 kids, the rest girls and none of them behave like this. Only him. Part of this is our fault as he was the first born and the first grandchild and he is a bit spoiled but we have really tried to fix that and having him earn rewards and privelages. Nothing is working to get the tantrums to stop. Have you gone through this? if so please write to me. i wnat to know what you are doing or did to get them to stop. i love him but he is driving me crazy!

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 Honolulu on

Nowadays, I heard that "adolescence" starts around 8 years old.
Perhaps, he is having changing hormones....

How is he at school? Any complaints from his teacher? Any problems there?

This is a great book series:
"Your 8 Year Old" which you can get on

Is he a communicative boy? Can he articulate how he 'feels' and maybe open up to you or your Hubby? Just maybe ask him about himself, how he feels, any problems, school issues, feelings about his identity... and without criticism or 'judging' him. Maybe he feels outnumbered by all the girls? Maybe at this age in conjunction with other "stuff" he feels out of place..... adolescence is such a confusing time and with the child trying to find themselves in the big scheme of things... I don't know... Or maybe he feels 'pressure' being the "oldest" AND being a "male" kind of thing...

I really don't know... but I can imagine how hard it must be and for him... lots of 'growing pains' or something must be going on. The only thing I can think of is just asking him.... but so that he does not think he's going to be 'told what to do" but that it is just a conversation and maybe that someone will 'hear' what he means. Kids this age think no one understands them... maybe he feels like that?

Well all the best, sorry I don't have any answers... Try researching online perhaps...
Here's some links:

Take care,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

People repeat behaviors that reward that behavior. At some point he got his way from the tantrum and he's learned that having one will get him what he wants. Simply put, you must never give him what he wants or give in when he has a tantrum or you are reinforcing the behavior. No matter how awful his tantrum is...don't give in.

If you want it to stop you and/or your husband will have to give him a replacement behavior. I recommend a "regrouping area". It's not a time out. Give him a space where he can go, or be assisted to go there, to regain control. That can be a cozy corner, a papasan chair, etc. He stays there until he is calm. Make sure he knows that he is not being punished, that he is going to his own space to regain control of himself. At first you may need to be physically present, not touching, standing just outside the space to keep him there, but turn your face away and do not talk to him after stating 1 time, "When you are in control we can talk about it." After the tantrum is done, is time for you to let him tell what he is feeling and for you to explain what the family's needs are. As time passes, and you consistantly drop everything to have him go regroup, he will start using the area himself, and at some point later even just glance at it and begin to regroup on his own. Praise and thank him every single time he regroups, even a teeny bit. You are being loving in doing this for him.

It does work, you will have to be utterly consistant, remain calm, and not vary in your response. The rest of the family may have to function on without you while you stick to the regrouping. There may also be one lulu of a tantrum just before he gives up that may last an hour or more, that is really common. Just know that what you are doing is kind and will benefit your whole family.

Kids don't really want to be in control, they want you to be strong and help them control themselves. These tantrums probably are not about what he does or doesn't want to do. They are bids for power. Giving him small choices that you are ok with, and that don't disrupt the whole family schedule, will fill the need for self empowerment without resorting to exerting his will. For example; We have two choices for breakfast today, eggs or cereal, which would you like? You may wear your hoodie or your jacket to school today, put on the one you want to wear, etc. Just two choices, and all day long. Praise and thank him each time he chooses.

Giving small empowering choices all day long and using the regrouping area will help him replace tantruming with productive and approved behavior. If you feel that you have honestly and faithfully tried these two things and they don't work, then schedule appointments with a child psychologist for you and your son.

Many hugs! Be strong for him!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi D.:
You know, its not always easy to do,but sometimes,if we can put ourselves in that child's place,Try to think like they do,we could better understand what their problem is.If I was an eight year old boy,who was originally an (only child) A bit spoiled,because I was the center of the families attention.I'd feel cheated.After all,I was everyones sweetheart,mom and dads,Grandma and Grandpas....Friends who would come by made over me. Everyone made me feel SO SPECIAL. Then one day, mom and dad brought a baby girl home,and from that day on,I wasn't that special to everyone any more.She was tiny and cute,and everyone wanted to hold her. Mom and Dad told me I should make over her to,because she was my sister,and she was staying!Then,they brought home another baby girl....and if that wasn't bad enough,here comes another one! I feel like everyone kinda lost me,in all the ruckus."I feel like I need to REMIND everyone,that I'm still here,and I'm still that SPECIAL BOY they all told me I was before all those girls came into our lives"D.: I'm not saying,that your son sounds neglected. I'm sure,that you all still look at him as being special in his own way,and there's always something quite spectacular about our first born's.However,his actions tell me,that he feels out-numbered,and possibly,over welmed with the responsibilities,not merely those of being the eldest,but missing those days,where he was everyones favorite boy,and now,he just doesn't feel as significant. The tantrums and fits,are his way of getting that extra attention,that he yearns for right now.My advice,would be to take time to sit with him,and chat.Ask him,if he misses time alone with you or dad. Hes the eldest,and more than likely has a few more responsibilities than the girls.Its because of this,that He should receive benefits as the eldest as well. I'd give him time alone with Grandpa and Grandma,and allow them to pamper him a little by himself. He will leave them with the secure feeling,that he is still Very special, and that being the older brother,while very difficult for him at times,has its BENEFITS TOO.Just another view. I Don't believe,that harshness or discipline,is the answer here.I think reassurance,and understanding his feelings are whats important in solving this.I wish you,and your growing son the very best.J. M

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

You talk about earning rewards for good behavior, does that mean there are no negative consequences for bad behavior? Remove him from the area at once. If he is destructive in his own room remove everything from it so he can't destroy it. IF you don't stop this now you will be dealing with a larger problem as he grows. I do not mean to be MEAN, but I see so much about parents agonizing over behavior that there seems to be no reason for the child to stop. If he does not have to 'pay' for his behavior, you are paying for it. There must be a price for inappropriate behavior. He will be an adult a lot longer than he will be a child.

My godson lived with me for a year when he was 3 to 4. He was very strong willed and made each person in authority over him prove they were stronger than he was. I purchased a VERY long and large spoon and we had one encounter between Mr Spoon and Mr Butt. The important part was that he knew I would do it if I had to. Your son sounds like he knows you won't and he is screaming for you to be in control. Kids need boundaries, lines that they are not allowed to cross without repercussions. Then they will monitor themselves better because they know there is a price to pay. Now each child is different for sure, but they all need to know you mean it. My stepdaughter thought we could be friends, and we are now that she is grown, but you are not your children's friends when they are relying on you to teach them to grow up and be great adults.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, I am sure you are a wonderful parent and loving to all your children. Don't be afraid to let them hate you now for a moment, it passes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 9 year old twin who does some of the similar things. He's the "youngest" of three that are very close in age. He does this because he feels everyone else is talking everyone else is getting their way and he is ignored.
We talked about it quietly one day... "Why do you scream like that?" I now have to stop the other two from talking non-stop mind you - and say ok enough Nathan's turn.
Now he has stopped the temper tantrums and only ocasionally screams to be heard.
Just an idea, ask him after he's done with a tantrum - very casually Hey Why'd ya scream like that? he's old enough but he might not be sure, so tell him next time he feels like screaming to grab you or dad and say I'm feeling... Just my ideas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

is there any problems at school? i would think the acting out of not being the only child would have subsided by now. i agree with a previous poster that if you have given into him when throwing these fits then he will learn (fast) that it will get him what he wants and the younger kids will start it to from watching him. i have a 2 year old and if she throws a fit durring a meal and dont eat it then it gets tossed in the trash and she goes to bed. if she acts out at any other part of the day then she gets a swat on the butt and sent to bed. im very consistant with her and i dont put up with her acting like a hooligan child. lay down the rules and make sure that ALL children have to abide by these rules. as far as the front seat goes i dont know why hes even riding in the front seat.. but im sure its your choice to let him ride there so if he must rie there then tell him that he can ride in the front if he completes all his chores (making bed, brushing teeth, etc) with out a problem. make a to do chart for your oldest kids with age appropriate chores. my little one picks her toys up with me at the end of the night and before we leave places. good luck im sure what ever is causing this behavior will pass.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches