Please help, my 5 year old is very angry

Liz - posted on 06/07/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I need help, please. My 5 year old son is very angry. Any time I ask him to do something (from something as simple as coming inside to eat lunch, to asking him to put toys away or go upstairs to bed) he will scream, "NO!" hit his brothers, throw things, stomp his feet, and say things like, "I hate this house!" and "I wish I wasn't born!" (He's FIVE! What five year old says that?!) I am scared for him, and also scared for my other children and myself if he keeps this behavior up. He is my oldest child, and I have 3 others. I know I can have anger issues myself, so I want to help my son before he grows up to be an angry and bitter person. My husband works long hours, and he has to go to bed before the kids do and gets up in the middle of the night to go to work, so he isn't around a lot. I do not want to take him to a child psychologist or anything like that since I a.) don't have the money for that and b.) don't particularly like counselors to begin with. Our pastor is an option, but he can be kind of difficult to get in to see at times. I know I am not the perfect mom, and probably not even that good of one, but I want to help my son. I am not looking for judgment (although, I don't expect any from this community), but mostly just encouragement, advice, and your prayers. Thanks so much in advance!

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Andrea - posted on 06/10/2012

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Hi Liz, My son is almost 3 and experiences some of the same things. I have easy access to my Pastor and I and my husband have had numerous conversations with him about this because I to was and am concerned. My husband has a regular 9 to 5 but I am home with him all day and like most children they respond to there father totally different from there mothers. I constantly keep him lifted up in prayer that God will drive this angry spirit out of him. Although your husband works long hours try and keep him around uncles, grandfathers etc that might reinforce te no bad behavior.

Try to get a meeting with your Pator althoug it is hard so he can also begin to intercede on your behalf. Also what I noticed is working that I use is him seeing that there is no reward for bad behavior, so he sees his siblings getting something and he will not. I know its hard to try and not give our children the world but we can not be enablers nor can we continue to let them TRY and run over us because thats what they are trying to do. They are trying to control the situation.

I have noticed my sons behavior is beginning to change. I know it hurts but even at this young age we have to discipline them for bad behavior because they do know what is wrong and right. Take those things away that they like. I know it is not easy but continue to stay strong and keep him lifted up in prayer. I will pray as well for you and your family that God will change the situation around. No matter what people may say educators etc the Bible is the final rule of authority, it has everything in it that pertains to life and Godliness and it says spare the rod spoil the child. I know people are big proponents of trying to talk things out but that does not always work. Ulytimately ou have to do whats best for you. Hope everything works out.

Shelley-Ann - posted on 06/30/2012

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Hi Liz, I hope your situation is getting better. I just read your post and wanted you to know that I prayed for you, as I'm sure many other moms have. There's usually more than one reason for tantrums like that. Someone mentioned checking his blood sugar and I think that's an excellent idea. Sometimes diet and nutrition affect our moods far more than we realize. I know my 3 year old gets a very short fuse when she's hungry so I usually have to monitor her and insist that she eats because she never says "mom I'm hungry". Have you ever asked your son why he hates your house? I mean, really asked and listened to his answer when he's not having a tantrum? Kids can feel left out and overlooked and unloved very easily. One time my 8-year old did something she shouldn't have and I told her about it then went on to doing the dishes. While I was doing the dishes and lost in thought, she came and apologized for her behavior. I absentmindedly said, "it's ok honey." and went on with the dishes until I realized that she was still standing there, almost to tears. She wanted me to really listen to her, to understand that she was sorry and to acknowledge her and her apology, not just dismissively "accept" it. I stopped what I was doing, gave her a hug and spoke to her about the situation. I too was sorry for not really listening to her.

Regardless of the solution, working with your son is going to take some effort and you are going to have to think about yourself in this situation too. Four kids is a full time job, so refreshing your spirit is a must. If at all possible, perhaps you could also keep a journal of your son's behavior over the course of a week. If anything at least it would give you an idea of patterns which might exist, when he's most angry, how often, what he said, what you tried, what worked or didn't. Eventually when you do get intervention you could use this as a sort of history that would help in finding the right approach to help your son. Our memories aren't always the best in frustrating situations and this might help document what's really going on with him. It's not about adding up his bad behavior, it's about recognizing what triggers it.

Sara - posted on 06/22/2012

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I am new to this community but I do have a comment. I pray with my daughter every night now that she is old enough to pray with me. She throws her tantrums as most 2 year old do (she is almost 2) but sometimes they just seem over the top. So i made a decision to pray with her about her behavior as well as health and safety. And even though I do not have experience with having my own child 5 year old I would like to suggest you do the same. By praying with him about his behavior and explaining through prayer that it isn't right, he may start to think about it more when it happens. A repeated prayer like "help me not to throw tantrums because I know my mommy loves me and it hurts her feelings" can go a long way. I hope this is helpful because like I said I do not have a 5 year old yet but I have been around them and tried similar situations. I hope things get easier for you because I know it does hurt to see your children so mad that they feel they have to scream and throw fits over nothing.

Natalie - posted on 06/17/2012

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Have you tried giving him options instead of telling him to do one thing or another? Sometimes they just want a little control over what goes on. Example: Would you like to eat lunch now or in 5 minutes? Would you like to put your toys away or only the ones you'd like to keep? Always said with sincerity and love. Obviously only giving choices you're ok with and are appropriate. The key is meaning it with love and not in anger. It has worked very well for us (when we can keep our own emotions in check) Good luck

Pat - posted on 06/12/2012

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I will say, I hear too much of my words coming out of my 5 yr olds mouth...I don't like it. I can use being tired and a single mom as an excuse...but that don't fly! :) you must be tired too. Make sure you are taking care of yourself,also. I know the more tiredd I am, the lousier I treat the girls.
Make sure he is getting his rest and nutrition..check his blood sugar too. I know its easier to let them get their way at times,but make sure u follow through with consequences for actions... Find activities to keep him busy or distract him also. I believe in talking about the emotions,but they can't run the show. I would pray for and with him also. Maybe he is angry over dad being gone so much...the hating his life statement..in my opinion... Sounds like there are things out of his control he doesn't like. If your pastor isn't available,there may be another on staff to help... I will be praying....you aren't alone.

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Christina - posted on 06/27/2012

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Hi Liz! I'm not sure (due to the date of this post) if you've already sought intervention (aka - assistance) with your son, but something that you may want to look up is instead of a counselor, how about trying to find a Life Coach. There are Christian Life Coaches as well. I don't know if you've heard of them before, but they aren't hokey....just just have a different approach. Hope all is well! Take care! Christina

Jeanette - posted on 06/24/2012

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Everyone has given good suggestions and comments. But I had one more suggestions. You said that your pastor is often busy. Why don't you ask him to recommend a counselor, one with a Christian background? I have not encountered your situation, but when I was younger I had a problem with severe depression. I too had a distrust for psychologists/therapists/counselors, but I asked my pastor if he knew of any Christian psychologists. The therapist he recommended turned out to be very helpful and because he was a Christian he was able to see things from my point of view.

Liz - posted on 06/19/2012

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Thank you so much, Carla. You have been a blessing and encouragement to me in many ways. :)

Carla - posted on 06/19/2012

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I had to laugh when I read your post, Liz, not because your situation is funny, but with noticing things in other people when it's ourselves that need prayer. When my husband and I were separated I prayed 'get him, Lord!' He started showing ME what I was doing wrong. I kept saying 'no, I'm talking about Mark now', and He just kept on. I FINALLY got it. And it WAS a truly humbling experience.

God has something special for you, Liz, and that's why He is putting you through the fire. Those that go through their lives with never a care, never a trial, are not prepared and tested for the higher callings. When I hear of certain ones going through trial after trial, I know they are chosen. It's hard now, but our reward will be truly glorious. I know this with every fiber of my being. I pray strength, wisdom and courage, honey. I hope you stay close to this community so I will be able to share in whatever the Lord has for you.

God bless, honey

Liz - posted on 06/19/2012

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Lately he has been having blowups at least once a day. And over ridiculous things, too. I am afraid to ask him to do anything because I know he will throw a fit. (Doesn't mean I don't ask him, I just have to prepare myself for his reaction.) He wants to wear his new super hero underwear, so when I get them out for him, he has a fit because they aren't the right ones. I am mentally exhausted from all of this, besides having to take care of 3 others. I have a meeting scheduled with my pastor this Friday. God has really been speaking to me about my own anger and has showed me that I am bitter at myself. It is kind of funny how when we notice things wrong with other people, God shows us what is wrong with ourselves. And by funny, I mean humbling.

I have realized that I thought this anger was just something I would have to live with, but God showed me that's not the case! I don't know why I was so blind to this fact! God hit me hard over the head about a week ago with these realizations. I asked him "what good can come from this?" The verse that he brought to my mind was Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." The next night at church a conversation was started about people who can't forgive themselves have a hard time forgiving others, and are therefore quite miserable. Indeed! I am tired of living this way, and am ready to change! So please continue to pray for my family and myself, if you think of it. I do believe this will be a long, hard road for us, but one that needs to be traveled! Thank you!

Ramona - posted on 06/18/2012

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When my kids were older, 4-5 year, I would send them into the time out until they were ready to talk to me about why their behavior was not acceptable. When they were older, they were in time out until they wrote out a note stating what they did, why it was wrong, what commandments were broken and if needed, what they thought would be a fair punishement. They are often by far rougher than I would be.

Linda - posted on 06/11/2012

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One of the hardest things about being a mother is hearing our own angry words come back out of the mouths of our children. It made me cringe....and then pray. Remember: God forgives both us and them!

A VERY good book on this subject the The Heart of Anger. Here's a link:
http://www.christianbook.com/heart-anger...

These are my suggestions:

1) Each time he gets angry, have him sit somewhere until he is not angry. You can't talk to an angry child. After he calms down, go through some Scripture with him which talks about anger. A good one to start with is James 1:20. Use biblegateway.com and search for verses on "anger". Make SURE that you are not angry when you are doing this. PRAY.

2) If your husband is gone a lot, he may be feeling angry about that. Especially since he is the oldest and a boy, he is probably craving time with his dad. Your husband should carve out some time to spend just with him at least once a week...even if it's just going for a walk. There is a family in our church who schedule "daddy dates" with each of their children on a rotating basis. (They also schedule "mommy dates") The child gets to choose what they do, whether it's playing a board game, visiting the Apple Store, or maybe getting an ice-cream.

3) Since he is the oldest, give him some "big boy" responsibility. Recruit him to help teach his younger siblings something like how to build a tower or the best way to brush their teeth. If he feels the value of his special position, perhaps he won't envy all the extra attention younger siblings necessitate. Give him a few special privileges, like staying up 30 minutes longer than the others. You could use that time in studying the Bible with him and teaching him what God expects from us.

4) Remember, a gentle answer turns away wrath, but grevious words stir up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

Lawanda - posted on 06/10/2012

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My Son went through a stage similar to this and I sat him down and explained that anger is an emotion like being happy and that it's okay to be angry but t verbally express his anger and give his reason. No when he's angry he says "mommy I'm angry because...." or "mommy I'm mad because..." and I never get upset with him but let him no that I respect his feelings even if my response back to him disagrees with his reasoning. This has worked very well with us and he isn't nearly as angry of a kid now.

Anne - posted on 06/10/2012

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Boy this is a tough one. I can think of a lot of things to comment on but I am afraid it sound judgmental. I Would Never Want Another Mother To Feel Judged by Something I Said! What I can tell you is I will keep you in myDaily Prayers.

Ashley - posted on 06/10/2012

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I'd say time out in the corner is a good place to start with some discipline. If he can't handle that and is disrupting the other kids (which he probably will), empty his room of toys and make him stay in there until he'll come apologize (watched that on many Nanny 911 episodes- haha, it seemed to work on the "harder" cases). They let the kids go crazy with anger throwing stuff around their room and wouldn't show them any attention, because it seemed to be what the children wanted... and eventually the kids would learn that their outbursts weren't going to get them attention and they stopped doing it.
Controlling your own anger in the midst of his outbursts certainly is important. We kind of hype kids up when we yell at them. Speak calmly yet assertively.
I definitely am a fan of counseling, so I'd set that appointment and just see your pastor when able. He'll probably actually help you out more than your child. Either way, it'll benefit your kid.

Angela - posted on 06/08/2012

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Don't know what to suggest, it's a long time since any of mine were 5.

Can you have a little chat with him when he's in a good mood? Don't ask anything like tasks etc ... of him during this chat, just ask him why he has anger issues.

Involve a neutral person who is NOT going to approach him in a judgemental way. This could be someone from Church or someone from your neighbourhood (you could even return the favour and do some chatting with one of THEIR troubled children). He will maybe open up more readily to someone who is not from his family.

Good luck!

Carla - posted on 06/08/2012

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First of all, Liz, from what I have 'known' of you on this community, you ARE a good mother. You are sacrificing a lot in order to educate and raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Do NOT listen to what Satan is whispering in your ear!

I know your household is busy, but when he starts lashing out, if you could take him somewhere quiet for a few minutes and just ask him 'what's wrong, honey', and get him to talk, you may find it's something as simple as he just doesn't want to stop doing whatever he's doing.

My life was very hectic when my kids were growing up, and I have to confess I didn't have time to figure this stuff out, but, as I have matured, I understand that kids don't understand WHY we have rules, and if we don't explain them to the kids, they just blindly obey, but don't learn the importance of WHY we do or don't do these things. NOW, I try to explain to my grandbabies the WHYs, unless, of course, it's just something where you say 'because I said so!' They HAVE to understand that they mind whether you explain or not, but if you explain most of the time, I think that will defuse the anger. 'Why don't I want you playing in the street, Joey?' He will think about it, then answer 'because you don't want me to get run over'. If he doesn't answer, then you tell him why, or give an example of what can happen.

God bless, darling, you are okay. Pray for patience (yes, I know, it will bring a bunch of trials to MAKE you be patient), but molding our little ones is the most important job we have.

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