any ideas on how to tackle anger problems?

Martina - posted on 03/09/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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my 10 yr old boy has adhd,asd i am having real problems with violence and anger outbursts he lashes out to the point where he punches swears kicks bites i cannot reason with him and just feel like i have no control over him he is on meds has been for nearly 4 yrs they dont really do much we only give him them to give him concentration in school!

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Jane - posted on 03/16/2011

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My son has had a problem with anger since the age of three. Upon evaluation it was determined that he was not just ADHD but also ODD and Bipolar. In his case not only did we have to find the right ADHD med and dose, we have also had to put him on meds for the ODD and Bipolar conditions. He takes Tenex, which helps him control anger. He also takes Seroquel and Depakote to help with his Bipolar problems. He needs an anti-psychotic because he can hallucinate at times.

We have also instituted strict rules and punishments for violent behaviors. In my son's case the three main rules are do not break the house, other people's possessions or living things. If he breaks the house he needs to either fix it himself or forfeit birthday and Christmas money to pay to have the work done. If he breaks someone else's stuff he needs to use his money to replace it. If he breaks a living thing (including name calling and anything else that hurts another's feelings) he starts with an apology and loss of TV or video game time, and the rest of the punishment is administered on a case-by-case basis. In the worst scenario, when he has become a risk to himself or others, he goes to the psych hospital for med readjustments.

If he breaks his own things we do not replace them. As a result of his own actions his room currently contains a dresser, one chair that is broken but sittable, and his PS2. He currently no longer even has a mattress because he destroyed it.

I suggest you have your son re-evaluated because as kids grow their medication needs to be adjusted or changed, and because your son may have something more going on than just ADHD.

I also suggest that you create a written list of rules and post it wherever he spends his time. Also create a written list of consequences. Then follow both lists. He needs to have a strong understanding that doing A results in B every time.

You should also look into anger management counseling. Sometimes kids show anger because something else is going on and a good counselor should be able to figure out what that is. Then you and the counselor can devise a plan to help your son regain control.

If the meds aren't doing much, that is a clear sign that you need to have him re-evaluated.

Jennifer - posted on 03/16/2011

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My son was going to a couselor for the same reasons for a fewyears. It helped but very little. WHen he would have those issues, it was like he wasn;t even there. Like he looked right through you ratehr than at you. What has worked for the biting and violence has been that I talk in a very slow monontone voice and start telling him to breath in, then slowly exhale. It does really help to calm him down. I had to teach him the breathing first before an episode. He now knows and can feel it coming on or as he says, "bubbling up" and will start the breathing to hekp calm him. Also with Matthew, the more people that brought attention to it the worse it got. Teachers would try to control him rather than calm him and the entire classroom "evacuated" until he calmed down ( more than once). Now they have a plan in place and when they see it coming, immeidately start to implement it. He is required at school to quitely walk outside of the classroom, walk back and forth in the hall while he breathes. Then, as he clams down, he comes back in. This has help him tremendously and now there is less class interuption. Other things that have worked, he is allowed to have one object in his hand to concentrate on which also has helped. He has one of those stress balls that he is allowed to hold and squeeze, especially during tests.

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Jane - posted on 04/15/2011

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We jused football for a while in the same way but my son decided it was "too hard."

Kim - posted on 04/15/2011

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my son is 15 yrs old and has anger issues and other problems the only ive been able to deal with him is after school actives.he got into wrestling and doesnt have engery to come home and do anything.

Dana - posted on 03/20/2011

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yes, stimulant ADHD meds. can make tics worse....Intunive is a nonstimulant and actually makes the tics more tollrable...

Dana - posted on 03/19/2011

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@ Jane, you are right these can be comorbid. My son is also OCD and has tics which is very common in Bipolar and ADHD. We only treat the ADHD. OCD and tics are things we can deal with without meds

Jane - posted on 03/18/2011

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@Dana - We used the exact same restraint technique with my son.

Also, be aware that ADHD can occur with a number of other conditions. A child can be ADHD AND Bipolar, both. Our son is ADHD, ODD and Bipolar, and he takes meds for all three conditions.

Dana - posted on 03/18/2011

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Also, ADHD is very frequently misdiagnosed! Bi-polar Disorder has many of the same symptoms as ADHD! There are only a few symptoms that are different between the 2 disorders. And These 2 are ususlly comorbid.

Dana - posted on 03/18/2011

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2 out of 3 of my children have had issues with out burst. When the violence starts a good way to protect you and your child is to physically restrain him. This takes a lot of strength and time. But it does work. This protects you and everyone around from the potential dangers that come from the outburst. It sounds horriable but I would put my kids in my lap faceing away from me (my daughter would bite me if she was facing me) hold their arms with my arms like a bear hug but not tight, and cross my legs over theirs. I would talk softly into their ear with a calming and reassuring voice. I would tell them everything is fine, and that I love them. They want to hear what you are saying so they calm down and relax. This could go on anywhere from 10 - 30minutes. It is physically and mentally draining but it works much better than any corpral punishment or taking toys.

Lisa - posted on 03/16/2011

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Love your words of encouragement Toni< I couldn't have said it all better myself!!!

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2011

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I know what you mean. I have an almost 7 year old girl. An I keep asking drs to reevaulate her an they just disregard. Its very frustrated an don't know how to help. But my daughter does some of the samething but her she bites,screams, crys an it'd worst when she is told no.

Terri - posted on 03/16/2011

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I hate to say it, but it could be due to his medication. It could be the wrong medicine for him, or the dose is too high. Either way, speak with your psychologist and/or pediatrician and see if they can help you. My son was the same way...he was a sweet, kind, caring little boy and then he got on Adderol and that all went out the window. Needless to say we immediately switched his medicine and he now takes Vyvanse and has had no issues since. Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 03/16/2011

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Hi Martina,

I have to agree with Toni. Medication is not always the answer. Revoking privledges works. My son still has outbursts, but we andle them as they come. If it's a mild one, or I can cathc it before it gets too bad, I tell him stop what he's doing, sit down & take a deep breath. Sometimes that works. But if he continues what's he's doing, & it happens again, he gets 1 warning. Then if it happpens again, what ever he's doing gets put way for the rest of the day.

Good luck to you hun.

Kim - posted on 03/16/2011

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We have a 9 year old who has had many of the same issues. If you have not already done so, I would ask about a mood stabilizer and look into some anger management therapy. I agree with what Toni said about consistent consequences. It is not an easy road, but it will pay off in the end. We also like to give our son physical outlets... kicking a soccer ball, punching bag, basketball, running around the block or on the treadmill. Often times that will cool him down. Best of luck.

Angella - posted on 03/11/2011

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I have a 10 yr old son who has been on adhd medicaton for 5 years. He ges very angry and has been removed from many daycares and schools. We just found out not only does he have this but he is bi-polar aswell. Maybe there is more to it than just the adhd, or maybe u need to try a different medication. I am sure that you have already gone that route but there are alot out there. Hope you find some answers...good luck.

Toni - posted on 03/10/2011

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Been there done that. I would suggest sticking him in a box and closing the lid, but he would just chew his way out and be even more angry...lol No really you need to discuss this with his doctor. My son has been on every med out there for ADHD and every med out there states may agitate some patients with anger issues...Well duh. So then you have to play the which med is going to help with the side effects and anger. Some med actually make it WORSE. There is no miracle pill and we don't want him walking around like a zombie, so it makes for a real fun time for you and him until the meds are regulated. So then what. At home, he must have the most structured atmosphere. Set rules, no negotiating, no compromising. If you get angry at school and act out then when you get home, you lose privileges. Spanking and corporal punishment DO NOT work on ADHD kids, you have to figure out what he likes and loves - example: everytime you swear = no playstation for the rest of the day / everytime you punch = no playstation or tv for rest week (punching is more severe). Do not let up on this. I have had to leave my son at my mothers house while we went out to a family dinner because he lost his temper. Yea, it sucked, it broke my heart. But he has to learn actions have consequences. It has gotten so bad with my son, he was left with a mattress and dresser in his room for a year. I had to cancel his birthday party twice (lost deposits at game places). But he learned. I know all of this sounds severe, but it has to be. Martina you are your childs only advocate only YOU can help your child. Good luck and god bless.

Phyllis - posted on 03/10/2011

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I would find a psychologist or counselor to help with anger management. We had to do that for my son, and he deals with anger far better now.

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