How do I teach my child how to control his temper and emotions?

Missy - posted on 01/09/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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How does an 8 year old boy develop an anger problem? What makes him lose his temper so quickly at school, when he does not do that at home? Why does my child feel the need to cry over everything when he doesn't get his way. What would make a child not be able to control his emotions? These are the questions that I am throwing out there because I am completely stumped on this behavior that mainly only happens at school. We do not allow this type of behavior at home. Do do not accept the crying & baby-ness; he does not lose his temper at home with us because he knows that we don't allow it. He knows what respect is; he knows his manners, he knows right from wrong. So I am left to ask, what is causing this type of behavior at school?

Any type of insight is helpful. All questions are welcome to help understand. Thanks!

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Shannon - posted on 02/01/2012

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My son was starting to act this way too. Turns out there were 2 things going on. 1) He was having a lot of trouble making friends in class. He had a friend at recess, but they weren't in his class and he was feeling isolated. 2) He was having reading issues. He could not keep up with what was going on in class and was too embarrassed to ask for help, so he would just not do anything.

Being a great teacher doesn't matter when you have sssooo many kids in the class that all need help. With Alex I did small things. I gave him a daily task of telling me the name of 1 person in his class everyday and something about them. It became a sort of game to find things out about them. He made friends quickly after that. I also made him a star chart. He would get starts for things like remembering to bring all his homework home, remembering to look both ways when he crosses the strreet, little things. He could then earn rewards. 10 stars was staying up 15 min late, 20 was chosing whatever he wanted for dinner. This way he also had to make the choice of whether to save or "spend" his stars. It is really fun and it gives them a visual for their good behavior. Time outs have never really worked for him, but now the rule is for every time out 1 star is removed. (he has not been in time out for 2 weeks!!!!)

P.S. My boy is FAR from perfect, and I have the same problem as Sarah. My son thinks name calling is funny and is constantly saying things like see ya later fatso and things like that. It seems like every other sentence is rude out of his mouth. Do you think I should time out and take stars every time? If I do that I am afraid it will detract from the meaningfulness of the star chart.

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Christine - posted on 01/23/2012

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My son is 10 and is having similiar issues his teacher who is older came up to me the other day and said she had 2 boys raised them and has taught 4th and 5th grade at that school for 20 years and she says its puberty I know it seems young but I was wondering the same and she just confirmed it. Kids are starting puberty younger and younger and he has not necessarily physical signs but emotional more easily angered, moody emotional ect. from hormones and testosterone so it might be something to consider. As someone else said he could also be having a problem at school like a bully or something. The public school my kids were going to I thought was just a great school then I started substituting there and was on the inside and saw there was no discipline or consistency at all it was just caios the kids were wild and I never would have known if I had not went and taught there even though I was a very involved parent. I have my kids in a private school now and the difference is night and day. I hope you get the info your looking for kids go through alot of stages and changes we just have to adapt with them. Talking with kids about emotional and body changes and behavioral expectations ect. goes along way even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes. Hang in there I'm sure there is alot more to come, parenting is ever changing as they grow.

Sarah - posted on 01/23/2012

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I am so glade to hear I am not alone in this, but I do feel for you because it really is a terrible thing for the whole family, I am recently divorced... well 2 years, but just getting settled. My 9 yr old son talks down to everyone! not always but if he is not feeling happy in the moment, and it is impossible to get him to talk to me about how he s feeling, at times when I am at my witz end...I treat him the same way back, and try to have a conversataion about how that makes him feel to be treated this way, and how i feel after I treat him that way, but \i can not get hm to have a converstaion with me, he just admits that it doesnt feel nice, but it doesnt change anything, he just looks really sad after. We have been struggling forever with the fact that he is UNABLE to talk about his feelings, aka when there are problems at his dad...at home or at school, we have tried writting in a journal at night, time outs, treating him the same way back,deap yoga breathing, to think right though, right speach, right action...nothing works at times he will mouth words like he is talking back, or has something to say, but when I ask him what he wanted to say...he says nothing! or silently scream to himself, mouth wide open like a scream but comes out silent. and I am on the verge of just accepting that this is how its going to be. but I am in tears over this.

Rikki - posted on 01/21/2012

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My 8 year old son is the same! Its so good to hear I'm not alone with this! Just know its nothing that YOU did to him, its just him. When my son gets out of control, angry or sad, I try to hug him and tell him I love him. This doesn't make it stop completely but it diffuses the situation. Of course, I cant do this every time but I try.

Gina - posted on 01/18/2012

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Sounds like anxiety if it's only at school. How is he in general with groups and strangers that are not family? Ask him about the things that happen before he gets mad, ask him to tell you exactly what happened, what he said and give him things he could have said instead, i.e. "next time a boy cuts in line instead of yelling at him, remind him that it's not okay to cut and tell the teacher so he gets in trouble, not you." Start with the smallest things that it could be because if you go to a therapist they're sure to find something wrong with him to keep him coming in for more appointment$ and pre$cription$. My daughter had issues where she never wanted to go to school even though she always came home happy. For about a month, every morning we would aim to have a good day. For every day that she didn't complain about going to school or have a bad attitude I would reward her with a quarter. It could have been stickers or anything, but I wanted her to be able to have something she could see was adding up and quarters get heavy fast. For two weeks I thought she'd never earn a dollar, but soon enough her little change purse was full and we haven't had an issue since. I taught Special Ed for kids with emotional disorders as well, always start with the small stuff. Labels are a horrible thing and make everyone, including the parents, treat their kids differently so if you can avoid them, please do. I also had to do a lot of reinforcing of positive thoughts and asked her to tell herself that it would be a good day and that was like pulling teeth. Some days she would tell me she felt like she was lying to herself.. but don't give up. Kids have a really hard time understanding their emotions and expressing themselves so their behavior gets whacky when they're upset or uncomfortable. There's a really good book called Speak Up and get along that is great to read with your son as well. Good luck!!

Michelle - posted on 01/16/2012

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Sounds kind of like my son. His anger issues continued at home with his brother, though. We met with the pastoral counselor at school (a therapist/psychologist, basically, from an outside agency--not a 'school counselor') and she diagnosed him with ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) along with borderline depression issues. Since then we have visited the doctor and started him on a daily medicine and he has greatly improved...not what I wanted to do, but the situation was getting much worse and we had to try something, you know?



Anyway, I'm not saying that this is the issue with your son--but you may want to consider meeting with a therapist if the situation doesn't improve or if it starts getting to where it is interfering with his education. Spending time at the school (volunteering in the class or wherever) can be helpful, too. Good luck!

Amber - posted on 01/14/2012

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My son is 12 and in the 6 th grade. We are also having this issue. We have started therapy. We have had several sessions. We are having issues with him making it to the bathroom now along with the anger problems. I have been trying a rewards system. It seems to work but its hard to get him to slow down and think before he gets wonder up.

Missy - posted on 01/11/2012

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Well, we are doing our part here at home but we don't have much control about how his teacher handles things at school. She is a great teacher and doesn't hesitate to tell him how it is. I think this is just something he needs to understand is Unacceptable, but I am willing to help him in any way I can! Thanks so much for the help & keep up the great support!! :)

Marissa - posted on 01/11/2012

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i feel that he is just testing you to try and see if he can get away with it but once u nip it in the bud then he will know not to do it again.he might try you a few times but you just keep on being persitent and he will know that u arent playin that you mean buianesswith him good luck.

Edna - posted on 01/10/2012

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Is something happening at school that he's not happy with, my daughter started behaving differently just over a year ago and after weeks of trying to figure out what was wrong she broke down and confessed some girl in her class had been bullying her for the whole time shed been acting odd. once I went to school and sorted it her behaviour went back to normal.

Danielle - posted on 01/10/2012

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You need to teach him to stop and count to 10. He might be try to test the waters with the teacher or classmates. Is he in a new school? The only reason why I'm asking is that our kids move over in a new school in third grade.

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