How do you handle your child's' aggressive behavior?

29  Answers

7 7

I have a six year old boy that is exhausting strong willed and stubborn. When he was just a toddler he would choose to stay in the corner for more than half an hour, rather than say sorry. HE CHOSE TO STAY IN THE CORNER!!! there was no way he was gonna give in! that much stubborness from just a toddler!! I fear his teenage years lol!
My best advise is to stick to your guns, and stand your ground. If you say he/she can't do "whatever" today, don't let the aggresive behavior win. I think the best strategy is to not give in. I know how not just physically but emotionally draining it is to try and out last an argument. nobody likes to argue. it's awful and causes so much stress. Still The kids need to know who makes the desicions in the house.
My biological mother didn't raise me. But she has another daughter, just 14. She never disciplined her, never taught her a tantrum isn't the answer. All she had to do was start throwin a fit, or yelling or whining and she got away with it. Now she's a teenager and she's more immature than my six year old!!
Whatever the negative behavior is, it's wrong, and not how you get what you want.
Stay strong!!

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4 0

Wise words "a child left to himself shall bring his mother to shame". I saw a grand mother carrying a 5 year old girl up on her shoulder from school. The grandmother is a very small framed woman. I asked her why she was carrying the girl; and the girl was smiling. The grandmother said because she said she is tired. (Neither parents are in the childs life). I told the grandmother and the girl that all the other kids from school are tired but they manage to walk home the full 3 blocks. I told the grandmother her grand daughter is smiling and that I believe she is strong enough to carry the grandmother sometimes. An attitude od anger and refusal to walk set in with the little girl. I told the grandmother that the little girl has been trainer her; not her training the little girl. It took some time through tears and stubborness before the little girl would final finish her walk home with grandma. But grandma stood firm; she no longer carries this 65lb child home, she walks on her own. We have to start early in traing our children and give them small responsibilities or they will think they do not have to do anything they don't want to do.

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4 23

I had a friend who sent her children to pick up big rocks out of the yard so she could mow. you have to find things for them to do. they need to spend working hard at something. change the direction they are going in, than let them see what they can do constructive. when snow comes shovel the snow, when they are done feed them hot coco and cookies. there is not enough for kids to do

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10 9

the WISEST answer i read so far!

40 36

Read the book 123 Magic Book. Very good information.

6
7 24

u know my pediatrician told me to get that book does it really work?

4 7

Read "Positive Discipline" by Jane Nelsen. Far more helpful in understanding child behaviour and what to do about it than 123 Magic, a book I've read and really didn't find all that helpful when faced with a child who would go psychotic at the mere thought of a 'time out'.

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5 0

I really liked 123 Magic as well - see my post below for other great books that worked it is under Altheas' comment.

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8 0

good question its hard to answer every child is different every child will reacted different to what u do. With my middle son i tried everything and i still don't know what the answer is............its rough but i just try and hang in there.

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3 12

I have two Foster Children who are both very willful and stubborn. They are both have 'Reactive Attachment Disorder' and have very violent outbursts at times. We call them 'meltdowns'. I have been reading up on Rad and the advise I received was to use a backward parenting tool. It was also backed up by the childrens psycologist. It entails not getting into a tug of war with the child. Thats what they want. They want you to give them attention no matter if its 'bad attention' or not. I choose to give them no attention. Dropping the rope in the tug of war so to speak. I make sure they are not going to hurt themselves, tell them firmly there behaviour (what ever it is) is not acceptable and they will not get what they want carrying on and then walk away. If they have no-one to engage with there is no point in the carry on and you'll find they will settle down and start to think about their behaviour. I go back to them once settled and you'll find they are more willing to talk and negotiate with you. Most importantly once is all said and done make sure you tell them you love them. I tell my kids all the time. I love them no matter what! I do not however like their behaviour. It works for me. Good luck I hope this is helpful.

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5 12

I love this!!!! I used this so much with my kids. It works!!! :)

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2 29

I find fish oil tablets help . . . if my son is getting feral I ask him if he's been taking them, and he usually replies "not lately".

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8 8

When my son starts too get crazy, I send him to his room and don't let him out until he calms down. There are only a few toys in his room and no TV or video games. He hates being confined to his room.

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0 0

HELP!!! I have a son who is almost 10. His behavior started when he was in diapers, and has not gotton better over the years, its only gotton worse. Way worse.. Were at our wits end with him, He has seen many different specialists, and behavior teams through out his whole life, He is on 2 different meds at this time after basically being a ginny pig with any meds possible.. he is at the strongest dose for his age and size, on the one med which has helped a little. It only seams to help when he is in a good mood, if not. he turns into a monster. so to speak...
He has done so many things, that has taken a gigantic toll on me and my family.
Through out his life he has done the following ( on a daily basis ):
sneaking out of the house all hrs of the night or day, throws everything that is not nailed down, tables, dressers, matresses , toys, shoes, eggs around the house through the night, he has even threw scissors at his brother, and even a knife at me ( missed me though ) we had to throw all our kitchen knives in the garbage, cause we kept finding his mattress cut up and knives stashed in his room, he breaks everything, puts holes in the walls, rips screens in windows,
when he got out of the house he got into trouble, lots of trouble. and now when he goes out to play, he goes out the door and runs right out the boundaries, when he comes back, he has been kicked out of some local stores for stealing, kids are after him, we found pocket knives on him that we have never seen before, and he goes to call on friends, if they arent there he has actually gone into their house to put back a game he had aparently borrowed. its to the point that aside from school he hasnt been ablew to go outside at all, i know thats not good either, but even if i were to go with him he wouldnt stay with my, and going to the park, he throws rocks and runs all over hitting people.
We have done everything from reward systems, to trying to spend more time with him, doctors, ect.. we havent had any luck, he is getting harder to manage, i dont want to give up, it just feels like we are sitting around waiting for the other shoe to drop.. almost 9 years of this, and no one has been able to do anything to stop it, we've tried everything, it feels like were out of options. hes heading down the wrong path and we cant stop it...thought maybe someone out there might have some new ideas or something...

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4 16

Wow, Dee. I cannot even begin to imagine your frustration, stress and sadness. You said "we are at our wits end" - I'm assuming that is your husband you are referring to? And if so, is that your sons biological father? Perhaps if it is not, he is acting out about his biological father being absent? How is he at school, and what are his teachers doing to keep him focused? Have you tried getting him involved in sports? Your post is heart-breaking. It seems as though you have tried any and everything to help your son. My brother (now 33yrs old) was a total nightmare when we were growing up. I am 2yrs older, and we are eachothers only siblings. My parents were in a similar position as you. He would wiggle his way out of time-outs, hit my Mom, take butcher knives and put them in his toy box, he would be mean to me and hurt me - seemingly on purpose, he was mean to the neighborhood kids, he was not staying on task in school and was often in trouble. If he was upset about something (in his toddler years) he would destroy anything in his path - even smearing his own fecies on his bedroom wall. Pediatricians put him on Ritalin and it only helped a little. My parents were consistent with him though. If he did something wrong - there was a consequence. He snuck out one night as a teen-ager and was caught miles from home in a dangerous area skateboarding. The next day, my Dad made him take his skateboard, put it in the burn barrell, light it on fire, and watch it burn. That was the last time he ever did that again. We had to work, picking berries, every summer beginning at age 12 so that kept him out of trouble during the non-school year. He evenutually over the years calmed down (on his own) and is now a father of 3 and doing great. He is an amazing Dad, and a hard-worker. There is hope - so try to keep your chin up.

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0 0

my son is 14 yrs old not listening to us not eating good food not studying well always playing with street boys irritating us we feel like to beat him punish him severely.

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how to handle hdad 14 years boy

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0 0

I have a 9mos old son, He is such a happy child but lately specially when he is annoyed or mad he hits or grabs peoples faces. He does is alot when kids are in his space but he is in Daycare and I need to come up with a way to stop this and teach him Different any suggestions???

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1 16

Finding an activity that channels the behavior is helpful. My daughter is a VERY strong willed girl...she is also physically strong. These traits can be quite beneficial, especially in todays society but having both of these elements in a pre-teen girl on the verge of puperty can cause a firestorm of the utmost proportions...LOL!!! My husband and I knew early on that she was going to be a handfull and yes, we've made some mistakes alsong the way, but for the most part I think we've done pretty good with her and one of the best decisions we made was to enroll her in Tae Kwon Do. She has been studying for almost 2 years now and is about to promote to her high red belt. For Christmas we bought her a heavy bag to practice on and let me tell you, if you want something to let some aggression out on this is IT! TKD has given her self confidence as well a self-control, which sadly is lacking in many of today's kids. She still has her moments, heck every kids does, but if you have some type of outlet for it (any physical activity will do) then things can go much smoother. Good luck to you & God bless :)

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3 9

I have a three year old daughter who is much like what most of you are discussing. She is very willful and stubborn. We jokingly refer to her as our little adult because she soesn't understand that she isn't the boss of everyone. But, all joking aside it is very trying and exhausting sometimesdealing with someone so small will so much will and strength. I have a mild birth defect called Cerebral Palsy wich inhibits my equilibrium sometimes. She's already learning how to use my off balance to her advantage. Her dad and I keep working on new ways to work with her and somedays are better than others. She is very much a mirror child, if i tell her something, the next time she wants me to do something she will use the same words and tone back at me. I am slowly learning that paitience is my going to be my biggest weapon.
We spent 15 minutes in the groecery store chasing her because I let her out of the cart and she ran circles around the store before we could catch her. By the time we did my husband and I wre so exhausted we didn't really want to shop. She was laughing because she thought it was a game. We've tried explaining the dangers of doing things like this but she doesn't fully understand. It is definetally an uphill battle. I just keep reminding myself that she's still God's gift and I have to do my best. We have found that ging her positive reinforcement by telling her bad choices has concequences and good choices have rewards seems to be making some headway.

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7 7

I know exactly what you mean joking "little adult." andmy son does the same thing in usung my words back at me! I fully understand how draining it is. I have found that explaining to my son in the moment of a bad decision, that he has two choices, continue yorbehavior, which is a bad choice, or take this chance to make agood choice. It works so well! Also, he really enjoys contributing. He loves to work and do chores! Itmakes him feel grown up, and important. I am so dreading his teenage years! Lol! I cant even imaging how much his stubborness will grow! Lol

5 12

My son had emotional disorders that would cause him to be aggressive. Each situation is different however what worked for us was "safety holds" (taught by a professional), physical activity... he and I would swim laps until he could calm down enough to discuss the situation. He was allowed to be angry but not to hurt someone else if he needed time to calm down he had a safe area in his bedroom, he could sit quietly listen to music, read, draw whatever it took. I also am a firm believer in aromatherapy in conjunction with coping skills. Lavender, vanilla and chamomile work in my opinion.

Using a plug in warmer in his room helped to keep that a sanctuary for him.
He is now 21... and still uses the warmers and other coping skills he has learned.

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0 20

how did you get your son to stay in his room during fits? I bag e the same "safety plan". My daughter knows she is supposed to go in room until she can calm down ,but when she is caught up in a fit she does everything but. Instead she comes after me: hitting, kicking & throwing things at me. I usually lock myself in my room until she calms down.

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178 0

An aggressive child is reacting to some kind of stimulus. Maybe even a positive stimulus (like positive attention for a good project at school or something). If they're acting out, they need help, simple as that. That's not to say you should just put up with the behavior. But, reacting by yelling or using physical punishment probably won't get you anywhere. If it's possible, let them get it out of their system (safely) and when they calm down is when you can try to talk to them about what's going on. Young kids get angry or overwhelmed and they go to a place in their brain where you really can't get through to them. Once they come back is when you can communicate and get to the root of the issue.

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I read through all these comments. I have to say, it is comforting to know that I am not alone. I am a single mother, my daughter is 9. Her father passed away when she was a baby, so its always been just her and I. As of right now, she is diagnosed ADHD, with a mood disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). I am a Parent Educator (certified through age 5), and have a Masters Degree in mental health counseling. My background makes it even harder for me to deal. I know what I have to do, which should theoretically be effective parenting. I have been a affectionate parent. When she was little, we had a routine, I read to her every night. My weekends have always been set aside for quality time with her. While I was in school, my parents watched her. It has been the 3 of us consistently for her whole life. However, I do believe that her not having a father plays a big part in our problems. I can say that I do NOT give in to tantrums, but as she gets older (and bigger- she ways over 100 lbs already), it gets harder and harder to follow through. She is getting braver and more physical when she has her fits. When I give her time outs or set limits I can almost guarantee that something in the house is going to get broken. Last night, we spent sometime at the Crisis Center. I had to tackle her to the ground twice in order to restrain her from hitting, kicking, and throwing things at me. The counselors there confirmed what I already knew- she doesn't know why she gets so angry. She really just looses control of her actions when she is mad. See does see a counselor and is on Medication (against my better judgement. Meds were my last resort, but after 5+ years of dealing with these behaviors, I decided to give them a shot). I am going to continue to look for ways to help my daughter become a successful adult. Until then, I am thankful for sites like this for moral support to help me along the way.

Thank you!

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0 33

hi there my name is kerry i am mum to a 9yr old boy who is verbally,physically and emotionally abusive he did have a tough start in life but this past yr he has been acting out both at home and school he has a b.s.t and being refered to a clinical pshycologist.Has anyone else been refered to one of these of so could u please tell me what they do please as dreading getting the appointment for assessment.Many thanks

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0 20

I think it is great that you are bringing him to see a spychologist. It isn't a scary thing, they will just ask you and him some questions about his behaviors & what triggers him. Then they will suggest solutions (counelsing, maybe medication). I have a 9yr old with the same issues. She has been on medication for the last 6mos- a year & since then, she hasn't had any problems at school. I do still have a hard time at home with her. She sees a counselor regularly to work on anger managment strategies.

0 15

I find that my child has a difficult time with controlling her anger. Fish oil is something I was recommended to do by a naturopathic that I took her too. She also recommended no red dye in foods.

Love and Logic. Ebay it or ipod the book. Helps give you REAL solutions.

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1 19

My son is ADHD,but i never heard of ODD,he is sometimes full on, be good 2 know more of it just 2 be on the safe side.

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5 40

How do you stop a toddler from throwing temper tantrums ONLY when his father is present. My son turns into a demon when his father is around. Now not only when his dad is around does he occasionally BUT it is more so when he is around. I don't know why either. Any suggestions??????

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0 0

Perhaps it's because his father gives in to this escalating behavior? Your son probably knows if he kicks and screams enough Dad will eventually give him what he wants, but with you there's less chance. Just a suggestion :)

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1 5

I suggest that anyone with an overtly aggresive child have them evaluated. My son is both ADHD and ODD. If you have never heard of ODD it is Oppisitional Defiant Disorder. This is serious. If not diagnosed and worked on early enough the individual can become sociopathic. My son is not the most empathetic individual but with counselling and a lot of hard work on mine and his schools parts, he has become a decent young man.

I urge anyone with a child that is overly aggressive to PLEASE have them evaluated. It is also a help to you to know that you are not the one causing this and to have some guidance on how to raise a child of this kind.

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2 44

I have to agree there. Mine is the same way but is more ADHD than ODD but still shows the signs of ODD.

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14 3

this is actually something i'm having dificulty with at the moment my son is 3 1/2 and he's started hiting me alot more when he can't get what he wants, i'm also 6mths pregnate so quite often i have to leave the room when he has a melt down to protect both my self and the baby from the violence, i actually really need some advice as to what i could do when this happens and i'm on my own with him. it's gotten to the point where his father n nani(my mum) need to always be near in case it happens. Can anyone help me with this issue

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10 4

Tabitha, I'm so sorry you're having suchba hard time. As difficult as it will be, you MUST regain control as a leader in your home. What do you think will happen once the baby is born? Your toddler's behavior will only worsen. If there is serious rage going on, try seeking a child physcologist. Or sit down with your husband and work out a discipline plan. You both need to be on the same page and support each other. Whatever you choose, be firm and consistent, talk things through each night with dad and set next steps. Try to find out where the negative behavior is coming from. And every discipline action should be followed by a conversation about expectations, consequences, proper behavior (and why), and love. I empathize with where you're coming from. I have a highbsoirited, often stuborn child and he's that way by nature. Lol, gets it from mommy! We must be very firm with him. He knows hitting is not permitted but he does lose control once in awhile. No matter what the reason though, if he hits he goes into the corner. He is also oraised for positive behavior though. Kids love positive reinforcement. Expect him to fight you discipline but stay firm and let him scream it out. He MUST learn you are in control. This is how we keep our children safe and teach them how to be successful adults. If he hits you, hold down his arms and get on his eye level. Do not raise your voice or get angry. Firmly tell him what you expect and because he broke the rule he will have a consequence. Once the discipline is over, explain. Whatever you do, don't give up. God gave children parents for a reason and it you're persistent you can prevail :) Good luck!

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0 13

struggling rigth now with my 6 year old..very aggresive, I would love some feed back!!...today he has been prescribed focalin for the ADD...

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2 0

my son was given ADHD mediciation at 4 because he not only had ADHD but O.D.D. and I can tell you that medication has helpped. He still has behavioral issues when the mediciation wears off at home, but he doesn't have the issues at school. When he was 4, he was going to be kicked out of preschool, after testing and therapy and having an amzing dr he was able to get the help he needed. I would try the medicine and see if it helps.

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0 19

I am raising a granddaughter who is the light of my life. The problem is my daughter, her mother, who is anything but. I love her dearly but when she chooses to make an appearance and then leave again, usually for days...we pay hell. I know the six year old is angry, hurt and feels abandoned. She lashes out at me and is stubborn as a mule. It's been my thought to tell my daughter to stop coming around until she is ready to be mom. I feel it is unfair to both of us that she behaves in such a way. It is important to me that they have a relationship but this is not good for the little one. Any help?

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87 12

Don't let your daughter come around. It can cause your granddaughter permanent emotional damage with her going through this at this age. They can have a relationship when she is grown. My best friend in high school was raised by her grandparents and didn't really see her mom until she was grown and now they are friends and my friend is well adjusted while her little sis who was raised by her mom is all kinds of messed up. If she doesn't want to be a mom, she's no kind of example to have around a child.

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126 11

Hmmm, this very much depends on a number of factors:
Age of the child...is it developmental and just needs guidance and patience (and self restraint as well as consistency)
The gender...if it is a boy, then they are naturally more aggressive, especially when they get theor regular testosterone boosts
Your definition of aggressive - this could be willful stubborness with the odd hurled toy or slap when really frustrated of hurt or out and out physical fisticuffs or manic behavioural episodes.
The latter more likely needs intervention, but all can be helped using your own self confidence and knowledge of your child, as well as referring to friends, peers or books.
I personally have gotten stricter with each boy, but in fewer circumstances so I pick my battles. I have also resigned myself to a career as a shouting fishwife, and a serial user of time out, confiscation and occasioally a hot bottom. I am lucky the aggressive behaviour I deal with is all absolutely normal, if not completely infuriating.

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87 12

Children should not be punished for being aggressive. If they are being aggressive then something is causing it. You should first correct the root of the problem and once that is fixed then sit down and have a short conversation so that a toddler can understand what is not okay and why. My children are not aggressive regularly. When they are it is just playing rough and never hitting or biting because I taught them empathy. My youngest is 3 and my oldest will be 5 in a week. Occasionally they test boundaries and I have to put them in their place whether it is a short time out (no more than 5 minutes, long ones teach them NOTHING), just a stern lecture, or just a calm and mature verbal correction. Most of the time with mine they just got a little too excited from something going on and needed to be reminded that normal rules apply (this happens with out of state visitors), or they are tired because we are making a late night visit to Walmart. I which case we get in and get out so the kids can get to bed because it is not their fault they are tired and cranky and not thinking straight because we have them up past bedtime. lol, my children are ALWAYS complimented on their outgoing personalities, intelligence, and behavior.

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1 14

I'm sorry don't agree with you Kyrie, except in the case of very mild mannered children (which sound like yours). I agree there is a reason for aggression, but that reason is not always appropriate. For example: my daughter doesn't like me talking on the phone, so she will hit or bite me to get my attention - there is a reason, but it absolutely needs punishment/consequence. Or the other night after her usual 3 bedtime stories she wanted more, so when I left the room she tore up one of her books. Again, I know the reason was because she was mad at not getting her way - but that doesn't mean it's ok. It is not because I have neglected to teach her empathy - she is just very strong willed and will constantly push the limits and test them. Its a constant battle to be consistent and strong about boundaries and consequences. Without 'punishment' or consequence for her actions, they spiral out of control.

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3 0

i let my 2 year old boy go to time out... he stays there untill he calms down and apologizes... there is NO leniency. maybe i should clarify.. by no leniency i mean he is not allowed out untill time is up.. he gets told before he gets a time out. and depending on the severity of the behavior he may be told more then once.

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10 9

and thats EXACTLY he will treat you when he's older...no leniency!

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8 6

It took months to establish what was causing my toddlers aggression. First, I had to find out if she was in pain. Giving her pre bed tylenol showed that she was much less aggressive towards sleep. Then I had to figure out what made her so furiously angry that she would hold her sister and I hostage to her moods. At the same time as testing different toys for a few days to see her interaction, I had a special needs worker help show me how to physically restrain my child during her fits. That was an eye opener! After about two months, I was able to see that her aggression spiked when she believed she was not wanted because of her moods. This was dealt with using doll therapy. She would huck her doll to the floor and I would then treat the doll as if it was a baby and asked her to help me comfort the baby. She told me the reason why she threw the baby in anger and it helped me deal with how she was dealing with her own moods. Now, she can walk away some of the time, yells some of the time and only hits out about once a month. It has been a very long haul of 2 1/2 years for her to understand how to interact with people instead of against them.

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5 0

Try melatonin instead of Tylenol - it worked wonders for him and I have sleep issues too and it works for me as well. He is 8 and has generalized anxiety disorder, is quite aggressive and is being tested for other issues as well. Impulsivenss seems to be a major issue with aggresssion and he needs overcome his natural impulse to be agressive. We have worked with him on things that stop him and they have helped. We have to change them out every now and again and they need to be tailored to each child. We have been working with therapists for a little over a year and have made huge strides and improvements. It is tough but it can be done. I think we all know that a very structured environment is key along with sleep (we use Melatonin and are very strict with what we do at night - only a 1-2 times a month does his sleep get out of schedule) and getting him to recognize aggressive feelings that are coming and stop them B4 they get to out of control - that will be your tough one. We listed all his feelings, what made him act out and then discussed solutions. He felt he was a part of the solution and when they feel like they have ownership they are more apt to do it as he did. With him breathing didn't work and other punishments, time out, taking toys away (those are short term) - it was something he had to do - make things with his hands like snakes, bunny ears think shadows you would make on a wall works well for the time being. The different snakes and other things he makes are quite difficult so he really has to think and this alters his thoughts/impluse and he is physically doing something instead of violently doing something. A series of good books that follows the child from toddler to adult are by Jed Baker, PH.D and the one we are working on now is The Social Skills Picture Book - Teaching Play, Emotion and Communication to Children with Autism. He has another one similiar to this one for High School and Beyond, Preparing for LIfe, No More Meltdowns and Social Skills Training and Frustration Management - all that can be ordered online at Amazon.

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