My 8 year old son has a terrible temper. Whenever anything does not go his way, he screams, and he hits the wall and kicks stuff and thows stuff. We tried talking to him but he tells us to go away, that he doesn't want to talk to us. We are at our wits end. Any advice?

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Angela - posted on 01/24/2009

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There are two possibilities:  he is either just effectively getting his way (you don't say if he gets what he wants eventually, when he throws these fits?) OR he is actually angry or emotional about something that he can't express clearly or easily in other ways. Either way, it is absolutely essential that you don't give in to your son when he throws these fits.  At face value, it sounds like a power struggle in which the 8 year old has the upper hand.  If it were my son, I would put him in his room and don't give him any of his usual favorite things until he calmed down.  If he is throwing things, I would remove all toys and things that could be thrown until he stopped throwing these types of fits.  (I heard that one on Dr. Phil, but have also dealt with this in my son and nephew.) It is really important that you get your son to calm down and express his feelings with words.  You don't have to agree with anything he says.  Just repeat back to him, so he knows that he is being heard.  If he is throwing these fits at school and in public, then I would a) authorize the teacher to send him to the office and/or take away his recess or free choice time (whatever he likes should be taken away) I would stop taking him out in public, to the extent that it is possible, until he stops.  I wouldn't even let my son speak to me rudely at all, even at the age of 2.  I taught high school kids for ten years.  You have to stop this now, or your son will have many, many problems getting through school and being successful in life.  If none of my suggestions work, then go to your pediatrition or get family counseling.  This is VERY important and cannot be put aside.

Nickers - posted on 01/23/2013

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Goodluck be strong. We too have a 8 1/2 yo son who pushed all the boundries. He hits kicks and talks back to us and also is starting to have alot of trouble at school!! We are recieving professional help but until people have or are faced with the continuous day to day struggle of the emotional and physical toll of a child who has temper has on the whole family, don't listen to all the advise and opinions of every one else. Chances are you have tried most things and most times these will work for the majority of children however it dosn't make you a failure or a bad parent!! Listen to the professionals and get non judgemental support and don't worry about everyone elses opinions cause until they have walked in your shoes they have no idea!!

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Breeze - posted on 01/25/2009

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I agree w/ Christina. We have rules at our house about how you're allowed to handle your anger. Sometimes ya gotta let it out! Even Mommy gets angry sometimes but she's not allowed to drive like a maniac or hit the kids. It's okay to stomp your foot, shout, "I'm so angry!" or hit the couch. I don't condone destruction of property but we sort of praise my son for beating up his toy frog and not his little brother when he gets angry. We can get a new frog.

Christina - posted on 01/25/2009

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Give him a safe outlet for his temper. Like a bean bag chair for hitting, punching, etc. Or maybe punching bag. Also look into classes like karate, tae kwon do, even gymnastics, this should help him to deal with what is causing him to lose his temper.

Sylvia - posted on 01/25/2009

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have you seen anyone about this, it sounds like my eldest son who finally got diagnosed with aspergers syndrome at the age of 16, but seriously dont let it go on till then get him sorted now, and if he is he will get all the help needed, contact the child and family services in your local area and voice your concerns asap

Lorraine - posted on 01/25/2009

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I am having the same problem with my 7.5 year old. My ex husband & I seperated 2 years ago. He seemed to be handling it fine, But then started showing signs of abuse (sexually), I took him to a counsellor who said that he was fine, his father was no help, now he is out of control, wont talk to me about it, tells me to go away, that I don't love him and destroys his stuff. I take it away, ban his favourite toys. I just don't know what to do, his father is getting married again and didnt talk to him about it first, I am not in a relationship, nor do I go out often, can any one help me too????

Joanne - posted on 01/25/2009

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I have a 10yr old son that was exactly the same and found that by shouting at him I actually made him more agressive, its hard work but try to keep your cool. As the weeks have gone by he seems to be calming down a lot. We still have the occassional outburst but not nearly as bad as they used to be.

Lorraine - posted on 01/25/2009

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I am having the same problem with my 7.5 year old. My ex husband & I seperated 2 years ago. He seemed to be handling it fine, But then started showing signs of abuse (sexually), I took him to a counsellor who said that he was fine, his father was no help, now he is out of control, wont talk to me about it, tells me to go away, that I don't love him and destroys his stuff. I take it away, ban his favourite toys. I just don't know what to do, his father is getting married again and didnt talk to him about it first, I am not in a relationship, nor do I go out often, can any one help me too????

Jenny - posted on 01/24/2009

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Hello, So I can so understand this situation. My son who is 10 know gave us some terrible fits in 3rd grade. I will ask you is it only when it doesn't go his way, Are you sure nothing is bothering him mentally or spirtually, I am not sure if you are a christian but the fruit of the spirits is what my son's counselor let him use to understand how to control his anger. My son was having problems at school and that is where is issue's came from. We were able to change schools and we have had a complete 360 in his temper. Don't get me wrong there are still a few moments of frustration but he internally helps him self not to destruct any thing. I hope this helps.

Michelle - posted on 01/24/2009

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Yes take him to a counslor. We found out my daughter has O.D.D. and they are teaching us how to mange and handle her with out meds.

Cheri - posted on 01/24/2009

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I suggest that you just ignore him, let him know that you are not going to talk to him while he is acting this way.  If he wants something, then he has to use big boy words.  DON'T GIVE IN!  Once he sees that you are handling his outbursts consistently, he will eventually give in.  It's normal for children to have tantrums, how old is your son?  But if you give in so that he stops, he will just keep at it that much longer next time until he gets his way.  After about a week of this, he should start toget the hint.  Try to distract him with other things, if he's acting out while you are in public, let him know that if he continues, then he will be brought to the car until he calms down.  It's tough I know to see you child hurting, but he has to learn now, or it will be that much harder in the future.  Goodluck!

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