What do you do with an angry 6 year old? HELP!!

Jessica - posted on 11/19/2008 ( 29 moms have responded )

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I have a six year old son who is very angry, most of the time. He has a very short temper and he does a lot of screaming and stomping when he is mad. I don't know why he is so mad. he is an only child and gets plenty of attention. But he is acting out in school and throws tantrum worse than i could have ever imagined. I'm VERY worried about him. has anyone else come across this problem? any suggestions?

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Dayna - posted on 06/15/2010

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My 6 yr old son is usually such a happy go lucky child, but lately eg: last night he had a massive tantrum over the fact I cut his sausages up like his sisters, he yelled, screamed and hit his older sister, he was put in his room once he calmed down and asked to have his dinner, finally come 7 30 he walked into the lounge and apologized to his sister. He is such a good kid but when he flips out he goes wild and their is nothing I can to do calm him down. He loves school and does really well his reports are perfect, we did have a problem with a bully earlier in the year but that has been sorted my son is 6 but he is as big as his 9 yr old sisters very tall.I am not sure if it is a hormone thing or not our doctor says he is a very healthy boy. I try hard to ignore his tantrum's but when he starts getting violent with his sister I step in. I hate the fact my son gets so angry, I know people say children mimic what they see at home but my hubby has never but his hands on me ever, if we do have a problem we say"we'll take this up later" an leave it at that.



Any advice on how my lovely son can turn into a lil devil in a heartbeat. Please any advice welcomed.

Thanks Dayna

Nikki - posted on 03/03/2009

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Wow! So many answers to this question! So I might as well add my two cents worth. My son deals with the same sort of thing. The only thing that worked for him was talking, talking, talking. The worst thing you can do is get upset yourself. You need to show him that acting out is not the appropriate way to deal with anger. By talking to him you can explain that he needs to use words to express himself. Letting him decompress after school is a good thing - a little quiet, alone time will help him to centre himself and his thoughts. Understand that he will have off days (don't we all?), and that it is okay to have wobblies. Try not to focus on the bad behaviour, but try and talk it around to the root of the problem. Other than that, good luck - there are never easy answers.

Rhonda - posted on 08/04/2011

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yes my 6 year old is the same exact problem i dont know what to do i have tryed everything

Rebecca - posted on 03/03/2009

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Our son had similar issues when he moved from preschool to kindergarten.

Your son might need to decompress from school. Maybe you should find out what he would like to do after school and if it works with your schedule change things around a little. Maybe it's stopping at the park or going home and dancing crazy to music.

The school counsellor helped us a lot with our son and the rewards worked great. I went to the party store and bought a bag of dinosaurs and reptiles and he can earn items out of the bowl. His behaviour is so much better that he is now earning larger rewards for effort in school work.

He still has his moments, his achilles heal is his little sister. He is working really hard on not reacting to her so much. As the year has progressed he is also sharing what is happening at school. When he has a bad day at school we see more negative behaviours at home. I agree that choices are so powerful.

Things will get better. Good luck.

Holly - posted on 03/03/2009

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Our daughter is five, and recently has regressed to temper tantrums, foot stomping, yelling, etc. We think she is just testing our limits of what we'll let her get away with since she's the baby in our house... so we've started instituting the Super Nanny's suggestions of the time out chair. She automatically gets 5 minutes when she misbehaves, and we add minutes if she continues to yell or scream from the chair. She hates the chair, and since we've been making her sit in time outs, now all we have to do is give a warning... "Stomp your foot or yell at me one more time and you'll be in the naughty chair" and it's totally curbed her aweful behavior.

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Tabitha - posted on 03/03/2009

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my anger child was diagnosied with bipolar disorder two years ago. at first we thought it was adhd but it wasn't.

Shannon - posted on 03/03/2009

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i have an angry child myself.  I am reading a book called Anger and the Indigo Child.  it is a little far fetched in some respects but it is helping! Might be worth a shot.  Also, I bought a CD from amazon that tells bedtime stories.  My daughter loves it and it is for 4-9 year olds.

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OH I also do that, it does work well!

"choices" is a big word around my house now. Only give 2 coices though, any more than that becomes an argument!

Lori - posted on 03/03/2009

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I found that my kids were very smart and felt dumbed up by the stuff that six year olds could do and needed more choices... so instead of telling him to do stuff... I let him choose... milk or water... wanna brush your teeth or put on your jammies first... I found I could make choices ouf of everything and when It came to having to make the choice for something important I could say sorry its my turn

Joely - posted on 03/03/2009

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Maybe he has cabin fever, especially with this one warm day and then back to low temps. You caould try an indoor playground, roller skating, indoor sports facility or a YMCA. He may just need to burn off something. I have four boys and if we don't do something that requires physical activity they will become physical with each other. I have talked with doctors and psychiatrists and they all agree boys need to release tension physically. It really does help. Sometimes I even have my 7 year old take a nap. 1st grade is so different from Kindergarden. They have to learn so much and everything is not a learning game(like in PreK/Kindergarden). They have to become more independent. It is a big adjustment. I hope I helped a little.

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I see it as STRESS! Little kids don't know how to process it and just get angry, shoot even some adults can't process stress and how to relieve themselves.

My son had anger issues in school for awhile but his was a different situation (divorce). Over the past year he has really changed and his teacher just told me that in the last few months he has matured alot since the beginning of the year.

I started with a school counselor, they are great to try out as an option, he just went and met him and then walked around the school, visited his office on the first visit and after that slowly progressed, but like I said my situation was different and I ended up using a real therapist for him soon after, but the nice thing about them is that they give you tools to try and use, find one that specializes in kids, sometimes it's thier routine, the way things are said or presented to them that just throws them off the deep end...just like us adults :o)

I also ussed the reward system at school and it worked to a certain extent but other things played a part in the at home part of it all also, school and home were 2 different areas for him. And it may just be part of his age also, maybe the activity his brain is using at school and that transition time after if too severe for him, maybe doing something right after school to help him transition more might help, go to the park, run errands etc

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Jessica, go get the book "Sheparding A Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. I read this book and followed it with my son who is now 9 yrs old. It was amazing how my son immediately lined up. Now all of his teachers tell me that he is the most well behaved kid they have ever seen. You can get the book on Amazon. I would do it as fast as you can ......

Renae - posted on 03/03/2009

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I have found that martial arts is a good outlet for kids - they learn a lot of self discipline as well as respect for their surroundings. When my son first started it was the same thing - he was emotionally challenged - he too would fly off into tantrums. We started karate about 6 months ago and I would say honestly after the first two classes I started seeing the difference - good luck!!

Elaine - posted on 03/03/2009

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Oh, I have one more suggestion. School is very stressful for kids. They expect so much nowadays. My daughter's sixth grade experience was horrible and she was melting down everyday. I finally after much probing, found out she was being bullied and the teachers weren't paying attention or asked her to stop tattle taleing. Well, this through her whole year out of whack. When we finally got everything taken care of with the help of teachers, counselors, principal, etc. She now has been a straight A student for 2 years. We had to rebuild her confidence back. We have a strong foundation, but something as small as bullying..made her a wreck and she lost tons of self confidence. Now she is entering high school, and she's a whole new girl..Just don't give up..

Elaine - posted on 03/03/2009

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I do believe that many children go through different phases..we just don't always share the negative part of kids behavior. I know Many kids that do this throughout their whole life. I suggest going to Dr. Dobson's site. And Super Nanny has a great book out now. Just read up and study on these matters, Don't lose your cool because it can be tough. Good Luck

Colleen - posted on 03/03/2009

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This is personal but do you or your husband have a temper because it could just be

character inherited.

Heather - posted on 03/03/2009

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first  try talking to  him  at  eye  level  then  speak  to  his  teacher   then  make  an  appoinmet  with  your  local  doctor  and  have  your  son checked  for ADD

Jamie - posted on 03/03/2009

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Take him to a psychologist. Preferably a one specializing in children. No he doesnt need meds. But the Doctor will be able to get to the root of the problem. Check your health insurance, most plans have behavioral health. If you dont have insurance contact psychologists in you area, see if any have student interns, most are licensed and can do sessions at a very low rate. I work for 2 such doctors this is how I know.

Christelle - posted on 03/02/2009

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Restricting TV help.  i find its difficult when we are in a rush to get ready in the morning, also evenings when dad gets - think it's also a battle for attention.  We do ahve a little brother and a new school in a new language, so that definitely contributes.  Also thinks he struggle to expresses his feelings - would love some ideas/strategies for him to release steam or vent his anger! As for reading, noth books as mentioned by Dr Dobson is great. 



If you can get your hands on "The manual that never came with your child" by Jane Jarvis & Debbie de Jong - it is a great practical guide, very simple, but using it with success.  Published in South Africa by Struik, ISBN 978-1-77007-663-1.  You can probably order online from www.kalahari.net  (no I'm not the publisher, just a greatful mom :-)!

Colleen - posted on 03/02/2009

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Is it your youngest ? My daughter went through the same thing, it is a bit better now that she is 7. I have a feeling it has to do with beeing the youngest. She also only did it at home with me. Restricted T.V. calming down with soothing music or dance or fun exercise . Whatch diet it plays a big part as well as enough sleep ! Letting them know it's unacceptable behaviour is the best as she seemed to be able to cope better now.

Becky - posted on 03/02/2009

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Read the book The Strong Willed Child, or Bringing up Boys. Both by the same author and both are very helpful

Beatrice - posted on 03/02/2009

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Sounds like he might be stressed about school, I think a meeting wiyh his teachers and the school counsler might be the right move to make. Good Luck, let us know how it goes. Bea

Nicole - posted on 03/02/2009

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my son is the same way but only at home. he is fine in school. havent figured anything out yet.

Mollie - posted on 11/19/2008

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Same problem. ours is nine, we are coming down really hard on him. not letting him get away with anything. I don't know if you are religious or not, but showing him in the bible what God says about controlling ones self and anger has made an impact. we are coordinating with his teacher at school. they have set up a signal that he can go and decompress privately without getting into trouble for leaving. recognizing the triggers and having a strategy to cope is important. get a handle on it now because an angry sisteen year old i8s going to be far worse to deal with than a six year old

Jessica - posted on 11/19/2008

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thank you ALL for your help. to answer a few questions....there is no new baby around lol, maybe in a few years, but not now. there is a reward system at school and we have tried it at home. it works sometimes. we are going to an appointment tomorrow with a lady that works with pressure points and what not, she seems confident that she can get his body and his brain back into equillibrium. it has gotten considerably worse since the time change and i wonder if it's not the "winter blues". i am definitely going to talk to him, and i am considering the school psychiatrist as well. it seems like his melt downs happen right when he gets home from school, and a few hours later he is a completely different, happy child again. thanks again to everyone!

Karen - posted on 11/19/2008

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My son also is 6 and we were having the same problem at home and school. The school was great and started him on a sticker reward for each session, he had five sessions, so we started that if he got 2 stickers for the day, he would get a reward, and over time we took it up to the 5 sessions. Also a male teacher (after I had a meeting with him) took him under his wing and helped him with his anger, it seemed talking to someone else helped him as well and he showed him different ways of expressing himself. If you talk to the school they maybe able to help with different strageties, as ours did, and we now have a communication book, so I know what goes on during the day. Its good he has the same rules at home as well as school so there is no different whereever he goes. He has made a huge improvement, it has taken about 10 months, but he is a different child now. Hang in there, I know you feel like pulling your hair out, but if you need to talk I am quite willing to listen. Karen.

Martina - posted on 11/19/2008

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Also, if this is new behavior, there must be a reason. Did something change in his life? New baby brother or sister? Making the transition into 1st grade?

Liza - posted on 11/19/2008

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from having 2 girls...when I do see this kind of behavior, there is obviously "something" wrong. Take the time to plan a special dinner/lunch with just you and your son. Make quality time to really find out what's happening in his life. Talk about school, what he likes, what he doesn't like and let him know you are always there for him. Let him also know that he can come to you good or bad, especially bad and that you will always work it out. Our kids need to know we are there for them good or bad times, especially if they know they're going to get in trouble.

Rochelle - posted on 11/19/2008

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Remove him immediately from the situation to a place where he can "tantrum" without an audience. Give as little attention to the tantrum as possible. You might consider a child psychiatrist if you think it's worthy of that level.

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