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Anger issues in 9yo boy

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am not sure where to put this as I am a single mom and that comes with it's own issues- but my oldest is going to be 9 next week and we have been having anger issues for years- but now that he is getting bigger it is more serious because he is more destructive.

I took him to therapy last summer but he refused to go and I told them we would just work on it at home.  They have decreased in severity and amount but when it happens- watch out.


For example- today he was in his room with his sister and his friend - sister ripped a special picture to him-( not much and it is totally fixable.) he then came out and started hitting her  We have a zero tolerance for hitting his sister- so I told him we would not be going to the pool and he lost it.  Slamming doors throwing things- going into her room and tearing things up.  Yelling screaming crying.  I got him into his room and was very stern if not yelling to CALM DOWN and stay in here- because when this happens he is a danger to everyone and is to be alone.

He kept coming out threatening me that if I don't take him to pool he is going to xyz... ( tell his dad I am mean, break my things etc)


I really do not want to try counseling again- it did not work as I had no one to watch with my daughter and he refused to go so we had hours of fights just for one hour appointment. 


I knw a lot of this centers on him seeing me as an authroity figure- because for years I have lived in fear that his dad would take him and I have pretty much folded when he started to throw a fit.  I am now standing my ground and that has helped.  He knows that the threats and fits will not get him anywhere.


It is basically to the point that i do not want anyone else in the house for fear that he will do this and people will know.


I called his dad and he talked to him. Once he calmed down he laid in my lap crying that he is so angry all the time. 

I told him it was normal to get angry sometimes but not ok to hurt people or break things.

I told him I loved him even when he was angry and that did not change but we had to figure out how for him to not get this angry .... it impacts our whole life.  I can not work because he can not be trusted anywhere else- I fear he will do this to a babysitter and he has in the past.  So at this point I just clean houses and do not have to many thankfully- and took him with me last week- which he started to act up there- running outside yelling etc- and I fear he will break things at their house.


He is also gifted and I dont know if that plays into this.  I have no family in the area and only a few friends.  Most of my friends do not come when he is here due to them having witnessed outbursts in the past.


If it is counseling we must have I will do it- I just don't know how effective it is going to be.  I know I am at fault for a lot of his problems due to not ever setting boundaries with him before.


This is lengthy.  Any btdt would be appreciated.

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

ok i made a appointment with his old therapist.

post #3 of 14

 I think nine *is*  a hard age for lots of kids. It can be a turning point, in which children really begin to be obsessed with  right and wrong, and can, therefore, be very "black and white" with their approach to things. Kids begin to voice differences of opinion from their parents and other authority figures, rand eally want to fit in with their peers. In athroposophy, turning nine is seen as a crucial break from one stage of childhood to another and even in more popular/mainstream/traditional approaches to childhood, nine is generally considered the beginning of the "tweens".


However, what you're describing with your son seems far beyond a developmental stage. So I think it's a really good idea that you're taking him to a therapist. Does he go to school? If so, what have they said about him and his behaviors? (sounded to me as though he was homeschooled, but wasn't sure). At any rate, it sounds as though he needs an evaluation by a trained professional.


Good luck with it all.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  He excells at school and is not in any trouble aside from talking.  He gets strait A's and at the beginning of 2nd grade they tested him and he tested at a 7th grade level for math and reading- so he takes some classes in the grade above him  Some of the problem is since things usually come so easy for him- when they don't - he can't handle it. 


Part of the problem is I have let down to easy- and to get him to not throw a fit have given in- so he thinks throwing a fit equals getting what he wants- which we are correcting now.


The other problem is he does not think he has to do what I say- about anything.  I will say go to bed- and he completely ignores me and continues to roam the house, clean your room- he continues to watch tv.  I turn tv off and he goes and turns it on.  He now is not allowed to watch tv at all.


I think this all started with our nursing relationship- he nursed for 4 years and was in complete control of my body.  I never told him- no.- even when I wanted to because I did not want to deny him what he wanted- and it has carried over in all the ways I have raised him

post #5 of 14
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

I think this all started with our nursing relationship- he nursed for 4 years and was in complete control of my body.  I never told him- no.- even when I wanted to because I did not want to deny him what he wanted- and it has carried over in all the ways I have raised him

i am not sure about that. nursing specifically. i mean i nursed my dd till she was 9 and i never said no (unless i was in pain) and it did not lead to other issues.


however since she was a toddler i definitely have been voicing my needs and making sure my needs were heard too. 


however i will say one thing - please dont look back and blame yourself. it sometimes isnt what you did. its more of a personality issue. (of course straight disobeying you is a whole different thing). 


dd gets very angry very easily. as a child i too had a vitriolic temper. as my friend said it is what it was. not that something his parents did - but just that he felt this ball of anger within him at all times. dd says that too - the reason why i try to be more laid back with her.


most of the problem with dd lies with perfection. and the fact that she is a 'misfit' in this world. while she has fun with others she misses not having someone who truly understands her. she is a square peg in a round hole. she is the type who if curious wants to know how it works and will do what it takes to find out. as her friends have said - she is just wierd.


so i have to give her that life is not going to be easy for her. so she needs all the support and understanding from home with her. which is the reason why my home rules are so different than most - shocking for others - but it works so well for us. we both respect each other. 


and yes there are days when she ignores me. well all i can say about that is that its history repeating itself. dd is a much nicer kid than i was. i ignored my mom too. 

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yes- I see a lot of my personality in ds.  DD is happy go lucky... ds on other hand- so complicated and SOO smart.  Like living with a lawyer.  I too have a very relaxed home but I think he possibly needs more structure.

post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

so complicated and SOO smart.  Like living with a lawyer. 

that just might be it!!!!

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

We are headed out to therapy in a few minutes... The kids dad- where they spent the night last night- well I asked him if he could watch dd today while we went to the appointment because it's our intial appointment and I really needed someone to watch her.  He refused.  He is home.  He IS HOME  He lives a mile away from me- HE IS HOME!


Anyhow- I digress and I need to get over it- he has made it clear he will ONLY do what he wants and the kids are mine to manage.


I need to get my mind together about what we are going to focus on.  When we went last year I was going thru my own mental health issues and am fearful that she just thinks he is being raised by a nut case mom.  Which I am not- I just suck at boundaries and telling my kids no and sticking to the rules that I put into place.  I have no doubt some of his issues stem from my lack of parenting skills and I am now willing to admit that while last year I took offense- or well knew it was true but did not want to admit it.


oh my.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

I am so full of nerves right now.

post #10 of 14

Just read this now but hope everything went okay. I have a 10 year old who is fairly calm but has his momens and he started to get anger issues a couple of years ago. I thought there must be something at the bottom of it and would sit and talk to him. I always found there was something in particular that was wrong and nothing to do with the reason he used. Now he is 10 he doesn't seeem to get angry and if there is anything he knows he can get it off his chest and I will sort it out.


Some of the things were to do with bullying at school, people talking about him and him hearing things, also some to do with his teacher who he felt wasn't listening when he had problems. The teacher for the last year has had a book in the class for each child where they can write down their feelings for her to read. She then talks to them about it if they are upset. She said my son was using it and wasn't even asking her for the book. he was just going up and writing in it and I think this helped a great deal. You could maybe have something like that at home?


Hugs to you for dealing with itflowersforyou.gif

post #11 of 14
It sounds like a huge tantrum, and he's old for that, so a therapist is a good idea. He basically has to go through the emotions of the tantrum and not get what he wants and find that everything is OK when he doesn't get what he wants. But by 9 most kids have more of a handle on their emotions than that. I hope the therapist helps. Really, if this were happening in a 3-year-old it would be no big deal, and some kids are going to learn this stuff late, but a 9-year-old is big enough and can cause enough destruction during a tantrum that the help from a therapist sounds like a good idea.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thats exactly what I tell him if you were three this would be understandable behaviour!  but you are 9 now!

Therapy is going well- he is really excited about it- he does not want to have these outbursts just needs to learn skills to cope with his emotions.  She thinks he has anxiety type of symptoms that put him on edge which I can totally see in him.  He worries all the time about a lot of things.  This is common in children whose parents have gotten divorced she said.

So far so good and we have had a great week so far.  Next week we really get started.  He is so on board and wants to help himself.

post #13 of 14

I hope things get better for you and for him!  hug2.gif

post #14 of 14

have you read "what your explosive child is trying to tell you?" i've been reading it lately and there are a lot of great thoughts and case examples from the author, many of which deal with children around your son's age with similar behaviors. *hugs*

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