Hi. I have an almost 7 year old son that has started having major temper tantrums and fits in school. He is also showing some anxiety. I was divorced recently and I am am sure it is contributing to this but I am at a loss. My son has always displayed some temper issues and anxiety issues. I am thinking some sort of supplement or herbal treatment. They are beginning to toss around ADHD and meds at school. HELP.
Help with almost 7 year old son
That's a tough situation. My sister's daughter started having really violent temper tantrums around the age of 9, when her parents were divorcing.
My younger daughter, now 10, has had a lot of temper tantrums and meltdowns over homework, and her response now is to run out the door and just go outside, which I actually kind of like, because sometimes I think it's what she needs. She is not so angry and out of control that it's a problem. When she was younger, she would run to another room and end up falling asleep.
A lot of her meltdowns seemed to come from homework, having a hard time doing it instead of something else she wanted to do. She would have these crying fits for half an hour, punctuated by screaming, where she was lying on the floor, kicking or ripping up her homework. We did take her to a psychiatrist, and he tried an ADHD drug on her for awhile, then upped the dose. There were things that pointed to ADHD, then things that didn't, so he also recommended we see a therapist. The therapist's thought was it was inconsistent parenting, so he recommended 1•2•3 Magic. I did try some of those techniques, and they helped, although I wasn't consistent with it.
In any event, she has calmed down some since about 9 and 1/2, and I feel like some of these behaviors can be related to developmental stages, but in your case, the living arrangement changing has got to be a big deal. One of the things that was interesting about the therapy was listening to her describe how she is feeling when she is angry. Although she blamed me for most of it, I think because I was in the room, and I felt like I was an easy target for her anger at having to be at therapy, which she didn't like. I did like knowing what was going on in her head when she was angry, however.
In second grade, when she was about 7 or 8, her teacher had recommended her for a gifted magnet program called where it was all the GT kids in a class with a specific curriculum. So she ended up going to that program which meant putting her in a different school, which might have been part of the upheaval. But that teacher pretty much was laid back about tantrums and just felt like it was par for the course. I don't know if tantrums were happening in her classroom, but the classroom in general was less tightly controlled than her other classroom, which had a lot of kids in it. In general, mine is not one who has her outbursts at school, only at home, but some kids end up being almost the other way around.
My only thought with the ADHD is that the meds for that will contribute to anxiety, not take away from it. One thing I did start recently when I noticed some really angry and depressive behavior from her was to make her take a Vitamin D supplement.
is there a gluten connection by any chance? There is with my 5yo. He hasnt had gluten is months, but yesterday i let him have a tiny bit of bread from his hamburger bun (typically he eats just the hamburger) This morning....temper tantrums galore.
They say anything is adhd, adhd is any behavior that is inconvenient to the school teaching environment. Sure, there may be a real condition out there that is adhd, but throwing a few temper tantrums isnt adhd.
Does the school know what is going on at home? Talk to the school counselor. He/she has resources for you. Small groups that meet that deal with how to process difficult feelings, etc. Take your son to a good therapist so he can process his feelings in a safe environment. A therapist can also direct you about the possibility of adhd or other disorders with out the school bias. Herbs/supplements are not going to help your son deal with the trauma of his parents divorcing. I don't mean for that to sound harsh. They may help ease some of the symptoms I suppose but most children need some IRL support when dealing with this type of situation.
My son started having meltdowns in school. He is 6 and will be 7 in April. I had to limit his sugar and milk intake and this seemed to help. As is he is only allowed to eat what I pack for him at school. I don't trust the school lunches because they are not as healthy as what I pack for him.
The other thing that we had to figure out is that he was really bored at school. He could already answer the problems that the teacher was coming up with.
Best of luck
I think therapy is a much better approach than medication. It doesn't sound like ADHD, and as Viola pointed out, the drugs used to treat ADHD are stimulants which can increase anxiety.
Talk to the school counselor, or if you are employed by a company with an Employee Assistance Program that can be a good way to find a therapist.