Anger in 8 year old....long - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-24-2007, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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My oldest ds turned 8 years old today. We have been dealing with extreme anger outbursts with him for years now. There have been many things in his life that I can say would be cause for anger/anxiaty. His dad was (thankfully) removed from our lives in 2005, we haven't had any contact with him since. He had a very hard time in K so I homeschooled him for first grade. He resisted (read screamed and cried) anything that resembled school work. He made zero progress with reading or math all year. We moved from the Seattle area to OK over the summer and he started going to the public school here. He is making slow and steady progress but is still a year or more behind, his sister is in K and doing more then he is at the moment. He stuggles with anything requiring the concept of representation, reading, time, money, math. He hyperfocuses on only things he is really into (like vikings or knights) and he gets frustrated so easily. He has these horrible anger outbursts about the smallest things, he says he wants to burn the house, or hurt his brother, or hurt himself. He focuses on my ds2 because he is sn and ds1 doesn't like that he doesn't talk with him, or play with him "the right way". These rages have gotten worse and more intense since he started school, I think it's to much for him to handle. I've got an intake appointment for counseling scheduled, I'm not sure how much that will help. I don't know what to do, I'm scared for him. Every instinct I have tells me to keep him close and keep him home until he can handle these super intense emotions, but then maybe I'm just being overprotective. How can I help him?
Sorry this is so rambly...
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#2 of 5 Old 11-24-2007, 09:25 PM
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I feel lost in figuring out what is up with my DS (7) right now, but what I can direct you to is The Explosive Child. I read the book years ago and it didn't seem to fit, but I watched the video recently and it was a godsend. No matter what is going on with your son, the techniques for handling it are solid, albeit SLOW.

The other thing, which you may be doing, is to keep trying to piece together what happened during his day at school. Regular floortime, which sometimes is a game, sometimes Legos, sometimes a book, helps here. I find if anything is eating away at my son, then we get the brunt of his frustration.

I hope you get some more advice.
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#3 of 5 Old 11-24-2007, 09:48 PM
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I think having him seen by the counselor is key. We had a similar domestic situation, and my 6 yo ds was diagnosed with PTSD. It's possible that your ds is also suffering from this, or some other condition related to what happened. PTSD can cause memory and learning impairments, but it can also be complicated by underlying learning disabilities. There are also other conditions that can cause this kind of behavior. A full-scale neuropsych evaluation can disentangle this. My son's anger has mostly been turned inward, but he spoke a lot about hurting himself, being bad or evil, growing up to be a bad guy or take drugs because he was bad, others hating him, etc. My ds has been in therapy, and has some classroom interventions to help him manage some of his issues (in school, impulsivity). We've seen progress in some areas, but there is some backsliding too, especially with some social problems he's having.

I don't know that it's necessary for you to keep him at home, but I think if you are able to be at home, and have the patience to help him work through these emotions, it might be best to do so for the time being. I don't think you're being overprotective. Once you have some answers, and a plan to address his needs, you can decide what setting is best for him.
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#4 of 5 Old 11-24-2007, 09:57 PM
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We see a counselor. The mister and I see this awesome man (couple and single) and he also sees littles. Boychik (6) loves going to visit and play. We have gotten some really great feedback and suggestions. Hand in Hand Parenting is a resource he uses. Special Time is something he had us start with.

A change of diet (cutting out processed foods as much as possible, sugar, and flour) has helped. The best improvement was the massage therapy. For the past month boychik has been getting weekly 30 minute massages and he's been so much less angry. I will massage him a few times a week (hands, back, feet, nothing major). It's really helped our connection.

The mister and I were going through some major problems when I was pregnant with the third and boychik really took it hard. We tried keeping it from him but he just knew.

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#5 of 5 Old 11-25-2007, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, I'm not going to make any big changes right now. I think counseling might help I'm just worried about the "just beat it out of him" attitude I've been confronted with in this area, I hope the counseler doesn't think like that you know. Thanks for the link tsume!
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