He is fine with transitions. Very well-behaved at nursery school, swim class and any other sports lessons. In these situations he is focused and a better listener than any of his peers.
At home it is very different. He is 4 years old. He yells often when he is upset, at small things that have nothing to even do with him. When I gently model how to talk to others, or remind him that hitting is not ok, he becomes unglued and falls into a 20 minute tantrum complete with crying, screaming, kicking, his little body convulse with rage it seems like. All over me gently saying, ow, it hurts when you hit.
If his little sister accidentally bumps into him or runs into him with his book, he has to get reveenge even if both dh and I are there telling him not to retaliate. It is like he has no control over his emotions.
We are baffled and have started putting him in his room. We have never done timeouts, but I am so worried that he is going to think it is ok to scream, name call and basically be mean.
He is now doing this at outings like the zoo, the grocery store, and in the locker room at swim class. It is mostly around me. I have modeled how to use our words, tried to set up a calm down corner, tried to help him get out his aggression with pillows, nothing works.
As soon as he hears something he doesn't like from me he tailspins into a "mommy be happy, you mad be happy" but it is through tears and yelling. I tell him over and over I love him even if he is mad or I am mad. Sometimes he does this even if I am not at all mad
I am at a total loss. He has never been a great listener, or a super mellow kid, but this behavior and these tantrums are very new. It just dawned on me, maybe he is spirited.a..
Please respond, I need help.