I am concerned about my 9yo ds, and want to find ways to help him cope with his feelings. He often comes unhinged in frustration and anger. He has said multiple times this summer that he hates his life and that his life is terrible. He has cried at the bottom of the pool every time our swim club played a game for fun over one frustration or another. He is the oldest of three in our family, and quite used to being the top dog here. He assumes control and ownership of everything he can, which goes pretty well with his younger brother, who is very chill and sweet, and not at all well with his little sister (who is a lot like him!). He seems to feel like he is micromanaged and controlled a lot. From my perspective, he isn't. We homeschool and he has a great deal of control over how he spends his time. The kids do have to get permission for screen time, and I do require daily practice on instruments, and weekly clean-up of bedrooms. There it is! Pretty much all I require! A joke compared to my childhood or the typical schooled child today. Maybe he would respond well to more structure? more outdoor time? more physical activity? My attempts in the direction of following a curriculum in the past have pushed us towards unschooling more and more, based on his responses.
Anyway, we are at this point where I am frustrated that my oldest child throws the vast majority of tantrums in our household. I feel responsible for helping him learn to cope with life's challenges. I am just out of ideas/tools in my parenting box. I want to read something that will help us make some progress in this area. Thanks for any input!
You seem to be working in the right direction with your challenging child. I recommend the CPS - collaborative problem solving approach - Ross Greene - the latest edition of his books - the best Lost at school = great for parents in the home as well , the explosive child - see vdeo clips of the cps process below
2 Mindfulness for children - Susan Kaiser Greenland - the above blog has articles on this as well - this helps kids be more attentive, and learn calming techniques and to self distract when becoming angry
3 Myrna Shure – she has a book on problem solving for pre-teens
4 other strategies - mentors, buddy-tutors, older brothers
5 time with older people , different generations
6 hobbies, special interests
7 structure – create structure in a collaborative way with an element of flexibility , create schedules and lists , posters and reminders etc so it is the list he created which is telling him what to do , not you
8 nurture yourself – you can't change him , but just provide a user friendly environment that promotes his thinking , education is a process
9 avoid saying no - rather have a cps discussion
10 – medical side - does he sleep well , tired or hungry - what about mood = mood is an independent state outside triggers that cause frustration
11 spending time out of the home , also sleep overs or having friends over
12 spend connecting , bonding time - meaning we listen , kid speaks , we direct the conversation with dialog questions , try speak also in the plural - we
13 CPS can be constued as TLC - we talk , listen and care = problem solve- solutions
I hope this helps