My 8 year old son has always been very intense emotionally and has a very hard time controlling his anger/frustration. He knows that and has improved hugely over the last couple of years. Every now and then though he totally loses it. We've just had a pretty horrible evening which involved me trying to keep him from hurting me and his siblings. I managed to keep myself more or less calm, but had to basically restrain him for almost an hour. This often makes him even angrier, but I just don't know what else to do. When he loses control there is absolutely no way to talk him down until he finally runs out of steam.
If I just let him go, he kicks and hits and tries to destroy things, hence the restraining - I just don't know what else to do to keep everyone (and the house) safe. The thing is that he's a big guy - as tall and strong as a 10/11 year old, and he can really hurt if he wants to. Today I caught a few big hits and kicks and I have a couple of bruises. Usually when it happens I start to feel very angry that I'm being attacked. Today I just felt really sad and mortified by it. I ended up just trying to keep hold of him and sobbing. Just awful.
When it ended he was mortified that he had hurt me and very cross with himself. He said he deserved to be thrown out and hit by a car :(((
I'm absolutely exhausted now. This is happening once every few weeks and the whole family just really suffers from it (him the most obviously). His dad does his best, but then he starts getting angry, and that just adds to the whole thing. So, today he stayed with DS2 and DD.
We try to always be gentle with him. We don't do punishments or rewards. I just don't know how to deal with these meltdowns any more. I feel very threatened by him and the damage he could do.
He is also a very loving and extremely sensitive boy who actually wouldn't hurt a fly normally.
Any advice on dealing with violent meltdowns with big children? I would really like to find an alternative to trying to restrain him, but just don't know what to do.
Happy mama to DS1 (2006), DS2 (2007) & DD (2012)
We are dealing with very similar behavior (and what I predict would be the same in another 1.5 yr) in our 6.5 y/o son. It has been so disruptive to our family and it is frustrating and depressing us as parents. (And this is after 1.5 year of behavioral therapy - we have seen big improvements in some areas but the explosive times are simply awful.) We have tried everything except meds....but I think we are finally at the point where we will give them a try....I am terrified to go down that road but terrified not to...(actually have an appt in a few days....).
Hang in there....