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My 5yo has taken to throwing things at anyone who says/does something he doesn't like. When I tell him that, no, he cannot have ice cream for dinner, a toy comes flying my way. When he mowed down his little brother in the hallway this morning, and his grandma told him that he needs to be more careful, a toy car went sailing at her head. You get the picture.<br>
I really don't know what to do with him. He has been doing this for about a week. I have talked to him, explained that throwing things is hurtful, that he needs to use his words. I've given him things he can say/do instead. I've even started putting him in his room to cool down/think about it. He is still doing it.<br>
Ideas? Please... I think I'm going nuts. I just gave him a <i>very</i> punitive, timed time-out, which I usually do not use, just because I am getting so frustrated.
 

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He needs to learn how to be sorry - acknowledging the action, fixing it, and preventing it in the future. His court, but you can help guide him. He needs to make sure the person is okay. Then he needs to pick up the object and put it away. As far as preventing it, this is something that needs to be done together. There's obviously a need for a physical outlet right now when he's angry, so perhaps he could stomp his foot or go hit his pillow. He also needs to learn how to deal with his anger in more productive ways - taking a walk, or playing with face magnets on the fridge or drawing an angry picture. The using his words does need to come, but in order for that to happen, you have to step in pre-immediately, when you know something's going to fly, and redirect to another anger outlet, THEN using his words. Eventually that first step will go away most of the time, but it's nice to know.
 

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We acknowledge/validate the feelings, but also address the behavior: "You feel really angry. It is ok to be angry and to tell me that you're angry. It is NOT ok to hurt people."<br><br>
We might do the following:<br>
- verbalize what we're observing - that he looks angry and threw a car, that he really, really wants that ice cream and is disappointed that he isn't getting it<br>
- encourage him to verbalize how he feels to the person he's angry at<br>
- encourage him to "check in" with that person. This involves asking if they're ok and asking if there is anything he can do. We do not force an apology - IMO remorse should only be expressed if it's genuine - but we do expect him to take responsibility for his actions and help to make amends if somebody needs assistance.<br><br>
I think the main focus needs to be on validating how he feels. Of course you must also help him to redirect those feelings, too, but often parents focus so much on correcting the undesirable behavior that the kid doesn't feel listened to, you KWIM? (Not saying this is what's happening, just that I think it's important.)<br><br><br>
Because kids this age seem to get frustated and angry a lot because the things they want so often don't match the adult agenda, we try to avoid saying a flat-out "no" to begin with and discuss his ideas and try to build consensus instead. This can help to avoid the angry, car-throwing scenario ahead of time. Something like "ice cream sounds really delicious to you. You'd like to have it for dinner. I'm concerned that ice cream is not a very healthy dinner. I like ice cream, too, I'd love to eat it ALL THE TIME!!! That wouldn't be very healthy for me, though. Let's make a plan for when we can share some ice cream together..."
 

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I agree with both pp's suggestions on validating the feeling and helping him express himself and finding alternative outlets.<br><br>
On the physical outlet angle, I read in a book (OT but it was this one which I highly recommend: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FHelping-Children-Cope-Separation-Revised%2Fdp%2F1558320512" target="_blank">Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss</a>) about the social worker's expierence that different things feel 'good' (or satisfying) to different angry people/kids. A child who hits can find an outlet pounding his fist into his own hand and a child who kicks can shuffle or stomp his feet etc. I'm a thrower <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: and when I read LilyGrace's post:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LilyGrace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9494546"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...There's obviously a need for a physical outlet right now when he's angry, so perhaps he could stomp his foot or go hit his pillow...</div>
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I thought "what do I do when I feel like hurling something right at someone's head?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> And I came up with swinging my arm like a baseball pitcher throwing a phantom ball. And I really do this when I get very pissed...as an adult I obviously do it privately but for a kid the SW/author commented that non-violent outlets like these can have the added benefit of causing others to take a step back and making escaltion to physical violence less likely.<br><br>
I think talking to him about what might help him personally diffuse his anger without endagering others might really help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hubris</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9497306"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the main focus needs to be on validating how he feels. Of course you must also help him to redirect those feelings, too, but often parents focus so much on correcting the undesirable behavior that the kid doesn't feel listened to, you KWIM? (Not saying this is what's happening, just that I think it's important.)</div>
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I think you're right- I don't <i>try</i> to ignore his feelings, but I think I gloss over them on my way to redirecting him, and that's not addressing them well enough for him to feel validated.<br><br><br>
I also agree with all of you- he definitely needs a physical outlet. I have tried asking him to go punch/throw his pillows in his room, but I don't think it is convenient enough- to get him to go all the way to his room in that angry moment is not working.<br>
I like the idea of the "angry picture" (and so does he <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) and I like the idea of swinging his arm (assuming he can do it without someone else getting in the way). THis may be the easiest because it is immediate, and he seems to need that.<br>
I knew I could find good advice here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
FWIW, I'm a (mostly) reformed thrower too, so he comes by it honestly.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 
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