I have a son who is 10 years old. He has a temper, started showing it more 3 years ago. But now he is in 4th grade, it has become worse, and we cannot find what triggers it to happen. It can be from the littlest thing like his brother gave away some cars to our neighbors, who are 2 and 4, and he just get upset to the point he tries to lock me out of the house or close the door on me. He also will throw pillows or anything he can find and it will take about 20 min before he calms down. We just walk away and let him calm down. We are going to a counselor in Naperville, IL and he told us that if my son doesn't start to respond and show he wants to be helped he won't be able to do anything. He in trouble 2 times in one day for defending himself but was not respectful to his principal so I had to come to the school. Then I was back because he had been bullying a child, by making faces and taunting him that myself and my husband had to come in. He ended up not getting suspended, but did have to stay inside for lunch. But if it happens again he will be suspended. He just doesn't seem to care about what he is doing and he won't talk to us when we try to find out what is happening. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do or any materials we can read. I have already ordered your book and waiting for it to come.
Dr. Todd writes:
Well, it does sound like you have your work cut out for you! There are various reasons why kids show oppositional behavior, but each one of those kids needs to learn a few important lessons about relationships, reality, and respectfulness. Discipline alone probably won’t get it done. If you have ordered my book, RESPECTFUL KIDS, then you will see that I recommend a combination of teaching respectful behavior skills, turning on those skills, and turning off your son’s disrespectful habits. Your therapist can help you with each of these strategies.
Depending on the specifics of your family situation, this will likely involve individual therapy, family therapy, and parent coaching. Family relationships and family communication may need to be addressed, and you and your husband will need guidance for how to respond to your son’s challenging behavior. In some cases where extreme behavior or mood are present, a psychiatric consultation can be the right step. Either way, I’d recommend working with an experienced therapist that can help you and your family navigate this difficult season and help your son learn how to handle everyday situations in a flexible and respectful way.
Sat, May 19, 2012
by Dr. Todd Cartmell