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My son is 6, he will get really hateful and say he hates me or my parents and then he'll say I can kill you. then he will hit , throw things, scream. I can spank him and he will cry at first for a second then he gets more mad. he only acts like this at home. I can take him anywhere else and he is as good as gold, great in school. when I pick him up from afterschool program he always wants to go somehwere else or out to eat, if we go home he will kick my seat and scream. I don't understand, It really hurts me that he acts like this, it is exhausting. Can anyone give me any suggestions?




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Question: Extreme Tantrums

My son is 6, he will get really hateful and say he hates me or my parents and then he'll say I can kill you. then he will hit , throw things, scream. I can spank him and he will cry at first for a second then he gets more mad. he only acts like this at home. I can take him anywhere else and he is as good as gold, great in school. when I pick him up from afterschool program he always wants to go somehwere else or out to eat, if we go home he will kick my seat and scream. I don't understand, It really hurts me that he acts like this, it is exhausting. Can anyone give me any suggestions?


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Advice from School Family and Our Experts

Lisa @ School Family writes:
Have you had a conversation with him when he is not upset? Would suggest starting out by describing his behavior without using judging words... like I notice when I ask you to do x you get very frustrated. Try to get him talk about his feelings. If he can't articulate them, sometimes it helps to act things out with stuffed animals. Brainstorm with him on ways to handle his anger. I found making books with my kids about things that upset them was very helpful. The child draws pictures, then tell you what to write about the pictures. Have him draw pictures of actions to take when he is upset --i.e. punching a pillow, or taking deep breaths Once you learn his triggers, then have a conversation with him on how he uses his words. Tell him that it's not ok to hit you and say I hate you and I am going to kill you. This is not only a good opportunity to teach him how to manage his emotions but also about empathy. Ask how he thinks it makes others feel when he hits them or tells them he hates them. Good luck.
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ErinTM writes:
Easier said than done, but I would say you have to NEVER let the tantrums get the desired outcome. If you take him out to eat when he tantrums it's like teaching him that tantruming will get him what he wants. Tantrums can NEVER get you what you want. In fact they get you time outs, or loss of privileges, or earlier bedtimes, or loss of a favorite toy. They have to be treated pretty harshly (I don't ever spank, however).
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barb writes:
Your not alone.My 8 year old does it to.It is very stressfull.I tell my son please honey,don't talk to mommy like that,it hurts mommy.Can't we have a good day.I hug him,and ask him doesn't it feel better to get a hug.Rather then say mean things?It usually works,but he still does it once in a while,when he usually doesn't get his own way.But keep doing the same thing and you'll see that it won't happen as much.I hope this works for you.Juat remember lots of love and hugs!!!!!!
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skondath@yahoo.com writes:
Both my nephews are like that. The most important thing to do is to never discuss about your child in front of him, not even over the phone. It's very important to get him into bed at the same time every night. Another best thing to do is play with them every other day with his favourite games (playground, Basketball,cards, swimming). Do ask the grandparents to do so when they visit. The child will start depending on you and your mom for this time of the day. Eventully he will stop talking like this. Make him read more eveyday for one hour. When kids read eventully they become good readers and will crave for different books, that way he will be calm and he will also not be intrested to annoy anyone. Both my nephews are in college, and are respectful to their parents now!!!!!!
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Sengalipuram writes:
sy_lakshmi1@yahoo.com Firstly, children are great learners. They learn both visually and auditory during their initial years of development. Therefore there is a need to reinforce the positivity. E.g. Avoiding watching an aggressive program on the TV, etc. A child cannot be good until he feels good. Therefore find the reason for the child not liking to spend time at home and why he prefers to stay outside home. When the child is happy outside the home and seems to be throwing tantrums only at home, that the child could be looking for challenges and variety. Keeping the child engaged by involving in activities like drawing, painting, cooking etc would help. Choices have to be given. The child has to be made to understand that he cannot have his way in all the things. The choice, when given to the child as the day begins, the child has something forward to look for and this minimizes the upsetting behaviour. When the child is throwing a tantrum in the car, just stop the car and refuse to proceed until this behaviour is stopped. Children when spoken to listen and understand, but they need time to apply the same. Therefore time is to be given to the child to basically see the results. Once a seed is sown in the soil, we just need to water it, rather than keep digging up the soil and see how much the seed has germinated. By watering, I mean, make the child aware that such behaviour is unacceptable and that he needs to communicate the reason for his displeasure. Happiness is something that can be learned. Starting the day by saying "Happy Morning”, and using the word “happy” frequently facilitates. Children need a lot of appreciation. Always catch them doing a good act and appreciate. This motivates the child to look forward for your appraisal and gradually the child reduces the attention seeking behaviour. All these techniques worked well with my kids. Now they communicate and have learned to look at the others view point. It did take some time, but is sure shot remedy.
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becky writes:
Try ignoring him when he does that kind of stuff. As hard as it maybe you must do it. He's not getting a reacton out of you, then he will try something else. If the behavior is not acceptable then there needs to be some sort of discipline (teaching). Then move onto some sort of punishment, if needed. Have you discussed this with the doctor? Counseling may be helpful for eveyone in the home. Try, also 1,2,3..magic. Tell him your expectations and what might happen if expectations are not met. He has to the count of 3 to come to terms with the expectation (at that given time). If not then time-out or whatever you choose. Spanking never works, he's immune to it now. Definately applaud good behavior anywhere and everywhere!! Everything takes time and persistance. Keep at it and you'll gradually see changes. Good Luck!!!
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bluewater142 writes:
A cry for help is often expressed in anger. Try to keep a journal of what preceeds these outbursts of anger. Is it before or after school? Is it when he is tired? When he has to complete a task? Is he hungry? If you can plnpoint times it might help. Please be proactive for reative will probably elavate bad behavior. Since he is only six years old internally this is how he reacts. Please continualy to love him and don't take it personaly. Aloha Cherie
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BeckyT writes:
I had the same problem when my son was 5-6 yrs old. We actually took him to see a counselor because he would hit himself or bang his head hard against the wall. He'd have such horrible trantrums, tearing apart his room, not being able to catch his breath. The counselor REALLY helped. Never give in to a tantrum. Give him the option to settle down. You know when it's about to happen, warn him of a consequence if he "goes into one". Help him find ways to calm himself down. The counselor helped my son make a list of things that could help him (hit a pillow, get a drink of water, play soft music, etc.) and put these ideas into a special box. When he would start a tantrum, I immediately made sure he was in his room and told him he would have to make a choice - go ahead with the tantrum with the consequence or find something in that box which would help him. And then I left the room. After a few months the tantrums were totally gone.
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