Hello, we have a 5-year old son who is a sweet little boy unless he gets into this "fit of rage" which he has been doing, increasingly, over the last 2 weeks. This has been going on for about a year, but the last 2 weeks have been pure torture. He gets into a fit of rage, threatens to kill everyone at his preschool, throws chairs, books, hits, bites and screams uncontrollably. Of course I'm called to come pick him up, when I do and he gets into the car, he's perfectly fine and speaks to me normally and is helpful at home, etc. Now, he has a few "fits of rage" at home and I am at my wit's end. Trying to get him into be evaluated (for what, I'm not sure yet!!) but services seem to be few and far between where (surprisingly, in VA) and it takes a while to be seen. The daycare/preschool doesn't want him there for obvious reasons, although, because they have seen "Nice" son they have been WAY more tolerant and helpful than the last daycare that kicked him out (where he had gone from birth). We've had no major changes in our life, living in the same place, his only sibling is almost 3 now and my husband and I have a very loving relationship that we pass on to our kids. When he's being good, he is extremely well-mannered, and just a doll. But these outbursts are very disturbing to me and I'm not sure what to do. Punishing him and taking away his toys, etc., is confusing because I'm not clear if this is something in his control or not. Any thoughts???? He is slated to start kindergarten this year and we want to ensure that we have him in a school that is appropriate - private vs public, whatever. He seems to "lose it" when he's in a big group. When he gets into this "mode" it's nearly impossible to re-direct him anymore (although it used to be a little easier). Today he threw chairs and pulled out his penis to tell the Director that he was "going to pee on her floor!!!". So, we've got a perfect storm of anger, inappropriate behavior and I'm not clear on what the right steps are, until we can have him evaluated.
Some children are prone to temper tantrums. They may behave abnormally, hyperventilate etc, and this is usually a way to gain attention, to demand something, to express their dissatisfaction over something or to revolt towards something. If he behaves this way more often when he is a group then maybe he wants more attention, feels threatened by something he cannot do or maybe he does not like the environment, is ridiculed at, or is unable to cope with his work. So, please discuss these possibilities with the school teacher and counselor. It is important to work with these children to find ways to distract them, understand when they are likely to throw tantrums and prevent it from escalating through positive reinforcement or through distraction techniques, rewarding good behavior with things that the child was demanding through tantrums etc. Please discuss this with the child’s pediatrician and if need be go through a couple of counseling sessions. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
Thank you, Dr. Mathur. I have contacted a local counselor who specializes in younger children. It is refreshing to know that help is available and I am looking forward to counseling, not only to help our son, but to also ensure that our parenting techniques are consistent and appropriate. Again, your response is appreciated!
It does take a while to find answers and get an evaluation. We ended up moving to a state that we knew takes care of children with a sense of urgency and finally got a diagnosis. My daughter has wild tantrums and when she starts she won't stop for a while.
I absolutely would punish him for the tantrums, even if it seems like he can't control himself. He needs to know that there are consequences for acting like that. If my daughter wants to use the computer and throws a fit when I say not now, she doesn't get the computer at all until the next day. The best you can do is not reinforce the behavior.
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