My 9 year old son seems to have issues with controlling his anger. He has an 11 year old brother, 7 year old sister, and a 20 month old baby sister. His relationship with the baby is fabulous, but his relationship with his other sister and brother goes both ways. Sometimes they are each others best friends, sometime he gets so mad that he puts his hands on them. He takes everything as a personal affront and acts out. He seems to be jealous of his brother's good grades (9 year old struggles) and the perceived "extra attention" his sister gets. They are all treated the same, but he doesn't see it that way. he never touches anyone at school, but he gets so angry sometimes that he balls up his fist, though he's never hit anyone, but the after school program was worried about him. Is this something we should be seeing a psychologist about, or just normal 9 year old stuff. He's been doing this for a few years, but he's not a threat to anyone. He's never beat up his brother or sister, just pinching or smacking, and they do it back to him and then it's over. Any ideas on how to help him modify his behavior?
Yes, it would be wise to seek some help. While the behavior is not extreme, neither is it within the norm for his age. Relative to managing the behavior, take a look at SOS: Help for Parents, by Lynn Clark. It is a useful, practical guide to managing behavior. I recommend it often and always hear glowing reports. The book will provide you with a systematic method of managing behavior, and you can employ the methods with all your children, not just with the nine-year-old.
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