Constanst Screaming and Crying FIts in 6 year olds
This is actually a question related to my sister's children, or my nephews. They are 6, 4 and 1. Don't get me wrong, I love them with all of my life but it has come to my attention that they are absolutely undisciplined! Her 6 year old constantly works himself into uncontrollable temper tantrums, I'm fairly certain he's too old to be doing this, and should know better by now. Its gotten so bad he won't even listen to his kindergarten teacher, whom he used to like. And none of our tactics seem to be helping. And yes, we have truly tried EVERYTHING. Being nice doesn't work, being mean doesn't work and God forbid if you ignore the child that makes it a hundred times worse! Her other children aren't much better, and I just really don't know what to do any more since they are living with us. It is difficult to get anything productive done because they are constantly getting themselves into trouble. Please help. Our sanity depends on you.
My son has sensory integration disorder and outbursts of emotion are common for a child with this if they aren't regulated well. (meds don't work for sensory--------- it is physical activity that helps). Add/adhd can cause outbursts as well as a myriad of other things. Sometimes a child has never learned the proper way to express their anger and frustration and the parents missed a few steps early on when that was to be taught. Hard to say what is going on. But I agree to talk his pediatrician and ask for suggestions. Perhaps the school can be of help as well. They could do a formal evaluation of him to look at all kinds of things-------- I'd ask for speech eval, occupational therapy eval and psychiatric eval to cover all bases. A parent can request this and it sounds like his teacher will back up the request. Schools often run programs for parents as well-------- on how to parent a difficult child. Talk to his school guidance counselor about what might be available in your area.
One thing is for sure, you all will have to be much more active with this child. Guiding a child through is time consuming but worth it. Getting productive things done will equate for this child's mother to get him on track. She'll have to take him out to parks and outside to get physical activity in, get him in various activities that will help develop his self control, work on things in the house that will help an over active nervous system. No easy answers here and life just got harder. But it is rewarding when you see them start to succeed as they so wish.
Tantrums in a 6 year old are either because something is going on internally that needs addressed or they have figured out what works. Which direction you go depends on which it is. Everyone in the house should remain very calm with this child and siblings. No yelling, no spanking, just calm control.
My son has great difficulty self soothing so he could have a tantrum easily. Knowing what he should do as it builds has been key in stopping it from happening.
Some kids do have disorders and it is in the best interest of a family to figure out if that is the cause to behavioral issues. It really helps to address any underlying problems. My son is now 9 and doing really great. It's not 'blaming' disorders but working on core issues. Luck to all and PS this is an old post that is pulled up.
The problem appears to be that he also has problems at school. A place where constant and routine are/should be a given. To treat any child you need to know what the problem is. As specialmom said, "Tantrums in a 6 year old are either because something is going on internally that needs addressed or they have figured out what works. Which direction you go depends on which it is."
Normally, I would say that the 1 and 4 year old have been getting the attention and the 6 year old has figured out the only way to get attention. However, if this is true, it usually does not carry over to school (for very long).
Thus, xellion, can you give us a bit more information about what is going on at school. Do his tantrums go on there as long as at home? Do they happen as often? Did he start off with a lot of tantrums and got better, or did it go the other way?
If things really are better at school, then routine and consistency is the key. The rule is that when he starts a tantrum - he gets a short timeout. And the timeout does not start until the tantrum stops. He will go nuts for a while. Just keep repeating - "as soon as you choose to stop your tantrum, the timeout will start and 2 min later you can ..." Do not try to reason with him or talk with him while he is yelling. You are just playing into his hands.
Essentially, the rules for behavior modification are that there must be immediate, short, consistent consequences. Do not expect overnight miracles. It has taken him awhile to get to this point and it will take a while to relearn control. But he will.
I would also look into buying "Cool down and work through anger" or "When I feel angry". This is part of a series of books aimed at 4 to 7 year olds and meant to be read to them at night (several times) and then practiced. Kids do need to be taught how to deal with anger. You do not try and use these techniques while he is screaming. But once he stops or later on in the day - you can refer back to them or pull the books back out.
You can find them here - http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Through-Anger-Learning-Along/dp/1575423464/ref=pd_sim_b_5
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