My 8 1/2 yr old son gets angry quickly and cries very easily over silly things. He loves school, gets perfect grades and has not had behavior problems previously. Within about the last 6 months he has started getting overly worked up over small things. His 5 yr. old sister will sit in a chair he was going to sit in and he will get angry and begin yelling. When I tell him there are other chairs and he doesn't need to yell then he begins to cry and just has a total melt down. I thought this was just an issue with him and his sister but it has begun happening with some of the other kids at daycare. He will go to my daycare provider and be so over the top upset about something silly that she doesn't know how to handle it either. We have had long conversations about it. She has been doing daycare for 17 years so she has lots of experience. I am concerned about this. Once something like this happens he wont let it go for the entire day. He will say things like, "welll she took my chair earlier and made me mad now my whole day is ruined." I have tried to sit him down and talk to him about not letting other people affect you in that way and not being negative but he just gets more upset. Should I be conerned? One last thing...nothing has changed in our lives in the last 6 months or so to bring this on. My husband and I are married and our family is a happy one.
First, I am glad you included the last part because it does sound like something changed in the home environment recently to bring about this behavior. However, there are other possibilities, have you asked a counselor to check him for a mood disorder like bi-polar or chronic depression? Either of these could cause the things you are talking about here. Many believe that bi-polar can't become active until a person is in there 20's, but it can occasionally become active much earlier (I am bi-polar and mine has been active my entire life). Also, I don't know if you are doing this or not, but you may want to make sure that he understands that his emotions, no matter what they are are valid but that his response to those emotions may not be appropriate. By separating them he will be looking at the emotions and actions separately and that may help him to control his emotions better. Hope this helps.
Thank you for responding. When he was younger we would have issues with socks. If the seam was touching his toes he would absolutley melt down. Some mornings we would have to try 2 or 3 different pair of socks. I had to pull the car over once to fix his socks when he was 4 or 5 because he was so upset and it was escalating. Then we went through a similar thing with his underwear and how they fit or felt. Now he cannot let go of these situations that upset him. If he cannot talk about it over and over and over and you try to tell him to calm down he goes over the deep end. Someone mentioned to me yesterday that he may have mild ocd. Do you know anything about this?
I know a little about OCD and it does have some similarities, however, the thing with the socks and underwear sound more like maybe a mild autism. OCD's will typically find one or two things that they absolutely obsess about to the exclusion of all others (ex. washing their hands until they bleed, turning a door-knob three times before they will open a door, etc.). However, autism, even in a very mild form could cause him to notice things that most people would not (ie, socks, underwear, etc). I don't know for sure and I am not an expert, I can only go on what I have seen. Either way, it sounds like he does need to take a psychological test to determine the reasons. Both are treatable and if it is caught earlier enough can be controlled to allow him to live a pretty normal life both now and as an adult.
Another thought - the sensory issues (re socks and underwear - and I bet tags on the back of shirts) your son is displaying are common to children suffering from Sensory Integration Disorder. OCD is an anxiety disorder and many children who suffer from anxiety also are co-morbid with sensory issues and depression. They crying over silly things is also a behaviour common to anxiety issues. In addition, children suffering from anxiety will often display extreme frustration through tantrums and meltdowns. One more thing - Grade 3 is a grade where the child is expected to do more work independently and many children who suffer from anxiety tend to have more difficulty with school beginning at this grade level. Now, I'm not necessarily referring to the marks; just the overall stress felt by the child.
As the poster one of the above replies said, I too feel it is time to seek advice from your family doctor. I wish you the best ...
I am sorry but I have to say it do you really want him labelled and given mind altering drugs, .... how about you search for an answer that perhaps you could do with some better Parent /child interaction He is obviously jealous of his sister who probably gets a lot more attention than he does being younger,,you know a lot of us like our own chair, did your 5 year old not know it was his favorite chair?So at the very most he seems sensitive to Issues it certainly does not warrent any labels and evaluations that end up in extremely strong drugs.
I am bi-polar and if I had known that as a child it would have been a wonderful salvation to me. Instead, I went through my entire childhood feeling that no-one cared if I lived or died and was suicidal most of the time without knowing why. The fact that I survived into adulthood is in and of itself amazing and nothing short of miraculous considering how many times I brought myself close to death. Your post bespeaks of your ignorance about mental disorders and of the stigma's that tend to follow them. No matter what my parents did, it would not have helped as I could not feel love from anyone due to the mental illness so no level of parent/child interaction would have helped. If he was just jealous of his sister then he would behave that way about everything that she did, not just a chair. Please keep your ignorance to yourself. Checking for a mental illness now could be the best thing for him at this point in time.
My son is now 12 going on 13. HE has displayed this same thing all his life. We always hoped he would grow out of it. I am not to the point I can not take it that I can not help him. I have brought up several times to my husband that we need to get help for him. I have been doing research and looking into things so I can ask for the correct form of help. My mother and her side of the family has bipolar disorder. I have always wondered if my 12 yr old does too. I try to discuss it with my son, and try to get through to him that he needs some guidance to feel better. It is very very hard on a parent to know what the right thing is. Is he being a stubborn kid, and manipulating me. Is he truely having a problem and seeking help is making him feel like he is being punished or that he is "bad". I don't feel he is being punished, or that he is a bad kid. And it completely breaks my heart when he begs to not be taken to see anyone. I feel I have to make him feel comfortable before I can go forward. This is where I sit. Making him feel comfortable to move forward. Trying to pin point the help he needs. I was nice knowing I am not the only parent with a child like this, but saddened knowing another child feels like this and goes through this. I have felt very alone in this situation. My thoughts are with you and others who deal with this type of situation. It is extremely difficult to deal with. But they are our kids. We wont give up on them.
I understand everything you mentioned in your post. Same issues going on in our house. Do not worry about the labels or drugging your child. I did and all it did was make his life and our life a mess until we got help from our pediatrician. He had a full workup with EEG, sleep study and psychological evaluations before we decided it would be best for him to be placed on medication. It has allowed for him to lose the impulsive behavior and his temper tantrums are much less. He told me he feels better on the medication because he feels more in control. When a 8 year old boy can articulate his feelings like that, there is no doubt in my mind we did the very best thing for him. Not to mention our family. His outbursts upset us all and the stress level in our family rose. The kids respond to my anxiety or stress or hurried mood, they pick up on it. When he is having those moments , I evaluate my own mood. Am I rushing him, or am I distracted or stressed or anxious about something? He has been evaluated for bi-polar and depression. Clear on those but he has some anxiety. We are trying to deal with that. Good luck and don't allow those who want to attack you get you down. You know your kid and you are his advocate. You do what is best for YOUR family and YOUR kid.
I hope you can get through your struggle, I have certainly been there. Things are not perfect now, but better. We found a great pediatric psychiatrist who has a child with ADHD and he understands what it is like as a parent. My son doesn't mind going to the "talking doctor". He knows that all he does is go for a visit and chat about stuff. I am always present in the office with him when he goes but I do express to him that if there is ever a time he would like to talk about something without me present , I am ok with it. I reassure him how much we love him and want him to feel good. I also present it as a time for him to go talk about his sister or me or my husband if he is angry or upset with us , or discuss his class or anything.
Also, to avoid any "bad kid" feelings, I asked the doctor how to discuss things with my son and he usually gives me very good advice.
I hope you can find the right help for your son. I am glad I did it now rather than later. He would have failed 2nd grade if we ignored our gut feeling. His grades got so much better once we placed him on medicine. He also told us he felt better on the medicine.
I don't worry about what other mom's think. They obviously haven't had the same issues as we have. I have found that those who want to pass judgement on families like ours are typically people who think that their world is upside down because their child has temper tantrums or wont follow Babywise. It is easy to feel like a superior parent when your child is responding normally. They have no clue what it is like to have a child with a personality disorder or depressive disorder, etc.
Best of luck to you and your son. Don't think of the help as punishment, think of it as lifesaving.
My 7 year old sounds exactly like your son. Let me know what you find out or what you are doing. Have you tried Omega-3 for kids, I am going to try it??? My son had a few mild autism symptoms when he was 2 - 4, but has grown out of most of them. He still is particular about a few things though and has food allergies. Now it is just controlling his emotions, either anger or sadness, when something upsets him. It started happening more frequently when he started 1st grade.
My 8 year old sounds a lot like your son. he gets upset with tags on shirts or big jackets. He has a younger sister and likes to play with her but after a while later they get upset (about the they are playing) and he usually is mean to her, after that. He is started yelling at her and get mad. Even If i say its time for bed, getting very e. I believe he has been like this since he was 3years old. He has also said when he is upset," you don't understand me". This worries me. He is good at school (his teachers love him) and has good grades. But has has trouble in school since 1st grade with his reading and writing. We have been on top with school stuff. On his emotions we have only talked to him. We are willing on seeking help now. But if anyone has any ideas, I will appreciate it. Thank you
You mentioned about Omega 3, it's great, but have you checked his B-12 level? There are a lot of studies about deficiency of B12 causes several neurological problems including autism and B-12 (Methyl) only this kind , it's being used to treat children all over US and Europe with excellent results.
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