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Avatar universal

8 year old temper tantrums

We have a 8 year old boy who, within the past 3 or so months has begun having extreme mood problems. Throwing things when he doesn't get his way. Refuses to do anything outside of the house. FOr example we wanted to go to Monster Trucks in a few weeks, but he refuses to go. If we do go, he will ahve his head down the entire time and will not even give it a chance. HE would rather play XBox etc than talk to anyone. If he doesn't do as well on a game as the adults do, he will throw the controller and say he is stupid and can't do anything. We have taken Xbox computers away from him, but the problem doesn't end. If he plays a board game with his sister (11) the same thing happens. We had a recent incident with one of the kids at school when the boy didn't stop throwing snowballs at him (even though my son never told him to stop) my son pushed the boy down to the ground. He said, I could tell he wouldn't stop if I asked him to...

He is an honours student at school (Straight A's on his last report card) very attenative etc there. I have talked to the teacher and she says he is a well adjusted respectful boy all the time. The flip side of this is that he will have extreme happy (to the point of being giddy) as well. I have only noticed this behaviour recently, but it has be concerned. Both my his dad and I try talking to him, trying to figure out what is going on, but all I get is the evil eye (when he is upset) or he completely ignores us if he is in a happy state. Any ideas here, we have tried just about every dicispline that we can think of.  HELP anyone have a similar sit.
109 Responses
13167 tn?1327197724
witsend - is this a complete change of behavior?  Up until 3 months ago,  he had none of these behaviors?  Not the anger,  or the need to always win,  or the giddiness,  or the reclusive need to sit and play Xbox?  If this is a complete change for him (not just kind of an increase in behaviors that you've seen all along) you should take him to a psychiatrist.  (Not a counselor or therapist,  and actual medical psychiatrist).  

Did he have an infection at the time this started,  or a head injury?  A complete change in behavior - especially since he can apparently control it completely in school - is bizarre and worrisome.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Looking back over the past while, I can say that this is something that started probably a year ago and has progressivly gotten worse.  To the point now that it is not manageable. The control at school is what has us puzzled so therefore we assumed it was an attention getter. But even if we do only things he wants to do for a day, we have the same results.

When we take away the "reclusive" activities, things are better, for a time. But do not stay that way. The kids go to Grandma and Grandpa's for a visit every summer for 2 weeks, when I asked my mom at Christmas time if she ever saw this behaviour she hadn't. Only squabbles that normal brothers and sisters have.

There have been no signifigant changes recently. We moved once 3 years ago, and I started working part time (while the kids are in school) at approximately the same time. He has not been sick or had any sort of injury. Only thing I have had him to the doctor for was a bout of impentego after summer camp this year.

He is a big boy for his age, towering over alot of the kids in my daughters grade 5 class, and this new pushing behaviour means it isn't just at home. We are concerned about him becoming a bully and with his size, it is an easy trap for him to fall into.

I plan to take him to our GP for starters and see if there is anything physically medically wrong, IE diabetes, which his paternal grandmother has. But food doesn't seem to make a difference either.

I thought that in this forum I may find someone that has similar experiences and some suggestions for coping for the time being.... Any help would be appreciated.
Avatar universal
Hi there,

Taking your son to the GP is a good start.  Definitely rule anything medical out.  Like rockrose said, a psychiatrist is also a good place to start.  Your GP should be able to refer you to one, preferably one that has experience with children.  Medication may or may not be needed.  I would also suggest asking your GP or psychiatrist about a referral to a counselor or therapist.  Psychiatrist are great, but they primarily deal with medication concerns and that's generally about it.  it's rare that a psychiatrist does any therapy work, or if they do it's very brief.

How do you and your husband respond when your son gets upset?
164559 tn?1233711618
I think you are very wise to take him to the GP, it sounds like it is time for him to be evaluated.  He obviously does not have add as he seems to have impulse control at school.

Be careful to remain calm (I know how hard that is when one of the kids is acting out).  Try not to react when he throws his fit.  Get up and leave the room (taking the x-box with you).  As for Monster Trucks, has he told you why he doesn't want to go?  Maybe he has an anxiety about it.  Or maybe he's just being manipulative.  I say go, leave him at home with a sitter if you have to.

Avatar universal
I have an 8 yr old daughter and she'll do the same things - It usually only happens if we have asked her to clean her room or do something she does NOT want to do - When she does that she loses privleges such as - We take her American Girl doll away and for every minute she continues to throw those tantrums it is another day that she does NOT get the doll back.  Maybe you could try that - If he plays video games tell him if he keeps it up that is another day he does NOT get to play - The key is to be consistant.  It is hard but once they know we mean business they are more likely to cool the tude!!!!!!!!!!
Avatar universal
Contrary to popular belief, spanking is still legal!
Avatar universal
Hi all,
My login wasn't working for some strange reason and it said I wasn't registered with my email, so I have a new login.

Went to the GP and he is concerned as well, and has referred us to a Child psychiatrist as Rock Rose suggested. They haven't called yet to make an appointment so we wait. There are some blood test the GP wants to run as well, which we will do tomorrow morning.

My son has been better since we saw the Doc, last week and I hoped that this had scared him into behaving, but alas it has not, today was another bad day. He has absolutely no patience I am finding and anything he doesn't understand or doesn't go his way immediately is a melt down. No huge ups in the last week, he seems to have some control figured out on that, but we also haven't seen any of the big lows until today either.

We have tried the not reacting, the calm tones, being consistant, nothing gets through.

I realize that spanking is still legal....but haven't done it in years, you try spanking a 100 lb kid, it isn't something that works anymore. The impact of the punishment just doesn't have the same affect.  
164559 tn?1233711618
Your 8 year old weighs 100lbs.  Is he overweight?  Maybe he is being teased at school.
Avatar universal
I have made a huge mistake, I misunderstood the legal/illegal part of the comment due to a quick scan of the comments prior to posting my own answer...I am extremely sorry for coming across so sternly and I do believe in what I wrote, but I do also believe that I should have read better, I guess I shouldnt spend so much time commenting and I should read through the comments better. I did however find the person I wanted to leave a comment for and I did respond to them. So again, I am sorry for the misunderstanding!!
Avatar universal
Spanking/smacking is only illegal if you literally "beat" children..Are you the one who keeps leaving anti-spanking comments all over this forum?? Im just wondering because Ive been reading and answering alot of these questions on this forum. When I was young I got both ends, I got "spanked" by my father twice when he had allready expelled all of his other disiplines, basically when I did not listen and "beat" by my mother who would just fly into rages. I was afradi to spank my children, when and if I had any, cause I thought I to would fly off in rages. I have 4 children, they are great kids, but everyonce in a blue moon, when they are either close to the street, doing something harmful,speaking extremely disrepectfully,harming another person/child, or even  my baby touching something she shouldnt etc. I do spank/smack my child especially if Ive allready exuasted time outs, talking, grounding and warnings etc. there has never been any harm done and they realize why they got the spanking and apoligize for there crummy behavior and we talk about why it happend and what they can do to not get in trouble again. Thing magically, there are never problems about it again..By no means do I beat my child/children, but what exactly do you suggest, especially if you have a rotten kid, like some parents do, shall parents utilize in disiplining the child??? Are you a fan of spoil the child, spare the rod? Sometimes rational people need to correct things and if this is the way that the problem is handled best, then so be it. I have met plenty of parents that do not disipline there children and they constantly have problems with them. Ive had friends whos kids are spoiled and undisiplined and the parents are so distraught over their behavior that it ruins their lives and their marriages and their friendships. Children are merely small adults, if an adult grew up getting everything they wanted, or being disrespectful to others, or selfish, they would not function correctly in society, and usually would blame everyone else for their problems, when sometimes all that kid needed was some disipline or a spanking. Geez, what a world it would be if kids could just do and get anything they wanted. The world would merely not function. Parents disipline tactics, the ones that use them anyways, are the judgement of the parent to child. Those parents that over disipline there children will hurt them indeed, and will pay the consequences for it, but it never hurt to get a spanking to correct a problem, Im a firsthand learner....and proud that my parents did such a good job..
Avatar universal
To answer the weight comment, I would say yes at 8 and 100lbs, he probaly is getting teased and developing a self esteem problem because of his weight which is affecting his attitude, which is causing him to be embaressed outside and only want to stay inside with his games. Is this a new school? Does he talk about friends at school? Does he eat alot? or often? Eat only unhealthy things? How about if you go out to eat, does he refuse to eat or watch if people are watching him? We have a friend whose daughter is extremely over weight but her parents allow her to eat fast food all the time, when the teacher tried to intervene the mother just switched the girls teacher. Its so bad that my son says she is sick all the time and even throws up at school, she has been to our house and said that the kids make fun of her and the teachers are mean.I also would like to add that it seems suggestive that the problems started at school, so maybe you should talk to people there teachers, aids, principal, lunch watcher, and maybe even go check it out during lunch or break. Maybe there is a kid that keeps harrassing him, or maybe even a teacher. It seems weird that he would "flip" like that and then be so angry as not to talk to you guys about it. Im sorry this has happened but I hope you can get to the root of it quickly before he develops more problems.
Avatar universal
My husband and I are having the same problems with our 8 yr old boy. At school he is "fine". The teachers say he is respectful at school. His grades are A's and B's. Playing football and baseball,gets plenty of "workout time".He gets down on himself if he doesn't do something correct the first time then he puts himself down.If we are at a friends house and have to leave he gets angry and sits on the floor and does not listen.Bed time is not good either,he wants me to laydown with him everynight. When he gets home all hell breaksout with hissy fits. My husband starts homework with him asap from school. My son does give him a hard time. Then after homework he plays the PS3,that is when the moods change. If he looses he throws the controller,kicks and screams,cries. Once homework(study time) needs to start,he throws the tantrums again. He has been talking to the therapist at school. She said she has no idea what else to tell him b/c at school he is ok.I did findout that the lunch lady at school was giving him a hard time...ie,throwing out his lunchbox b/c he did not pickit up...taking away snacks that came with the lunch. I took care of it...she is now out of his classroom. So my husband and I thought this was the problem and it was over b/c he was happy for a while. But then it started again and now he hates his teacher,hates school,we get the angry eyes. He is so unhappy all the time. Our dr also said to talk to someone. That is our next step. My parents are very involved with my boys lives.Our 5 yr old is starting to pull the same **** but we are not letting it happen. He is more workable. So to sum it up,our house is very upset.
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