Dealing with Anger

This is my youngest, T. My baby boy. Probably more spoiled than the others (if you ask them). T. has some major anger issues going on and I don’t know how to “fix” him or them. Extreme anger in children is something I am not equipped to deal with. Do you know someone who has an extremely angry child, or perhaps your own child exhibits the same behaviors?

Tonight, he and his brother were in our bedroom with me, playfully ribbing each other and just generally screwing around like two brothers are prone to do. Within about 2 minutes though – the ribbing and playing changed to uncontrollable anger and a knock down drag ’em out fight between the two of them.

T. threw the first punch because apparently J. said something he didn’t take in the playful way it was meant. There was a few seconds of scuffling back and forth and more punches being thrown between the two of them (and connecting) before I was finally able to pull them apart and get T. into his bedroom. I was holding his upper arms to keep him from going back after J. – and he was screaming obscenities (words I didn’t even realize he knew mind you!) and trying to fight ME and pull away and landed a few kicks to my shins before I was finally able to get him to calm down a fraction and let me hold him for a minute.

Quite frankly – he scared the shit out of me. When he was fighting me and screaming, it was as though he was a completely different person. This was NOT the little man I’ve raised for the past 10 years – this was some crazed psychopath maniac for a few moments before I got him to the point where I could talk to him and he would hear me. He constantly screams after a fight (with anyone in the family):

  • “I hate my life”
  • “Everybody hates me”
  • “I wish I were dead”
  • “I wish (insert name) would just f___ing die and get out of my life”

He worries me. I know he gets his “anger issues” as we’ve called them from his dad (who had the same quick temper when he was younger as well – react first, think later) but this particular incident just happened so fast and was so VIOLENT for lack of a better description, that he really scared me. Such volatile anger in children just should not be. Childhood should be a happy time, not one filled with such bitter hatred and anger for everything around them.

Nobody likes to think that something is “wrong” with their child, but I know – now – that there is definitely something going on inside him that is just not right … the wires are crossed somewhere or something … and what is killing me is that – I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT.  I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS WRONG.

I have premonitions that he’s going to either end up in jail for killing someone or, worse yet, for killing himself, if he gets into one of these rages and his dad or I are not around to help defuse the situation and calm him down.  About 35 minutes after the first incident, he and his brother were in the living room with me watching television (not speaking to each other) when I asked T. to go and get his bath. He stood up to go down the hall, and J. just so happened to smile at something funny that was on television – and T. took it that he was smiling at HIM for having to go and get a bath first (something he absolutely hates as well) and he punched a hole in the laundry room door in a fit of rage. There is a matching hole in J.’s bedroom door from a previous “meltdown” incident where T. kicked the door so many times he kicked a hole in it. He also threw J.’s XBox remote into J.’s bedroom and busted that up – which really sent J. into a rage then – but he kept it together and did not ‘beat down’ his brother like he threatened to do.

I need to fix my child. Before it is too late. I knew what needed “fixing” with J. when he was younger and I pushed and pushed and pushed till I finally got The Man Thing to allow me to have him tested for ADHD and find that I was right. With T. however, I don’t even know where to begin looking for answers.

So for now, I will pray and stay vigilant and ever watchful of my youngest little one, and hope that I can figure out how to “fix” whatever it is that needs “fixing” inside for him.

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  1. Have you had him tested for ODD as well? My oldest started out with just a diagnosis for ADHD and the medicine made a huge difference for a month or so, then his anger started to come back as his body became more accustomed to the medicine. At that point, he was also diagnosed with ODD and placed on Tenex too. It made all the difference in the world and not we very rarely ever have the angry outbursts and he no longer says he wishes he was dead. He used to do all of the same things your son is doing and I know how hard it can be each day to wake up and go through it all again. When they are calm and happy they are the sweetest kids in the world, but they can snap at the drop of a hat when something isn't the way they want or how they perceive it should be.

  2. Don't be surprised if it is combo mood medication and ADHD, my daughter was originally just on ADHD medication and it made her mood worse. Am now treating mood and ADHD and has made a huge difference.

    • Thanks so much for the advice Shanda! If T. does have ADD/ADHD – it is definitely NOT exhibiting itself in the same manner as his older brother's did … so that one has me a bit stumped. I am scheduling an appointment with his pediatrician though to rule out anything physical and then move on to some of the other ideas that have been suggested. I don't know what I would do without all you wonderful folks out there who offer advice and suggestions to this half-crazed mamma sometimes!

  3. What I have found with my boys that have more of a temper finding a way for them to get their anger out in a positive way, like joining karate, getting a punching bag, etc… Making sure you are not reacting in an angry manner as well as those around them help as well. Also one of my kiddos still struggled with his anger and needed some anxiety meds to help him calm down and not get so upset about situations! Hope this is some help for you! Keeping you in our prayers!!

    • Thank you so much for that advice Nicole! I'd never even thought about anxiety meds … even though that is EXACTLY what hubby is taking – and for the same reasons!

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