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Old 06-23-2014, 06:58 AM   #1
SuperSad
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Son's Behavior Issues - Sorry Long but need support

DS is 8. Has always been super competitive and not good at handling losing. This past year has been hard. He's had some outbursts at school over competitions in gym. He is hard on himself in sports-if he misses a play or strikes out he sometimes gets mad and throws his glove or helmet. He gets mad at his friends if the are playing a game and the friend wins. He yells and sometimes hits or throws things. He knows what he is doing is wrong but his temper gets the better of him and he can't catch himself before he reacts. He is getting help, we are trying to be consistent with consequences at home, modeling expressing anger and frustration appropriately but I'm worried we are too late. We were probably too inconsistent with consequences in the past ... Giving punishments on the fly like "I'm taking away your iPad for a week" and then giving it back 2 days later. We don't spank or use physical punishments and are trying to use positive reinforcement a lot more. I just can't take the tantrums anymore. I'm always on edge at his games and practices just waiting for him to act up or worrying he's going to act up when playing with friends. I just don't know what to do anymore and it's starting to effect my marriage. I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:23 AM   #2
jennibug
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It's not too late. I'm a soon to be adoptive mom of three teenage girls (already adopted one). When they came to us they had been separated because of the behavior of the youngest twin. The older was 13 at the time and the twins were 11. They came to us with a diagnosis of ADHD only for the twins, the older had no diagnosis. The younger twin had violent outburst and would even threaten to kill us. It took many, many months but after a proper diagnosis, proper meds, proper therapy and my husband and i getting the support we need it got better. All three girls have bipolar and PTSD. I'm not a proponent if giving kids meds unless there is a true need.

With that being said, I'm a pretty strict parent. If my kids can't behave during social situations, they don't go. If I take away the phone or tv for a week, it's gone for a week. If he can't control himself during games maybe he should have to sit one out next time that behavior pops up. You are the parent, you are in charge. The word no isn't a bad word. You and your wife need some support also. Try to find some time for yourselves and each other. Work as a team.

It's taken us two years and we are adopting these girls. We still have times when behaviors pop up but not as often. Something I never dreamed I would do. It just take time and consistency. It's not too late.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:33 AM   #3
mom2AidanAndEli
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Is this behavior only during sports/competitive activities? In other words, does he behave otherwise in school, generally get along with friends, etc.? If it extends into other areas, as the PP mentioned, you might want to consult a doctor and see if there's some underlying causes.

If this is just a competition thing, then it needs to be addressed behaviorally. My oldest son is very competitive. When he was that age he would get really upset if he messed up in a game. Never angry outbursts, but he'd cry if they lost a game. He'd start blaming the other team or teammates. He'd be angry with himself for missing a shot, etc. Around 10 he started playing in the travel soccer league and continued to act this way.

We finally told him enough. The team and games were supposed to be fun. This wasn't fun. The entire family is going out of their way so he can participate in this sport and if he can't do it with a positive attitude, we're not doing it. And he KNOWS we'll follow through if we make an ultimatum like that! And I was fully prepared to. It took some time and some reminding, but he worked on it and got over it. He knew if he didn't adjust his attitude, he wouldn't be allowed to play. Plain and simple. At 14 now, he still gets upset. And we explained it's okay to be upset. It's okay to get frustrated. It's NOT okay to ruin everyone's day because of a game. It's NOT okay to throw a fit over a bad play.

Consistency and follow-through are going to be key for you!
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:37 AM   #4
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I think it is important to treat a statement as a promise. I.E. if you say if he does something then no ice cream today then there is no "earning it back", if he/she does it, no ice cream that day. My history has been that if you say you will do something but then not do it, they will not believe you the next time.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2AidanAndEli View Post
Is this behavior only during sports/competitive activities? In other words, does he behave otherwise in school, generally get along with friends, etc.? If it extends into other areas, as the PP mentioned, you might want to consult a doctor and see if there's some underlying causes.

If this is just a competition thing, then it needs to be addressed behaviorally. My oldest son is very competitive. When he was that age he would get really upset if he messed up in a game. Never angry outbursts, but he'd cry if they lost a game. He'd start blaming the other team or teammates. He'd be angry with himself for missing a shot, etc. Around 10 he started playing in the travel soccer league and continued to act this way.

We finally told him enough. The team and games were supposed to be fun. This wasn't fun. The entire family is going out of their way so he can participate in this sport and if he can't do it with a positive attitude, we're not doing it. And he KNOWS we'll follow through if we make an ultimatum like that! And I was fully prepared to. It took some time and some reminding, but he worked on it and got over it. He knew if he didn't adjust his attitude, he wouldn't be allowed to play. Plain and simple. At 14 now, he still gets upset. And we explained it's okay to be upset. It's okay to get frustrated. It's NOT okay to ruin everyone's day because of a game. It's NOT okay to throw a fit over a bad play.

Consistency and follow-through are going to be key for you!

I think this is spot on.

I would not be punishing his outbursts with removal of an iPad or something similar. I think that if he cannot participate in sports without causing these scenes and ruining everyone's time, then he needs to be removed until he can handle it.

As the poster above stated, it's perfectly fine to be upset, mad, disappointed, etc. but he needs to learn how to handle those emotions. Until he can, then he should not participate. Now, if he was, say 4 years old, I probably would work more on small punishments, but at 8 years old, he's well old enough to think this through. I know taking your kids out of an activity goes against everything we think we should be doing for them, but I think it's the quickest way to drive your point home.
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