Author Topic: Temper tantrums  (Read 1141 times)

Wandasmom

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Temper tantrums
« on: April 03, 2015, 08:40:50 AM »
I have twin 12 yr olds who couldn?t be more different.  My one son can talk about his feelings and cry about missing his dad.  He tries hard to be responsible and helpful. He can read my level of stress and sadness and often comforts me. He?s always been really sweet in that way.  His brother, on the other hand, is not good at expressing feelings and his outlet for his grief is anger.  He gets really angry-- screaming, slamming doors, throwing chairs kind of angry.  He doesn?t try to hurt anyone and I don?t think he would.  He looks a little surprised sometimes after this happens.  He also refuses to be helpful and responsible at times (just testing me I guess). It is totally unacceptable behavior but knowing what is behind it, I have a hard time disciplining him for it.  Once he calms down, I try to talk with him about how we are all reacting to our stress and sadness in different ways but I have a hard time dealing with it as it happens. 
Any advice for how to deal with this behavior that stems from your kid?s grief and their not knowing how to deal with it?

ThalginsLuv

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Re: Temper tantrums
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2015, 11:24:56 PM »
Of course everyone will say try counseling but I have a strange feeling your 1 son will not go. I can understand his aggression but he may not understand it himself. What is his interest? I hope he is athletic and maybe you can get him on some sort of team or special activity. Having something that exerts him physically as well as mentally might be what he needs to break his shell. It seems like he is just carrying around the ball of emotions and needs another outlet besides talking with you. Is there another male role model he can spend time?

Does he like cars or motors? Can he go to a junkyard to get parts and build a go cart or something?

Is he into computers? Can he built a computer or some engineered gadget?

Archery? Hiking? Sports?

My middle brother went through a phase like this. I watched him go through puberty without having his dad being alive and it was tough for him. Money was his big motivator. So he got a lawn mower from a thrift store and I think he as 11 at the time. He figured out how to take apart the engine and get it working. Then he made money in the neighborhood mowing lawns and would use his lawn mower. He later helped neighbors with home and car repairs and even some gardening and landscaping. This lead him  to learning how to build computers too. Around Christmas he would hang the Christmas lights for the neighbors and do their yard displays. At 16 he got a job at a hardware store and still kept all his little side jobs. By the time he was 17 he was buying his own used truck from a dealership and he completely paid for it. He was always tinkering or earning money in some fashion. This was his outlet and his way of dealing with a deceased father. His aggression, anger, and guilt eased dramatically.

Mel4072

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Re: Temper tantrums
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 08:52:58 AM »
Kids have their own personality. My 16 year old daughter has a similar personailty. It takes life lessons, I think. I agree with unacceptable behavior but warn you to deal with it after he has calmed down. My daughter can be like a storm. Fierce and mean. It's only when she can't handle the stress. She is also not very helpful at times. We live together, meaning that she is not perfect and neither am I. We have to love each other anyway. When my boys were growing up, I realized that they went through phases and thankfully, not at the same time. Hang in there. It is tough raising teens!

Wandasmom

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Re: Temper tantrums
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2015, 12:44:49 PM »
ThalginsLuv-- thanks for your response. I?m looking into counseling but you?re right about him not wanting to go.  We?re in a family grief group and every week he resists because he doesn?t see the point.  Your ideas are great.  He does like sports and he is in a drama club at school in a play that has a lot of action (like a battle scene) so that helps as an outlet.  He does have a lot of interests so keeping him focused on a project or activity that he likes is a great idea.  I know that I cope better when I am busy.

I just read in a book about providing a safe place for tantrums with bubble wrap to stamp on and magazines to tear and pillows to punch.

I?m impressed with your brother?s motivation to do all those things without the guidance and companionship of a dad. I hate to think of all the things that my boys won?t be learning from their dad but I know they will figure it out for themselves (like your brother) or get help from friends and neighbors.  I can see a lot of their dad?s traits in them and know that even at their relatively young age, they had learned enough from their dad to help steer them through the rest of their lives.  Probably the same with your brother.

Mel4072-- thanks for your advice. I need to keep my cool and not get upset when he is in a rage.  You?re right, it?s like riding out a storm.  Once he calms down and we talk, he is back to normal and is pleasant and even helpful.  He just needs to get it out of his system.  It is tough raising teens and pre-teens and it is a little daunting to think that I will be doing it solo.  But it?s great to have some guidance from those of you who?ve done it.