My 3 Yr Old Son's Rage!!

Lounge By cakemommy Updated 19 Oct 2008 , 2:13am by moxey2000

cakemommy Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 4:42am
post #1 of 24

I am at my wits end here. I have two boys, 6 and 3 going to be 4 in December. Anyway, for about a year now my 3 year old's anger has increased 10 fold. He's too much like me, that's the problem. He doesn't take "no" for an answer, what person does but he REALLY takes it to the ends of the earth. If you tell him to do something like pick up his toys he says "I'm tired!" He's lazy, did I mention that!! Oh my!!! I'm not lazy but his dad is to some extent. That's another thread! Anyway, I tell him to pick up his toys in a calm voice about 3 or 4 times and then I have to get mad and raise my voice and end up yelling. He still doesn't do what I ask but instead he makes this GRRRRR! noise as he's gritting his teeth so hard that he shakes, and starts picking things up and throwing them, hitting walls, slamming chairs up against the table, etc.

I am so over his anger and rage. I just don't know what to do any more. It is at a point that I just do not go anywhere with him. I don't like to sit around the house on the weekends. I have to get out, I'm a SAHM so you can understand why I feel like the walls are closing in on me.

I should also mention that my DH is gone for another 5 weeks. Mind you, my youngest is like this even when daddy is home so it's definately not him "missing daddy" that is contributing to his rotten behavior.

What in the world do I do to get him to take his frustration out a more healthy way and to keep my nerves from going completly shot?


Amy

23 replies
Mike1394 Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 8:12am
post #2 of 24

Why are you telling him three, or four times? Why are you yelling? You tell him once if he doesn't do it. You put his butt in his room. Let him destroy his stuff. Now he has two messes to clean up. Why are you playing with him? Your the parent.

Mike

sarahpierce Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 12:05pm
post #3 of 24

This sounds like how my son was. He needs counseling. My son started showing signs of depression and bi-polar at age 3. I got him counseling and when he was 7 he started ADD medication. You need to get this under control NOW! Pretty soon he will be bigger than you, and he could really hurt you or someone else. Teach him how to talk about his feelings. This really worked with my son. He may be on the emotional side now, but it is better than being violent. There is another stradegy that is used, it's called Stop the World. When your child won't listen, you hold them like a baby and keep saying, "As soon as Mikey settles down he can go play." But, you never talk directely to the child until they stop throwing a fit. Please seek counseling NOW before it's to late. This isn't about your parenting. Your child may have emotional problems. Feel free to PM me if you need to talk.
-Sarah

CakeBaker Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 12:35pm
post #4 of 24

I would hold off on the counseling and medication.

My youngest is very opinionated and gets easily frustrated. Talk to him like an adult. Explain what your jobs in the house are and explain what his jobs in the house are. And explain that when everyone has their work done you'll get to do something fun together. When it's time to clean the room, set an egg timer for 15 minutes and tell him when the time is up, you'll be coming in with a trash sack to get rid of anything still left in the middle of the floor. You actually have to follow through with that, though -- walk in with the trash sack and give him a second to rush to put the last couple things away.

michellenj Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 1:17pm
post #5 of 24

I totally agree on the garbage bag. My 3 y/o is a total caveman most of the time, but once I started throwing away the toys he didn't pick up, he understood real quick that he needed to pick them up. Preschool has helped him tremendously, too. It could just be his age, and he'll grow out of it.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 1:24pm
post #6 of 24

All kids test you, but this does not not sound normal. Start with your medical doctor to see if he has a chemical imbalance. Have the medical doctor recommend a psychologist. I strongly believe in the importance of holistic doctors too. Many times (I know first hand) they can put you on healthy diet modifications that will alter your behavior without medication.

You have to get this under control now or your home will forever be a place of turmoil. This is not fair to your other child.

TheCakerator Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 2:31pm
post #7 of 24

This sounds just like my nephew when he was younger, seems like from the time we first me him (he's a step-nephew). He had so much anger inside of him (and still does) that he was intolerable. He would throw things and scream that he was going to kill everyone in the family ... it was a horrible time and everyone was stressed to the breaking point .. he was on so many medications he didn't know whether he was coming or going ... anyways, at 11 years old, he ended up going into foster care, got kicked out of foster care, ended up in a state run facility and the last time he was at court the judge told him he had no idea what else to do with him .. and that one day he would probably just end up in prison .. hes 14 now and just as angry as ever.

dailey Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 2:48pm
post #8 of 24

honestly, this sounds like *every* kid i know, including mine. i never realized how bratty kids have gotten until i had them! i mean, i can remember when i was little, we would never throw a tantrum in public or talk the way some of these kids do. different generation...

sarahpierce Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 2:51pm
post #9 of 24

I tried the garbage bag thing with my son, he helped me throw his toys away icon_twisted.gif . He didn't care. He's not emotionally attached to anything. He could take it or leave it. He's almost 10 now. He is emotionally disturbed. Most likely genetic from our long line of mental illnesses on both sides of the family. Please take it seriously. If you have not delt with a child like this you don't understand how complex and stressful this is. It disrupts the whole family and the classroom. Please seek counseling like I said before. As far as medication, that's a personal choice. Frankly he's too young. Depression medication and children do not mix, it can be dangerous. But, you and your child can learn coping methods. Like TheCakerator's story- it can get this bad. Her nephew will struggle the rest of his life, probably in and out of jail. Very sad situation, but learn from this. I struggle everyday to mold my son into a good man. The song simple man reminds me of him. I danced with him at my wedding to this song. I still cry everytime I hear it (actually I'm tearing up right now). That song says it all, everything I want him to be- A Simple Man. Not angry.

cakemommy Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 3:58pm
post #10 of 24

Thank you everyone for your advice! He's made at me right now because I made him wear a coat outside. Mind you it's like 47 and misty!!!!!

Mike, the reason I tell him multiple times is for my sanity. I can not just go postal on my child if he doesn't do what he is told after telling him once and believe me, I will LOSE IT by yelling and screaming and spanking him so hard my handprint is on his bum for the rest of the day. I have done that before and I felt horrible! I can't do that again. So for sanity sakes I have to try a few times but I'm always driven to the point in which I yell.

I have thought seriously about his future if he doesn't get this under control now. I don't want him to lead a life full of anger and possibly on the wrong side of the law. Good grief no!!!! I also refuse to think he needs medication at this young of an age but I know it's not unheard of. That might be denial on my part but if I have to go that route per his Dr. then that's what I'll do. I will try and exhaust every means first. I do need some professional help to help him overcome his anger.

I am truly at my wits end and think it's finally time to bring in the pediatrician.

Thank you all so much for your advice. I will continue to follow up with this thread!!!!! Thank you thank you!!!


Amy

Pookie59 Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 4:18pm
post #11 of 24

As for "telling him multiple times", no don't do that. If he doesn't respond after the first time, stick his butt in time out, grab the garbage sack and go to work. Once he finds out you mean what you say, he may come around. You have to retain the upper hand and your child definitely needs to figure out that mommy is going to follow through with what she says.

I never had a child behave that badly, so I'm not sure his behavior is normal. What would it hurt to have him evaluated? Talk to your pediatrician and see if he can refer a counselor. I think you should get an outside opinion from a professional. Maybe it's just a discipline issue, maybe it's some physical or mental problem that needs to be dealt with. You definitely do not want this behavior escalating as your child gets older.

cakemommy Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 4:43pm
post #12 of 24

That is for sure. I definately do not want this behavior to affect him when he gets older. I was just talking to a friend of mine and I did determine that a big part of the reason he continues to be like this is that I am not consistent with my discipline. I may indeed give him too many opportunities to do what he's told. I'm still going to make an appt. with his Dr. to see if there could be anything else going on.


Thank you everyone!

Amy

JodieF Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 5:20pm
post #13 of 24

I know it's hard, but when you yell and lose control, he wins. That's how he feels. It's all about control.
Honestly, my youngest was a terror. I wondered what I'd done to my family by having him. I loved him, but life was constant turmoil. I never had the battles with my older two that I had with him. If I took a toy away and put it on an upper shelf, he'd drag over furniture to build a ladder to get to it. He'd NEVER give up on anything.
Finally, I had to step back and realize I was battling a BABY. I was the parent. I was the one who was going to "win". So, the louder he got, the quieter I was. Quiet and very, very firm. There were rules with consequences and I stuck to them. He might not act like putting his toys in garbage bags bothers him, but it will after a week or two! If mine wouldn't wear a coat, well the natural consequence to that was that he was cold! If he refused to eat, he was hungry. If he threw a fit, I told him that he could be mad, but that didn't mean I had to watch, and I'd pick him up and put him in his room and shut the door. If he kicked the door, I slipped his shoes off so it hurt. No matter how many times he came out, if he wasn't calm, I put him back. If he pitched a fit in a store, I'd calmly tell him that he needed to settle down or we were leaving, and if he didn't stop, I left! Believe me, it was HARD! But, he learned that he had to control himself. Obviously, he got a lot of praise and rewards when he started controlling himself and making good choices.
That crazy boy is 17 now and is still stubborn, but he is a lovely young man. There is hope! But, honestly, it's your behavior that needs to change if you want to change HIS.

Jodie

Edited to say that I also put locks on the inside of my other childrens' doors, so they could play without him. He loved to destroy their things. They had my permission to lock him out, provided they told me first and they weren't just being mean about it. We had a family meeting and all talked about helping Ben learn to play more nicely. They were allowed to vent and make suggestions.

Mike1394 Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 5:27pm
post #14 of 24

Mike, the reason I tell him multiple times is for my sanity. I can not just go postal on my child if he doesn't do what he is told after telling him once and believe me, I will LOSE IT by yelling and screaming and spanking him so hard my handprint is on his bum for the rest of the day. I have done that before and I felt horrible! I can't do that again. So for sanity sakes I have to try a few times but I'm always driven to the point in which I yell.


Now please don't take this the wrong way. Maybe this is where his anger stems from. I didn't suggest spanking, screaming. I said take him, and put him away some where. Punish him somewhere to let him take HIS anger out on something other than you, or another family member.

Mike

cakemommy Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 7:08pm
post #15 of 24

Oh I am positive his anger comes from me. There is no doubt but I have to do something now to keep him from ending up like I am now. It's like I am fighting with myself ya know? It's tough!

I am certainly learning a personal lesson here but I can save my child from a world of stress and hurt if I nip this in the bud now. I just don't know how to do it with a 3 yr. old.


Amy

funcakes Posted 17 Oct 2008 , 11:20pm
post #16 of 24

Please don't take this in a negative way, but you taught your son to behave this way. The good news is, if you taught it you can simply unteach it (meaning teach him something different)
You tell him 3 or 4 times to pick up his toys. He learned that he will be told 3 or 4 times before a consequence, so why start until the 3rd time???
Give him a little notice in a nice voice "In 2 minutes it will be time to pick up the toys." then in 2 minutes-and I mean by the clock-not whenever, say calmly "time to pick up the toys" If he doesn't, simply and gently take his hand and with your hand over his, start picking up the toys. He will learn there is no choice of "I am not going to." This has worked with my kids, all the kids I've taught and my own grandkids. Time out is a great strategy as Mike has suggested, but will little ones it is 3 minutes in time out, then they get up and immediately pick up the toys because the time out gives them a chance to calm down and then comply NOT sit around and avoid the picking up toys.

Getting kids to comply isn't that complicated it is just long, hard work!

cakemommy Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 12:08am
post #17 of 24

That's what I am not consistent about, time out! He's had it already 3 times today. I was out with my friend and her 4 year old son today in her car and David was just yelling "I hate you mommy!" all because I wouldn't buy him some candy! I yelled that the entire way home. It was all I could do to not turn around and smack him. I told him that I didn't buy him candy and he continued to yell and I just ignored him the whole way home. My friend could see me itching to reach in the back seat but I didn't. She was proud of me for resisting the urge. I was glad when we got home and he completely forgot about the candy!


Amy

dragonflydreams Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 12:18am
post #18 of 24

. . . hang tough to your decisions . . . once he realizes you will not be moved he will stop testing you . . . in the past he has probably been "rewarded" for his behavior and knows he can wear you down . . . hang in there mom . . . you can do it . . .

cakemommy Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 12:35am
post #19 of 24

Thank you! Do you have any idea how many times I have left a grocery cart full of groceries in the middle of the store and just walked out? I feel all eyes staring at me. I get hot and flush and can't even look around at anyone. I know what they are thinking. I used to think the same thing before children. I have seen so many parents give their child something like candy or cookies to quiet them down just to finish their shopping. I can not do that. I can not reward him for his behavior so I leave. I'm frustrated because I really needed to get those groceries but staying in the store listening to his screaming and temper tantrums is just not an option.

I have gone days without milk before because he is just not a pleasure to go anywhere with.


Amy

dragonflydreams Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 2:14am
post #20 of 24

. . . oh, I can guess how many times . . . I can feel your pain . . . because I HAVE felt your pain . . . (been there, done that - got the tshirt) . . . there is a light at the end of the tunnel, just stick to your guns . . . cool, calm, collected and in control - don't let him push you over the edge - he needs you to be consistent and needs the boundaries set . . . you CAN do this . . .

. . . I can't guess if your son needs any medication . . . but in my case no medication was ever necessary . . . and today, I couldn't be prouder of him . . . recently married . . . loves kids and wants a LARGE family himself . . .

Be strong Mom . . . nobody ever said it was easy . . .

Deb_ Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 3:47am
post #21 of 24

You know I never understood the "terrible 2's" label. My kids were angels until they turned 3, than they "thought" they were going to be the bosses of our house. WRONG!

Your son sounds like a normal 3 yr old, whose Dad is away and his Mom is exhausted and needs a break. How about signing him up for a pre school a few mornings a week. You both need a break from each other.

You mentioned that he has inherited your temper, well the only way to change his behavior is to modify yours. Try to read some books, talk to a therapist, anything that will give you guidance on how to turn this around.

It's so hard when a spouse is away and the burden is left on just one parent. I think he misses his Dad and he's learned how to push your buttons. Try to keep the upper hand with him and if you feel like you're losing it, walk into another room and close the door and just breathe.

I would talk to his pediatrician, I'm sure he/she will have some suggestions. My DD has ADD, but she wasn't diagnosed until she was 18, she didn't show signs of this until highschool.
I don't think a psychologist will even try to evaluate a 3yr. old for ADD or ADHD, he's too young to have shown any behavioral patterns at this point.

Medication is not always the answer, but in some cases it is necessary. Unless he's hurting himself or others physically, I wouldn't consider any meds just yet. There are so many side effects and he's just a little guy.

Good luck to you, and think about enrolling him in some kind of part time program, it will do you both good to have a break from each other.

God Bless,
Debbie

tracycakes Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 12:30am
post #22 of 24

I am so sorry that you are dealing with this, but as others have stated, I believe that you have allowed it to get this far.

I personally don't have kids, I wanted them but couldn't have them, and I love children! My nephew would make the GRRR sound whenever he got mad too. On the day he was born, the nurses said that he was the most stubborn child they had ever had - he is very much like his father and grandfather. Sweetie, you need to stand strong - YOU are the parent and YOU are in control. Don't tell him 3 or 4 times, tell him once - very firmly. If he doesn't listen, it's time for discipline, whatever you choose that works. He needs to know that you mean what you say.

I teach kindergarteners year olds on Sunday morning and I have them for almost 2 hours. I have one girl that has major behavorial problems. Her family adopted her from Guatemela when she was 3 years old and they have never been able to leave her with anyone because no one can control her and she has been tested and has an IQ of about 140 - at 6 years old! I have been teaching her for around 4 months now and by standing firm and not allowing her to get away with anything, I haven't had to put her in timeout in about 6 weeks now and she does what I tell her the first time. This is a child that would regularly have screaming fits, crawl into a corner, shut everyone out and bully every child around her. In fact, the first 4 weeks I had her, one of her family members stayed in the room in case she got out of hand. Now, her dad is asking me if I could possibly babysit her sometime so that he and his wife can go out to dinner, just the 2 of them, for the first time since they adopted her.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. icon_redface.gif I wanted to use this child as an example and you can be the adult and you can be in control. It will take a lot of work on your part but you have to be really strong and be consistent. I learned this from my parents because as my mom said, she never had to worry about taking us anywhere when we were kids because we knew that acting up was not an option and not allowed.

Stay strong and best wishes for you. thumbs_up.gif

tracycakes Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 12:48am
post #23 of 24

I am so sorry that you are dealing with this, but as others have stated, I believe that you have allowed it to get this far.

I personally don't have kids, I wanted them but couldn't have them, and I love children! My nephew would make the GRRR sound whenever he got mad too. On the day he was born, the nurses said that he was the most stubborn child they had ever had - he is very much like his father and grandfather. Today, he is 18, normal, a good kid. He is still stubborn but normal and not in trouble. At times, I was really concerned about his rage but his parents were stood strong. Sweetie, you need to stand strong - YOU are the parent and YOU are in control. Don't tell him 3 or 4 times, tell him once - very firmly. If he doesn't listen, it's time for discipline, whatever you choose that works. He needs to know that you mean what you say.

I teach kindergarteners year olds on Sunday morning and I have them for almost 2 hours. I have one girl that has major behavorial problems. Her family adopted her from Guatemela when she was 3 years old and they have never been able to leave her with anyone because no one can control her and she has been tested and has an IQ of about 140 - at 6 years old! I have been teaching her for around 4 months now and by standing firm and not allowing her to get away with anything, I haven't had to put her in timeout in about 6 weeks now and she does what I tell her the first time. This is a child that would regularly have screaming fits, crawl into a corner, shut everyone out and bully every child around her. In fact, the first 4 weeks I had her, one of her family members stayed in the room in case she got out of hand. Now, her dad is asking me if I could possibly babysit her sometime so that he and his wife can go out to dinner, just the 2 of them, for the first time since they adopted her. I had 14 other kids in the room and couldn't spend all of my time on one child. It was either she had to mind or she had to leave and I did not want her to leave so I had to teach her to mind. She isn't perfect but the fact that I haven't had to put her in timeout is HUGE.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread. icon_redface.gif I wanted to use this child as an example because she is almost as difficult as they come. You can be the adult and you can be in control. It will take a lot of work on your part but you have to be really strong and be consistent. I learned this from my parents because as my mom said, she never had to worry about taking us anywhere when we were kids because we knew that acting up was not an option and not allowed.

Stay strong and best wishes for you. thumbs_up.gif

moxey2000 Posted 19 Oct 2008 , 2:13am
post #24 of 24

I have 3 children, ages 19, 12 and 9. My first one was a little angel so I was totally unprepared for dealing with the second two. One thing I noticed, when my kids were much younger, was that my friends who spanked their kids had the worst behaved kids and seemed the most stressed. I noticed that I was yelling a lot myself and I didn't like it and my kids weren't listening. I started speaking normally and not raising my voice. If they didn't listen I would say "I said....and I meant it". If they talked back I would just point and say "go to your room", if they protested I would just say it again, still calmly and without raising my voice. I was amazed at how quickly they started to respond to me. I am amazed at how much better their behavior is now.

Another thing I've done and still do is to remind my children how to behave when we go somewhere. We expect them to automatically know how they are supposed to behave, when really they may not know or understand what we are wanting. So, if I go to a store I would remind them that it's a store, not a playground, we don't run or scream. If I'm going to buy them something then I will let them know that they may choose one thing, but if I'm not then I tell them that as well. "We are here for milk and eggs, that's it, so please don't ask for anything else". When they were younger if they misbehaved or screamed for something I would calmly ask them "do you think your behavior is going to get you what you want?". It took a few times, but they eventually got it.

It's a shame kids don't come with a manual!! I hope some of the advice you've gotten here will help. You just have to do what works for you, but keep trying. Don't be afraid to try something new if something isn't working. Good luck.

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