Temper tantrums at 8!

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Tia Mae | 18:29 Tue 11th Apr 2006 | Parenting
8 Answers
My son has gone from a lovely little boy into a nightmare in the past three months. He is not having trouble at school and there seems to be no root to the problem. His rages come from no where, he throws things kicks and screams that he "hates the world!". The other day he ran off in the middle of town and made his own way home across main roads and started screaming as sonn as he was in the door. Afterwards he crys and apologises and says he does not know where they come from and he is really sorry and that he loves me lots. I have tried ignoring him (hard when he is wreaking my house) bribing him or taking away his favourite thing as a punishement but nothing is working. I would really appreciate some help as it is destressing to see him like this when he is normally so sweet.


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Chances are he's a growing lad who is watching what goes on around him and learning from what he sees,in the playground,in the street or on the tv for example,he is apologising for his behaviour so can he help himself?If you're really worried i'd take him to the doctor,just to check theres nothing at the root of it that could be managed,but at that age it will probably be something that he'll grow out of,then you just have the anticipation of the TEEN YEARS,Ha,good luck!
Sounds like self rage to me. Make sure he's not being bullied or worried by anything or if he feels under pressure to do things he doesn't want to to conform to peer pressure. Spend some time alone with him and talk and talk and talk, not just about his tempers etc but everything about him. It's amazing how many things you don't know about your kids until you spend a whole day with them devoted totally to them. Hopefully by the end of it you'll find out what's bothering him.Whatever it is, keep your response supportive and easy. Could be he's done something he's not proud of and is very angry with himself and venting it on everyone else. Whatever is the problem it needs to be outed as he'll instantly feel so much lighter and better and you'll have something to work on.Good luck.
sounds like something is worrying or frustrating him to me,but then again some people just have a short fuse, have you spoke to his teacher latley about how he's getting on and if she has noticed anything and how his temper is in school, my son is 11 and he's much the same and it also started around that age, he finds it hard to control his temper at times which can get very tireing, i find that while the tantrum is happening theres no talking to him he just has to ride it out and calm his self down, he does this by going into a room on his own untill he feels calm then he comes to talk about it if he wants to which is 99% of the time, and we usually can sort the problem out and he can see why. it is sometimes a very frustrating age, there not babies anymore but often to young to do things they want to, silly little things can annoy and worry them that you don't even think would, my boy always has more out bursts if i'm ill, this started when his nan died after an illness, he gets scared, but lots of talking and reasuring does has helped. hope you find the way for you.

If you are sure there's no cause, maybe its an allergy or physical problem.

If so punishment would be useless, you need to work together to find out what is going on. Get him thinking about what has hapenned just before. what has he eaten, etc

On a Playgroup leaders course we were told about a boy who had out of control episodes. When questioned he said that just before he had a strange taste in his mouth.This lead to a diagnosis of something similar to epilepsy, but not a fit, which was controlled with drugs.

This must be as distressing for your son as it is for you.

Dont wont to worry you but i thinks its better to be safe than sorry and get your kid checked out at the doctors/phsciatrist. Im sure he will be fine but if something is wrong the earlier it is sorted the better. By the way when your son isnt in a tantrum is he subdued/very laid back?
hi - my daughter is 8 and sounds similar as she is delightful most of the time but can completely lose it wrecking things around her. i think in her case it is frustration (trapped on long car journies!) and being told no, ie a short fuse which she is gradually learning to control. howvever it is worse if she is hungry (hypo) and overtired. so as others have suggested - would be worth keeping a record of when he goes off and looking for triggers such as low blood sugar, certain food additives, overtired etc. chat to his teacher and him again as to why he thinks it happens what he's feeling at the time. also be worth getting some outside advice as when our daughter was really awful -over christmas- it created real stress for my husband, me and her older sister. we went to see the school nurse and although she had no magic answer things have improved a great deal recently.
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Thanks for all your answers, had to drag him home the other day when he ran out of a shop but at least he stayed outside and did not disappear in town again which might be some progress. Unfortanatley he also has a thing for fires and set one in his bedroom and one in the bin. I always try to keep lighters hidden (l dont smoke, just for the oven) but he will find them. spoke to the fire brigade who fitted extra fire alarms and said they would talk to him but eight weeks later and a few reminder calls but still no help.
From what i hear from your post i would now recommend taking him to the doctors. It sounds like that would be a good idea. If anything it would put ypur mind at rest and a certified pysciatrist would be able to give you a lot better advice than we could.

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