Tips needed for a child with anger issues

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Lumi, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Lumi

    Lumi Companion

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    Apr 1, 2009

    I have a child in my class who has obvious anger issues. Many times he gets very frustrated at circumstances going on in the room and he in turn lashes out at the other kids. By circumstances, I mean incidents like not finishing his work in a timely manner so he has to stay inside for recess to get it done (had repeated warnings- choose to be beligerent and not get his work done). During any type of competitive game, if he loses, he will start to cry, stomp his feet, clench his fists and literally growl in frustration and anger. And then the first child who gets in his way he will swipe at. More often than not, he makes contact. One time he threw a chair at the music teacher when he lost the musical chairs game.

    Yesterday it was during a relay race in PE that he realized that he wasn't going to win so he stopped, plodded along during his leg of the race and then slugged a kid in the stomach as he crossed the return line.

    He was punished for that last night at home and was grounded to his room- no TV, no video games. Today he had a great day. He was obviously working hard to get his clip moved up. He was helpful and encouraging and he behaved well in circle time.

    After school his mom came to pick him up and she told me that her husband had been the one to enforce the grounding. She was looking for immediate coping skills that we can teach him to use during the times that something sets him off. So I am wondering what tips you all might have to share. This child is already quite astute at using his words. "This is sooooo embarrasing!" he has exclaimed on several occasions. He is actually very advanced in his verbal skills. He uses words and phrases things that I would never envision a five year old saying. So I'm not sure the solution will be a verbal one. I was looking for something more along the lines of a physical response or intervention before he gets to the point where he gets dangerous to one of this friends.

    If you have any suggestions, I would really appreciate it!
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Apr 2, 2009

    This is definitely something the counselor should be working on with you (in my opinion). I wonder if the counselor would have any recommendations.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2009

    This sounds like several children I have worked with. First, he sounds pretty intellegent. And, he is frustrated because his body can't keep up with his thoughts, and he may get bored easily. I have seen a pretty intense anger managment program used with this age. There are some curriculums you can purchase, but basically, they have the child identify the emotions he feels, and problem solve the solutions to the feelings he has. Techniques to control behavior help. The techniques include breathing, singing a song, asking for help, etc.

    This is a big job, and you may need to have a counselor do it.
     
  5. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    Apr 3, 2009

    I agree - talk to your counselor about it and see what they can do to help.

    Your description sounds exactly like a little boy I have in my class (1st grade). He growls and moans in class, hits himself and others, throws things on the floor, swears at me and the other students, etc. He has very good verbal skills, but manages to not use them during his fits of anger.

    In general, when he begins to have an angry spell in the classroom, I'll ask him to remove himself from the activity for a minute. He goes and sits in the back of the classroom for a bit until he has calmed down and is ready to return to the activity. In addition, our counselor works with him, although I'm not sure exactly what they do or discuss.

    However, in the classroom when I remove him from the activity, it definitely helps to calm him down and remove the object of his anger from in front of him. Once he is calm, then he goes back to the activity.
     
  6. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Apr 3, 2009

    It sounds to me like his issues run much deeper. I don't know how effective punishment will be since his feelings of anger will still be there. In fact punishment might only serve to worsen his anger issues. If I were you I would collaborate with the school counselor and try to come from a place of compassion. I would look into his home situation -- do his parents regularly use physical force as a means of communication? In other words has he been taught that swiping and stomping his feet is an acceptable way to display his anger? If it's at all possible I would get this student psychiatric attention.
     
  7. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    Apr 3, 2009

    I agree that compassion is needed, but children need to know that consequences follow inappropriate choices. Sounds like, from what happened after the punishment he got at home, that actually does work for him.

    I would help him name his feelings of anger and frustration, and help him think of ways he can express those feelings without venting them on others. You could read the class a book like "I Was Just So Mad" by Mercer Mayer, have them each complete the sentence, "I was just so mad when _______". Have the class chart ways that are not okay to express anger and ways that are okay. Then maybe consult later with this one child and help him to understand that you really want to help him to stop expressing his anger inappropriately. Let him know that violence is absolutely unacceptable, and what the consequences will be if he is violent. Then, stick with them. You may also want to add rewards for the right response. And, when you see that he is angry but controls himself and uses appropriate ways to express it, praise him up and down!!

    Good luck!
     

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