rngirl asks:

My 8 yo son is becoming so angry, smart mouthed, and defiant.  We have tried every direction to stop behavior. Don't know how to turn him around. Help

He is very smart, gets good grades, loves sports and legos.  He can be very fun and loving but also has a mean streak. He smart mouthes, defies what is asked of him we keep it age appropriate chores, is mean to his little brother.  He gets in trouble (with us) and pulls the I hate you, i hate everything. He has told me he intentionally tries to make us mad after we have made him angry. We have tried positive reinforcement, talking it out, punishment, bribing-- We have tried it all.  Nothing seems effective with him.  I want to pull my hair out or cry.... becuase I know he  is  a wonderful boy.  His teacher says he is wonderfu;l and outgoing, polite.  At home it varies.  We try to keep a structured evening routine and allow kids to be kids.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Mar 28, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Please know that you are doing so many things right and that your hard work is paying off.  If he is behaving at school, than that is a GREAT sign.  Kids behave different ways in different environments and there is something about the home environment right now that has him testing his limits.  This is pretty common for children of his age and it will be important at this time for you to be consistent and patient with him.  

It sounds like he has some problems controling his impulses, especially when he is emotional.  It may be beneficial for you to help him in identifying and controlling his emotions.  If he can learn to identify, accept, and understand his emotions, it will than become easier for him to control his behaviors. It may be useful to seek out a child psychologist just to get an assessment and see if there is any mental illness that may be contributing to his behavior.  Don't be ashamed to do this, especially because it may benefit him so much.  And it may really improve your life as well.

Continue to search out and try different intervention techniques.  Attend parenting classes, ask the teachers at school if they have any effective techniques that you may be able to adopt, and don't beat yourself up too much.  When we let frustration take over, you can lose sight of those good things that you do as a parent.  And you are doing a lot of good things.  You are not failing him or yourself.  It is a process and you are in the midst of it.  Find and use resources in your area and take care of yourself.  

Please remember that you can also call our hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk about parenting problems.  We would be happy to listen and provide advice.

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline-A resource for parents and teens

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