Why is my 10yr old so angry all the time?

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
Death Star Planet Buster. Everything is amplified
yeh

he came an apologized immediately. had an amazing day at school is all freaking calm now....

ffs! hes just a kid..... hes just a kid...

will try and remember this is a phase and he'll get over it fast each time...

and yeh... teenage girls- hold grudges.... going on like a 9month grudge with her...doesnt stay here tho so i dont have to worry about dealing with it in the moment most of the time..... she grudges silently.... with her eyes... :cautious:

thanks @Friday
i feel much more like this is a 'him' thing and not a 'me completely f*cking up his life' thing.
 

LuckiLee

MyPTSD Pro
I think you're on to something. (Remember, I don't have kids so you may not want my .02) And I'm thinking about what my parents did when I was a kid... When I was being a little sh#t Mom would send me to my bedroom until I "learned how to behave". This was pre technology so it was definitely a punishment. Nothing but books and homework in there. ? I couldn't come out until I was able to talk calmly. (And she probably wanted to beat my butt so in order to prevent that, to my bedroom I went. ?)

I remember being stuck in there a while sometimes. (Obviously at my own doing lmao) I'd have my hissy fit with my stuffed animals. Eventually I learned to calm myself. Damn. She was like Pavlov.?❤? I'd usually fall asleep. (I guess the grown a## 10 year old needed a little nap. LMAO.)

Dad. He'd just knock us once on the head with his onyx pinky ring. ?. Not violently, just like a "what the hell's wrong with you"? kinda thing. (I remember 3 occasions.)

I always liked Mom's way better!! ❤

P.S. I don't want to hear you say you're a bad Dad anymore. A bad Dad wouldn't even care to try to figure it out. Let alone ask people for ideas or read a parenting book. You are a great Dad.

Good luck!!
 

HealingMama

MyPTSD Pro
I have a friend whose child I suspect has OCD, and the child is also very clingy and difficult in terms of tantrums. So it makes sense you want to get that angle checked out.

I noticed that he also was upset when you were paying attention to his sister. My stepkids live primarily with the mother and there are 7 kids in the home altogether. The stepdad rotates his Saturday mornings to take each one to breakfast individually. Sometimes kids act better in the day to day if they know they have regular 1:1 access to the parent since siblings have to share the parents in the day to day. Just something to think about.
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
Saturday mornings to take each one to breakfast individually. Sometimes kids act better in the day to day if they know they have regular 1:1 access

i like that. i'll talk to my ex about doing something like that.
thanks.


He stays up an hour later than his sister when they're here... so he kinda gets an hour of just us time but... by that time of night im not 100% present
so.. not really good quality time
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
Can you let him talk and not tell him he is wrong? Think about what he says?
i try to. i usually end up trying to "teach" him something but im trying to remember to just listen and validate and not solve or teach.

probably is aware of frustration/ issues you guys might have as parents.
do you mean like... between his mom and me or do you mean because of my ptsd etc?

This was pre technology so it was definitely a punishment. Nothing but books and homework in there.
yeh, he's got no tech in his room either... unless he sneaks it in, but he does have toys because i don't have a big enough place for a toy room... is a toy room a thing? play room? play room. no play room here.

anyways... usually, well, depending on what i send him to his room
for... it could be just 'go to your room until you're ready to be nice' or 'go sit on your bed and think about your actions'

i don't know if it's actually useful but if i tell him to stay on his bed... he stays there and doesn't touch his toys or books.

i sent his teacher an email yesterday, cuz she needs to fill out an assessment for his paediatrician and i asked her if she knew of any issues he was having. she actually called me at 9:30pm last night. ?
She said he's good at school. Rough morning, has a bunch of buddies, works hard, doesn't know of any social issues so....

has to be hormones or ocd/anxiety i think. or both.

just hate seeing him so riled up and out of control. i dont want him to come even close to having to go through or getting into any of the stuff i did when i was younger.
 
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Mee

MyPTSD Pro
@Innordinate, I meant both. :) you specifically highlighted his empathy. I do not suggest this as a rebuke to you or his mother, nor to highlight a failure. More that most children, especially perhaps empathetic ones, pick up more than we seem ( or want) to recall as adults. We can’t avoid that, but balancing it with strong positive childhood experiences ( safety, hearing him, getting him support) can hopefully stop it being damaging. That’s why I pointed out you seem to be doing well, you are getting him support, using your resources and not ignoring something that concerns you for him.
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
do not suggest this as a rebuke to you or his mother, nor to highlight a failure
yeh no, wasn't taking it an insult
or anything.. :)
More that most children, especially perhaps empathetic ones

and ive seen this with him, definitely more than his little sister.
He is picking up a lot more of my .... i dunno what to call them... crazy ass behaviours (? sure)
like, i usually walk my kids out to their bus stop and i look behind me a lot when i walk anywhere... and he picked up on that right away and asked me what i was looking for/at a few times. His sister never has.

I would tell him random nothing answer though, like "oh i heard a squirrel so i was trying to find it" but im pretty sure he's smart enough to know it's more than that.
Or noises in the house-
i think he caught on to my freeze response really quickly too because now he asks a lot about noises.... which forces me to try and not pay attention to them too.

so yeh.... whatever disorders he pre-disposed to because of my genetics... he's picking up waaay more than i think he would've if i wasn't his dad. ?

sucks.

and his mom and i try not to argue/disagree when little ears are around but... im human and mess that up sometimes too.
Sensitive kid..... hopefully a therapist can undo whatever damage ive caused and give him better coping skills than i can and he doesn't end up having as many issues as his older sister does cuz of me.
:unsure:
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
yeh no, wasn't taking it an insult
or anything.. :)


and ive seen this with him, definitely more than his little sister.
He is picking up a lot more of my .... i dunno what to call them... crazy ass behaviours (? sure)
like, i usually walk my kids out to their bus stop and i look behind me a lot when i walk anywhere... and he picked up on that right away and asked me what i was looking for/at a few times. His sister never has.

I would tell him random nothing answer though, like "oh i heard a squirrel so i was trying to find it" but im pretty sure he's smart enough to know it's more than that.
Or noises in the house-
i think he caught on to my freeze response really quickly too because now he asks a lot about noises.... which forces me to try and not pay attention to them too.

so yeh.... whatever disorders he pre-disposed to because of my genetics... he's picking up waaay more than i think he would've if i wasn't his dad. ?

sucks.

and his mom and i try not to argue/disagree when little ears are around but... im human and mess that up sometimes too.
Sensitive kid..... hopefully a therapist can undo whatever damage ive caused and give him better coping skills than i can and doesn't end up having as many issues as his older sister does cuz of me.
:unsure:


You know, I want to tell you something that I hope helps. Today, as a middle aged woman, my PTSD was NO excuse for me being an asshole to my father, who did something he was asked not to about a boundary my husband and I imposed in our home. My dad was not a dad like you, but a negligent one who failed to parent me or respond to my pain, and probably has some issues he hasn’t acknowledged. While I was calming down I thought ‘you failed then but you could stop hurting me now’. I think it’s amazing you aren’t waiting till your kids are in their forties and seeing their kids hurt ( or not seeing it).

I don’t think it’s possible to not experience our parents pain as kids, and radically, I am going to say I Don’t think that’s bad parenting, if kids are supported, loved and feel safe. Imagine thinking the world was made of cotton candy and rainbows until you were adult; we’d have NO coping skills. It’s getting the balance right and having love and feeling safe and not feeling responsible for our parents but feeling ‘felt responsible for’ in a nutured way, that matters. Even at my age, stopping hurting me now from a parent would help. I bet ALL of us could could say that!
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
You seem like a really caring, thoughtful dad @Innordinate. I just have two brief thoughts, and they're both kind of based on parenting styles, so take them for what you will. Plus, I understand that every child is different. 1. I don't believe in punishments, so my response wouldn't have been to take away the cards. If it means that much to him, I would have gone the opposite direction and take extra time and effort to help him with what he wanted after school or something. Btw, my 16 yo son gets straight A's, doesn't get mad, does his chores without complaint, apologizes for mistakes and makes an effort to correct them if he does make them. The other day, when I pointed out that he was too slow in getting ready for school, he said, "Sorry, mom. I'll do better." And went off to school. I do believe in discipline and I think I gave my son the guidance to acquire and practice it in his own life. I just don't believe you can support self-discipline through extrinsic rewards and punishments. Also, my son's father is an addict who has been inconsistently in his life, and my son also has learning disabilities. He has some reasons to be angry, and has exhibited some of it in the past - in fact he's been labeled "explosive" when he was really young. But I think the way out of that, again, was through a focus on intrinsic values. 2. I think when kids make a big stink about little things, it's a way for them to exert control when in other ways they don't feel like they're in control. I don't know, but maybe indulge the smaller things if it doesn't matter. Heller calls anger a "protest emotion". I think sometimes we worry about spoiling a child, but maybe if he gets his way more, it will make him feel like he's getting more of what he wants and/or needs. In our own lives, we get to determine how we live it and what we enjoy. That makes us happy, and I think we need more, not less, of that in our lives.
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
How long have you and his mother been split up?
i think 5 years now, maybe "officially"

would have gone the opposite direction and take extra time and effort to help him with what he wanted after school or something.
the problem was that what he wanted couldn't wait until after school, otherwise yeh, that makes sense.
extrinsic rewards and punishments.
we dont really do that either. first because Skinners system doesn't work for higher cognitive reasoning skills... sure, works great for dogs, maybe infants but bu 3yrs old... nope.
Also, rewards with this kid... his teachers try it. I've warned them it'll work for two weeks, mostly because he's curious to see what rewards he can get and then it will
stop working. every time. also, because he has adhd he's totally drawn to instant rewards, but they have to grow exponentially in order to continue to work and he'd quickly get to the point where the reward would have to be some ludicrously expensive thing and he'd be screwed up as an adult trying to keep up rewarding himself. I know it first hand.
Not reward/punishment but actions(decisions)/consequences.
I took the cards away because they're a privilege not a need/right and his attitude was about the cards, so they're gone for awhile anyways. He has to play with less desirable toys/stuff until he can show that he's working on being respectful.

but maybe another talk about how being disrespectful hurt people
feelings? Makes it hard for other to respond well?
I dunno.
my son also has learning disabilities.
So does mine. A rare reading disability.
exert control when in other ways they don't feel like they're in control.

Yeah, i think i mentioned this or someone else did.... ive done the whole, let him have more control over things... make more decisions on his own about what he wants/does etc.
Like he came up with his own rule about computer time. He decided one hour a week for computer games vs typing practice etc.

and he doesn't complain about helping around here either. He has specific responsibilities at my place and his moms that he does usually with no problems. He needs lots of reminders but thats an adhd thing too.

just- the anger coming out of nowhere for really inconsequential stuff... again, i know its still important to him but ... it just seems random... and too intense
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for explaining, @Innordinate. Sounds like we're more on the same page than I originally thought. I too grate against Skinner, and my favorite book was Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn, who uses evidence-based practices that supports intrinsic development in a child. My son has adhd, but also I think more the inattentive type. Have you read The Explosive Child by Greene? He advocates for a collaborative problem-solving approach with explosive children. I have a number of thoughts on anger - I see it more as a symptom of a deeper felt need (often hurt or deprivation) if it stems from past stuff, and not a problem in and of itself (it's actually good to express that need). I also think anger is based on perception, and I did a lot of coaching with my child when he was a little younger than your child. I read that the only way to manage explosive anger was taking perspective. So, we talked and talked and talked about seeing things from the other person's perspective, or a third person's perspective looking at the situation like how would a good friend react in the same situation, or what if you were the parent, etc. Any pause helps the child to see that there is some amount of choice in how we react to the feeling of anger. But obviously you know your child best, and it sounds like you're a really thoughtful, patient parent who is doing his damndest. That's how I know that no matter what happens, he will be okay and will settle in eventually. Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back once in a while!
 
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