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Helping Son Regulate Temper

Question:

My 9-year-old can be the sweetest child one minute and then a raging devil the next. How do I help him control his temper and moods? I don’t want to resort to medication, but I will if I must. His older siblings do not act like this. I want to resolve this before he gets any older.

Answer:

Helping your son learn to control his temper and/or regulate his moods might take some outside help in the form of medication or counseling. Consult with your pediatrician to start. Explain what has been going on. Your doctor might recommend a psychiatric evaluation to determine if your son would benefit from counseling or medications.

You can encourage your son to express his feelings when he is home. Make it a regular part of the day, such as during breakfast or at bedtime. This will help him be more aware of his emotions. Help him use “I” statements, such as “I feel __________________ because of or when _________________.” Then you can help him work through his feelings by talking about things he can do to cope with those feelings.

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