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How Do I Deal With My 12 Year Old Lovely Beautiful Talented Angry Son?

by Jo
(Derby, Derbyshire, UK)

I have a wonderful son who is 12 years old, a middle child, with a younger brother and older sister, and he has recently acquired two younger step brothers.

Generally speaking, he is lovely - he squabbles with his sister and brother but nothing that siblings don't normally do. He has recently in the past 2-3 years been experiencing frustration and anger towards his sister. I have had to separate them on a couple of occasions and on one occasion he got a knife from the kitchen and threatened his sister with it - I phoned the community police officer at that point and they came in and talked to them both about assault on each other and the danger of knife crime etc.

His anger started getting out of control when my marriage to the children’s father broke down. We have both since then re-married and his father has had another child and my new husband has a son from a previous relationship. At first the children didn't see their father (he was violent and they witnessed this at a young age), but they are gradually seeing him on a more regular basis.

He is never angry to me, he is sometimes disrespectful and I pull him up on that, but he is constantly either laughing or crying. I at first put it down to hormones, but last year I asked my GP for help, they have referred him to the young person adolescent mental health service - we are still waiting to hear what they are going to do.

He is very honest and will always tell a situation how it happened even if it puts him in the wrong. I don't know what else to do, I'm considering putting him into a boxing group or some kind of karate as it teaches self discipline - but I am afraid he will use it on his sister. I have spoken to my daughter and she thinks he is attention seeking and doesn't think it's as bad as he makes it out to be. He says he is lonely and frustrated. I don't know what to do for the best?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Jo, and thanks for telling your story here. I know this can be very trying, to be a good parent to a child with your son's type of emotional problems.

I suggest that you read this page on parenting skills for dealing with an angry child. It is a thorough, detailed page to help good people just like you do the best possible job. I also strongly encourage you to take a look at the audio program below. You can listen to free previews now, just click on the image.

I encourage you to be optimistic, Jo. Keep focusing on the goodness in your son, and make up your mind to learn all you can about how to provide him with what he needs.

You can do this. You're already a good parent, and now you can get even better.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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