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Out Of Control 10 Year Old And An Angry Husband

by Kim

My son is 10 and has a very bad temper. He thinks he can talk back and hit his parents and especially my 16 year old daughter.

He cannot take teasing at all and if he doesn't want to do something he just thinks he doesn't have to. He calls us awful names and the more we punish him or yell at him the more he gets mad.

My husband has a hot head also, so I guess he gets it from his dad. I know my husband has to learn to control his temper but I don't know how to start the process. I want this vicious cycle to quit before my son passes it to his kids.

I guess I was raised to have respect for my mom and dad and would never dream of doing or saying the things he has. I did take him to the the doctor to see if he had ADHD... he didn't have anything like that but the doctor did say he had a defiant disorder and his tasks should be broken down in smaller things because he looks at the whole thing and gets overwhelmed.

He gets mad, loses it, and 10 minutes later he is fine and nice, but the hurtful words have already burned my heart.

I was thinking about getting him some counseling because I am afraid when he gets older he might do something in anger that will hurt him for the rest of his life. He is a good, kind, kid other than when he loses his temper.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Kim, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear that you love your son, and want to help him with his anger issues. I also understand that you’re concerned about your husband’s anger, and wondering what action to take to help him as well.

There are many possible causes we could explore and guess about, but the most important focus for us here is on the solutions. You and your husband have the greatest power to influence your son, because you love him and he loves you. And it is only within that love that healing can occur.

I highly recommend that you read our web page on Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This will help you understand this problem, and offer you some highly effective help and guidance.

And regarding your husband’s anger, that part is really up to him. Hopefully, he wants help, or realizes he needs help. If so, encourage him to find books, programs or counseling that work for him. In the process of trying to help your son, he might get the message that he has been an unhealthy role model, and until his anger problems are addressed, your son may continue to struggle with his anger as well. That could just possibly provide him with the motivation to begin his own change process.

Believe in yourself, your husband and your son, Kim. Focus on the goodness and beauty in your hearts and in your family as a whole. Check out these anger management games, and you find some activities your family might do together that will help also.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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