Breaking Boards

My son has some anger issues.

He has a temper some days and when he gets angry he gets so angry he can’t always control himself. We first started seeing this in preschool. I mean, he got angry before that, and he would throw fits, but he never got so angry he turned red and shook and spit when he talked and screamed and just couldn’t control himself. His first year in preschool was bad. I personally think part of it was the environment in the classroom and part of it was the teacher. Part of it was also having to do what other people wanted, having to do things when the teacher says, sharing, etc.

He has gotten better. This last preschool year he was doing better, and now he seems much more in control. I hope that holds because he is going to kindergarten and they won’t have that shit there.

We work a lot on what to do when you start to feel yourself getting mad, what to do when you feel like you can’t stop getting mad, who to ask for help, how to calm yourself down if you are mad, what things are ok to get mad about, what things to try to let go of, and last but not least – to never ever use your anger physically against another person unless they hurt you first.

Today was an angry day for him. I understand. I have angry days too.

At swimming lessons there are 2 girls and 2 boys. He doesn’t like the other boy, and the other boy hasn’t been there much lately. I think they went out of the country. He was back today and was causing trouble with my son. They both had to be put in time out. I had to go out to the pool area because he was so angry he was in the other boy’s face, yelling, saying mean things. I had to stand there for several minutes to get him to stop saying “you started it! It’s your fault!” at the top of his lungs and at the top of his anger level. To be fair, the other boy does usually start it, but that’s not the point…

Tonight we were talking about being angry. He started thinking about something that happened the other day. He had karate testing and had to break a board. He had done fine in practice, but those boards have a line where you are supposed to kick. He couldn’t break the board for 5 or 6 tries and he got frustrated. He kept saying he was confused. The main teacher finally took the board, put it on 2 bricks, and had him stomp it.

Tonight he brought up that when he broke the board by stomping on it, he had thought about “angry” and then he could concentrate on breaking the board.

I am going to be trying to explore this more.

I believe all of our major traits are a “gift” of some sort. Most of them are double edged swords. (some of mine seem to be sharpest on my side) If I can help him learn to use his anger in a productive manner; if I can help him learn that being angry is ok, but let’s use that energy in some way that benefits us, instead of harming us, then maybe this gift could be a good thing as well. I’m not sure where to start with it, but tonight I told him to think angry every time he works on his karate punches and kicks and board breaking. Perhaps he will – perhaps he can channel this thing.

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