Hello, and thanks for visiting JA.
He is a bit old for tantrums, as such.
Boys of his age are rather liable to push things to see what happens, and what they really need are firm boundaries. Being ‘soft’ just makes you easier to manipulate, and anger just teaches them to be angry when they in turn are faced with a difficult situation.
He is quite old enough to know about actions and consequences. We humans only indulge in behaviour that bring reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do.
Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give him choices, and make sure he understands the consequences of their choice – and always follow through. If you don’t he’ll just get confused. Please make sure though that all his small successes are praised and occasionally rewarded
Never, never be blaming or accusatory. Stick to facts, tell him how you feel about his behaviour, and make sure he understands that while you love him, his bad behaviour Is hurtful and will not be accepted.
Most of what you have been doing has been excellent, but it is clearly not working, and in this situation, I am fairly certain that your son is going to need professional help to deal with it. There are several conditions – some psychological and some physical – which could be at the root of it, but in order to find out exactly what is going on. I recommend that you arrange an appointment with a pediatric psychiatrist as soon as you can.
I’m going to suggest that you get a copy of the book “How to talk so kids will listen, and how to listen so kids will talk”. Its ISBN is 1 85340 705 4. It embodies many of the principles you have already adopted, but provides much more help.
It might help you turn things around round and it is also a good read!
Best wishes, NormanM