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Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
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My grandson who is 4yrs 9months is prone to outburstes of rage

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My grandson who is 4yrs 9months is prone to outburstes of rage when he will attack whoever he is aiming his anger at i.e his Mother or Father. This condition has got worse over the holiday period but no matter what his parents do they dont seem to be able to learn how best to deal with this problem. It is such a shame because he can be a lovely little boy if he wants to be but knowone seems to be able to find out what is causing these outbursts. He does have a sister who is 18months old and although they are very close, if he thinks his sister is getting too much attention he with go out of his way to take the limelight.
Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer. I am sorry to hear about your grandson's situation. Let me ask you a question before I offer an answer. Does he get good exercise outside during daytime ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He does like being outside more than in the house but he has not been able to play out due to the bad weather
Hi, Thanks for additional information. I am sorry to hear about your grandson's situation. It sounds like he exhibits angry outbursts over the holiday period. Perhaps, staying in the house and not getting enough exercise outside may increase his impulse and aggression. Many children of his age may throw temper tantrums if they stay inside and do not get exercise fully. I understand that his parents may not able to take him to a mall or community centers due to the bad weather (i.e. snow).

His parents may continue setting limits with his behavior. They may communicate rules and expectations to him in a clear and direct manner. There are two disciplining techniques to improve his behavior: Rewarding his good behavior OR ignoring his bad behavior. Rewards are considered to be more effective and positive than punishment. Ignoring his bad behavior may be an alternative technique if his bad behavior persists for 3 months after trying rewards to his good behavior. Children tend to continue a behavior when it is rewarded and stop a behavior when it is ignored. Consistency in parents’ reaction to a behavior is important because rewarding the same behavior at different times confuses children. It can take up to 2 months to work. Being patient and keeping a diary of behavior can be helpful to them. Choose 1 to 2 behaviors you would like to change (for example, no hitting parents and objects). Choose a reward he would enjoy. Examples of good rewards are an extra bedtime story, delaying bedtime by half an hour. Alternative method of ignoring his bad behavior (temper tantrums)include not giving extra attention to his bad behavior and just correcting his bad behavior in a calm manner (without high emotion). Also, he may not stop it immediately when you told them to "stop" or "no".
In addition, they can continue to help him follow their rules and instructions: For example, you develop a routine schedule for him and stick to it. They may also clear away distractions. They also may teach him how to control impulse for instant gratification in middle of his routine. One of strategies is telling him "STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, AND THINK" to delay his instant desire. Also, Continue to PRAISE whenever he sticks to routines and completes whatever he has to do at the moment. I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards,

Edited by Dr. Olsen on 1/1/2011 at 7:38 PM EST
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your answer unfortunately they have tried rewarding him for doing well and being good, also ignoring the bad behavior or telling him no! ect but he doesnt seem to take any notice when he is in one of these moods and completely ignors them.
Hi, Thanks for your response. It sounds like rewarding and ignoring are not working for him. Is it possible for his parents to take him out to places where he can get exercise?
they also may use the following methods to relax him and manage his impulse better -1. Music: Play for him his favorite music. Certain forms of music have the power to soothe his mind and body. 2. Exercise: Ask him to relax his muscles. Ask him to focus on different muscles of the body and try relaxing them one at a time. Physical relaxation eventually leads to the relaxation of his mind. 3. Laughter: Laughter, popularly denoted, as the best medicine is an excellent relaxation technique for children. 4. Visualization: Encouraging him picturing the things he loves can make him feel relaxed. Allow him to imagine something nice and visualize that scenario in front of his closed eyes. Imaging of good things happening to him is definitely helpful. You may read children's books on a happy family to him. 5. Take a break: Taking a break from the daily routine is very necessary when it comes to relaxation. You may try some of these techniques for him. Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards,
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