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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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Im having issues with my child behavior. He has been hitting

Resolved Question:

I'm having issues with my child behavior. He has been hitting kids in school as of lately and has really showed some anger issues. He has also been tardy to class lately. I've tried punishing him and taking everything away from him, but that seems to made it worse. Any way you can please help me? He is 11 years old now and will be turning 12 in may.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Jennifer replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using!

I'd suggest you contact the school counselor and/or school psychologist about setting up a meeting. Explain your concerns and ask what kind of support they might be able to provide. They may have an anger management counseling group available where your son could learn strategies for coping with and expressing anger in appropriate ways. If not, they can provide you with community resources who have those kinds of classes / counseling groups available for children. The psychologist may want to do a Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA) to determine the function of the behaviors. People (including children) only do behaviors that work for them. Your son is getting his needs met in some way through these misbehaviors. The idea is to figure out what that need is and teach him a more appropriate way to meet it. This is usually done through a few sessions of counseling or skills training and a behavioral plan in the classroom (often a combination of rewards for positive behavior and consequences for misbehavior). You can even tie the behavior plan into home rewards -- For example, if he has a good day he gets to play a game with you that evening. The more involved he is in creating the plan and the rewards he can potentially earn, the more tied into it he'll be.

In the meantime, teach your son (at a time when he's not angry) some ways to "cool off" when he's feeling mad. Counting to 10, taking deep breaths, visual imagery (imagining something pleasant), and muscle tension / relaxation (squeeze then release muscles one group at a time) are just a few examples. Let him see you do these things on occasion, too -- you'll be modeling how effective they can be. If you see him begin to get frustrated, remind him of these strategies and praise his efforts to do them.

Lastly, I'd suggest you look into Love & Logic for more ideas. It's a great parenting / teaching theory I recommend to families I work with and use with my own daughter. The website ( has many free resources for parents including articles and videos. I wish you the best of luck!
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