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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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my son is 10 years old. he got into some trouble on the school

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my son is 10 years old. he got into some trouble on the school bus yesterday, (which i didn't find out about until the school called today). He hit another child that called him a chicken. apparently the other child had a bloody nose. my son is diagnosed with ADHD & GAD. he is a wonderful kid, but very difficult. he is in therapy and on medication. im just not sure how to respond this. any suggestions?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.



Regardless of him being treated for ADHD/GAD, he would still have to take responsibility for his aggression/low frustration tolerance. You would want to get his side of the story (did he get so mad because this other child bullies him, did he think his friends will think less of him if he did not defens himself, did he try to tell an adult what was going on, etc) Then you would speak to him about anger/aggression and how people can hurt one another with their words (like his peer did by calling him a name, and how it does not make it any better to retaliate against him)


You can let him know that people make mistakes (his peer did so and your son did so in his reply) and that it is more important to know what is the right response should someone aggravates him in the future. Then you and him can talk about ways that he could have handled it differently and making sure that he learns and applies anger management techniques. Teach him that at times it is best to ignore the negative behavior. You can think of some consequence that may be fair (this is after the fact) Perhaps have him write some ways that he had used in the past to help him with his frustration and post it on his wall at home.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Yes we have been through all of that with him before, and the assistant principle whom called me said that he has gone through all of that with him today as well. The principle did not think that he had gotten through to him. I think he is probably correct. This is the first time that he has acted out physically, but, unfortunately, not the first time that he has taken his anger out on others. He says that he doesn't know how to stop himself. I know that the transition from the Thanksgiving holiday was tough for him, but I am really at a loss here.

Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.

His behavior won't change over night. If low frustration tolerance is an issue for him, then he can be enrolled in anger management classes for children either if the school counselor offers that or through a community mental health agency. There would be no point of talking to him on and on about his past mistakes. You've done it and the principle had done so. The next thing would be to act- come up with a plan of what is expected of him, what the consequences will be in the future and make sure that these rules you set for him are enforced by others in the family- grandparents, your partner, etc. Speak to the school counselor to see if she has any resources for anger management for children. He is simply reacting to his triggers and he can learn to practice self control. It may take some time, but with enforcement and encouragement, it can be done. He has heard what you've said even if he is not taking it seriously. Once he starts getting monitored and consequnted for his behavior, he may connect his own behavior to the undesirable outcomes for himself.


Indigo Ocean Dreams: 4 Children's Stories Designed to Decrease Stress, Anger and Anxiety while Increasing Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness by Lori Lite (Audio CD - Oct 17, 2006)


Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Help Your Child Regulate Emotional Outbursts and Aggressive Behaviors - Paperback (Nov. 2009) by Pat Harvey and Jeanine A. Penzo

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What do you think appropriate consequences are?
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.
Consequences - taking away privileges, TV time, allowance, etc. Anything that he finds desirable being removed from his possession/control is a consequence. But, you would always have let him know how those ought to be earned back and in what time frame. For his age, you can withhold something for about 4-5 days if it is an item, and if it is to do with time - not letting him go outside to play, not watching TV or playing games, that can be done during the day of the incident. He should know at all times what is expected of him, what the consequences should be and how to earn his privileges back. You would have to find what matters to him (all kids have something they care about) and use those things as motivators. To make it easier for him, you can print a weekly chart and post it on the fridge where you mark his behavior and outcome- if he starts to follow direction. You could also think if you would want to reward positive behavior with things he enjoys- adding extra play time, having a favorite snack, etc.
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