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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I have a 7 year old boy in Grade 1. Before Grade 1 he was

Customer Question

I have a 7 year old boy in Grade 1. Before Grade 1 he was very obedient, loved being at home, and an overall pleasant child. This is the first year where he LOVES school more than home and I'm noticing a lot of attitude and behavioural problems. He is getting more and more temper tantrums and rebels against everything I say. Simple things like do your homework or clean your room end in total meltdowns. Sometimes he says things like "I don't want to live" and "life is so hard". His teacher praises Levi and says he is an absolute joy at school, well liked by his peers, and he is doing very well at school. Obviously the problem is at home. I really don't know how to handle him. How do I react to his total meltdowns?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.
Hello...are you the mom or the dad? Are both parents in the home? Have there been any recent traumatic life changes or stressors at home? Is your son an only child?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am a stay at home mom. Both parents are present. Father is home every night. We have a very good marriage. No recent stressors in his life. I have a 5 year old daughter. He often says I love her more than him. I think he often says these terrible and hurtful things (especially when he says I don't want to live anymore) because he's longing for attention. I've been trying to pay more attention to him and be more positive, but I really don't know how to react to his rage and his hurtful outbursts.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 6 years ago.

Your frustrations with your son's hurtful words and melt downs are all completely normal. The problem is that you need to pinpoint the events that lead up to his tantrums. Once you are able to identify the events, you can begin to teach an alternative behavior. When your son is frustrated, he needs to state, "I am not happy because.... " If he cannot verbally express his feelings, have him draw a picture of what makes him mad and what makes him happy. Try to focus on doing the things that make him happy. When he does start throwing a tantrum, tell him "No. That is not the appropriate way to behave." Give him a choice as to shape up. If he continues to throw a fit, walk away. Do not continue to give his negative behavior attention...unless he is harming himself or others. Keep on focusing on the positive behavior much more than the negative. Also, when he says that he does not want to live, just ignore the comments. He is simply trying to push your buttons and get a reaction from you especially since he is such an angel at school. If more advice is needed, just ask.Laughing