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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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my 7 year old grandson, an only child, loses his temper often

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my 7 year old grandson, an only child, loses his temper often though seldom when he is with me, his grandmother. He is very very bright indeed, reading adult non-fiction books about prehistoric life, the planets, great wall of china, names largest or smallest state on every continent etc.......and does okay in school though he does not shine - I suspect he is bored. Joe cannot explain why he loses his temper (and his mother often loses hers right back and the situation escalates) but he says he fears his heart is turning black and that he will be a very bad man and might go to jail. I try to help by talking to him and I spend a lot of time with him in his play world - he loves made up games where he and I are animals (but anthropomorphised) and interestingly he never wants to be the animal leader but just one of the henchmen though he does direct every step of the game. I want to find some strategy to help this wonderful child to control his temper and to feel happier and I would also like to offer coping skills to his mother who - it seems to me- is depressed and is not helping her child at all. BTW Joe is adopted - he knows who his birth mother is and has pictures of himself with her and is allowed and encouraged to talk about her - and it does seem as though he is absolutely fine about it all and one of our games is about adopted animals - and he was LONGED for by his parents.....he has a challenging character but I fear that perhaps his parents lack the skills to help him
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. Does your grandson have any behavioral issues at school? Does he have any friends?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
He does have some problems in school but not big issues - he is sometimes in trouble for not listening, for thinking he knows what is required before teacher finishes her explanation and some minor disruptive behaviours like talking when he is supposed to be doing something else but he is not often in trouble and only in a minor way............ and he does have friends at school and I (I look after him after school several days a week and much of the school vacation) invite one friend around to play often and we go on playdates. Joe does prefer my company much of the time because I will play what HE wants to play and I wonder if I am guilty of that...........he loves our imaginary play - but I strive to bring him into contact with other children. He also goes to two or three summer day camps - I work at out local community theatre and I have enrolled him in their summer program for the past three years and he went to riding/art/pottery camp and to soccer camp with his friend this year so he does get to mix with other children. he seems happier with one child than with several but he enjoys recess at school and can name friends with whom he plays.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
I must step out of the office for a bit but will promptly answer your concerns today. :)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

okay so I have not heard back from you again - hope you can answer tomorrow



Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Your grandson is most certainly mature and very intelligent for his age. With regards XXXXX XXXXX is there any chance that he is in a gifted or high achieving class? That would greatly benefit him. He may be bored with the regular curriculum. With regards XXXXX XXXXX grandson losing his temper, he seems to be imitating the way in which his mother acts. Slapping a 7 year old is not necessary. Also, where did he come up with the idea of a "black heart"? That really puts an extremely negative stigma in his mind. His mother may need to spend more quality time with her own child. Get to know him. Ask him questions about his day. Do mother and son fun things together. The mother really needs to listen attentively when the son talks to her. Focus much more on his numerous positive qualities. He seems like a terrific child! Mention all of these ideas to your grandson's mother. As for your grandson, he seems to be lacking self esteem and escapes from reality through imaginary play as well as having only a few friends. Maybe you should get him involved on a sports team like basketball, soccer, or even karate. Make sure his mom or you keep in contact with his teacher about his behavior as well. To help control his temper, you can role play how he should behave in certain situations since he likes imaginary play so much. Teach him how to calm himself down by counting to ten and then take three deep breathes as he walks away from the situation. You can also keep a behavior chart. Every day that he has a perfect day with no tantrums, he gets a sticker or happy face for the day. After 10 stickers, and they do not have to be on consecutive days, he gets a really special treat or outing. The key to this method is consistency and persistency. Children often want to change their behavior when a reward is involved.

Hope these things have provided you with some insight. Have a great evening!
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