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hintonrae, Teacher and Youth Mentor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 513
Experience:  Mother of Three (Teen, Middle School, and Toddler), High school Teacher, Youth Mentor, Tutor, Writer, Family Blogger, MAEd
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My grandson has these episodes when he cannot do something. These epis

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My grandson has these episodes when he cannot do something. These episodes last about 20-30 minutes. He screams, hollers, kicks and just gets completely out of hand. My daughter has tried purnishing him by making him stay in his room, taking his toys away, no television or video games. He is almost six years old and going into kindergarten. Last year in Pre-K he had an episode because another student broke in line. The teacher nor the principal could do anything with him. What would be your recomendation?

hintonrae :

Good morning. I am so sorry to hear you and your family are going through this together. There are, honestly, many things that could be happening with your grandson, and clarity might come with age and counseling. Let's try to get to the bottom of it, though, shall we? Can you provide me with a little further information about his preschool years? Did he adapt easily from home to preschool care or struggle? Is he an only child, or does he have siblings? Have there been any major life changes recently (other than going into kindergarten--that's a biggie!)--a move, divorce, death in the family, new addition to the family, death of a pet, etc. Has a sibling or family member ever been diagnosed with an attention disorder? (It's a little early to identify/diagnose such, but children do start to exhibit symptoms around this time, and the aware family member will pick up on those little changes.)



hintonrae :

Thanks for providing a little more information for me, and as soon as I have that I'll be able to provide a more complete response for you. I look forward to continuing our discussion when you are back online. :)


Nothing major. His mother is expecting another baby in November. Did well in Pre_K except for a couple temper episodes. No history of ADD in family. Mother just quit work to stay at home with children. He has gotten to where he wants to stay with his mother all the time. He always would call us and want to come to our home.

hintonrae :

Hello, again--thank you for the additional information. Some of this may be due to the coming baby. Your grandson sees the changes that this situation is going to create--everyone around him, for example is getting excited, perhaps shifting their focus a little bit--and it is affecting him. One of the ways that it affects him is that he feels powerless to control his environment. 5 and 6 year-olds are trying very hard to become independent and exert control over their world, as it is.


This really becomes evident when he tries to do something, and struggles. It's one more area where he's powerless, if that makes sense.

hintonrae :

When he finds he's unable to succeed in doing something, he lashes out into the tantrum you describe--which isn't the best way of reacting, and is a little on the extreme end of the spectrum. This suggests that he's having a really difficult time managing his emotions, overall, and is unleashing them in anger and frustration when he's upset over not being able to control something.

hintonrae :

My recommendations would be to have his parents sit down with him and talk to him about his feelings about the baby coming. He may likely be unresponsive to them, so it may even be better for you, his grandfather, to talk to him. Some creative ways of having kids open up about their emotions are to have them draw a picture about the situation, and then talk to you about what's going on in that picture, or to role play the situation. (You could do with this with grandson playing mommy, a doll being the baby, and you being the brother).

hintonrae :

Once you have done this, you can help him connect his feelings to his behaviors. "How does this make you feel?" "What do you do when you feel like this?" "Is that the best way to handle that?" "What might be a better way?"


This is, essentially, counseling.

hintonrae :

You are helping him understanding his feelings, cope with them, and find better ways of dealing with them.


It's not likely to be a quick fix, simply because the things that bring children to emotional and behavioral points such as these don't just disappear. Your influence (and helping his mother be the same influence) of reminding him "okay, I know you're upset...what's a better way to deal with this?" will be constant for a while, until it becomes second nature for your grandson to think on his own.



hintonrae :

Some CREATIVE discipline that often works is a mixture of incentive and discipline.

  • Marble Jar: Take 2 Jars. Fill one with marbles, and each time the child does something wonderful, give him a marble and some praise. In like fashion, when they disobey or are defiant, take a marble away. Each marble/quantity of marbles should be worth a prize at the end of the day or week so they fee like they are earning an incentive for being the great kids that they are.

  • The "I"M SO MAD" whiteboard. When your child gets so upset they are absolutely uncontrollable, and wants to throw that tantrum, have a special, "MAD" spot reserved just for them. For my child, this was her closet, a big roomy one, that we fixed up with pillows and sleeping bag, and stuffed animals, but it could also be a tent, or a fort made out of a box...get the child involved in its creation, and reserve it only for this occasion. Keep a small whiteboard in it, with a stash of dry-erase pens. Let them pour out their mad on that whiteboard, and then, when they are feeling calmer, they can erase the anger and frustration away. This calmed tantrums beautifully with my own daughter, and I don't believe they realize that it is serving as a time-out.


It never hurts, if you're up for it, to see a professional counselor just to rule out serious issues such as oppositional defiance disorder, ADD, etc, if the symptoms seem to escalate or simply do not go away.


I hope this information helps. I see you rated my service as poor earlier, and I hope that was simply because I had not fully answered your question yet--I was just waiting on the remaining information in order to do so. If there is anything at all else I can provide to assist you, please let me know. My goal with all of my clients is to make certain they are 100% satisfied. If you have any other questions, I'm still here...just keep replying and I'll receive the message.


:) Lori

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This answer is more beneficial....I want to say your rate should not be poor...It should be excellent!!!!!! Thanks so much for your help

Thank you; I am happy to hear that! If there's anything else I can do for you, please let me know. Have a great day, sir!

Lori Laughing

hintonrae, Teacher and Youth Mentor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 513
Experience: Mother of Three (Teen, Middle School, and Toddler), High school Teacher, Youth Mentor, Tutor, Writer, Family Blogger, MAEd
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Hello! My name is Janet. I am a School Psychologist and we deal with these types of episodes frequently. I would be interested to know if he has any siblings. Also - is his mother a single mother? I'm wondering who does all the discipline. It sounds to me like he is frustrated about things - hence the tantrums. While he needs some discipline, I would think it would be important to also look into what the source of his frustration is. That is why I asked about the family dynamics.

What a caring grandmother you are! How involved are you with him? I'm not sure what you mean by the school and principal being unable to do anything with him? Is the elementary school the same school as his Pre-school?

I'm thinking he is trying to gain some control over his environment. The important thing you can look at is - what need is not being met? Misbehavior is simply an attempt to meet a basic need. For example, if you are hungry, and you are sitting in a meeting, you will tend to be more impatient and less communicative because you are hungry! Basic needs range from Food and Water to Love and Belonging. So - his tantrums are communicating a need. I do not know enough to answer this effectively. I could give you a better idea if you could tell me a little more about the family dynamics - siblings, parents work, dad live with family?, your involvement with the family?

1. What need is not being met? If he wants attention, then he needs to be taught how to get it properly.
2. If he has attention/focus issues it can never hurt to have him evaluated for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). His pediatrician can refer you to someone or can evaluate himself. Even if this is the case - it still doesn't "fix" your problem, but might give you more insight into his misbehavior. By the way, I am NOT a medication advocate!
3. More information would help me help you!
4. Review some of his previous incidents and try to assess the need not being met.
I love Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Take a look at this link.

It sounds like he is a sweet little boy who needs to learn appropriate ways to get out his anger and frustration - and we need to get down to where his anger and frustration is coming from.

I look forward to more information!