Friday, November 30, 2007

Dear Abbyblog,

I have a 9 1/2 year old son. Increasingly he is given to hair-trigger eruptions of anger and invective. He seems to feel slighted by the whole world and is moody.

Could this be the start of adolescence? Isn't 9 1/2 too young?

Any insight you could offer would be most appreciated.

--Anxious in Ann Arbor

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6 Comments:

Blogger mm said...

Anecdotally responding.
Neighbour across street is in full swing of this type of behaviour... turned 10 at the end of August.
Husband, a school teacher, sends you best wishes... no it is not too young.
Oodles of sympathy as well.
My six year old is doing the same thing... with him though, we are chalking it up to other issues =(

11:38 AM  
Blogger doctorjen said...

I've been through this phase now with 2 kids (fully through it and moved on) and just started with my 10 year old ds. I don't know if it's hormonal (judging on when my 2 oldest entered puberty, I don't think it was puberty related as they were older and already more rational human beings by then.)
I just think it's hard to be a kid. In 4th or 5th grade you start to have more pressures, more friend peer issues, start to want to make your own independent ideas about things, and then have the contrasting wish to still be a little child.
I had good success with blunting some of that anger by not responding in kind, by calming encouraging them to speak in a normal tone of voice, by acknowledging their feelings "wow, that really makes you angry/upset/frustrated" and most importantly by finding ways to tell and show them that I loved them still. My 10 yr old who is having a rough time right now I've started reading to again at night, and snuggling in the recliner again with him, and hugging him or at least touching him every time I walk by him, and that seems to be helping.
Good luck. I know it's so hard to see your precious, sweet baby child act like that - but remember it's a phase just like those toddler tantrums. You keep loving him through it, get a little family counseling if you think you need it, and remember it's not about you (I mean it's not personal that he's feeling badly and taking it out on you, you are his mother and the person he can most let his hair down with.)

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Doulicia,

No, it is not too early. Some parents who have written to me in the past, ;) and healthcare professionals have described these types of hormonal changes in boys quite near the age of your son.

This is normal. Since there isn't much you can, or would want to do to alter your sons hormonal status, perhaps some tips other parents have found successful in dealing with their children?

Try this, it will turn what you use to consider your role as a parent on its head, guaranteed!

But many parents find it quite useful. My children should send thank-you notes to the Love and Logic institute. Using Love and Logic in my home saved my kids their necks many a time. I learned what truly constitutes their problem, and not mine. Makes parenting much simpler and more joyful.

Perhaps Santa might bring you a CD or 2 from the institute? Otherwise, go to the local library, pop a cd in (Helicopters, Drill Sargeants and Consultants is a great place to start, but any of them will do), listen, and repeat.

You will appreciate it more if you just try to apply the technique to one simple, yet chronic issue. Eventually it becomes 2nd nature. I am 85% evolved.

Don't tell the husband the strategies are useful to any relationship, marriage and work as well.

Good Luck!

www.LoveandLogic.com

5:58 PM  
Anonymous busha said...

Oh my. In Waldorf education there is the time of the nine-year change. May I recommend the book "Encountering the Self" by hermann Koepke? here is a little blurb about this time of growth in a child's life: "The Ninth Year is a critical turning point in the development of the child. Wonderful and great changes begin to occur at around the age of nine. A child begins to withdraw within to an extent, and I do admit - it's not an easy time - but what is happening is the blossoming of a very curious and inquisitive phase. At this age an intelligent child can gaze long and silently at an adult with the unspoken question as to what kind of person the adult really is. The unconscious felling can arise in the child that the adult has been weighed up and found wanting. In such a situation the child's behavior alters from one moment to the next. All respect has vanished..." (From Education Towards Freedom) There's a lot out there on the subject. I hope this might help you a bit.xoxoxomarianne

2:18 PM  
Anonymous marianne said...

Ummmm...also, I tagged you. :) I hope this is alright! xoxox

2:49 PM  
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5:28 PM  

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