Q&A: tantrums from end of school year?

Molly writes:

"My oldest son turned 5 last Tuesday; his kid birthday party was the Saturday before, and we got together with family for dinner and cake on his actual birthday.  On Monday (the day before his birthday), he had a rough day with the nanny and even turned over some chairs in the living room (!).  Every day since then, except Sunday, he has had an angry outburst where he ends up moving and overturning furniture. Twice he had been sent to his room when the behavior started, and moved his brother's crib, then turned the rocking chair and ottoman on their sides.

This is totally freaking me out! He's definitely a challenging kid, but has never behaved like this before. We are reacting more calmly than we did at first, and things seem to be getting better, but I am still very concerned.  Have you ever heard of behavior like this that comes on so suddenly? I am wondering if it's a combination of sadness that his birthday is over and the transition of the end of school (and he knows that he will be at a new school next year, which may be causing him stress).  At what point is this a problem that we need some help with?"

My first thought was that Molly's son may have eaten a lot of things at the birthday party and during his birthday week that could cause these sudden tantrums–artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners are big culprits in sudden bad behavior. The chemicals just overwhelm the kids and they can't control their behavior.

But I checked with Molly, and he didn't eat anything he doesn't normally eat.

So that makes me think it's the sadness from the end of the school year and fear of going to a new school in the fall. This can be really, really hard for kids. they get used to a routine, and to the friends in their classes, and then it just stops. And the summer routine can be too much fun or kind of boring for kids, so it's a toss-up about how they'll react once they're really into the summer routine. But at this point, all they're feeling is that things are changing, and they're not going to do the same things every day anymore.

Loss is hard enough for adults to deal with. Kids need extra help. And it's important to acknowledge their loss and not try to distract them or cheer them up before you acknowledge how real their pain is.

It's probable that your child (under the age of 10 or so) doesn't even really know how to label the emotions as loss. So you might need to instigate the conversations about the end of the school year. Without leading your child ("Boy, you're really going to miss your friends, aren't you?") you can open up the topic of not seeing them every day anymore, or not going to school anymore and just ask how it makes your child feel.

Being able to talk about it may be enough help to end the tantrums, or you may just need to ride them out. As usual, the feelings that cause the tantrums aren't wrong, but hurting people or animals and causing physical destruction is not allowed.

Are any of the rest of you going through this? My older one is thrilled for school to be over in a  few weeks, but my younger one is feeling a little strange about school ending. Molly's son and mine can't be the only ones feeling bad about things ending.

0 thoughts on “Q&A: tantrums from end of school year?”

  1. I don’t have a lot of personal data points to add, since my only is just one. I would bet it is mostly about the impending transition.However, my sister swears by advice she got when her 9 year old was a toddler that might be be of some help to Molly. She says that when kids are on the verge of a growth spurt, you can frequently see it in their behavior. Their bodies get depleted in B vitamins and suddenly the tolerance for frustration bottoms out. She has these cookies she bakes with honey and molasses when she suspects this is happening, to help get some extra B’s into her daughter. She swears it helps.
    Based on her success with this, I would suggest that the transition might be hitting Molly’s son harder than normal because he’s also headed for a big growth spurt. Just a thought.

  2. I don’t have a lot of personal data points to add, since my only is just one. I would bet it is mostly about the impending transition.However, my sister swears by advice she got when her 9 year old was a toddler that might be be of some help to Molly. She says that when kids are on the verge of a growth spurt, you can frequently see it in their behavior. Their bodies get depleted in B vitamins and suddenly the tolerance for frustration bottoms out. She has these cookies she bakes with honey and molasses when she suspects this is happening, to help get some extra B’s into her daughter. She swears it helps.
    Based on her success with this, I would suggest that the transition might be hitting Molly’s son harder than normal because he’s also headed for a big growth spurt. Just a thought.

  3. Last summer school (public preK) ended and we moved out of state in July and there was lots of drama from Casper – at school and at home. She was 4 and able to articulate that she was going to miss her friends. There was also a shit-ton of stress in the house generally, because of the moving and dissertation-finishing and job-getting. If she hadn’t been having breakdowns I would have been surprised.This year K ended May 20 and the last week there was one brief crying spell about missing the teacher, but Casper will be returning to the same school in the fall so it’s not so rough. Our big difficulty has been the transition to summer camp at the YMCA. She doesn’t have any particular friends there, and there are a lot of kids and it’s all new and we’re seeing a bunch of social anxiety (which is also sort of new – I think she’s just aged up into increased awareness of social stuff, at nearly 6). This is manifesting as extreme anxiety over whether what she is wearing is cool enough. Yesterday was a nightmare; today a breeze. Maybe we are over the hump.
    Dillo (nearly 3) cried about not getting to go to summer camp!

  4. Last summer school (public preK) ended and we moved out of state in July and there was lots of drama from Casper – at school and at home. She was 4 and able to articulate that she was going to miss her friends. There was also a shit-ton of stress in the house generally, because of the moving and dissertation-finishing and job-getting. If she hadn’t been having breakdowns I would have been surprised.This year K ended May 20 and the last week there was one brief crying spell about missing the teacher, but Casper will be returning to the same school in the fall so it’s not so rough. Our big difficulty has been the transition to summer camp at the YMCA. She doesn’t have any particular friends there, and there are a lot of kids and it’s all new and we’re seeing a bunch of social anxiety (which is also sort of new – I think she’s just aged up into increased awareness of social stuff, at nearly 6). This is manifesting as extreme anxiety over whether what she is wearing is cool enough. Yesterday was a nightmare; today a breeze. Maybe we are over the hump.
    Dillo (nearly 3) cried about not getting to go to summer camp!

  5. ME ME ME!My daughter will be 5 next week. She LOVES school. Like beyond reason. (Back in January, when we were discussing that she’d go to camp in the summer because there was no school, she broke down crying because she wants to go to school, not camp. Now she’s ok with camp because it’s the same one from last year, which she liked.)
    Anyway, not only is school ending, but there is a lot of upheaval: we’re moving internationally during the summer. While she is excited about it (we’ll be in the same country as her cousins, a set of grandparents, and some other friends), I have to imagine she is feeling some of the separation “anxiety” that my husband and I are.
    She hasn’t manifested this with anything physical, but she has thrown a lot of tantrums (she is prone to DRAMA anyway) and seems irrationally anxious (is that an oxymoron?) about things.
    I think that she, like my husband, gets very anxious in anticipation of change. Once the change has arrived (i.e., once school is over and she is happily in camp; once we have completed the move and she is ensconced in her new routine) I think she will be fine.
    Last year during the last couple of weeks of school (a different school than where she is now) there was some of the same behavior, though I chalked it up to the fact that she really didn’t like school there. It could have been the anticipation of change.
    We’re just riding it out. Frankly, the 3 year old whopper fits my son is throwing are giving her a lot of competition in the drama department.
    Which isn’t to say that I’m not consuming a lot of chocolate at the end of the day.

  6. ME ME ME!My daughter will be 5 next week. She LOVES school. Like beyond reason. (Back in January, when we were discussing that she’d go to camp in the summer because there was no school, she broke down crying because she wants to go to school, not camp. Now she’s ok with camp because it’s the same one from last year, which she liked.)
    Anyway, not only is school ending, but there is a lot of upheaval: we’re moving internationally during the summer. While she is excited about it (we’ll be in the same country as her cousins, a set of grandparents, and some other friends), I have to imagine she is feeling some of the separation “anxiety” that my husband and I are.
    She hasn’t manifested this with anything physical, but she has thrown a lot of tantrums (she is prone to DRAMA anyway) and seems irrationally anxious (is that an oxymoron?) about things.
    I think that she, like my husband, gets very anxious in anticipation of change. Once the change has arrived (i.e., once school is over and she is happily in camp; once we have completed the move and she is ensconced in her new routine) I think she will be fine.
    Last year during the last couple of weeks of school (a different school than where she is now) there was some of the same behavior, though I chalked it up to the fact that she really didn’t like school there. It could have been the anticipation of change.
    We’re just riding it out. Frankly, the 3 year old whopper fits my son is throwing are giving her a lot of competition in the drama department.
    Which isn’t to say that I’m not consuming a lot of chocolate at the end of the day.

  7. As exciting as change can be, it is a major source of stress (good and bad) for our just turned 5 year old. The month or so following her birthday each year has always been a topsy turvy time for this one. I think ours has her off months ON the birthday, rather than at half birthday. We have recently discovered that some of this is due to the beginning of seasonal allergies/mild asthma, but there is also the school thing.Ours is fickle about pre-school (which continues for her through the summer), so there doesn’t seem to be sadness about it ending, but there is a definite preoccupation with starting Real School this fall. In fact, she is play “school” right now, as I type this.
    I have learned (very quickly) that five is not the same as four. It’s a different world around our house these days, and while I hope some of it turns around with some treatment of the allergies, I know my kid and some is just plain developmental stages. ERRRRR, why do they have to go through those?!

  8. How discombobulating this must be for you, OP! If it’s any consolation, I did the same angry furniture mover/room trashing stuff after being sent to my room as a kid, around age 7 & 8. One day I realized it was not the way I wanted to be, and I started using words to express my emotions. I recall overhearing my dad joking about it to my mom, and likening my behavior to the movie “Poltergeist” (where the spirits start moving the family’s furniture and all hell breaks loose). My folks did not make any huge deal about it, and there was certainly no payoff for me for acting that way. That’s probably a healthy attitude for handling it. In hindsight, I think my poor, sugary, Wonder Bread diet definitely contributed to this behavior.

  9. I think Elaine has a good point to add – remember that right around the birthday, there’s a mini-upheaval that can last a few weeks. So whether it is growth-spurt (physical) or stage-related (brain growth), it can make the whole thing worse. I’ve never heard of using B vitamins to combat that, but it probably won’t hurt! My kids are fairly much in control of their diets, so I’ve noticed they tend to binge on certain foods before a spurt (especially heavier on the oatmeal… hey B vitamins!).Also, consider the difference in degree of physical activity at home with Nanny vs school. When my kids get physical when upset, it is OFTEN because they are just not getting enough loading on the physical motor activity. Life is soooo much calmer when we let them fill up on movement, weight-bearing activity, gross motor, fine motor, vestibular stimulation (spinning, swinging), etc., etc. School activities are designed carefully to cover all that ground (at least at the good schools!). Home activities might not be hitting the full range, and their bodies will DEMAND the stimulus. The fact that chairs were overturned suggests gross-motor and weight-bearing exercise need, to me. The urgency of the body demand can be really frustrating, too, so that can add to the existing stress. And growth spurts and fussy stages make it all louder…
    Many things lumped together. But I’d put gross motor activity on the daily list. Mornings, especially, IMHO. We have a daily walk to the park with a lot of playground activity as the morning ‘thing’ with the nanny. Without that, they go haywire quickly.

  10. I think Elaine has a good point to add – remember that right around the birthday, there’s a mini-upheaval that can last a few weeks. So whether it is growth-spurt (physical) or stage-related (brain growth), it can make the whole thing worse. I’ve never heard of using B vitamins to combat that, but it probably won’t hurt! My kids are fairly much in control of their diets, so I’ve noticed they tend to binge on certain foods before a spurt (especially heavier on the oatmeal… hey B vitamins!).Also, consider the difference in degree of physical activity at home with Nanny vs school. When my kids get physical when upset, it is OFTEN because they are just not getting enough loading on the physical motor activity. Life is soooo much calmer when we let them fill up on movement, weight-bearing activity, gross motor, fine motor, vestibular stimulation (spinning, swinging), etc., etc. School activities are designed carefully to cover all that ground (at least at the good schools!). Home activities might not be hitting the full range, and their bodies will DEMAND the stimulus. The fact that chairs were overturned suggests gross-motor and weight-bearing exercise need, to me. The urgency of the body demand can be really frustrating, too, so that can add to the existing stress. And growth spurts and fussy stages make it all louder…
    Many things lumped together. But I’d put gross motor activity on the daily list. Mornings, especially, IMHO. We have a daily walk to the park with a lot of playground activity as the morning ‘thing’ with the nanny. Without that, they go haywire quickly.

  11. You know, if you are matter of fact about change in your child’s life they will pick up on that and be more matter of fact themselves. By all means be open to discussion with them about the old school, new school, and changes et al. But change is how it is, and as my Mother used to tell me “successful organisms adapt”.If his behavior would embarass you in someone else’s home then don’t tolerate it in your own regardless of the cause.
    My two cents, and worth probably much less than that. πŸ™‚

  12. You know, if you are matter of fact about change in your child’s life they will pick up on that and be more matter of fact themselves. By all means be open to discussion with them about the old school, new school, and changes et al. But change is how it is, and as my Mother used to tell me “successful organisms adapt”.If his behavior would embarass you in someone else’s home then don’t tolerate it in your own regardless of the cause.
    My two cents, and worth probably much less than that. πŸ™‚

  13. @Elaine- Could you please post the cookie recipe? Please, please please? If there’s any chance that it might help when the “tolerance for frustration bottoms out” then I will happily give it a try- TODAY! I’m not sure who needs it more, my 4 year old or me?!@Moxie, thanks again for the timely post. Just when I am about to pull my hair out, you offer hope!

  14. @Elaine- Could you please post the cookie recipe? Please, please please? If there’s any chance that it might help when the “tolerance for frustration bottoms out” then I will happily give it a try- TODAY! I’m not sure who needs it more, my 4 year old or me?!@Moxie, thanks again for the timely post. Just when I am about to pull my hair out, you offer hope!

  15. oh, and I’m not minimizing the emotional upheaval thing – my kids need to process their feelings about the transition. Just recognizing that it is challenging, that they’ll miss the old routine and friends, that learning new stuff is sometimes a little challenging… that’s all good. But I agree with Rachel to not present it as a fretful worry on your part, just commiserate and reflect it back. See the books Parent Effectiveness Training or Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids for how to set the tone without either over-stating or under-stating your reaction).Mr G was totally fine that school was out this year. He’s looking forward to next year more than he is going to miss this year. Mr B is really sorry that this year is over, and he’s going to miss his teacher and his friends. He is up-front that he will like summer, but is at the same time sad that he won’t be at school, too. At 5, mixed emotions were much harder for him to cope with – he felt he should feel ONE way, not two, three, four ways at once! Confusing! At 6, he was much more comfy with two or more feelings, and now he’s all about mixed emotions. Heh.

  16. oh, and I’m not minimizing the emotional upheaval thing – my kids need to process their feelings about the transition. Just recognizing that it is challenging, that they’ll miss the old routine and friends, that learning new stuff is sometimes a little challenging… that’s all good. But I agree with Rachel to not present it as a fretful worry on your part, just commiserate and reflect it back. See the books Parent Effectiveness Training or Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids for how to set the tone without either over-stating or under-stating your reaction).Mr G was totally fine that school was out this year. He’s looking forward to next year more than he is going to miss this year. Mr B is really sorry that this year is over, and he’s going to miss his teacher and his friends. He is up-front that he will like summer, but is at the same time sad that he won’t be at school, too. At 5, mixed emotions were much harder for him to cope with – he felt he should feel ONE way, not two, three, four ways at once! Confusing! At 6, he was much more comfy with two or more feelings, and now he’s all about mixed emotions. Heh.

  17. I have no input on what might be causing the tantrums or how to help fix them, but I just wanted to chime in to say that when my brother was a kid he went through a phase where he used to turn over everything he used to knock over all the furniture in his room every time he was sent to time out. That was just his way of throwing tantrums for a year or so. He never did any major damage and he eventually just stopped doing it when he realized it wasn’t getting the reaction he wanted from my mom. He’s now a polite, well-adjusted, 22-year-old college graduate. πŸ™‚ Hopefully it will be the same with your son and this is just a new technique he’s trying to see if he can get a reaction out of you.

  18. I have no input on what might be causing the tantrums or how to help fix them, but I just wanted to chime in to say that when my brother was a kid he went through a phase where he used to turn over everything he used to knock over all the furniture in his room every time he was sent to time out. That was just his way of throwing tantrums for a year or so. He never did any major damage and he eventually just stopped doing it when he realized it wasn’t getting the reaction he wanted from my mom. He’s now a polite, well-adjusted, 22-year-old college graduate. πŸ™‚ Hopefully it will be the same with your son and this is just a new technique he’s trying to see if he can get a reaction out of you.

  19. While I can’t address the whys of your child’s overturning-furniture-while-throwing-fits, I can admit to being one of those children also. For me, it was the physical manifestation of my internal frustration when I could not get to sleep by myself (I know where my child gets it from) but having my dad just tell me to go to sleep, that my mom was trying to sleep and couldn’t/wouldn’t come in. I would get so upset that I would throw all the pillows and stuffed animals off my bed and even flip the mattress off (and this was at 4 or 5). Luckily, I never really destroyed anything and stuck with the softer stuff that didn’t break or hurt me.I honestly can’t remember how my parents dealt with it, which leads me to believe they just kind of ignored it. Afterall, they wouldn’t have found the mess until morning anyway. I don’t think these tantrums lasted longer than a year.
    But I turned out to be a pretty well-adjusted person who only throws minor tantrums these days. πŸ˜‰ So I don’t think these kinds of tantrums mean that your kid will forever turn into the Hulk when he’s angry (although you might want to check for Gamma Ray exposure).
    Here’s some thoughts:
    -I’ve always wish my mom or even dad would have come in before I got that upset and tried techniques to calm me down. But now that I’m a parent, I understand more why they didn’t (they likely needed a break for their mental health).
    -As an adult, I still feel that sort of rage come over me sometimes (hello crazy pregnancy hormones!), and deep breaths and distraction seem to work best.
    -If I can find the words to express my frustrations and sympathy from others (namely hubby at this stage of life) prior to getting that upset, it seems to help.
    -I still occasionally need to bang around cabinets and doors and such to release the frustration. As long as it’s limited to things that won’t break and I’m not too rough with things and I don’t do it around other people, I don’t have a problem with release my frustrations with a little physical expression. But perhaps a good work out or something would be better. Hmmm.
    Hopefully you can extrapolate something useful from these thoughts!

  20. While I can’t address the whys of your child’s overturning-furniture-while-throwing-fits, I can admit to being one of those children also. For me, it was the physical manifestation of my internal frustration when I could not get to sleep by myself (I know where my child gets it from) but having my dad just tell me to go to sleep, that my mom was trying to sleep and couldn’t/wouldn’t come in. I would get so upset that I would throw all the pillows and stuffed animals off my bed and even flip the mattress off (and this was at 4 or 5). Luckily, I never really destroyed anything and stuck with the softer stuff that didn’t break or hurt me.I honestly can’t remember how my parents dealt with it, which leads me to believe they just kind of ignored it. Afterall, they wouldn’t have found the mess until morning anyway. I don’t think these tantrums lasted longer than a year.
    But I turned out to be a pretty well-adjusted person who only throws minor tantrums these days. πŸ˜‰ So I don’t think these kinds of tantrums mean that your kid will forever turn into the Hulk when he’s angry (although you might want to check for Gamma Ray exposure).
    Here’s some thoughts:
    -I’ve always wish my mom or even dad would have come in before I got that upset and tried techniques to calm me down. But now that I’m a parent, I understand more why they didn’t (they likely needed a break for their mental health).
    -As an adult, I still feel that sort of rage come over me sometimes (hello crazy pregnancy hormones!), and deep breaths and distraction seem to work best.
    -If I can find the words to express my frustrations and sympathy from others (namely hubby at this stage of life) prior to getting that upset, it seems to help.
    -I still occasionally need to bang around cabinets and doors and such to release the frustration. As long as it’s limited to things that won’t break and I’m not too rough with things and I don’t do it around other people, I don’t have a problem with release my frustrations with a little physical expression. But perhaps a good work out or something would be better. Hmmm.
    Hopefully you can extrapolate something useful from these thoughts!

  21. I was also going to suggest it might be due to a growth/developmental spurt. Similar behaviour has happened two years in a row with my 4.5 year old (at 3 and 4). IN our case, 2 months after his birthday he turned into a right little….. so and so. It lasted a couple of months. I’m sure the stress of changing schools, the thought of having to make new friends, new teachers etc wouldn’t help either. I spent as much time outdoors as possible ( not always easy considering it was March). Let him get it out of his system at the park/in the yard etc. Still the moment he walked into the house, he’d go ape s..t. It does eventually end though. Best of luck.

  22. My emotionally volatile boy (now 9 years old) does this at the end of every school year so far.For us, what you say “they get used to a routine, and to the friends in their classes, and then it just stops” is only sort of true. It doesn’t just stop. It seems like for the last month, the school year goes into a long, slow, death spiral. They stop having spelling tests. They stop having weekly homework. They finish workbooks and bring them home. They don’t do their usual routine. They have special event after special event, and every day is marked with “Remember! Only 21 days of school left now! THE END IS NIGH!! SOON EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE!!”
    This freaks my kid the hell out. I realize that change is hard, and kids need help with it, but I think they’ve gone to making it into far too big a deal, working many kids up to needless levels of anxiety over the whole thing.

  23. My emotionally volatile boy (now 9 years old) does this at the end of every school year so far.For us, what you say “they get used to a routine, and to the friends in their classes, and then it just stops” is only sort of true. It doesn’t just stop. It seems like for the last month, the school year goes into a long, slow, death spiral. They stop having spelling tests. They stop having weekly homework. They finish workbooks and bring them home. They don’t do their usual routine. They have special event after special event, and every day is marked with “Remember! Only 21 days of school left now! THE END IS NIGH!! SOON EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE CHANGE CHANGE!!”
    This freaks my kid the hell out. I realize that change is hard, and kids need help with it, but I think they’ve gone to making it into far too big a deal, working many kids up to needless levels of anxiety over the whole thing.

  24. One thing that helps my 6 year old with transitions is to make sure that she still has a way to stay in touch with the old friends. At her Pre-K graduation, I made sure to give out “moo cards” (I ordered them through flickr, but you could print up calling cards at home just as easily) with her picture and our email address/names on it to her friends. One of her favorite teachers left her preschool (a few years ago) and made sure to leave us her snail and e-mail addresses.

  25. One thing that helps my 6 year old with transitions is to make sure that she still has a way to stay in touch with the old friends. At her Pre-K graduation, I made sure to give out “moo cards” (I ordered them through flickr, but you could print up calling cards at home just as easily) with her picture and our email address/names on it to her friends. One of her favorite teachers left her preschool (a few years ago) and made sure to leave us her snail and e-mail addresses.

  26. Hmmm…maybe this is what’s going on with my almost 4 year old who just ended school two weeks ago. He’s in camp at the same place (with many of the same people) so I thought the transition would be fairly easier, but perhaps I was overly optimistic. He’s had tantrums before the ones over the last few weeks have been…remarkable.

  27. Hmmm…maybe this is what’s going on with my almost 4 year old who just ended school two weeks ago. He’s in camp at the same place (with many of the same people) so I thought the transition would be fairly easier, but perhaps I was overly optimistic. He’s had tantrums before the ones over the last few weeks have been…remarkable.

  28. I want to start by saying I could be way off base here. I don’t know this child so giving my opinion this way means I could be on target or way off. Here goes.My experience has shown me that when young children get triggered by events like switching schools those emotions usually show up at school, in the morning before school begins, on the way to school or just after school is done in the afternoon.
    Then if his emotions rise up when he isn’t around the school environment the emotions are more likely emotions of sadness.
    It’s not often that a 5 yr old turns furniture upside down and then stands there and announces I’m doing this because I’m mad that I’m switching schools, UNLESS he has clearly stated that. If he clearly stated that then he is being clear about what’s going on with his emotions.
    Because we’re adults we use our logical thinking and try to make sense of this behavior. We look at what’s going on in the child’s life- the switching of schools and easily find a match between that and the turning over of the furniture.
    You know you son best, so I bow to your heart and your instincts about what’s going on.
    To me it sounds like he has entered the 4.5 power struggle developmental cycle. These cycles do NOT begin at exact ages, they can begin 6 months before the “books say” the cycle begins or they can begin 6 months after the “books say” the cycle begins and it is still 100% normal.
    The power cycle triggers a child to state his feelings by trying to grab power and take control to see what happens when he does that. It comes out of the blue and disappears just as suddenly.
    In my humble opinion I think he needs to learn how to “step down” from his anger. That information can be found in book Your Spirited Child. NO, I’m not saying he’s a spirited child, but there is an amazing method in the book that can really help you teach him about his anger. The method shares words for you to use when he’s angry and help him “step down” from the anger.
    Use your heart and intuition to see if this is a good fit for you.
    Good luck.

  29. I want to start by saying I could be way off base here. I don’t know this child so giving my opinion this way means I could be on target or way off. Here goes.My experience has shown me that when young children get triggered by events like switching schools those emotions usually show up at school, in the morning before school begins, on the way to school or just after school is done in the afternoon.
    Then if his emotions rise up when he isn’t around the school environment the emotions are more likely emotions of sadness.
    It’s not often that a 5 yr old turns furniture upside down and then stands there and announces I’m doing this because I’m mad that I’m switching schools, UNLESS he has clearly stated that. If he clearly stated that then he is being clear about what’s going on with his emotions.
    Because we’re adults we use our logical thinking and try to make sense of this behavior. We look at what’s going on in the child’s life- the switching of schools and easily find a match between that and the turning over of the furniture.
    You know you son best, so I bow to your heart and your instincts about what’s going on.
    To me it sounds like he has entered the 4.5 power struggle developmental cycle. These cycles do NOT begin at exact ages, they can begin 6 months before the “books say” the cycle begins or they can begin 6 months after the “books say” the cycle begins and it is still 100% normal.
    The power cycle triggers a child to state his feelings by trying to grab power and take control to see what happens when he does that. It comes out of the blue and disappears just as suddenly.
    In my humble opinion I think he needs to learn how to “step down” from his anger. That information can be found in book Your Spirited Child. NO, I’m not saying he’s a spirited child, but there is an amazing method in the book that can really help you teach him about his anger. The method shares words for you to use when he’s angry and help him “step down” from the anger.
    Use your heart and intuition to see if this is a good fit for you.
    Good luck.

  30. I too was a kid who needed to throw tantrums to release my anger and frustration. My method of choice was flipping rugs! I grew up in an old house with wood floors and we had lots of small area rugs throughout the house. I vividly remember getting angry and frustrated and running through the house and flipping all of the rugs. I would start at one end of the house, grab one end of the rug with both hands and lift it up, flip it in mid air and throw it back down on the ground landing it in the exact same place but upside down. It took every muscle of my little body to do this and I remember feeling so much better afterwords. My parents never made a big deal about it, at least what I was doing wasn’t destructive, only disruptive. My mom didn’t really like having the rugs upside down, but she knew if she waited a few hours I would get frustrated again and flip them all back right side up! I eventually out grew it, maybe when I was about 6? I’d be lying to you though if I told you that I don’t have the urge to flip a rug now and then, especially now that I have two little button pushers, um I mean kids.The trigger for me then and now for that matter was a feeling of having no control over a situation. And once the frustration set in, the only thing that helped was a physical release.
    It’s hard when you can’t offer much control over the situation like school being out for the summer. For my 4 year old the frustration comes when he doesn’t want to go to school. Since going to school is a non-negotiable and reasoning with him about school only makes him dig in his heals, I just offer him control over as many other things that I can. He can choose between two choices for breakfast, what he’s going to wear, should he shake his teachers hand or give her a high five, etc. Filling up his day with lots of little choices seems to help him not focus on the big things he can’t choose.
    Also, when he does focus on the non-negotiables like at dinner time “I don’t like vegetables” I tell him, “Oh don’t worry, I will never make you like vegetables, you need to try them, but I will NEVER make you LIKE them” Much to my surprise that has worked.
    But the last bit of tantrum avoidance advice is from my son’s Montessori teacher. When your child seems like they aren’t listening or are getting frustrated, ask them “what is it that you need right now?” This has really helped us out! For instance, we were walking near a busy parking lot and he kept pulling on my hand trying to break lose and run towards the traffic. I was getting really frustrated when he wouldn’t listen and walk nicely holding my hand. I then remembered to get down on his level and I asked him what he needed. He said he needed to walk on the edge of the curb like a balance beam. I told him that would be OK as long as he held my hand. Tantrum (by mom and son) avoided! Other “needs” he’s had that I wasn’t aware of until I asked have been picking up a rock, read a traffic sign, look down a sewer grate, etc. So far it’s been rather easy and not time consuming to accommodate his needs. Asking him his needs has let me see the world from his perspective and it shows him that I am listening to him. Maybe this is common knowledge to other parents, but it’s been revolutionary for me! Note to self, need to write his teacher a note of thanks for the great advice!

  31. I too was a kid who needed to throw tantrums to release my anger and frustration. My method of choice was flipping rugs! I grew up in an old house with wood floors and we had lots of small area rugs throughout the house. I vividly remember getting angry and frustrated and running through the house and flipping all of the rugs. I would start at one end of the house, grab one end of the rug with both hands and lift it up, flip it in mid air and throw it back down on the ground landing it in the exact same place but upside down. It took every muscle of my little body to do this and I remember feeling so much better afterwords. My parents never made a big deal about it, at least what I was doing wasn’t destructive, only disruptive. My mom didn’t really like having the rugs upside down, but she knew if she waited a few hours I would get frustrated again and flip them all back right side up! I eventually out grew it, maybe when I was about 6? I’d be lying to you though if I told you that I don’t have the urge to flip a rug now and then, especially now that I have two little button pushers, um I mean kids.The trigger for me then and now for that matter was a feeling of having no control over a situation. And once the frustration set in, the only thing that helped was a physical release.
    It’s hard when you can’t offer much control over the situation like school being out for the summer. For my 4 year old the frustration comes when he doesn’t want to go to school. Since going to school is a non-negotiable and reasoning with him about school only makes him dig in his heals, I just offer him control over as many other things that I can. He can choose between two choices for breakfast, what he’s going to wear, should he shake his teachers hand or give her a high five, etc. Filling up his day with lots of little choices seems to help him not focus on the big things he can’t choose.
    Also, when he does focus on the non-negotiables like at dinner time “I don’t like vegetables” I tell him, “Oh don’t worry, I will never make you like vegetables, you need to try them, but I will NEVER make you LIKE them” Much to my surprise that has worked.
    But the last bit of tantrum avoidance advice is from my son’s Montessori teacher. When your child seems like they aren’t listening or are getting frustrated, ask them “what is it that you need right now?” This has really helped us out! For instance, we were walking near a busy parking lot and he kept pulling on my hand trying to break lose and run towards the traffic. I was getting really frustrated when he wouldn’t listen and walk nicely holding my hand. I then remembered to get down on his level and I asked him what he needed. He said he needed to walk on the edge of the curb like a balance beam. I told him that would be OK as long as he held my hand. Tantrum (by mom and son) avoided! Other “needs” he’s had that I wasn’t aware of until I asked have been picking up a rock, read a traffic sign, look down a sewer grate, etc. So far it’s been rather easy and not time consuming to accommodate his needs. Asking him his needs has let me see the world from his perspective and it shows him that I am listening to him. Maybe this is common knowledge to other parents, but it’s been revolutionary for me! Note to self, need to write his teacher a note of thanks for the great advice!

  32. While I definitely see the logic behind this being an end-of-school thing and/or a five-year-old thing, I’m thinking of something else.My mom always talked to me about “anti-climaxes.” I have no idea if that’s a real word or if it’s just what she called it, but basically, it boils down to this: Any time there was an exciting event in my life as a kid, I would look forward to it, enjoy anticipating it. It was thrilling. Then, before I knew it, the exciting event had come and gone (whether a birthday party or a trip or Christmas or whatever), and I would be in a complete funk. I apparently wasn’t a tantrumy kid, but I’ve always gotten depressed easily, and I would sulk and complain and be bored and – from my parents’ perspective, I’m sure – would generally be difficult. My mom never really gave me any coping strategies, but she talked me through the fact that it’s often hard to experience the let-down that so frequently occurs after a thrilling experience. I’ve noticed that as an adult, I still react this way sometimes, but knowing that it’s normal (at least for me), helps me just take a day or two to regroup, not do anything “useful,” and just regather my emotional strength.
    OK, that was a long-winded story, but if you’ve managed to follow it this far, what I’m thinking is that maybe Molly’s son just doesn’t know what to do with his leftover energy, now that his birthday is over and there’s a lull in the events going on around him? Maybe she could find a way to ask him if he’s sad that his birthday was over so soon or whether he feels bored now that he doesn’t have his birthday to look forward to anymore. Then maybe some more structured days would help him get back into the swing of things, along with some projects that would give him future events to look forward to.
    I hope this made sense. I feel that it was kind of rambling and all over the place. Good luck in any case!

  33. While I definitely see the logic behind this being an end-of-school thing and/or a five-year-old thing, I’m thinking of something else.My mom always talked to me about “anti-climaxes.” I have no idea if that’s a real word or if it’s just what she called it, but basically, it boils down to this: Any time there was an exciting event in my life as a kid, I would look forward to it, enjoy anticipating it. It was thrilling. Then, before I knew it, the exciting event had come and gone (whether a birthday party or a trip or Christmas or whatever), and I would be in a complete funk. I apparently wasn’t a tantrumy kid, but I’ve always gotten depressed easily, and I would sulk and complain and be bored and – from my parents’ perspective, I’m sure – would generally be difficult. My mom never really gave me any coping strategies, but she talked me through the fact that it’s often hard to experience the let-down that so frequently occurs after a thrilling experience. I’ve noticed that as an adult, I still react this way sometimes, but knowing that it’s normal (at least for me), helps me just take a day or two to regroup, not do anything “useful,” and just regather my emotional strength.
    OK, that was a long-winded story, but if you’ve managed to follow it this far, what I’m thinking is that maybe Molly’s son just doesn’t know what to do with his leftover energy, now that his birthday is over and there’s a lull in the events going on around him? Maybe she could find a way to ask him if he’s sad that his birthday was over so soon or whether he feels bored now that he doesn’t have his birthday to look forward to anymore. Then maybe some more structured days would help him get back into the swing of things, along with some projects that would give him future events to look forward to.
    I hope this made sense. I feel that it was kind of rambling and all over the place. Good luck in any case!

  34. If you’ve ever been around a bunch of teachers during the last few weeks of school then you know this behavior isn’t reserved to children. It’s stressful and sad and scary and somewhat exciting to leave the family you’ve built with your classmates/students for 10 months. Add to the mix a big move and I think it’s a recipe for some crazy emotional outbursts.I hope things get better soon!

  35. If you’ve ever been around a bunch of teachers during the last few weeks of school then you know this behavior isn’t reserved to children. It’s stressful and sad and scary and somewhat exciting to leave the family you’ve built with your classmates/students for 10 months. Add to the mix a big move and I think it’s a recipe for some crazy emotional outbursts.I hope things get better soon!

  36. @One Day at a Time… I haven’t been able to get a hold of my sister’s recipe. I know it is an oatmeal cookie recipe with equal parts honey and molasses. The original recommendation was for equal parts in water or a drink, but she was concerned about giving her daughter honey, so she tried the cookie recipe. I believe her recipe was trial and error… whatever her daughter would eat. Her daughter isn’t crazy about molasses. I think she ended up adding cinnamon chips in the cookies to help cover up the molasses taste.Sorry I can’t be more help! Good luck!

  37. @One Day at a Time… I haven’t been able to get a hold of my sister’s recipe. I know it is an oatmeal cookie recipe with equal parts honey and molasses. The original recommendation was for equal parts in water or a drink, but she was concerned about giving her daughter honey, so she tried the cookie recipe. I believe her recipe was trial and error… whatever her daughter would eat. Her daughter isn’t crazy about molasses. I think she ended up adding cinnamon chips in the cookies to help cover up the molasses taste.Sorry I can’t be more help! Good luck!

  38. @&BabyMakes75, thanks for the recipe link. They sound delicious and worth a try!@Elaine, thanks for looking!
    Happy weekend everyone.

  39. @&BabyMakes75, thanks for the recipe link. They sound delicious and worth a try!@Elaine, thanks for looking!
    Happy weekend everyone.

  40. This is totally freaking me out! He’s definitely a challenging kid, but has never behaved like this before. We are reacting more calmly than we did at first, and things seem to be getting better, but I am still very concerned. Have you ever heard of behavior like this that comes on so suddenly? I am wondering if it’s a combination of sadness that his birthday is over and tasdfhe transition of the end of school (and he knows that he will be at a new school next year, which may be causing him stress). At what point is this a problem that we need some help with?”

  41. This is totally freaking me out! He’s definitely a challenging kid, but has never behaved like this before. We are reacting more calmly than we did at first, and things seem to be getting better, but I am still very concerned. Have you ever heard of behavior like this that comes on so suddenly? I am wondering if it’s a combination of sadness that his birthday is over and tasdfhe transition of the end of school (and he knows that he will be at a new school next year, which may be causing him stress). At what point is this a problem that we need some help with?”

  42. everyone looked surprised, they thought Cheap Air Jordans Man spotted belly 100,000 troops on the mountain, want to get 100,000 troops to achieve this goal, in the chaotic? Li a place on the planet, but, Wang Cheap Air Jordans ‘s require large out they were expecting. Cheap Air Jordans secretly smile, in fact, anxious to get these thousands of troops, and determined to win, but, with their understanding of the nature of some difference in terminology, in the final analysis, all aimed , requires that they willingly, not under the agreement in force. the crowd because Cheap Air Jordans does not show the strength of the people immediately believe the contrary, their eyes reveal the suspect is not difficult to imagine that there is not that a slave state, but the entire ? Li planet, nor is it an era, but for generations to come, because they experienced the pain of being a slave, the heart is extremely annoying that they are slaves, hate what they become slaves and aristocrats, like the wild days Sen positions so that the liberation of slaves in the Mountain Man belly is already very great, but they never thought to liberate all the slaves, Heaven has hundreds of thousands of troops were able to use Belly Man into fierce mountain terrain to reach the dragon the two countries do nothing, but he would not dare to attack a nearby town, and their shortage of troops, not to mention a country, of course, the whole? Li slaves on the planet that is more impossible, and would like to have not thought about. Cheap Air Jordans said management is now the world’s slaves, they understand what it means, that is, all countries with the world and against the nobility, on their belly Mountain Man this force, attack a town is hard, even as the capture of a town but also how, can be indifferent watching those noble slaves occupied the city, looked at them helplessly, of course, impossible, would discredit, this is all noble things, not that a state of things. easing their stress, wild days of storage Sen said: impressive, however

  43. gmiouyeqqng, Good experience : | Michael Kors Sale nevertheless I agree, it is a tiny bit sort all over severely weird about it a student which creating utilization of my identity.. Michael Kors Sale β–½~ndxvqhecza

  44. PS: I wondered why you were rdeiang Mole Living until I figured out that it was Whole Living . A whole magazine just for mole sauce seemed excessive, then I thought it was mole animals then my brain kicked into gear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *