My son has anger problems - not usually physically aggressive towards other people but still VERY angry. He's struggled since he was less than 1yr old.
As pp said, he is allergic to additives and gets totally out of control if he has any- but he does struggle with it without the additives aswell.
Just a few tips of how WE deal with it. (i realise others might have totally different methods)
- Remember to empathise with his feelings as Much as you can.
- If he looses it- he goes to his room- 'no, we won't talk to you about it till you can talk nicely' - there is NO point in us even Trying to reason with him while hes really angry. (this stage can take a LONG time)
our son likes to bargin- "if you make me stay in my room, i'll just...." we just say, "well thats your choice, fine, but you can't come out till you can talk nicely about it" (this is actually good- because it means he's actually THINKING about it)
- Once he is ready to talk nicely i sit him down and ask him questions... How did you feel when you were yelling/ arguing...? , how do you think that made mummy feel? Is it good or bad to yell/hit... when you are angry? (we're christians so we also ask him what God would want him to do) What should you do when you are angry? (for him he should tell mum or dad or go to his room to think about it)
(by this time he is usually totally reasonable- but DON"T leave it at that!)
- Once he acknowledges that he was doing the wrong thing, we give him a consequence (there's not much point in a consequence if he doesn't acknowledge he's wrong first - 'cos then he just blames us for it instead of himself and just gets more angry) "Because you yelled/hit... when you got angry you have to/ you can't... "
- We get him to apologise - to me, whoever he got angry with and anyone else around who would have got upset by his behaviour (other sibblings, friends...)
- THAN we deal with why he got angry... his sister took his toy, i wouldn't listen, Dad didn't let me have___ , He couldn't get the toy to work... whatever. Ok- how could you have handled that without yelling... - talk to sister, try again, ...
- than we get him to deal with it in the way he thought of.
He's at the point now that often (not always)if he starts getting angry i just ask him if he needs to go to his room or talk to me- often he will just call out 'Mum, i just have to go to my room ok?' and off he goes by himself... when he comes out i ask him if he would like to talk or needs some help... and its all good.
but seriously - try the additives thing! or check out other potential problems.
Sorry this is really long- but as you know it IS hard to deal with. blink