7 year old throws tantrums

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-2005
7 year old throws tantrums
Mon, 11-28-2005 - 11:28pm

Hello all

Well, my seven year old throws tantrum, when he can't get his way, he kicks, screams and yells. Now I don't spank him when he does this but it is becoming more frustrating day after day.

I need help he is drving me insane. When I tell him no, or punish him for acting up he scream for long periods of time. I have tried everything, if you have any advice feel free to send it.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Tue, 11-29-2005 - 11:38am
have you tried time-outs? i deal with tantrums with my 3.5 yo & time-outs don't work with her just b/c she won't stay still, but maybe being 7, you can reason with him to sit in his room until he calms down.
kristie & hollie 5/99
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2003
Tue, 11-29-2005 - 3:49pm

Your DS will only do as much as he is allowed.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Tue, 11-29-2005 - 6:13pm

I, too, thought we were all done with tantrums. My kids must have gone a year without me hearing much more then whining. Suddenly my first grader has started throwing a tantrum again occasionally. I think it has everything to do with the increased expectations that we place on our first graders and his level of tiredness.

However, while I understand why he might decide to throw a tantrum it is still not okay in our house. Once a tantrum has started he is sent to his room and told that he can come out when he is ready to be sweet. When he comes out I give him a big hug and tell him that I missed him and is there anything he would like to talk to me about now that he is ready to be calm.

One time he refused to go to his room. I said, "Well, I can't force you to go to your room, but you know that little boys need to obey their parents. I will have to think about this a little." Then I ignored the rest of his tantrum.

Later, when it was time to go to soccer practice, I said, "Well, I have thought about it and it seems to me that you just need to practice going to your room so that you will be better at it the next time I ask you to go." Then I asked him how many times he felt he should practice going to his room before we left for soccer. (It had to be done before I would take him to soccer.) Amazingly, he said twenty times! I said "Okay - go!" But I was a little worried because his room is upstairs and essentially he would be running up and down the stairs twenty times! So I got him a sippy cup of water and gave him sips of water and he ran up and down the stairs to his room twenty times! I was thinking that if he got too tired, I would let him off the hook, but he didn't!

He was laughing most of the time he was doing this and actually his sister joined in just for fun, so some would say that this wasn't discipline at all. But I believe that the mind is more open to learning when you are happy and having fun, then when you are angry and upset and so I think he still got the point. He goes to his room now when I ask him to.

But I AM hoping this latest tantrum phase is short lived. It's sure no fun!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 12-03-2005 - 11:02pm

I just found this board but your post hit home and I wanted to reply. My 6 y/o DS throws a couple of tantrums a day at least (and that's on a good day). I had tried everything I could think of. Today he was having another one, and was in teh living room and just started angrily throwing a throw pillow (appropriate name, LOL). Suddenly, he felt better and was happy and laughing. He decided tossing a pillow in the air helped him release his anger and that's what he will do from now on when he feels like a tantrum. When 7.5 y/o DD came into the room, I told her about the pillow-tossing plan and not to make fun of him when he does it. She said she handles her anger by jumping up and down or punching her pillow. I didn't even know she did this, she came up with it herself and we had never had to talk about handling anger. Maybe your DS and mine just don't know how to direct their anger, but some kids instinctively do. Maybe you & DS can come up with an acceptable way for him to release the anger.

We haven't had the beginnings of another tantrum yet, so I don't know if this will really work, but I am hoping so. BTW, I know a lot of his tantrums are from frustration. He is a perfectionist and also gets angry and upset easily, and if his anger is at himself or something that is no one's fault, I think he doesn't know how to handle it and throwing a tantrum is all he can think of to do. When he was in preschool he got mad and told his teacher he never wanted to go back there. She told me about it and said she told him that it sure must be hard being angry at yourself, and he thought about it and agreed. I don't think I would have ever realized on my own that a lot of his anger was directed at himself. If he's angry at someone, he can say his feelings to that person and let some anger out, but you can't really do that to yourself so the anger all stays inside and I think that is where the tantrum comes from when you can't find a way to let some anger out.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 12-08-2005 - 9:46pm

Hi, there! Tantrums are never ending, unfortunately. There will always be a time when there is one blow out or another. What I have found is to watch for triggers. Did you know that typically school-agers need to eat constantly? If you can, offer peanut butter on wheat, cheese with fruit, etc. Little snacks but frequent ones. Tre needs that or he is irritable and will blow at little things.

I also found out that he gets overwhelmed at certain parts of the day. Right after school is not a time for us to do anything. He is still wound up form being happy to go home. I won't have his full cooperation. Another time that is poor for us to go anywhere or do anything out of the routine is dinner time. He looks forward to not just eating, but the time we spend together when we do. He really likes family time and if in his mind it is at a certain time, I can forget about deviating from the norm.

Basically talk to him and see what he is thinking. Not just during the tantrum but WHY he has it. At this age, they do a lot of analizing and decison making in their own minds on their own terms. It is vital that we talk to them to stay involved and to stay connected. If not, it is all too easy to wonder what our kids are thinking and just who they have become, KWIM?

The other thing is to IGNORE his fit. I mean it. I know I am wanting to do more than tell Tre to get it together and get in control, but anything more just intensifies his anger or frustration OR his intent to throw the fit. "I can't understand you when you are emotional. I'll be ready to talk to you when you are in control and ready to talk; not yell or wine. I love you so much and want to listen to what you have to say. That's why I'm willing to wait. Take a deep breath and we'll talk later." The deep breaths is cool, and works.

The key is to replace a bad habit with a new one. When he is getting irritated, have him do something to distract the thought. Talk about it with him when he is in control and come to a decision together. Maybe he can do jumping jacks, or swing his arms around like a batter....anything to distract.

Remember it takes three weeks to develop a habit and so you might not see improvements right away. Hang in there, mom. It gets better.... particulary after the holidays. HUGS

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2003
Fri, 12-09-2005 - 10:40am

I haven't read all the replies but thought I'd offer what worked for us.

Ours wasn't physical tantrums with the kicking but Bryce went through a phase where he cried over everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Nothing I was doing was working.. time outs, taking things away, etc. Then I watched a Dr.Phil episode and believe me when I say I usually don't take tv advice for many things but this family had the same problem so we tried it.

When he would cry over something nonimportant.. such as not getting his way or anything where he wasn't hurt we would simply ignore him. I'd let him know why we were doing whatever it was, like not letting him play a game or have a sleep over and then just let him cry. At one point it got really hard because he would say my name over and over and over for 20 minutes but in about 2 weeks he stopped crying all together. I can't say it's an easy way and it takes a ton of patience but it worked for us. Occasionally he will still cry over something silly but as soon as I explain why he stops and we go from there.

Good luck!

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