Margaret K.'s picture
Margaret K.

Seven Year Old Throwing Toddler Tantrums

Ok. Here's the deal...My husband and I have two foster sons we hope to adopt. One just turned seven, one turns nine in February. The younger one, on occasion, throws what is essentially a toddler tantrum, during which time his only response to anything is a resounding "No!" Tonight, after chances to alter that behavior, and not doing so, I took away a school field trip. My husband thinks I should give him a chance to earn it back. I do not. The reason for my stance is that he has had too many chances to alter his behavior, having been given other consequences, and he has not done so as consistently as we would like. I believe that is because other consequences haven't bothered or inconvenienced him enough. This one will. I feel that I should not give him a chance to earn it back. Advice, please.

acitez's picture

Did you have to take classes from the agency that placed the foster children? We did, and it was very helpful to realize that children are sometimes developmentally stuck at an age where there was some particular trauma.

I have on occasion come down too hard on my (birth) children. When I do, I go to them, tell them I'm sorry. Tell them I'll try to be better. And take away the punishment.

I also have a policy where kids can "earn" days off of their sentence of being grounded.

2xstepmom's picture

Yes, give him the opportunity to earn the trip back. He needs to see the positive aspect of appropriate behavior, not only the negative aspect of inappropriate behavior in order to develop emotionally.

Acitez is right that many children are stuck developmentaly. It will take a lot of patience, understanding and consistancy on your part to get him unstuck. You are doing a great thing taking these children into your life. Best of luck to you and your family!

Only2boys's picture

You don't say what your children are reacting to, but I'm wondering if it could be a sensitivity issue and maybe not a tantrum. Just a thought... have just learned the difference here in the past year. Sometimes kids just get overwhelmed and cry and become uncooperative about everything and sometimes sounds, smells, crowds, and other things "trigger" their behavior... and tiredness and hunger are big ones. Just a thought for you. Take a look at what is going on when your son starts this behavior. Good luck.