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Help with an Angry Child during the Pandemic


​We are having some issues with our 11-year-old son. He is an emotional child with anxiety and ADHD. Lately, with being stuck at home for the past four months due the pandemic, he has started lashing out and has become aggressive and angry. We are looking for support, either with counseling for him or the family and other options to get him the help he needs.​


screaming kid

We know this is a difficult time for everyone and it effects young people and older people differently. If you feel like your son would benefit from talking to a neutral third party such as a counselor, by all means see what you can arrange. Sometimes your family doctor is a good source for referrals in your community. We also checked our data base and it appears you have some good options in Mesa for counseling. The Hope Center for Children and Families at 480-610-6996 and the Jewish Family and Children's Services at 602-820-0825 both sound like good possibilities.

With your son's anger, have you been able to identify what is going on when he lashes out? Does he want to do something and is being told he can't? Is he being asked to do something that he doesn't want to do? Or perhaps he is just walking around with a grey cloud of anger hanging over him. There's a lot of different things that could be going on that you may not be aware of or haven't considered.

A suggestion is that, as a family, you could adopt a new daily plan. First, before getting out of bed in the morning, have everyone think of and write down three things they are thankful for. Then, look for ways to get exercise, whether it is a walk, run, or even mowing the lawn, something to get your body moving and the circulation flowing. Go outside each day and allow the sun to shine on you so that the vitamin D that lightens our moods and lifts our spirits naturally can do its work.

Another thing that makes us feel better about ourselves is to do something nice for someone else. Whether it is baking cookies and taking some to a neighbor, picking up some trash you see in a public place, returning a neighbor's trash can after it's been picked up, or putting their newspaper on their porch closer to their house. Just do some random act of kindness, while expecting nothing in return. These actions will help you and your family feel better. We know these are all home remedies but they can be helpful for you and your family if there is nothing like this in place.

Also, over the summer, it helps to have some structure in the home and family when it comes to chores, showers, etc. Too much free, unstructured time only leads most kids to go “looking for trouble." Keep things moving around your home and have purpose in some daily activities. 

Give those referrals a call to see what they have to offer your son at this time or check with his pediatrician for additional recommendations.

Good Luck!