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How to Help a Tween Manage His Temper


My 12-year-old son recently started seventh grade and is struggling to follow his teachers’ rules at school. He loses his temper regularly, says he hates himself and shouts back at his teachers. He may have ADHD and I know he’s hurting, but I don’t know how to help. Can you recommend a therapist or counselor for me? 



Parenting is a tough job, and when your children are not happy and healthy, it’s even harder. Anger is a normal feeling and we all have it. What we do with it and how we express it can either be helpful or harmful to ourselves and others. A counselor can determine if your son is a threat to himself, uncover the root of his anger and give him some calm-down techniques. Call the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000 so that we can refer you to a counselor in your area. Once your son starts counseling and is learning some anger control techniques, practice them at home with your son. Practice can involve having your son review his techniques, identify scenarios that set him off and talk through how he could handle them. At the end of each day, check with him to see if he had opportunities during the day to use his new skills.  

Your son is hurting emotionally and is clearly not happy with ​himself and his inability to control his emotions. Thank you for recognizing that now is the time to get him help.