5 yr old tantrums/out of control


New Member
Our 5 year old has not been tested, start there before anyone asks. I'm not even sure where to get him tested? He hits, screams, throws tantrums, bites, scratches, pinches... If you at gentle and kind he gets worse, if you pick him up and remove from setting he kicks and screams, if you try to hold him down, he escalates, a spank will make him lose his mind. So not sure what to do? We feel like we have tried everything and nothing works! I'm sure he is frustrated but we are as well and we need to fix this. What are tactics you do?


Well-Known Member
Hi, and welcome.

Tactics? Well, I don't remember. My kid wasn't quite to that level - we seemed to catch things sooner, so he didn't escalate that far.

Can you tell us more about his background? Is this your biological child, or adopted? What kinds of issues and challenges run in the biological family tree? What was he like as a baby and toddler?

Has he started school yet? Is he in day care, or at home with you?

It's not that I'm trying to pry... just trying to understand more of the picture.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Crankykid (I like the name-it fits my difficult child perfectly).

My son was very similar at that age. I would probably start with getting him a multidisciplinary evaluation which includes a neuro-psychologist, a child psychologist, and a child psychiatrist. The combination gives can give you a good look at what is going on.

In the meantime, I would recommend reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene (sp?).They give some good ways to handle kiddos like ours. It's sort of a basket system where you prioritize things. Basket A is non-negotiables (you have a line drawn in the sand-for us it was very few things-like taking his medicine and violence). Basket B is where you negotiate (described well in the book and negotiate might not be the best word). Basket C are things that aren't worth the battle (for example with our son it was food-it led to too many meltdowns, tantrums, violence).

I'm glad you found us but sorry you needed to. Is your child in kindergarten or daycare? If so how is he doing? Do they see the same behaviors?


Well-Known Member
Welcome Crankykid, My son was exactly like this starting around 1 1/2 old getting worse as the years went on. The defiance, violence, biting himself and threatening us was added to that. Insane and wiped covered the questions, what to read and who to go to. Have you brought this up to his Pediatrician? Its been years in the making on how to handle my son, seeing different types of doctors etc( he has calmed down from that overall and we have learned some of his triggers as some we never know). Be consistent, not too many choices, with two if he needs to chose something. Dont bend rules and punishments as they learn to keep getting their way. Simple punishments, nothing to harsh but enough to grab his attention. Pick your battles as I was told and read. Try to keep him busy, see if you can get him to talk on how hes feeling about things when hes calm and happy. ( of course he might not be able to explain how he feels due to his age or not understanding how to explain or how he feels- the psychiatric doctors can help with talking with him if need be) Rule out any possible allergies, health issues and surroundings as well. Oh, as long as your son isnt hurting himself, just let him tantrum, my son also got worse when we tried to calm him.

And,not everything will work for all of our kiddos,this is whats helping me with mine from the wonderful people here, books, parents, strangers, doctors of various kinds of course!!!. I wish you luck and give you many hugs!