Speeding ticket and then.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by UpandDown, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    So my son got a speeding ticket yesterday. He called me to tell me this. He was very very upset. I quickly got ready and hoped to leave the house before he got home. I just wanted to avoid seeing him because he seems to forget everything he knows about staying calm and respectful when really angry.

    I didn't leave in time. He came home and for 30 minutes he ranted about how unfair the world is, how this cop just wanted to be in charge of the world, how he should be allowed to drive 100 miles over the speed limit if he wants, freedom of speech to call the cop names,basically just being so irrational it really seemed like he was not in touch with reality. These statements I list were the most benign, he had many many more i don't even want to write.

    When I saw him a few hours later, he was calm and accepting responsibility and had come up with a plan to earn the money to pay the ticket. Now he acts as if nothing happened.

    It will take me a while to shake off the horrible feeling from this. Does anyone have a child that goes from perfectly fine to insane with anger? He didn't break or throw anything, all verbal.

    As an aside, I am glad he got a ticket and has to face the consequences on his own.
  2. Coffee Lover

    Coffee Lover New Member

    When I started reading this, I was worried this was going to end with something awful happening to/around you. So I guess, first of all, he's at least making some sort of progress if it was solely verbal and he seemed to worth through it then accept responsibility and a plan in a relatively short time period. That's saying a lot about all you're doing, he's clearly hearing it!

    My son is only 11. But he does get angry and it sometimes escalates to him screaming/throwing things. If we're close by and try to intervene, we can get hurt by flying objects or him flailing his body but he doesn't go after us - does that make sense? But I too have noticed that its almost like he needs to just vent and get the anger out, then he can calm himself and process things out and move on once he's accepted it all.

    I guess I wouldn't be worried if he was acting like nothing happened, I mean, he got it sorted out and made his plan. As long as he follows through and pays the ticket, my hope in your situation would be that he learns and moves on. That's how I view our outbursts.

    But the part that bothers me is how often he will not also come and own up to the anger and how it scared us. Sometimes he will apologize and genuinely seems to understand that while venting in some form is needed, his violent outbursts are not the way to go. But other times he acts as if those outbursts either didn't happen or aren't a big deal. I wish he would own up to those more and start working with me on them.
  3. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    Sorry, didn't mean to scare! My son from about 6 to about 15 would throw things and punch holes in the wall when he was angry. He also never came at us or hit us. It was as if he had to blow off steam physically. Those were the only problems we had with him until adolescence. Yet even when he was elementary school age, his outbursts(only at home) were bad enough for us to get him into counseling. At some point(after loads of interventions), he did get the physical outbursts under control and even the verbal outbursts. This was the first one in awhile. Its just the things he says that are so disturbing. Like he has absolutely lost his mind.

    Thank you for helping me to see the positives. Progress is progress, right?!
  4. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    You realize of course that HE is right about EVERYTHING and everyone else is wrong. And that he knows more than anyone else in the world! :biggrin:

    These attitudes will change when he is about 30. (My parents did not know a thing when I was 17, but amazingly they started becoming smarter and smarter when I was 26 to 30 years old...)
  5. Coffee Lover

    Coffee Lover New Member

    I'm really glad you shared because the path you describe is similar to our son. The outburts ONLY happen at home, and it is exactly like a need for a physical outlet. My son has mentioned wishing he had a punching bag he could use when he's mad, we've looked into it.

    I'm all about progress over perfection. I used to live and die by each incident, but a friend started telling me to just look for ONE good thing or one improvement and while I still HATE the outbursts and they just beat up my poor little help, finding any progress keeps me going - hope is a strong motivator.
  6. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Yep. I did buy Ferb a punching bag years ago. I hung it outside on the swingset. Yes, he would get so incredibly angry that he simply needed to vent on something. It worked pretty well. I had to remind him to take the anger outside, but once there he would wail away on the punching bag until he vented.

    Sadly, Bingo ate the punching bag. It was filled with shredded up clothing! Who knew? It must have driven poor Bingo nuts with all the smells of humans he hasn't met yet.

    Ferb has been working with an anger management therapist for approximately 2 years. This therapist believes that the physical venting of anger only intensifies the anger. I disagree. I think that when a person gets hopping mad about something that venting in a physical way is appropriate. I think you need to preplan what you are going to do in order to avoid things like punching holes in the walls. I like digging holes or taking a long walk.

    Up and Down,

    I leave the house when Ferb or SO is angry. Both of them say ugly, nasty things when angry and I have no wish for it to ruin my day.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think there are good things here, and bad things. I think he was so angry that he had no idea what was coming out of his mouth. Have you ever recorded what he was saying and had him listen to it later. It is so ridiculous that if nothing else it will be good for a laugh when he is complaining about his own children doing these things. It also might, if he hears it while with a therapist and you, in a calm time, help him see why some of his statements upset you.

    My brother says things while angry and has no memory of them. For decades he thought he should not be held accountable for them. He wasn't angry any longer, so they were over, done, gone. I think a lot of explosive people see their explosions this way. They don't understand that the rest of the world doesn't operate that way. Hopefully a therapist who deals with anger management can help with this.

    I don't think that just hitting something is the best way to deal with anger. I think that hard physical labor is better. Doing something constructive, even if it is tearing something down, is better. If you have bushes that need to be trimmed, or an old push mower, or even a bathtub or floor to be scrubbed, that is a good way to deal with anger. Studies have shown that just hitting something when you are angry makes you more likely to explode and hit something in the future when you are angry. If you channel that energy into something productive, you gain control over it. I can't cite the studies right this moment, but I remember reading them back in college and then again when we were searching for anything that would help with Wiz.

    I can say it worked with Wiz. We had a therapist who advocated the punching bag. All it did was make him hit more and more, and it wasn't confined to the bad. He hit everyone and everything. Then we started making him go do yardwork when he got angry. He trimmed bushes, he dug holes, he planted things, he mowed, he chopped limb, you name it. He stopped hitting and getting into trouble. He was too tired and he HATED yardwork.

    I do think it is good that he calmed down, didn't harm anyone and is making plans to take care of his own ticket. He owes you an apology for ranting at you. What will he do to make up to you for ruining your afternoon with his explosion? I think you need to let him know that he upset you and he needs to do something extra special and nice for you to apologize. A bouquet of flowers or nice box of chocolate or whatever is special to you. My kids would bring me a book and a candy bar, but that is my preference, let him know what would be special and make him know he owes you. Don't let him slide - he upset you and that isn't cool. He is too old to throw toddler tantrums. That is what he is doing and it isn't right.