Most people choose not to believe it, given Eli's near-permanent grin and happy personality, but when that boy gets frustrated, he has a bit of a hot temper. His anger has been an issue mostly since Kindergarten, but we have had at least a year where it's been in check. His first year of school brought about very frustrating days for him, so he often came home and lost it. We worked through that year and had a great first and most of second grade. However, over the last month or two, we've seen some of this anger come back out. We've seen most and more outbursts from him lately that we're pretty sure is related to some 'playground' stuff Eli has been working through. These fits always include him yelling, stomping, talking back (he seriously cannot NOT talk back and respond to what we say when he gets mad), and often throwing something or hitting a wall or table. It's very stereotypical 'out of control' stuff.
As expected, we do not have any answers as to how to 'fix' Eli. Not that I think we're expected to. We stay extremely calm (like crazy calm) when he gets out of sorts, and we've been sticking with the same consequence for some time. He's not getting better, but at least he's learning that we are not backing down and (hopefully) that we are here to support him with CALM love. (Sidenote about his consequence: he's told me on more than one occasion, "This isn't working, Mom....we should use another consequence." Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me!) His consequence always ends with him calming down and talking to us in a normal way with his usual sweetness. It's almost as if his body is taken over by the anger when he gets going, only to have "Eli" return when it's done.
I'm hoping that we'll see this behavior dissipate over the next few weeks. The change of environment and removal of what I suspect is bringing about his frustration has to help. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)