Temper and destructive behavior
I think there does need to be some kind of consequence for my son's actions [throwing his video game controller in frustration with a game]. I feel like if I go right out and buy a new controller and let him use it then he won't have any reason to try to curb his temper the next time he feels like throwing the controller down.
I think because our kids seem so adult like in many ways, we expect more from them than they're capable of. It's more respectful to trust that he doesn't know how to control his temper, that he needs help, than to assume he's making a conscious choice to be "bad".
I want him to understand how his actions DO have consequences.
Well, he can't play his game right now! Even if you bought him a new one as soon as possible, it would still be a wait to play again.
They affect him, and they affect all of us. I think if he were younger, I wouldn't expect him to have as much control over his frustration.
Learning not to let our feelings dictate our behavior is something that many adults don't learn. I know I can't stop with just one cookie! I don't have to listen to those desires for another cookie but I do!
Be his partner in life rather than his trainer, so to speak. Help him figure out what he can do next time. Ask him before he starts playing what he might do if he gets frustrated. Help him learn to recognize the signs that his temper is building. He probably isn't aware of it. And it will probably take time.
If he continually deals with frustration in an aggressive and destructive manner without consequence, what will be the "thing" that helps him begin to control his temper?
A mom that loves him enough to help him figure this out. :-)
This destructive behavior usually happens so fast, we can't stop it. To "channel" their aggression elsewhere would require CONSTANT supervision., which seems unreasonable for kids their age (and really, impossible)
gamecontrollerHow does talking to them about it go? Does it end up having the general feel of you telling them what they need to do to do better and them agreeing?
Or are you there as their partner? To help them learn to be more aware of their emotions and the build up of their emotions before they get to the explosion stage. You think it's fast. They probably even think it's fast. But there is a build up that they could be helped to be more aware of.
I think you need to forget their ages and what is reasonable or not reasonable. They are where they are and you need to be there to help them get where they'd like to be.
Ask them if they want help in not destroying game controllers. How they respond is going to depend on your motivations. If you are focused on stopping them from destroying things, they're going to sense that your help is about controlling them. If you are focused on helping them gain skills that they'd like to have, they'll be more open.
You could suggest that they not play unless you can be there with them. (That won't work if they are sensing you want to control them. They might think it's a good idea if they sense that you want to help them.)
There's other suggestions you could make but it will all depend on whether they see you as their partner or the protector of the stuff in the house. It might also take some extra work to convince them that you really do want to help them if your interactions with them have always been about changing their behavior to behavior you think is acceptable.