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Dealing with an Angry Adult Son

answered 08:14 PM EST, Wed June 05, 2013
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My name is Stephen Nelson and I have a son who is moody and has a horrible, horrible temper. He denies this. I am just wondering what this could indicate He's had a pretty good life. I just dont understand why he's so moody with a temper. He's 33. I've tried everything with him so has his mother. We're at a loss....he just got out of prison for a weapon and violating his parole btw.
I suspect something mental. Thanks for writing back.

David Johnson Says...

There could be several reasons why your son has a temper that puts him in jail. Certainly the problem can be mental illness, but it can also be a bad temper (believing he can't control himself. He can, but won't if he believes he can't.), a head injury, or a chronic disregard for other people's rights and feelings.

But I really don't think you are looking for an answer why, but what you can do now. Tough love is a universally recommended approach to misbehaving young adults. Do not accept his behavior. Ask him to leave if he behaves like that in your house. Warn him that his temper will put him back in jail again if he does nothing. Accept him back into your household when he behaves himself. If he makes threats to you, call the police and charge him with threats or assault. If he assaults you and/or threatens you repeatedly, get a restraining order to help keep you and your family safe.

You cannot solve his problem, only he can. He may need to be forced to take responsibility for his behavior. He may be helped by anger management training, therapy, and/or medication.

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Page last updated Jun 06, 2013

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