Our son is 6; we adopted him (internationally) at 20 mo. He's always been rather quick to anger, but over the past few years it's gotten so much worse.
Things spin out of control over the least little thing (sometimes we don't even know what he's angry about until later).
For example, last week he was swinging a metal baseball bat around close to our car; I couldn't get near him or reason with him. After swinging hard at tree branches, he slammed the bat on our driveway. By the time I reached the bat, he'd run to where some stones are, and started pelting them - not directly at me, but up in a tree that I was next to, though I think he was trying to scare me. I later found out that he was upset because he'd written "sherbet" (with my help) on my groceries list and was angry that I didn't buy it when I went shopping.
He does things so quickly and slyly it's hard to keep up with him. He gains control of situations quickly (i.e., he'll run in a room and lock the door, then throw stuff or get on the phone).
Sometimes he's not even angry, but he will tease menacingly and grin. He also does things "just because" - like if you say the decoration he's looking at is valuable, he'll go thru the motions of breaking it - sometimes it actually will get broken.
He's extremely jealous of our 11-year old (not adopted) and feels he has to compete with him on every level, and of course he will not win, being 6. He hits our son, hits us, claws/scratches/throws objects at us.
We've tried to humor him, divert him, shower him with love, use tough love, hold him in an arm/leg lock per his old daycare counselor. Nothing seems to work.
He's had some shoving/hitting incidents in school, but nothing too serious. He has difficulty paying attention in school and is at risk of failing Kindergarten, we're told.
When he's behaving he can be quite charming, sweet and very sociable. We'd like to help him and ourselves but we've tried lots of places - he's either too young to be accepted for counseling or practices are not accepting new patients. I have lots of calls in to state/county agencies, as well as our health insurance company, but nothing's panned out yet.
Any suggestions on what we can do to calm him down? He's been tested for ADD/ADHD but he was within "normal" range. We love him lots but he's fracturing our family (older son has been put thru too much).
I was laid off my job and this will be my first stay home with my kids. I am dreading summer break, and it shouldn't be that way!