I am concerned about my grandsons behavior: Advice?

I’m actually nana to a little monster, but I faithfully read your posts. My 5 yr old grandson has developed a mean temper. His parents divorced last year, and it got ugly after a new soon to be stepmom entered the picture. She was overly nice trying to buy their love, and it worked as they are so young. Well, her place is more cemented now in Dad’s life, and her demeanor has changed. We all saw this coming, but how do you prepare kids for it? Anyway, my grandson flips out when he has to share anything with his 3 yr old cousin. It makes him crazy. We get almost the same angry response when we tell him no for any reason. I’m so worried about him. The other day he started screaming over a toy car his baby cousin took from the toy box. Nevermind that there are over 50 cars in there. No hitting yet, but the screaming is bad! Any ideas??


As a nana its time out time, one min for there age and 1 min for time they get up. Also take thing away.

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It sounds like he’s acting out due to the change at home. These are huge changes for littles. He doesn’t know how to express his emotions and feelings so he’s doing what he can and knows will get him attention. Time outs are great. After time out is over, we talk about what caused his behavior, reaction, etc and how he was supposed to handle the situation (usually arguing with his 2 year old brother; time out kiddo is almost 5). If he doesn’t know we come up with ways he can deal with it without getting into trouble. I usually refer to Daniel Tiger. It’s a great show that talks about how to deal with feelings, demonstrates kind behavior, etc). Kids also mimic what they see at home.

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Following… similar situation

My son was very very possessive

Sounds like you stay the course on discipline lovingly and wo fail. He needs consistency and to know that some people havent changed. When my parents divorced, I appreciated my dad continuing to enforce the same rules I always had. It felt safe. Also, maybe look for moments to cuddle close and talk to him about his feelings about things on a very elementary level. He may need to get them out but just not have the words to express himself. Most of all-love. But you already know this bc you seem very aware of where he’s at. He needs that-to know someone sees him and what he’s going through.

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One toy he didn’t have to share and Maybe a stuffy . I would encourage the sharing of the toys . But also if you can just remember some kids are in fact obsessive over things and it’s not really there fault that there in panic mode

Have him pick toys that are to be shared before visitors come and anything he rather not get put up or away so he has some sense of decision making on “his stuff” . Mine all knew things they didnt want to share had to be put away and anything out was fair game to share. He’s 5 (old enough for kindergarten now or soon ) he’s old enough to make the decision

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Try taking to see a tramua therapist. My kids see one and it works wonders

He shares or he has nothing, at 5 he should no better & a break up shouldn’t really be being used as an excuse


Is the problem the stepmom or the cousin and how are they related?

His parents need to get on the same page about discipline, rules, etc. Until that happens he will continue to be frustrated and lash out from confusion about what’s acceptable and what’s not:

Aww poor guy. Give him a hug, let him know what is good and bad. He might feel as though he can’t control what’s going on. Stepmom might be a problem

Sounds like the kid can hear or feel ill feelings with all you adults. I can see it through your post… Change is scary enough, sounds like the kid is pulled into adult shit hes not ready for tbh… The stepmom is the easiest to name 1st, so talk to the kid or get someone too… Only gets worse with age…but my main concern is the nana blaming someone new in the first 3 sentences… " her fault, buying love,etc"… N its only been a year??? So im thinking, you’re only blaming the 1 side( not your kid) ???

I know he’s young, but maybe therapy? Help him sort out all those feelings.

This poor child needs play therapy. Kids don’t understand why parents get divorced and blame themselves. So many changes in his short life, he needs professional help to help him sort out his big emotions and sadness/fears to be able to feel any sense of equilibrium again. Between divorce and new stepmom, he’s been through the equivalent of two earthquakes and is terrified of what fresh hell might come next.

Also, all the grownups need to suck it up and agree on some basic rules. Kids can cope with different rules at different homes, but the clearer and more consistent they are the better. Posters with house rules with consequences and rewards can be helpful.


Take him into a room where he can safely be left alone. Calmly tell him that when he stops screaming, he can come out and you’ll talk to him but that no one can help him when he’s screaming and you don’t want to listen to that because it hurts your ears. Tell him screaming makes his problem bigger not better. Once he’s calm, have him put his hands in your hands, look you in the eyes and talk about what happened and better ways to solve the problem.


As a preschool teacher, I would definitely recommend looking into Conscious Discipline. They have lots of free resources and research-backed practices that can be used in the home. I use Conscious Discipline in my classroom and it really helps us (teachers AND students) to regulate our emotions. You’ll most likely need to create an account (email and password) to access the resources. Again, I highly recommend giving it a try.

I would also say that this approach would be considered “positive guidance”, as opposed to punishment.

Your grandson has lots of big feelings, and that’s ok! It’s an adults job to validate them and teach him the correct response to these feelings. Try playing pretend with him, in which you act out these types of scenarios… or snuggle up and read children’s books that discuss sharing and emotions (some recommendations would be: “The Chocolate-Covered-Cookie-Tantrum” or “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo”- which you may find on YouTube if you can’t access a library)…

these types of activities create connection, which is what he really needs right now. Best of luck :heart:


Like it or not…this boy is just going to have to learn to share.

It’s probably a phase. Every kid i know has had this phase. About the same age. Discipline, love and consistency with all of the responsible adults.

His mom needs to get him in counseling. Something is going on that he can’t express in words. By acting out he’s trying to tell you. Don’t punish! This is only going to make it worse. He’s experiencing emotional pain as it is. By punishing him you’re telling him that it doesn’t matter what he’s going through.

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Looks like he is having a hard time expressing his feelings about the changes resulting to bad temper. If all possible disciplinary actions have been done & still the same maybe he needs therapy or he needs to be surrounded by people that he really likes to be around with so he feels loved & understood.

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My daughter went through this from 4 to 7 when her dad and i divorced. People forget that children get pent up anger. We would go for long car rides i would ask her if she was feeling sad or angry or frustrated. Id tell her that during that car ride she was allowed to yell, scream, cuss, cry, kick the back of the seat or just talk it out… id let her vent in whatever way made her feel better. When the car ride was over she typically felt alot better. We had an understanding that she couldn’t just act like that any old time but if she needed to just let it all out or talk we could just go for a ride where she could feel free to vent with no consequences, to me this was a good way for she and i to bond and understand one another as well and a way to let her know her feelings on the issue mattered to me. She is 18 now and still able to express her feelings to me civilly and comfortably.

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I took the car away from both put on shelf and if. You touch it you both will be in trouble stayed there for years both knew my house my rules and you will obey Berber had to spank but did have a special chair and they had to set there with hands at their side and couldn’t talk I said so if they did had to stay longer

Sharing is hard for kids. Teaching to take turns, teaching patience, and sharing. Also if the screaming is bad you try time out until they calm down, remind him he doesn’t need to scream and “sharing is caring”. He is still young. Just needs guidance.

He just needs some discipline

Guiding him through his emotions to help him process them could help. :sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart:

Maybe try therapy you can look up good therapy strategies for sharing on YouTube.

Afraid as a grandmother, your opinion doesn’t count for much- the parents are the ones who need to see there is a problem and do something to help this child cope- you can be supportive to the child when you have contact - hope the parents step in to deal with this!