I'm a single mother of a 5-year-old boy. Within the last month or so, his tantrums are increasingly getting worse. Hitting, talking back, spitting, name calling, throwing things, the whole nine. I don't curse around him and I do my absolute best to not show any type of aggression with him. I grew up with an abusive father. I've tried time outs, taking things away, no treats, none which helps. I really prefer not to spank him. He's just under half my size so when he goes into a rage every now and then, it's hard to hold him until he's calm, once my frustration builds up and I do. I feel out of options and like I'm failing him. He has been telling me almost every time I pick him up from daycare that he doesn't like coming to my house and he would much rather be with his dad. His dad isn't mentally, physically, emotionally responsible enough to have him (we are in court and that has been proven).
Today, he woke up and was instantly in a bad mood, and that behavior is typical in our house because we both enjoy our sleep. I told him he could play with his toys in the living room while I got dressed and then I'd bring his clothes out so he could get dressed. As soon as I brought his clothes out the screaming and throwing things began. He proceded to get dressed screaming the whole time. On our way to daycare, we discussed how it's okay to be mad, sad, sleepy, frustrated but that it's not okay to hurt someone, their feelings, or belongings. I dropped him off and things were fine. He apologized to me for his behavior and I headed off to work. About an hour later, I received a phone call from daycare that they would be sending him home due to him throwing chairs across the classroom because he did not want to wash his hands. My mother picked him up and is watching him while I work.
What can I do to begin correcting this, since none of my attempts have worked?