(please view the resources at the end)
(feel free to skip the real life examples)
I do not see any corrective actions taken in your question. What I think I see you saying is that you perceive 'explaining things to him' as correction. That is not correction and it is also not a consequence.
being told not to use the kind of name-calling
being told he is wrong about something
The only other example I see concretely in your example is making excuses for his bad behavior by saying it isn't as bad as a boy in a book.
I quickly replied that he never behaved as nasty as the person in the
These are enabling parental behaviors. Mind you, As an adult who has made similar mistakes I understand and out of love I still slip into permissive and enabling parenting traps today with my older children. What I mean is that i'm not blaming you or shaking a finger at you. I'm empathetic to you and your situation and have walked this road.
You realize something isn't connecting with your little boy and that is a good thing. I hope you see that you have a misunderstanding of consequences and corrective actions and that the material in this post can help you adjust your parenting style.
So, to clarify once again the answer to your core question:
So what are good strategies to deal with negative emotions?
You must start using immediate and known consequences which CHANGE HIS WORLD as noted in the linked material below. If his bad behavior does not cause stress on him he will not change.
END EDIT 3
In the most simple terms you have to break in kids. For issues dealing with aggression it is advised to enforce consistent non-physical consequences.
As a parent you must be consistent, irregardless of the social situation. As an example, there were many times my wife and I alone tried to do grocery shopping and because a child was acting out we had to leave our cart and go home to deal with the behavior immediately. It sucked, but the kids learned rather quickly that we meant business. And what a great lesson when the kid wants their favorite cereal and we don't have it because we couldn't do our shopping!
Aggression issues cannot be solved by aggression. Sure, you can be stronger and meaner than your kid and gain a temporary upper hand until they grow up and leave. But as a parent our goal is to make them better people, not make them pretend to be better. All Pro dad has this list of ideas, I have not gone through and evaluated them all.
Basically this means that the child must not like what you're doing. There is a balance and art to finding how to put pressure on your kids. First, be steady, don't flip flop around. Most of the time they will pretend your consequence doesn't bother them, but it does. However, if you see that a consequence has stopped being effective, then adjust. I have regularly told my kids to stop a behavior (this is older kids, 7 to 14 at the time of this writing) to have them ask, "Or what?". I calmly reply
I don't know what, but I will figure out something that you won't
like, and I'll make sure it works.
Because of things like the Grocery Store and many other examples (I'll add a few below) they know I'm serious - and I know I'm serious. They like to test me and I don't mind that.
Adults know that we could accomplish nothing without self discipline. It is vitally important that we carefully, and at their ability to grow (always slower than we want) help our children learn self discipline. Don't be slack, but also take your time.
Two Real Life Examples(only for those interested)
My middle child almost ruined our family with how demanding, angry, and intense she was. The amount of time and effort she demanded emotional control of our lives was too much to bear. I kid you not. The funny thing is that there is nothing wrong with her, it was just her personality and the difficulty of being a kid.
Story One, one time she was sleeping over at a family members house and didn't get her way and refused to go back to bed. My wife and I were supposed to be leaving at 3am for a surgery i believe. So, at 11 pm we drove to the family members house since they were unable to handle the situation and we went in like marine commando's. Nearly no talking to her, no discussion. We did say, you're coming home, and she refused. We took her by force and left the home. While she screamed at us one parent held her to keep her safe in the backseat while the other drove. She screamed bloody murder as we went into our home from the car - it is a miracle the cops were not called. In the home she tried to bite and had to be restrained. At some point I sensed she had some control and finally I yelled at her - "go ahead, bite your dad and make him bleed! Make your dad bleed and bite him" and I shoved my arm in her mouth. Boy was I worried, but I was at my wits end. Luckily I was right, the moment broke through her freak out and she did not bite me as she was trying to do for 20 min prior. It took about 15 more minutes to actually get her to breathe normal and speak to me.
We never punished her over this - the experience was punishment enough and natural consequences ensued, like not being allowed to spend the night anywhere for a couple years since we simply couldn't trust her. That was probably 4 years ago and she is truly an amazing child and I truly believe she will be the most successful of my kids from a work/social impact standpoint.
Story Two - Same kid was talking back about something no one can remember (it was something she was fixated on that really didn't matter, you know how kids are). It was Halloween and she had her candy. I think my wife (i thought ill advised) threatened if she didn't stop her behavior her candy would be thrown out. Well, after that the scene was set. The child kept on, and sure enough on the spot she had her candy dumped into the trash in front of her eyes. She didn't take it well, and had to go to timeout.
Multiple times a year she (sometimes even smiling) asks us if we remember the time we had to throw out her candy because of how she was acting. She knows she was wrong, and in some way she wears that incident as a badge of honor today. I don't fully understand the badge of honor part, but I think it is because she knows she matured and she became a better person.
Doxology - Over comer
You see, most of the time kids know we are right, but they simply cannot summon the self-discipline to handle situations. It is our job to lovingly discipline them so as they grow up they can achieve their life dreams. Nothing is possible without discipline. Jails are full of people who have no control over their fear and anger. However, almost all of us are born with the ability to overcome difficulty in life. A parent can best serve their children by guiding them forward into a tough world of struggles that they learn to emotionally and psychologically over come.
EDIT More On Consequences
A quick addendum on consequences, this professional resource says a lot of what I think is important.
What are consequences? Consequences are the positive or negative
results of behavior. Everything you do in reaction to your children’s
behavior is a consequence. However, consequences are more than
imposing consequences on children when they do something wrong; for
example, turning the television off when siblings fight about which
program to watch.
Consequences have a larger purpose, which is helping children realize
that their behavior has an impact, and they should allow children the
opportunity to think about what they did. Ultimately, you want to
help your children realize that their behavior has consequences and
that they need to consider possible consequences before they act.
Consequences don't have a primary focus on 'conversation' or 'understanding' as perhaps an adult at work might have to speak to HR about something. Consequences do require conversation and understanding over time, but don't confuse the two. Consequences are natural or imposed and have a direct impact on the child. After the consequence plays out, then a conversation and understanding can happen and be useful and successful.
From the same resource
Your imposing consequences just stops the activity so you can point
out the impact of the behavior and what better options your child can
The conversation doesn't stop the activity, the consequence stops the activity and then enables the ensuing conversation which creates an opportunity for growth.
- Undesired Behavior
- Cool down
As an experienced parent at least some if not all of the material below is field tested and approved.
2 minute video well worth every parents time
Creative Consequences (linked above also)
5 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Children
Teach your kids they are tougher than they think
College level psychology discussion on temper tantrums
Consequences for Preschoolers (linked above)