Originally Posted by transformed
I have NO way of knowing if she manhandled him.
She normally wouldnt ask him to open the door if she could do it herself.
She had a habit of manhandling ME as a child.
He hits my mom for no reason whatsoever and tells her he hates her.
My DS is a reformed hitter, but still struggles with impulse control and emotional regulation. My son has some mild SN. Have you had your child evaluated? At 5, random hitting and violent speech is really out of line - not that it doesn't happen, but it needs to have consistent response.
In a situation like you've outlined, I'd...
1. First, I'd firmly take him if he needed help moving himself, or invite him to join me, on the bottom step until he had regained self-control.
2. I'd have something like the following conversation.
me: Son, I understand you and Grandma had a falling out.
son: Yes...<insert long, self-serving, woe-is-me explanation>
me: You sound very upset about this. I'm sorry you're feeling so badly. I'd like to talk about what happened in the beginning. Grandma was coming in with a lot of heavy bags and her hands were full. She needed help with the door because her hands were full with all the bags.
son: Yes, but....
me: ok, please let me finish. I have a question for you. How do you think Grandma felt when she had all those heavy bags, and her hands were full, and she asked you for help, and you said no?
me: yeah, I think she probably felt bad, and maybe hurt, and maybe frustrated.
me: So imagine you were caring all the bags, and needed help, and asked for help, and the person you asked refused? How would you feel?
son: I'd be mad! And sad!
me: yeah, I bet. Do you think you should have helped your grandma, because she needed help?
son: she didn't say please!!
me: I know, and that really bothered you, didn't it?
son: yeah, so I hit her, because it's not fair that she told me to open the door and didn't say please! we're supposed to say please!
me: you know, manners like saying please are important, but so is helping someone who needs help. Her forgetting to say please didn't change that she needed help, or that you were there and should have helped her because she needed it.
me: so, to Grandma, she needed help with the door while carrying all of the heavy bags, she forgot to say please, and you hit her a bunch of times. Phew! She had quite the time, didn't she? How do you think she's feeling?
son: baaaad. (this is usually where he'd get it and hang his little head)
me: are you allowed to hit?
me: what can you do instead of hitting?
son: use my words or get help.
me: right. So right now, you're feeling badly because you hurt grandma and you two aren't getting along. What do you think you can do to make it right?
son: apologize for not helping her and hitting her.
me: that sounds like a great idea. can you think of anything else?
son: i can help her put the groceries away.
me: that sounds like a great idea.
We'd then hold hands to the kitchen to talk with Grandma. This really worked for us, as we broke down what happened, teased out the "facts," talked about how the various players felt, and practiced perspective taking.