Originally Posted by thismama
Eh, I kinda relate to the sociopath comment. I know a few kids who harm others repeatedly, intentionally, because they can. No remorse, no empathy. Just coldness and a strange delight in causing pain.
Obviously all these kids won't grow up to be sociopaths, but it *is* sociopathic type behaviour. Very hard to be on the receiving end of, and I dislike all the sympathy that goes to the little perpetrators, while outrage for the victimized child is quieted. I have a pet peeve about this as it has been something I've dealt with IRL a few times, and I think the answer is not to assume there is some Giant Problem the aggressive kid is dealing with. I know the situations IRL well enough to know that is not the case. I don't understand why some children delight in harming others, but I do think it needs to be stopped thru firm responses and consequences toward the child, not endless speculating about how *something* must be up, when IME anyway every indication is that nothing is up outside teh child's own mind and not enough assertive responses from adults to the behaviour.
I've known plenty of kids who behaved in those ways as well. And I've found that most of them just needed a chance to develop compassion and empathy, or to be taught how their actions hurt others. I don't expect a 6 year old to have a fully-formed conscience. I agree that parents should use firmer consequences when their kids are aggressive and violent. But, I also believe that the causes of those behaviors should be understood and dealt with. You can do both. And you can do both while protecting others from that child's behaviors. I have a child with ASD and SPD, and I have to negotiate such situations regularly. It's exhausting, but do-able.
In this particular instance, it seems pretty clear to me that the kid's life is falling apart around him, and he's reacting to that. His entire reality is being shifted - severely and abruptly. His parents are getting divorced and remarried. All at once! You can't expect a child to handle that well. The kid obviously needs his parents to get their heads out of the clouds and back in the game. They need to parent their child! And the kid could certainly use some therapy to help get through this period.
Sometimes the perpetrator is also a victim. This kid is a victim of his parents' self-absorption. And, in his anger and confusion and powerlessness, he's victimizing others. It's possible to see all the children in this situation as victims, and to treat them accordingly. If this kid can't be adequately shadowed, he needs to be pulled from the co-op. He's not in a good mental place right now to be around other kids, and the other kids shouldn't have to deal with his violence. While addressing the pain he has caused other children, his own pain should also be addressed. His own needs also need to be addressed. And someone needs to have a serious sit-down with his parents on that matter.
As for what this child has said - he could easily be getting that from movies and tv shows that are beyond his understanding. There are plenty of horror movies where naked people are killed. Even if his parents aren't exposing him to those things, there may be babysitters who are. Or even inadequate safety settings on the computer.