3Yr Old Hurting Himself - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 08-25-2011, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm aware of the fact that there's another thread with a similar problem, but I feel my problem is a little more severe and very much different from the other thread.


My son just turned 3 the beginning of July. He's always had a bit of an issue when it comes to listening and following directions.. Although now I'm not sure if that was normal Child Rebellion, or if it's something deeper.. Anyway, whatever it is, is DEFINITELY growing drastically worse. My son Liam has 2 mommies, instead of a mommy and a daddy, for starters. He also has a very close in age sister, who is 4. They are 364 days apart in age. Now I'm used to the constant battles for attention, but this is getting downright ridiculous.


Liam is very UNDER-sensitive.. If he gets hurt.. He does not cry, he does not whine, he tries to hurt himself. And I'm not talking a pinch here, or a little smack there.. I'm talking full blown out poking his eyes as hard as he can, pinching himself until he bleeds, bashing his head off of walls, furniture, floors, etc... It seems like with Liam, something that should barely upset him, or wouldn't really bother the average child, sends him into a spiraling fit, in which he screams as if he's being murdered and leads to attempts to hurt himself.. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A LITTLE UPSET AND FULL ON "I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE" TYPE OF FITS.


Liam also does not like to be told what to do.. if he wants to do something, he does it, and if you try to correct him or redirect him, he either screams at you, tries to what I like to call, "tackle-hug", you, or tries to hurt himself! He DOES NOT play with others. And if the rare occurrance does happen to where he wants to play with his sister, or other family members, it does NOT last long, as he will PURPOSELY start a fight so he can go off and be separated and do his own thing.


We've also been going through a stage where Liam is ABSOLUTELY terrified of his own bedroom. I do NOT know what it is, but we've actually put another bed in his sister's room and allowed him to sleep in there until we can figure things out. If you put him in his room, he throws massive fits to the point where I've walked away, figuring he'll scream it out and eventually fall asleep, and going back in there to see him with his hands around his throat, choking himself.  Now, just a few months ago, Liam LOVED his bedroom, as it was fully decorated with Cars theme.. Even an expensive car shaped bed! He literally would wake up in the morning and have so much fun we joked around and called it his "One man parties". We can't even get him to go in his room.


Liam also used to enjoy at least PLAYING by himself. Now all he does is prefer to sit on the couch, with a chosen few toys, and watch T.V.  If I try to get him off the couch and engage him MYSELF into playing, it's a fit.  If I try to get him to go outside with his sister and I to play, it's the same kind of fits as if I were trying to get him to go into his bedroom.


I'm honestly LOST at this point on what to do! I can't take him anywhere, because he doesn't enjoy it and he's very hard to control.  It's also NOT fair to his older sister, when their other Mom is at work, and say, his sister wants to play or go outside, I physically can't FORCE him into doing something, because I'm disabled. I can't physically fight with him.


Thankfully, I've gotten him referred to Child Psychiatry within the next week or so. But I was wondering if there was any other parents out there, experiencing the same type of problems, or HAVE experienced them before.  What did the doctors say? How did you deal with it? ANY type of advice is appreciated.. Thank you so much.

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#2 of 7 Old 08-26-2011, 09:44 AM
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Oh mama!  I have no advice but I couldn't read and not reply!  I hope the professional helps, that's the only thing I could think of.  hug2.gif

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#3 of 7 Old 08-26-2011, 02:53 PM
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I don't have any advice either but big hugs Mama. I hope you can get some answers from the psychiatrist.

Sue, Mama to Fiona Aileen (2/1/09) and  Maeve Penelope (10/7/11) familybed2.gif cd.gif

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#4 of 7 Old 08-29-2011, 02:25 PM
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Well you've already taken the exact step I was going to recommend - talking to your Ped about him (you've skipped the Ped and referred him to child psychiatry which, given his behaviors, is probably a good idea).


Even though we all know toddler behaviors do vary a lot, I think you are very wise to get him seen because that combination/extent of concerning behaviors does sound extreme.  And it's hard on all 3 of you who are home on a regular basis (you, your son, and your daughter).


I don't have any ideas about what the doc might say or attribute all this to, but it's really really REALLY good that you're getting your son checked out.  If there are tactics/strategies of relating to him that would help him more (and help all of you), you of course want to know that.


Good luck, tell us what happens when you see the doc...

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#5 of 7 Old 08-30-2011, 09:58 PM
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I wish I had advice, but I can only offer a hug.gif
Good luck mama, I hope you find some answers and support soon

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#6 of 7 Old 08-31-2011, 08:39 AM
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I think you're doing the right thing.


I don't have any experience but I remember child self-injury being discussed in my psychiatry class and they said it's something that needs to be referred to a professional very quickly because the child is doing it to get a reaction (and other reasons), but ignoring the behavior is really harmful because the child generally escalates the behavior insanely fast. He gave an example of a girl hitting herself in the face. At first she got a reaction... No! Don't do that! ... and then the parent decided to ignore the behavior... and the child escalated to breaking (and re-breaking) her nose every time.

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#7 of 7 Old 08-31-2011, 11:37 AM
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First of all, hugs!  That sounds incredibly difficult.


I don't have any firsthand experience with this exact issue, but I will suggest that you also look into a developmental pediatrician.  Our son is a late talker and I'm part of a community who have been through a million evaluations.  Many of them have had somewhat negative experiences with child psychologists because they are limited in the scope of things they are looking for. 


A dev ped can help you with the possibility of non-behavioral stuff.  Allergies, food intolerance, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, etc - there are a lot of physical/medical things that have behavioral correlates.  So I would hesitate to focus only on the psychological at this early age. 


I hope things get better!

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