Agressive Behavior - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-11-2002, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am sorry if this issues had been discussed before, but I am at my wits end and need some advice.

I have a very spirited 2.5 year old DS, who has become very aggressive. He has always been a rowdy little boy and I always have worried about him playing to rough with other children, but lately he has been out and out nasty towards me. Hitting, Kicking, Biting, Scratching, Spitting. I can't take it. He bit a teacher at his school through her jeans and drew blood!!! He clawed me face last night until it bled. When we are in a store he runs rampant and if I try to carry him he smacks me in the face constantly. I don't know why he is acting like this!!!! He is normally a loving child, is very compasionate.

Please help, how do I stop this behavior!??!!!

TIA

Shannon
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#2 of 6 Old 12-11-2002, 12:45 PM
 
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What else is going on in his life? Any big changes?

Denny
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#3 of 6 Old 12-11-2002, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Admittedly....yes there have been some extremely big changes in his life as of late but.......this behavior has started long before the this hectic period. He has always had sort of "split personalities" he is loving and caring one minute, and an incontrollable the next, but it has gotten progressivley worse.
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#4 of 6 Old 12-11-2002, 02:54 PM
 
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It has been discussed before, but that's because it's such a big and common subject. I have a 19-month-old who is also 'rough' (that's the euphemism I find myself using) yet has a very affectionate side. I have posted here myself about this very problem. I can pass on advice that has been given to me but I find that it is a very persistent problem. I agree that it seems to increase along with disruptions/changes in my son's life. It may be the only way he can express anxiety/worry he is feeling. It is also related to my son's inability to speak, I've been told, though I don't know at 2.5 years if that is so much the case. I've read in many places that in general, kids this age sometimes just are this way, not having the inner means to control themselves yet. I find I have to deal with feeling resentful about the physical pain. My ds pulls hair VERY hard and scratches and grabs faces. It really hurts, and he has to be watched very carefully around other kids. I have to snatch him away from another kid alot and I think he picks up on my anxious hovering when he's around another kid and it makes it worse though I can't not do it. What has worked best is this: when he does this to me I put him away from me, firmly but without giving in to being angry and punishing. I say something like: "Ouch, that hurt. I don't want to play with you when you're like this." Usually he's unhappy about this, so after a beat or two I pick him up again and give him a cuddle. Of all things, this seems to work best in terms of stopping a total frenzy of biting, hair-pulling, etc.

In conclusion all I can say is: I sympathize because I know what it's like and it's hard. I wish often that he was the kind of kid that just didn't do this. I recently read The Successful Child by Martha and Dr. Sears and got depressed. I feel like I did all the right things and yet ds is so often hurtful. Occasionally I just hate the situation with all my heart. I keep telling myself that he will eventually outgrow it, that kids at this age simply do not have much control over their own actions or the awareness that their behaviour is hurtful. I know that it'll sink in eventually but in the meantime it is the hardest thing of all that I have experienced as a parent. I told this to our pediatrician and she recommend Occupational Therapy, to jumpstart talking which in turn should lessen the aggressive behaviour. This is just getting underway so I can't say whether or not it is helping. But that's how bad it is: my husband and I got to the point at which we felt we had to do something as major as this. So I want you to know, I take a post like this from another parent VERY seriously.
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#5 of 6 Old 12-11-2002, 09:46 PM
 
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I am interested to see how the therapy works for the kids who are trying it. My nephew had very similar problems that were never totally resolved but were helped by sticking to a fairly regular routine and establishing short periods to prepare the child for transitions from one activity to another. It seemed the boy had most of his anger issues when people changed gears too quickly for him. They gave him lots of warning when stuff was going to happen and it helped him. My SIL held him a lot when he got really violent and she never hit him or raised her voice.

I think that in shy children you tend to see more aggressive behaviors. It allows them to exert some control over a situation where they feel quite out of control. Make sure he spends enough time socializing with kids his own age and perhaps finding a good regular playmate will help him out.

I wish you luck. It sounds really, really tough for both of you.

Denny
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#6 of 6 Old 12-12-2002, 01:03 AM
 
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I think I need more information on what it is that is setting off this behavior. Is it just happening out of the blue, when he is trying to express himself, when he is being transitioned from one activity to the other, when he is hungry/tired, or something that I haven't even thought of?

If you can provide some more details I may be able to offer some suggestions.

Hope to hear from you!

LoveBeads
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