Help, my son is hurting other children - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-24-2009, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay so my 4 1/2 yo DS is very rough and hurts people. I don't know how to make this stop!!!! Today he even threw a small table knife at a two year old (I do childcare in another family's home). I've tried talking to him, I've tried making him leave the room, I've tried picking up hurt child and being extra attentive to them and walking away a bit. I've been mad, and sad, and I've tried being completely unemotional about it. I need some advice. Also, I can't make him understand that he is not the boss, I am the parent and I have everything under control. He bosses his sister around, he'll even count to three then slap her if she's not complying (for the record, I have never counted to three and slapped anyone).
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that my son is rough too at 3. He never hit at a young age, but his cousins hit him. Now my IL can't understand why he is hitting. My MIL went so far as to say that if I didn't spank him he would grow into a teenager that would abuse me. I understand what you are going through with trying everything. I hope someone else has some ideas. But I wanted to send a hug because I know it is tough to deal with.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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Call your pediatrician or other professional you trust in the morning and get an appt to have your son evaluated by a child psychologist.

You cannot handle this by yourself and your son needs help before he gets older, stronger and the people he throws a knife at or slaps are going to start fighting back. Enough is enough.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:04 AM
 
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Have you tried asking him how he's feeling after he does these things?

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, no, I haven't. Huh. When I ask him why he is hurting it's always because: they were bothering him, they wanted the toy he was playing with, they were in the way, it was an accident, etc. etc. When I ask him what we could do differently next time he always says, be gentle, use my words. I'll definitely ask him how's he's feeling next time. But then what?
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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I have zero tolerance for physical violence towards people or animals. I could really care less "why" the kid does it, in my care there are no reasons good enough to excuse hitting/slapping/pushing or whatever.

I've done childcare and the only thing that seems to work is that there is a well defined consequence which is given out every single time violence happens. That's normally that the kid has to leave the room until they calm down. This happens even for threats of violence. They need to go somewhere else.

Once they are calm/ready to talk then we talk about the whys and hows and come up with strategies for avoiding violence in the future.

But mainly prevention is the key. We do calm downs before it gets to that point.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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After he tells you how he's feeling, you can offer other words to how his actions possibly make the other children feel. And you can say things like "I feel scared when I see you hurting so and so and I really have a need for everyone to be safe".

I'm dealing with similar things where my DS reacts with hitting or spitting. It's a reaction to being provoked. I think consistency is the key (that's what I hear anyway!!)


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Old 09-28-2009, 02:18 AM
 
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having trouble with my 3.5 year old as well. my mil is a psychiatrist who has studied child psychology a lot and I talked with her about it all weekend (dd was acting up even worse when she was visiting!).
Her main things are yelling, screaming, throwing things and hurting her baby brother intentionally.
Here's what I do not. Pick her up and put her in her room. every. single. time.
I don't say one word.
She actually does very well, plays in there until she calms down and then comes out happy. My mil says it's because she's glad to have help with controlling herself. She's on board with me about not using punishment. This is not a punishment, I'm just removing her from the situation.
HUGS! I've heard this is the worst age. Please let it be true!!!

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ds (2-23-09)
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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Just found this post and I am right there with you! My DD pushes and pulls hair and sometimes seemingly for no reason at all other than to see what it does to the other person ??? I think she needs a lot of personal space, so I am trying to be consistent with teaching her HOW to handle it when she feels her personal space being invaded. Things like "excuse me" or leaving the room. I make sure to explain to her how it makes the other person feel when she does that and that we do not do that. I give her alternative things she could do instead of hitting/pushing/pulling hair. I should ask her how she is feeling as well, that is a good idea.

I thought kids went through the aggression stage younger than this, I guess not!

I just heard somewhere that kids have 10% impulse control per age. So at 3 they can probably control their impulses 30% of the time. It isn't ever an excuse for aggression, but at least it helps me not feel like the worst parent of the year when she does something AGAIN after I've explained it a gazillion times.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:01 AM
 
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I am watching this thread. I'm sorry you are dealing with this...it is hard, I know. My just 4 yo ds has always been pretty aggressive...even in showing his love...it seems to come out pretty rough sometimes.

I have struggled win how to handle it without punishment and shame. I'll admit in my aim to deal with it gently...I probably just haven't dealt with it very well or consistently.

How does one remove a child from a room? I mean, mine would be kicking and screaming and to remove him to another room would mean me outside the door holding it shut. There would be no way he would stay in there on his own. how do you others do it? (typed from my phone sorry for typos)
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:42 AM
 
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It helped my boys at this age to begin thinking and talking in terms of "problems" and how to notice and solve problems. If he can learn how to do this, he won't need to be aggressive because he'll have better tools to work with.

Each and every time:

1) Remove him from the situation immediately
2) Give him time to de-escalate
3) When he is relatively calm, help him to verbally define what the problem that upset him ("I was mad when.... because.....") This teaches him to use words to tell what his feelings are.
4) Coach him through the process of how he might have "solved that problem" better
5) Ask that he "check in" with the person he hurt.

Four years old is an ideal time to teach problem solving skills. Real life frustrations are an opportunity to teach the skill of solving problems, and it is a skill he will take with him through life.

Steps to Solving Problems:
- Figure out what the problem is
- Calm yourself down (by counting, breathing, thinking nice thoughts)
- Think of a few ways to solve the problem
- Pick the best way and try it
- If that doesn't work, try a different way
- If that doesn't work, ask for a grown up to help you

Kids don't learn this quickly -- it takes a lot of practice and coaching and a lot of time. It might help to use paper and pencil to draw pictures, make lists, etc.... even if he doesn't read -- there is something about putting an idea on paper that makes it more concrete. You can lay out his "ideas" for problem solving as "Idea number 1, 2, 3 et....." and he can point to them. The visual helps.

You can also talk about problem solving in other contexts. A lot. When you watch a movie or read a story, stop frequently to define problems verbally, talk about ways that you see people solving problems, engage him in evaluating the problem solving techniques of characters in stories and movies.

Have conversations about whether or not being rough (hitting, throwing) ever "solves problems" or whether it "makes problems worse."
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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This isn't my section of the boards, but does the mother of the child you watch understand the situation? I don't think childcare is something that is a good option while your son is in this stage if you are not willing or able to physically stop him from hurting other kids.

I'm sorry you are going through this. We each have our parenting challenges and this isn't one I've gone through - but have been on the other side of it. We ended up carpooling and very good friends with a little boy who repeatedly clobbered my dd2 - so I know that it can all turn out find and the stage will end, but I think the adults have a responsibility to stop it whenever humanly possible and to make sure the other moms of kids your family is around know the situation.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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I would seriously consider seeing a professional (some type of behavioral counselor, etc).

This is not trivial, or a mere matter of 'zero tolerance'. There could well be an underlying issue that should be addressed. I had a childhood playmate that struggled with similar issues - intervention didn't occur but probably would have made a big difference in his adjusting to life throughout the years.

I would especially consider at least asking a behaviour specialist about their thoughts because boys have enough 'normal' issues to deal with as they develop and as testosterone kicks in. Better to address aggression and anger management early on, before it becomes a normal reaction.
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Old 11-22-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thisbirdwillfly View Post
Call your pediatrician or other professional you trust in the morning and get an appt to have your son evaluated by a child psychologist.

You cannot handle this by yourself and your son needs help before he gets older, stronger and the people he throws a knife at or slaps are going to start fighting back. Enough is enough.
I would also have your son tested for diabetes. At a young age, diabetes often presents itself as bursts of anger.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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I found this post today, and I'm currently going through very similar problems with my 4.5 year old - he's very aggressive, and regularly hurts other kids for seemingly no reason.   I then noticed that this post is 4 years old!   Any chance you could give an update on the situation?  Is he still aggressive at 8 yrs old?  Did you find anything that worked?  I'd really appreciate any insights you could provide.  And if anyone who replied to the original post has an update, I'd love to hear from you too!  Thank you.

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Old 11-26-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post

I have zero tolerance for physical violence towards people or animals. I could really care less "why" the kid does it, in my care there are no reasons good enough to excuse hitting/slapping/pushing or whatever.

 

I agree.  There is the point where we put the aggressive child ahead of the safety of others.   That doesn't work with me either.  His feelings would not even be considered when he's done something like that, at this age no less.

 

 

 

(I realize this is an old thread)

 

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Old 11-26-2013, 07:52 PM
 
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Apparently she isn't on the site anymore.  She just had 3 posts. Hopefully someone will come update.

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Old 11-30-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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I have had this problem with my 5 year old being aggressive and it started around 4 and I'd like to say there is a light at the end if the tunnel!! She is getting better with are and I also would like to say I didn't do everything right but I noticed as l was consistent that seemed to work the best! Pick a plan and stick with it. I also notice when she hasn't had enough sleep or needs a Neal she gets aggressive! Also keep them busy and don't let them get bored! Get outside let them run and play..., I'm no expert trust me!! Just a mom who has a very emotional child and I'm learning as I go smile.gif

DH 31; Me 30; DD 6; DS 1; Baby boy due Dec 17th

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Old 11-30-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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Meal*

DH 31; Me 30; DD 6; DS 1; Baby boy due Dec 17th

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