Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: in the Rolling Hills
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wow, that sounds really hard -- especially with two younger kids!
At five, do you think he's old enough to grasp if you tell him before you go somewhere, "When it's time to go, we're going to leave without fussing and ESPECIALLY without hitting/kicking/scratching. Otherwise, the next time I go somewhere with your brother and the baby, you are going to have to stay at home with Daddy. I love to go places with you and have fun, but I can't let you hurt me. Sound fair?"
A ten-minute and five-minute warning before leaving anywhere might help, too. And the prospect of something fun to do at home, so it's not just "All the good times are over!" and a crushing letdown. Could there be a special toy or comfort object that he is allowed to hold when he gets in the car, so he has something to do with his hands (and his strong feelings) that doesn't take it out on you?
I think punishment or a lecture after the fact will not help matters and will just make him feel bad and anxious, but he does need a very clear, unequivocal message that he is NOT allowed to hurt anyone anymore, and that hurting people will have results he doesn't like -- not as a punishment, but to protect you. If he can't go play without hurting you, then for a while he will not be able to go play because you must not be hurt.
Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS
Do playdates often fall apart toward the end like that? I'm wondering if that's a big contributing factor, that he's already totally spun out of control before it's time to go. Maybe more frequent (now that you've got the car) but very short visits are the way to go for a while ... also, maybe carefully selecting the other kid to play with, visiting mellower playmates until he has enough self-control to play with his door-slamming buddy, because it sounds like they really ramped each other up?
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