I feel like a sh*t mom who absolutely lost it with my kid today. I don't know what his problem is but we've been dealing with his meanness since he was 13 months old and he'll be 3 in a month. Let's see, just today, he has hit my moms chiahuahua's about 10 times, has kicked my mom in her broken leg (that has taken years to not fully heal due to osteoporosis), has come running at me with a coat hanger and smacked me in the face with it, has poked my mom in the eye twice (she has surgery on it 2 weeks ago), has gone running thru a bedroom and slammed his head into the window 3 times in a row, he hits me and runs, then comes back and does it again. My breaking point tonight was when he picked up a case of pudding and cornered one of the dogs and began slamming it into her back repeatedly then threw it on top of her when he saw me coming at him and ran. I chased him to the back of the house and let him have it. I feel so aweful, but I don't know what to do to reach him and make him understand that he CANNOT act this way. I have tried redirection (for a long time when he was yonuger...)he never caught on. His daycare that he went to would do time outs with the kids in a decent manner, so I tried it at home. Now he LOVES to go to the wall, in fact he tells me that he hits just so he can go to time out, so apparently thats not working on him. He doesn't listen when I tell him NO, which has become the most frequently said word in my house (which I hate). We have tried talking to him and telling him that it makes us sad when he acts this way and now he will do things then ask us to make sure we are sad. Once we say, YES we are sad, he says then he is happy. He THRIVES on violence and laughs and enjoys being violent. He gets a kick out of it. How do I break him of this??? Oh, he has also taken to kicking me in the belly as hard as he can (I'm 17 weeks pregnant) and if I try to ignore it, he will do it harder then laugh. I hate spanking but like I said, tonight he got the spanking of his lifetime or he would have probably killed that dog.
I really need some ideas because I am so stressed about this. My DH is working out of town and looking for us a house and we are living with my parents in the meantime. Being pregnant and so stressed I'm already contracting and the doc ordered me to take it easy and my child is anything but allowing me to rest. I am actually beginning to be very concerned for the health/wellbeing of this baby thats on the way. My son is the type of child who will knowingly hurt the baby out of spite. Please help me, I'm reaching the point of wanting to send him away to bootcamp but hes only 3. I just want to cry and my DH thinks I'm overreacting because he's never here to see it. He tells me to just ignore his behavior which I have tried but when I do that, DS takes it to the extreme. Last week my mom's other dog (not the one he attacked tonight) spent the day hiding under the bed. Once I bribed her out and picked her up, she had a bruise (blood stain) on her tummy the size of the bottom of a coke can from DS kicking her in the stomach.
Please, I'm willing to try anything at this point. I'm at such a loss.
I'm sorry I wish I could help. I feel sick just reading this post
DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).
How is he at daycare? How often does he go?
I always hesitate to post this because I think people will take it the wrong way, (I have a daughter with a genetic condition) but would you consider stopping by the special needs forum, not because I'm saying there is definitely something "wrong" with your son, but because there are many very experienced, knowledgeable mothers there with great advice?
I think that consistent redirection each time a violent action surfaces would be a good place to start. For example if you anticipate an action that you know will be violent, have a plan in place for something that he can do with that energy. Something positive. A trampoline, a drum, a ball to throw, sticks to bang together. And don't just offer the drum each time he hits...mix it up, often.
I would also investigate his sleep patterns. Is he tired?
And food? allergies, constant hunger?
Just my thoughts, I hope you find the direction you are looking for.
If you want to PM I'll help you find the phone numbers for your area or you can post in the SN area here to see if other people in your area can help you.
Play therapy isn't a bad thing and can be very fun, don't think about taking steps as a negative!
In my case, I've been thinking that what I need to do is spend more one on one time with her (because I don't really spend that much since she has an older sister) and understand that as angry and hurtful as she can be, she is extremely sensitive to criticism herself. It's hard for me to understand that since she can be rough and mean in the way she treats others, that she goes ballistic if people respond in kind. I'm hoping that if I spend some time giving her unconditional acceptance, maybe I can break down whatever anger and resentment she has. I don't even know if that will work, but I feel like my other option is the one you have suggested. In your case, though, with your pets, your mother and your own condition, it's hard. You can't let him mistreat you. I usually physically try and stop whatever it is they are doing--like if they hit me, I grab their hands mid hit. A few times I've had to physically "restrain" my daughter on my lap, holding her and rocking her until she finally seemed to get out of the tantrum and move to where she was willing to accept loving and hugs.
Do you know if there is anything in his life that could be contributing to it emotionally? Dietary or environmental issues? Maybe you could talk to his pediatrician and get some ideas that way.
I can tell you that when this behavior started he was 13 months old, is when the military called daddy away to active duty in another city. we still saw him a few weekends a month, but that was all. That was 2 years ago and daddy is still gone. When he is home, Cayden's behavior does a complete 180. He is calm, playful and incredibly loving. He still has a few issues with hitting, but nothing as severe as when daddy is gone. That is why when daddy finally got the full time position (instead of 4 months of orders at a time), we began looking for a house to move down there and get our family back together. I KNOW things with Cayden would improve greatly having daddy back in the picture on a daily basis. We just have had nothing but trouble since we began house hunting so right now we are stuck.
Dh also told me that when he was a child he had incredibly violent tendencies that his parents couldn't control. He finally grew out of them when he was a teenager, but DH just says all of this is his fault because of him being gone and because of passing on his 'violent genes' as he calls them. He feels terrible for leaving me to deal with this but he is also at a loss as to how to deal with Cayden. What I described in the original post, was pretty much our lives on a daily basis. I do think there is something wrong with him (bipolar maybe), because there are times he is a complete angel. I have even considered going to my pastor to have him prayed over in case its something demonic...(Yes I'm a Christian and I can say I do believe demons are real. I was tormented by them as a young child until I was prayed for). Like I said, I'm more than willing to try ANYTHING.
DS is very spirited, high needs. has been since he was born. I have read several books about spirited kids but they all seem to be geared towards older children. I have tried 1-2-3 magic and it worked for a short time, but like I said, now he loves being in time out. Grrr...
Allergies/food sensitivities would be good to check into also- when I was younger I became very angry and aggressive I just couldn't help myself, I just felt so angry all the time (I was a little older so I remember it clearly) and it turned out I had a sensitivity to processed corn, once that was eliminated from my diet, those feelings totally subsided.
I think you might want to go ask around the special needs forum, and the allergy forum, the mamas there might be able to help shed some light on what you're going through.
It sounds like you are a caring mama doing all you can think of, I wish you luck and send hugs and support.
Someone different and willing to work with you and listen to you. Maybe even another ped. Mention the family history of violent tendancies.
But I would see a child pychologist too. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I would make it my #1 priority before one of the dogs is killed or you stress into a problem for your pregnancy. I would absolutely deal with it before baby is born.
i don't feel qualified at all to talk about your son seemingly hurting for fun and being happy in making others sad. Without seeing it, it sounds like he's trying to control. It's pretty powerful to be able to control the way other people feel and i think it's fairly easy for little one to fall into negative attention seeking patterns. But, if you feel it is indicative of something more serious--you should think about talking to a professional.
Barring anything out of the ordinary--i would make sure he is eating a healthy diet free from artificial dyes, flavors, etc., Second, find a really good outlet for all that aggression, energy and need to control he has in his little body--not sure what it is for him--for my DS, when he's reaching that point we play the "direction game," where i give him tasks to complete--like "when i say go, run as fast as you can, touch the big tree, find one pebble and bring it back to me..." then i praise him like crazy when he completes the task and add more steps each time. it keeps him focused and burns energy. Something like this might work for your kiddo--or maybe getting him into some kind of lesson--soccer, karate, etc., With my DS, i find that once we've got that energy harnessed, he's focused and has found a good way to use his natural intensity and gotten positive attention for it, then we get to a really good place, can have a snack, read a book or something and then talk about why he hit me earlier or whatever the issue was.
Good luck. No judgment at all, but i think spanking is only going to make it harder for your son to understand that hurting other people and animals is unacceptable. remove yourself. tell him you have to protect yourself/dog/whomever so you have to leave the room or area to keep your body safe.
First let me clarify that he graduated from EI a few months ago because he has made GREAT IMPROVEMENTS in his behaviors from when he first started. But most of the time, the therapists would see him at daycare and he doesn't have near the issues there that he has at home. Too much stimulus for him to even consider going into his rages. Sadly, his daycare ended last week for the year and since we are moving hopefully within a couple of months, he won't be going back. It was a 2 day a week Mother's Day Out program at a church and it was wonderful for him. I'm really sad that he's not going back but they don't have the program going again for a few months.
Food allergies....YES. dairy. usually makes him wheeze. SOY/MSG sends him into insanely violent tendencies. I have to watch those like a hawk. I haven't been able to pinpoint anything else that could be setting him off...those 2 are the biggies and we are darn good at avoiding them.
Oh Lordy, restraining him in my lap until he calms cannot be done. He is too strong for me. (40 in tall 40 lbs). At 15 months he was so strong that while I was attempting to restrain him, he threw his head back into my front tooth and severed the blood vessel feeding the nerve. I now have to have a $1500 root canal/cap to fix it because its brown. I just don't have the money so I live with a brown tooth.
His sleep patterns are crazy. We are trying to figure out if he is done with naps for the day or not. Somedays he will nap for 3 hours then for a week after, he wont nap at all and will be up late at night but always wakes up at 730 thanks to his incredible internal alarm clock. he has never had a good sleep schedule from the say he was born. We tried so many things and they never worked for him.
Hunger...some days its like he's starving to death, others he wont touch a single thing you offer. Sometimes even if he picks it out he will still refuse to eat it. When he does eat, he impressed me because he LOVES his vegetables. He still eats mostly chicken.
The Oppositional Defiance Disorder...the name even sounds like it describes him. I'm gonna google. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
|I have thought about seeing a therapist but his Ped just writes me off has having an unruly toddler.|
I recommend contacting a Children's Hospital in the nearest metro area to you. They are very experienced with children's issues using a whole child approach. Also, there is an amazing cover story in last week's Newsweek on life with a bi-polar child that you may be able to relate to (in terms of mood swings).
Please get help for your child now. There are resources out there - also through your school district and Child Find - that can have a big impact. Good luck and big hugs, mama.
I have no great advice except please, do what you can to limit or remove pets from his equation all together. Animals, even the most loving and gentle, are unpredictable in the best of circumstances. It would be a tragedy if one decided to "protect" itself from your child. It's certainly a danger to the pets and could be a big danger to your little guy.
Get help for him now. If the ped doesn't listen go to another & another if you need to. This sounds extreme to me & if you can't get it under control now I would worry it's only going to escalate.
Good luck - I can only imagine how hard this must be.
Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).
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I think the others have given excellent advice, and I hope you find the answer in there because I can only imagine how frustrated both you and your DS are right now. That said, I did want to comment on this:
I think this is quite telling... to me it seems like he realizes that he is getting out of control and needs that time to get away from what's going on and regroup. If his behavior is at all better during/immediately after a time-out, I would encourage that as much as possible by helping him realize that he doesn't have to hit or misbehave and that he can give himself a time-out whenever he wants. If he genuinely likes time-out, I wouldn't abandon the approach but merely adjust it... Send him there as often as needed to keep the rage in control and hopefully keep him even-keeled long enough so that he can learn to feel when something is going array. I dunno, just a thought.
its crazy but i have found that if i want him to actually do something, i have to tell him he cant do it and that hes not allowed to do it and it will get done immediately.
today started out crap just like yesterday, but i gave him some calm child syup and his l'theanine chewables and hes already a different kid.
but i did notice this morning that granny seems to bring it out in him. he was fine while she was gone and when she came home, even after hes been an angel all morning with me, he immediately went into kicking granny and hitting granny and yelling at her and she yells back. she is feeding into his frenzy. i told her to stop and now she wont talk to me.
about the dyes...i think that may be an issue too. first thing this morning that granny did before i woke up was give him a popsickle (the flavor-ice sticks) that are all sorts of colors. he eats about 10 of those a day and is absolutely addicted to them. i think they are a major problem so he is now banned from them. ill find another option for his popsickles that dont have the dyes and see how he does with them.
i really appreciate all of your advice and i will find him a good doc as soon as we get moved. where i live now, there arent any specialty docs and im moving to san antonio where they have a childrens hosptial so im pretty sure we can find help there. int he meantime, im overhauling his diet and getting him nutritionally built up and gonna see if that makes any changes.
oh and after reading about the oppositional defiance disorder, that fits him to a T and so does the adhd part...just a little but its there. his dad seems to have had both too so i do think its genetic. im gonna work more in those areas and see what happens. at least now i have some new ideas. last night i was at my wits end and desparate and didnt know where to go next.
so thank you all so much.
ps...i am keeping him separated from the dogs as much as possible.
Wife to DH and mama to DD(7) and DD(5) ...Lola the Wiener Dog , Faulkner the Little Giant , Ginger the Wonder Cat , Azkaban the blue parakeet, Sunny the yellow parakeet, 3 nameless hermit crabs, and a whole bunch of fish!
My son was the same way. They are right that spanking wont help, my son quickly adapted and would laugh at me while I spanked him. All his violence started wellllll before any spanking though so I know that wasnt what caused it. Anyway, he was kicked out of daycare twice, I quit working so I could stay home with him instead, but everyday was hard. He would beat up on his little sisters, once he started kindergarten he had a very hard time there too. I'd watch him at the park walk up to random kids and punch them for no reason.
I had started him with a psychologist and psychiatrist when he was 5, about 6 months before K, because I knew it would be an issue. We tried other methods but nothing worked. Finally we put him on a form of Ritalin (didnt work), then Adderall (did work for awhile) and now hes on Vyvanse. We could see the difference in his ability to focus on tasks and whatnot but it didnt help with the violence. By this age, he was also having what we now call rages-basically violent temper tantrums resulting in holes in walls, his matress being torn to shreds, stabbing things, screaming and kicking for hours on end. He was placed in special ed in the middle of this year and has been only going to school 2 hours a day. I did some of my own research and read about bipolar in children and it described my child almost perfectly.
He started Depakote, at the miminum dose, about 4 months ago and even on that low dose the change has been dramatic. (Most kids are given Lithium, but my son has a history of epilepsy so it made more sense to at least try a siezure med first) He is only rarely having issues with hitting, and usually its more of a typical kid reaction, like when another kid was hitting him with a stick, he hit him back, that sort of thing. He hasnt had a rage since about 3 weeks into starting the med. He's doing very well at school and they are talking about reintigrating him into a normal classroom (Also, hes very smart, as most bipolar/adhd kids are-his IQ is in the 140's). I tried very hard to keep him off meds but the difference is amazing. He sees it too-he's only 8 but he will remind me that he hasnt had his meds and he has told me repeatedly he loves being able to sit still long enough to do things and feel like a normal kid.
Obviously I'm not saying this is what's up with your son, but I would DEFINATELY seek help and also be sure to do your own research as well. He's still too young for a diagnosis I believe, and I really wouldnt want to give meds to a child that young if I could avoid it, but simply seeing someone who can tell you no, you arnt a bad parent, this isnt your fault, is amazingly helpful and reassuring. Its even possible something else happened to cause this that you dont know about-as horrible as it is, I started having horrible violent behavoir when I was 3 and it turned out it was because I was being molested by a babysitter. Other things can trigger negative behavior like that too....Just get some help before you go nuts!
You need to take him to another therapist before you take him to your pastor to be prayed over, please.
Someone different and willing to work with you and listen to you. Maybe even another ped. Mention the family history of violent tendancies.
Information about bipolar in toddlers http://www.googobits.com/articles/83...-disorder.html
FWIW, we make homemade popsicles from watered down pomegranate juice. I hope you find something that helps.