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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 3 year old has always veered on the aggressive side. But DH left us for another woman a month ago and Aidan has been showing his feelings through anger. his older brother is covered in claw marks, his little friend next door is also. Even his 14 month old brother whom he adores and has never ever ever hurt was pushed hard in the face and made hsi nose bleed! I know WHy he is angry right now but haven't a clue what to do. I have had to stop babysitting cuz any child who comes into this house he gets soooo angry at. My instinct is to cry over him and hug him but then I don't want hinm to keep doing this behavior! Any ideas?
 

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Perhaps that is exactly what he needs...

but I know it doesn't address the issue at the time it's happening. Is he able to talk about how he feels? That might help to validate his anger. In a way appropriate for a 3 yr old of course. Perhaps coloring how he feels or reading a book about feelings?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamaclukey
Perhaps that is exactly what he needs...

but I know it doesn't address the issue at the time it's happening. Is he able to talk about how he feels? That might help to validate his anger. In a way appropriate for a 3 yr old of course. Perhaps coloring how he feels or reading a book about feelings?
This is my only idea too. Obvioulsy he has to stop hurting, and I have no idea how to make him stop hurting others...But, please give him a hug, and cry over him. Protect him from what he is going through. If he can feel validated now for his feelings (not his actions) he may be able to get over it later. Too many angry young boys grow up to angry young men.

I'm in no way suggesting that you reward him for the behavior...just validate how he feels. Go ahead and put what he is feeling into words. Tell him you understand that he is mad because Mommy and Daddy don't live together. DOn't assume he is angry at Daddy. He could be angry at you , or angry at himself. He must wonder what he did to make Daddy leave. Or even worse, he may think he knows what HE did to make Daddy leave.

I do wish I had an idea to help your little guy. I'm sorry that you are all going through this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you girls for the kind words and help. I just feel so helpless and when I comfort him in front of another parent I get lots of raised eyebrows. But my heart sees he is mad cuz of his pain. He is so much like his father...its why hsi father is gone right now, he never dealt with HIS anger and was such an angry teen and now he just bottles it up. I hate to see my son become like that too. I realize my instincts are right in this.
 

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Oh, I'm so sorry.


I was an angry 4 year old, for the same reason. Stopped calling my mom "mama" and switched over to her first name (thankfully she was a hippie and didn't mind at all, it didn't outwardly phase her even though she knew why I did it), was just SAD all the time. I don't think I got aggressive, but then that's not really my nature.

I do want to say, that Aidan (excellent name) is doing different than what his dad did, in that he's expressing himself, right? He's getting it out rather than bottling it? So maybe now is a good time to try to slow down the social visits, keep him a bit more insulated so he's not harming other children from other families. Perhaps enroll him in something where he can get things out? I'm not usually one to advocate sports for little ones, but maybe a little kid's martial arts class? Something individual, but in a group, so he can get the benefit of other peoples' energy being spent, and HE can spend his energy, but not something where they are going to tussle (like a soccer or pee wee football thing).

Other than that, gosh, I wish my mom were here to help you.
Just try to not take it personally, if he's rude towards you...you are SAFE to him, he can express it to and in front of you...also, don't be surprised if he's an angel when he's around his father; he's the one that already SHOWED he will leave, he's NOT safe to show negativity around, KWIM?

And of course if he isn't doing the things I'm describing, just remember I have my "little kid of divorce" hat on, coming from my own experiences...I'm both helped and hindered by that, I suppose.

Hugs for all of you guys, I'm so sorry.
 

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I am so sorry to hear about the rough time y'all are going through right now
It sounds like you're both really hurting. Don't for a minute worry about anyone raising eyebrows toward you. Do what's in your heart.

I think your instincts are right on. I would give him as much attention as possible. I might guess there are some other feelings in addition to what you're seeing as anger---possibly helplessness, frustration, sadness, confusion, etc. He just doens't know how to deal with everything....I know it must be so hard to be living this right now


I really like Molly's ideas about not taking it personally and suggesting an activity. When my ds1 was having tremendous anger issues (that turned out to be allergy related), he went to a jujitsu class that enabled him to "forget" for awhile that he was angry and not feeling so great and let him burn lots of energy and use his body in ways that were assertive but not hurtful, if that makes sense.

My thoughts are with your right now. Please keep us updated...we're here for you
 

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I am so sorry mama, this must be really hard.

Two things for ya...one is that my 3 yo is also agressive and she hasn't had anything traumatic happen. Some kids are like that and it is just harder! The other is that ITA with the above poster that reading some books about feelings might set the stage for later being able to talk to him. Mr. Rogers has some awesome books out there, "The MAD I feel" or something like that, I'll try to dig it up. A good parenting book I'm reading is "Your three year old" which is a quick read, and "How to Talk so Kids will Listen" also quick and even has cartoons.

yes, and please let us know how it's going. take care.
 
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