Mothering Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
793 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I assure you I have tried it all....but my DS 3 1/2 will not stop hitting our DD 1 1/2, will not stop grabbing her clothing by the neck, will not stop hurting her in a myriad of ways.<br><br>
I am meeting his love language. I am looking for good intent. I'm giving him appropriate ways to play with her.<br><br>
But he just. won't. stop. I'm done.<br><br>
DD screamed almost nonstop for her entire first year of life. Very sick little babe. We are *all* scarred from it. All of us. I understand his frustration, especially when she cries in teh car. It is a horrible trigger for all of us. I swear we all have PTSD.<br><br>
However, I CANNOT ACCEPT THE VIOLENCE ANY LONGER.<br><br>
My DD winces when DS comes around. She has a right to live in a violence free home.<br><br>
We do not hit. We are CL. We have never hit. But I'm close. I come from a history of abuse and my palms itch to beat the crap out of him. And that makes me cry hysterically and get upset. Then I feel so guilty that I want to turn my anger on myself and hurt myself.<br><br>
I"ve read every book, tried everything. Nothing is working. He keeps hitting her. Otherwise, he is a delightful, gorgeous child. A dream.<br><br>
This post is brutally honest. No flaming please, I already feel bad enough as it is.<br><br>
I have to fix this somehow....but how??? I'm learning all I can to not repeat the cycle of abuse. But I cannot tolerate my DD being abused by him.<br><br>
PLEASE HELP ME!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Wow!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> My dc were so much farther apart in age, I have no advice for you. I KNOW someone will be along with some great ideas. But until then, I think you need that hug. I can't imagine how frustrating and frightening it must be to think of your ds hurting dd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I have an 8 year old who is still working on not hitting. She has made a lot of progress, but it's slow. It has taken us time to understand what she needs in order to do better, what skills she needs to learn, what support and guidance she needs. Dd's aggression is the result of her sensory issues, her anxiety, her sensitive temperament, general dysregulation, and her difficulty learning coping skills. It has been hard on our family, on our other kids. But we're okay, we will be okay. Your family will be okay too.<br><br>
If you haven't read The Explosive Child, please do. It's an excellent resource. Also, <a href="http://www.thinkkids.org" target="_blank">www.thinkkids.org</a>.<br><br>
Have you ruled out food allergies? Some kids have food sensitivities that lead to very difficult behavior.<br><br>
Under what circumstances does he become aggressive toward your dd? What are his triggers? What does he do right before he hits? What happens after? What types of prevention work?<br><br>
ETA: You are NOT a bad mom. Some kids have a very hard time with this, despite dedicated parents who try very hard. You are not the only mom to have ever experienced the urge to hit their child. You are strong for not giving in to that urge, it's especially hard sometimes when you come from an abusive background.<br><br>
Do you get a break at all? Do you have support? It's so hard to be a parent, particularly when you're dealing with such a stressful issue. It's vital to take care of yourself, to nurture yourself, to recharge so that you can keep on caring for your kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
I'm so sorry-- I have no advice, but here's a bump for your post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,824 Posts
Do you know why your DS is hitting? Maybe finding out the reasons behind it would help you eliminate or atleast mostly curb it, and if nothing else, would help you understand him better when your temper gets short.<br><br>
My DS, for example, acts out when he doesnt know how else to express himself. Its out of frustration and a feeling like he's going to pop. He's 12 but has always had issues with this, so we spend a lot of time talking about ways to express anger and how its ok to be mad just not ok to hurt people. He still hits things sometimes, but never people.<br><br>
My DD1 is 2 yrs old, and she hits by example. She sees DS shove the cat off the table less than lovingly, and she thinks he's hitting and that she can to. So with her we do more modeling good behavior than teaching about anger management because her issues come not from a place of violence, but just because she thinks its normal since she has seen her big brother do it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,674 Posts
Honestly, I would look for him to be out of the house part of the day. Maybe preschool for mornings. Then after lunch, your dd will nap and you and the son can have some special time together.<br><br>
Ask for help from your friends. Maybe they could take one child for outings or a playdate some days. Or a babysitting teen could play with your son at the park in the afternoons. Maybe a mother's helper could help you keep them engaged in separate activities in your home. Painting for one at the table, play dough for another at a different table.<br><br>
Obviously you cannot separate them all the time but the urge to be abusive to his sister may diminish if he feels he is getting some good alone time with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
793 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
He has Sensory issues - Pair that with a baby with reflux and severe food allergies who doesn't sleep and cries all day.<br><br>
I am pms'ing something horrible and having a horrible day. He has food allergies and we are GFCF, no corn syrup or food dye either. Both have ear infections...<br><br>
I know this can be broken down into 3 parts:<br><br>
1. he is so tramatized (sp?) by her screaming (and he can't handle loud noises at all) that the second she starts to cry he is just hysterical. The car is the worst - he just goes ballistic, screaming, covering his ears, then hitting her.<br><br>
2. he wants more one on one time with us. We sent him to preschool and while it was good for him for a while, now he just feels more separated, not like he is getting a break from "sissy"<br><br>
3. He loves her and wants to play with her. We are a very physical family and he doesn't know where the line is between playing and being too rough.<br><br>
I don't know where to draw the line or how to help.<br><br>
I have thought of special headphones in the car for him while she is screaming.<br><br>
He was just shoving her and I said "let's go to your room for a while" he said "Mommy, I was just playing the Buccaneers game with Sissy!" (that's our football team here and DS just got to go to his first game ever recently) I said "Oh you were playing? It sure looked like shoving and hitting. Let's try it again more gently. ok?"<br><br>
Thanks for letting me vent. I will get the explosive child, but I have always thought this was more due to her screaming and his sensory issues...<br><br>
Thanks for the hugs and ideas - PLEASE KEEP 'EM COMING!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,037 Posts
I think that headphones for in the car are a great idea. Maybe something like this: <a href="http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/aosaseearmuf.html" target="_blank">http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/aosaseearmuf.html</a><br><br>
Aside from that, I have no advice, sorry. But it sounds like you're doing everything right, it's just going to take time for your son to learn not to hit.<br><br>
Sending hugs to you and your family... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,442 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mom2Joseph</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9752357"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
Thanks for letting me vent. I will get the explosive child, but I have always thought this was more due to her screaming and his sensory issues...</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Well, the whole point of The Explosive Child is to recognize what difficulties and/or lagging skills are leading the difficult behavior, and to problem-solve together with the child proactively in order to help the child learn skills and to reduce/prevent more difficult behavior. Which you probably do a lot of the time already. So if my child always freaks out in a certain situation, going through this process can help us understand why and help us find a solution that helps her not freak out-this is how we figured out we needed to buy headphones and that she needed a small, private, quiet space to go retreat to, and that she needed these things because a certain level of noise and certain tones bother her.<br><br>
My dd gets aggressive at times directly as a result of her sensory issues. Earphones have done a lot to prevent aggression in our home, and I think they're a great investment. If her crying bothers him that much, if it's painful to him, it's worth a try IMO. Dd likes these: <a href="http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/product/Peltor-Kid-Earmuffs.html" target="_blank">http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/...-Earmuffs.html</a><br><br>
One thing that has really been helping our child is to carve out one-on-one time pretty regularly during the week. I know that's hard with an infant. Even once or twice a week for 15-20 minutes can help a lot, though. What we find most helpful with regard to special time is to make it completely child-led, ask no questions, make no suggestions, and only give positive feedback (even just "I'm really having fun coloring with you."). It should be fun for both of us. This really helps build connection, which in turn helps fill our child's emotional reserves so that she can cope with life better.<br><br>
I do find that it's very helpful to just sort of say "whoa! what's up?" first when something rough is happening, before saying anything else. This way I can get her to tell me what's going on and why she's doing what she's doing, which helps me respond better/more effectively.<br><br>
eta
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">3. He loves her and wants to play with her. We are a very physical family and he doesn't know where the line is between playing and being too rough.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Could this be a sensory thing too? Also, all my kids sometimes have trouble with knowing where the line between play and too rough is. Especially my kiddo with sensory issues. Do you have things around for him to push and crash into? I find that redirecting my kids to these kinds of things when they're getting rough helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,622 Posts
Just sending you some support. I was smacked a lot as a child too and I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. And my baby is only 10 months old. It makes me feel horrible that I have these impulses to hit my baby, and then I turn it inwards. Ugh. Awful. Anyways just sending you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> and I hope you figure this out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,221 Posts
Mom2Joseph I just wanted to sympathize and send hugs... My kids are spaced similarly to yours. My dd2 also had reflux. I know what you mean when you say your dd cried full time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br>
Luckily dd1 does not have sensory issues. But yes, she was very very aggressive when she was little - luckily she has better impulse control now. I have felt so much grief for dd2. To an extent, I think the hitting she got in the first few years of life from dd1 has done damage to her self esteem that is taking me so much, so much work to rebuild.<br><br>
I do not have much advice, because for us, things started working when they were older and we started "staying out of it" which was really hard in the beginning, but eventually the only possible solution. I think it is very important to try and connect to your eldest at a very deep level, understanding that he hurts very bad too. Also, as I imagine you are doing, to the extent possible never ever leave them alone unsupervised (I used to carry dd2 everywhere I went even when I had to go to the toilet... not easy because she was very mobile from early on and did not like being restraint.. ).<br>
I am sending you lots of hugs and a link<br><a href="http://www.naturalchild.org/naomi_aldort/helping.html" target="_blank">http://www.naturalchild.org/naomi_aldort/helping.html</a><br>
that I hope you find useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,295 Posts
i'm kinda in the same boat. dd1 is a 3 years and 4 months and dd2 is 2 years old. My 3 year old sometimes will hit my youngest and sometimes push her so hard she falls and hits her head on the floor. It really really makes me angry especially when she had no reason to do it. I've started to explain the severity of the situation to my daughter about how her sister can get hurt really bad and have to go to the doctor..ect.. or may even have to be in a wheelchair if she fell on her head and not be able to walk.. i know it may sound too brutally honest for a 3 year old, but what if something like this happened, because I've had situations where i was actually scared to move my youngest after a hit and fall thinking she might have broken her neck... she really seemed to understand and listen, when I told her what could happen, and ever since it has almost come to a stop... she will hit once in a while if hit first...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
Just to let you know that many of us struggle with the urge to hit our children. Probably those of us who were hit regularly as kids. And for me, crying is a big trigger -- sometimes it takes all I have not to hit when they cry, or to smack when I am frustrated. So far I"ve only slipped twice, both times with older DS hurt younger DD. So boy oh boy do I hear your pain. It is hard, sometimes beyond hard to master that urge. I don't necessarily have much advise for you, but I did want you to know that you are not alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,261 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,445 Posts
<b>Reading Suggestions</b><br>
1. I would highly recommend almost any book by Stanley Greenspan -- especially if your son has sensory issues.<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FChallenging-Child-Understanding-Enjoying-Difficult%2Fdp%2F0201441934%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_4%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1195547202%26sr%3D8-4" target="_blank">The Challenging Child</a> - partly because your son with his sensory issues fits one of the profiles (the highly sensitive child) and partly because I really like his description of 'floortime' and problem solving.<br><br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FBuilding-Healthy-Minds-Experiences-Intelligence%2Fdp%2F0738203564%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_5%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1195547202%26sr%3D8-5" target="_blank">Building Healthy Minds</a> (more for your baby probably and since you didn't have a good role model, this might well help you).<br><br>
Note that Greenspan does suggest more limit setting than CL will. You can implement his ideas (found mostly in the challenging child) without the limit setting piece, if you want. I think the floortime alone is worth it. (Your son is a bit young for some of the problem solving, that's suggested, but it's never too early to try!) I think that kids with self-regulatory issues (as sensory issues are) sometimes need outside structure because they can't regulate themselves. And our kids went go to their room when they hit. It means to me that they are out of control enough to need to be separated.<br><br>
2. In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRaising-Our-Children-Ourselves-Relationships%2Fdp%2F1887542329%2Fref%3Dpd_bbs_sr_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1195547885%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves</a>, there is actually section toward the end of the book where she describes how she dealt with her middle son's anger toward his younger (baby) brother. In addition to validating his feelings and making it OK for him to express negative emotions toward his brother, she actually helps him act out some of the things that he wanted to do using a toy doll. It might be worth a read.<br><br>
(To be honest, I couldn't have done this. Overall the book didn't sit well with me, and I can't yet figure out why. One thing that bothered me was that she implies (if not outright states) that emotional problems are due to a failure of connection. But I think it's mostly because I can't see myself doing things her way.)<br><br>
3. I'm assuming you've read the "sensory" books? The Highly Sensitive Child, Sensational Kids, the Out of Sync Child.<br><br><b>Other Suggestions</b><br>
1. I second (third?) the earphone suggestions, especially for the car. Our ds has sensory issues and sound is a huge trigger for him. It's taken 6 years of development, and a year and a half of Occupational Therapy for him to be able to tolerate noises. And even then, when he's tired/his resources are low and his sister screams (and when she has a tantrum, it is a scream), he begins to scream too because it bothers him so much.<br><br>
2. Shadow him/bring her with you. It's always easier to deal with a hitting problem if you can catch him before he actually makes contact. Once he's made contact he's gotten the 'release' and it's a bit self reinforcing. If you can prevent by shadowing him for a week or two (sounds exhausting, I know, but probably NOT more exhausting than what you are doing now).<br><br>
3. Restrict wrestling/deep physical contact to mom and dad alone. Explain that since sissy is little and can't tell him when she's had enough, that you only want him to wrestle/play football with you.<br><br>
Part of sensory issues is difficulty with self-regulation - and since he's so young, this is going to be doubly tough for him. I think it's easier just to call wrestling with his sister off limits until she can say yes/no to this activity.<br><br>
4. Add a lot of sensory activities to your day:<br>
A few ideas:<br>
Try some deep pressure hugs, making a cushion sandwich (cushion, ds cushion, push down firmly), or rolling him really tightly in a blanket (burrito rolls) for a few minutes.<br><br>
Get a toy shopping cart and fill it with some heavy stuff so it's hard to push (so he will really have to work). Get a wagon and fill it with heavy stuff. Any kind of 'heavy work' will help. Think of the kinds of things kids did in 'old days' before central heating and indoor plumbing -- fetching water, carrying logs in, milking cows, digging, etc.<br><br>
Help him jump -- if you can afford it, a mini trampoline would be great. If not, set some pillows on the floor. and let him jump down to them.<br><br>
Let him spend time at the sink playing in water and bubbles.<br><br>
Set up a pan of beans/rice (uncooked, obviously) and hide toys in them and let him find them.<br><br>
More good ideas can be found:<br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showpost.php?p=8889807&postcount=18" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...7&postcount=18</a><br><br>
5. Have you considered seeking play therapy/family therapy? It is entirely possible that you all have PTSD and that having an outside party work with you might really help.<br><br>
6. What's your release valve? No one is a good parent when they don't care for themselves. You need long term self care (time off) and a short term "I need to calm down" strategy of some sort. Do you have a friend you can call and just vent to? Is there a safe place you can put both kids and lock yourself in the bathroom to take some deep breaths? Can your dh take the kids out for an hour or two so you can take a bath?<br><br>
I've written a novel here, so take what you can.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> It will get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,952 Posts
Oh wow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
The only thing I have to add, just because I haven't seen it on the thread, is telling him explicitly that if he's rough on her or hits her, she'll cry more. I know that's so obvious you've probably already done it, but I just didn't see it listed here. He's young to grasp consequences, but it's worth a try.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top