Physically violent 10 year old

(24 Posts)

Has anyone else has to cope with one?

He has hit and punched me and whacked DH with a broom. He has also stabbed and ripped our sofa, broken our new laptop and smashed his mobile phone.

He says he doesn't know why he's done it but it started because I wouldn't let him stay at the park.

This isn't the first time but he hasn't done it for months so I thought it was finished. We've seen CAMHS, Drs and Relate but they've said there is nothing wrong and he has been taught strategies .

Where do we go next? Social Services? I'm happy to do a parenting course if that will help.

He's now cuddled up and has apologised and is acting like nothing has happened. I'm struggling to not cry and be civil. I know I am the adult but right now I hate being a parent.sad

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 19:08:45

Hi op, so sorry to hear you're having these issues with your child. If its any help at all my son used to be very difficult. He didn't hit me but he had insane tantrums and I found him so difficult. The stress was unbelievable. He's grown out of it though. I never thought he would but he has. I'm not sure about your circumstances but my son definitely fed off my stress. I noticed the calmer and happier I was he was too. Does he have any activities he can channel some of his energies into?

He has given up all his activities. I do suggest different things but he isn't interested in any of them.

He has just gone back to school so I wonder if that's the issue? He did say he had a good day though.

When he turns, he is like a different person. Now he is back to normally and nice again.

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 19:32:00

Honestly, my son was exactly the same. I think he just didn't understand what he was feeling and how to express himself. He now seems much more capable and can contain his emotions. I would definitely try to get him involved in something that takes his mind off things and helps him channel some of his energy. He will move past this, I'm sure of it smile I do think some boys just struggle with managing their emotions. I'll bet he's lovely most of the time.

Yep when's he's not angry he is so lovely. I just want to nip it in the bud before he becomes a strong teenager and does me or his brother some serious damage.

I'm also worried that its something I'm doing, or have done wrong, that is causing this.

Also what do I do now? He has damaged about £2000 worth of things today. Surely I can't just ignore that?

All because I said he had to come home from the park because we had to go out. I can't actually get my head round it.

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 19:37:16

And no, definitely not social services, I'm not sure what they would be able to do. I would think about planning and management for future episodes. Do you sit together and discuss it? It might be useful to sit with him and get him to explain how he was feeling when the event happened and what it was that made him so angry then go on to get him to think of alternative ways of dealing with it. I bought my son a punch bag once. And he used it when he got angry. I think you need to get to the source of his anger? For example, what happened when he got cross, was he being asked to do something he didn't want to do? How did you respond when he wouldn't do what he was told. It's really good to break things down. I hope that makes sense.

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 19:42:29

That's exactly what my son was like. Something as simple as going home when he didn't want to could cause hell. Ok, so what I know now is that my son likes to know exactly what's happening, he likes to know what to expect, he likes me to be logical and take things in steps, so, when its time to come home we agree a time, we then have warnings about how long we have left and so on. I'm do sorry he caused so much damage. If he's anything like my son he won't take punishment well so it's up to you how to manage the punishment. I would probably take what he has and sell them to replace the goods, my son never has tantrums now so it really does get better.

Tabby1963 Mon 09-Sep-13 19:47:12

How awful and worrying for you, Pete.

When we had difficult times with my son (primary age), things came to a head, I took him to a child psychologist (not through the NHS, we didn't have time to wait months on the list). I never knew what they discussed (he went for six hour-long sessions altogether), but he did tell me about strategies they'd discussed to help him deal with anger issues.

Before the sessions began the psychologist met the whole family and chatted to us before making the first one-to-one appointment with son.

Over the next few months we all worked together (son, school and family) to support each other and improvements happened. I knew that son was distressed at his behaviour and its effect on everyone, and that he was committed to help himself by using strategies to gain control.

He's an adult now and we have a great relationship, but I do remember the darkness, despair and fears I felt for him sad.

Thanks for your replies. It gives me hope that he will come out of the other side.

I think I need to try not to rise to his bad behaviour. It is hard when he is punching me and calling me a retard.

Maybe I need some help too.

feelinlucky Mon 09-Sep-13 21:16:47

I know that feeling, hardest thing in the world to take that kind if abuse. When I didn't respond my son would give in and get really upset and tearful and just want a cuddle. It was so distressing but definitely the best thing to so but so so hard to do. It used to help me just posting on here (I've name changed) and getting support as things happen.

3andtrio Mon 09-Sep-13 22:07:33

Hi, I am new to this and don't know if anyone can give me any advise as my circumstance is quite different! I have 10 year old triplets, identical girls and a boy. In the last few months one of the girls has changed into a ball of anger! the smallest thing can set her off and she screams and tantrums like a toddler.She says the most hurtful things and doesn't let it go for hours until everyone in the house is so upset! she is only ever like this at home and is a lovely little girl for everyone else and at school but as soon as she is home she starts to want to control us all!!She is highly competitive and can not enjoy what she is doing in case someone is doing it better! I have talked to her until i'm blue in the face! I'm exhausted! x

feelinlucky Tue 10-Sep-13 10:25:20

Hi 3, goodness, she sounds wilful. I have no experience however my friend has a similar sounding little lady. I imagine its difficult for her in there with her two brothers. I'm not sure what to advise. I get a long way by discussing things when all is rational. At ten she should be able to understand the impact her behaviour has on others, however, my friends little girl is incorrigible and we now accept that she's spirited and if she was a boy we might think differently. Sorry that's probably most unhelpful. I'm sure someone with more experience and wisdom will come along soon smile

Well things haven't got any better so I have an appointment with the GP today to try to get an urgent CAMHS referral.

DH has told me he dreads coming home from work. sad I don't blame him to be honest.

mangrove312 Tue 17-Sep-13 00:22:03

Hi Pete, I feel for you as it sounds like Im in a similar situation. My 9yo daughter has recently lost it, after progressively deteriorating over the summer. I now cannot be left on my own with her as her violence towards me is frequent and extreme, not to mention the language and emotional abuse. As im a single mum we are now living at my dads, but the slightest thing can set her off. We have CAMHS involvement (which I want) whilst there have also been numerous Social Services referrals and two police incidents in the last two weeks, one where she had lost it and was screaming 'Im being kidnapped' at her Grandad, cue Armed Response Unit! Im scared and isolated and just want my kid back, but I think thats a long way off. I believe there is an underlying condition that has yet to be diagnosed, but as she is so volatile we are just trying to keep her calm and failing. I feel incredibly isolated, but Im taking the first steps... being on here trying to connect with parents in a similar situation. So good luck with it

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 17-Sep-13 00:35:29

what are the consequences of his actions for him?

if this carries on it become no longer your problem but the problem of social service and the police -he is 10.

i have children - one with special needs who is 21 and one at 16 - at 10 this is a parenting issue - you need to get a handle on it now before it starts to become someone elses problem.

we often get called to situations like this in the police - it galls me. at 10 you have parental responsibility - its often handed over to other agnecies though and by then its too late.

tough love. consequences. not cruelty, or violence, but consequences. and stick to them. rigidly.
if he damages things he needs to be answerable - not do a complete personality change and have you feeling bad while he cuddles up - bollocks to that.

step up and parent him. he is 10. he can be physcially restrained if needs be and can be lawfully chastised. too many people are scared of their own children and then it just escalates. What will you do when he is 14? 16?
i know the answer to that sadly as a police offcer - i have had difficult times with my kids but on no account would they get away with such absolute and utter disrespect in order to cause 2k worth of damage.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 17-Sep-13 00:36:45

have you had him assessed for any additional needs?
batter your gps door down if you have to. get him assessed by a psychologist.
what is he like in school?

Hi sorry for the late reply, it dropped off my active list.

I have tried consequences, I have tried ignoring, I have lost my temper and I have also not lost my temper. I have done everything CAMHS, Relate, School and Psychologist recommend.

The problem is, in the moment, he is so angry that he cannot stop himself. He has been taught strategies for not getting angry, controlling his anger, walking away, breathing, counting to 10, etc,etc but every now and again none of them work.

He is ok at school but has his moments, although none are violent. It is usually just attitude.

I have been to the GP numerous times, but all they can do is refer to the appropriate place.

He has been assessed by Ed Psych and Paediatrician. Ed Psych said he had Aspergers, Paediatrician said he definitely doesn't.

I think the problem is that this is all relatively new. He hasn't always been like this so they think it is an emotional problem rather than a special needs diagnosis.

On the bright side, school say he is focused and well behaved since he has gone back. His school work is improving and he is trying really hard. He has taken up a sports activity at the weekend and is attending homework club twice a week. He still hasn't been given his Xbox back due to the bad behaviour and he is only allowed to play outside our house, rather than going to his friends houses as he had been previously. He is also doing his chores and is giving us his pocket money to put towards the damage he caused.

Ideally, I would like to get to the root of the anger, although I don't know if that is realistic. I would also like a really good strategy for him to deal with his anger so he doesn't explode. He says a punchbag but I have said no!

choccyp1g Tue 24-Sep-13 13:11:30

Why not a punchbag?

I'd ring the police if my child physically attacked me. Warn him first but then do it.

It gets to the stage where you have to do it to safeguard yourself and the rest of your family and give them the message that this is just not acceptable.

It may get you fast tracked in terms of outside help too as CAMHS will see the severity of what is going on.

WowOoo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:20:42

If my son feels frustrated and angry I send him to his room.
He has a large cushion which is like a punchbag I suppose. He throws it around and kicks it.

I think your son needs an outlet and a punchbag is better than you, some objects or furniture getting broken , damaged or hurt.

I have told my son that if anything in the house gets broken, he will have to replace it or pay for a new one. So he knows it'll take a long time of not having any money for himself.
Is there anything of his you could sell to show him this will not be tolerated?

Is there anyone else in the family that he might feel better opening up to? There may be a lot going on in his head that he doesn't know how to explain or perhaps feels a bit silly talking to you or your husband.

My only concern regarding the punchbag is that it is still saying if you are angry then you can be violent. I'm probably wrong though and if it would help him then I would happily get him a punchbag!

I've taken away a lot of his Xbox games to sell. I know I won't get a lot of money but it is the principle of thing. I would have sold the Xbox but it is falling apart so it is pointless.

There is no one else he will talk to. He will talk to me sometimes, but it mainly involves him saying that he doesn't know why he does it. He was seeing a Relate counsellor but he didn't say a lot to her in the end.

WowOoo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:40:16

Yes, I see what you mean about violence.

What about a run around the block to let off steam or a brisk walk? That's not violent. You could go together and he might even talk about stuff instead.
I remember ds was starting to lose his temper about not being allowed to do something and we went and played football. (well, I attempted to be a rubbish goalie!) It didn't escalate into anything. I must try it more often.

Hope it's just a hormonal thing that settles down soon your son. Don't know what else to suggest, sorry.

Greydog Tue 24-Sep-13 13:42:17

This is going to sound stupid, but what's his diet like? And does he drink cocoa cola? I have a friend who gave up drinking coke because he found he got so wound up after drinking it. Now he's not he's calm? Just a thought

That's a good idea, WowOoo. Thanks so much. Me running normally cracks him up so it might help raise a smile and forget the anger!

Greydog, he is only allowed coke/fizzy drinks on special occasions. Definitely not every day. He has weetabix for breakfast during the week (normally 2 or 3 bowls) and scrambled egg at the weekends. Lunches are school dinners and at weekends sandwiches/roast. Dinners are normally healthy, although we'll have a crap dinner one night like sausage and chips or something. He eats a lot of pasta and is really good at eating his fruit and vegetables.

The only thing I will say is that he doesn't drink a lot of water or juice. His water bottle comes back from school quite full and I have to remind him to drink at home.

I do think it is hormonal, however I think I have messed up in my response to his explosions. I'm trying to be more consistent and calm, but I do find it hard not to respond sometimes. sad

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