HELP me! im scared to reach out for help. My four yr old is unbearable!!(46 Posts)
Hi, I am at my wits end. I want to know where to turn to for help without some professional thinking I am a bad mum and need social services involved. Im sacred to reach out for help incase my little boy gets taken away .....
I am a single mum ( i say single the back story would help .... I had meningitis last ear, many dont realsie the impact this can have on family life as it is infact a disease on the brain and takes a long time to recover ... it led to the breakdown in mine and the father of my sons relationship, he moved out, stupidly we told my son he was working away ( convinetly he had just started a job where he lived in) this went on for about six weeks until i explained to my son ( then three ) that dady didnt live with us anymore, me and his dad did however spend familly days together and are no still together, but just cant live together, as it was volitile and not what i wanted, as far as that part of my life goes it is better this way , it works, me and my sons dad are in a better place and we have much better quality family time, and as odd as it sounds it works .... at least i think it does, and before reading the rest of this and judging, trust me, if we lived together it would be alot worse .....
My four yr old doe not listen to a single thing i say ( he will be 5 in september) he is bright but still does the wrong thing i think to annoy me. stupid things like throwing my phne, pouring a drink over, and doing anything i ask him not to as it will cause him harm .... this is driving me crazy, BUT the main issue is he is Violent with me, viscous, last week he head butted me so hard i now have a wobbly tooth and was covered in bllod,, he bites , scratehs, head butts, punches, slaps, wrsetles, hair pulls ... etc ... and he is storng!! I find myself fighting and arguing with him, and to get hm off of me he sometimes gets hurt. he swears at me 9 i despise swearing!!0 he will repeadtley tell me to 'fuck off' and i do get so angry i grab him ... I have tried EVERYTHING! thrive techiniques, reward charts, ignoring! so please dont suggest things like this! I am now at my wits end and feeling like a 'slap' is the only awanser, so i have done around the legs, or grabbed him , or picked him up and plonked him on he sofa a little too hard ... and I replay it all in my head at night and hate myself, but ti is getting to the point that id ton know what to do. he is so viscous and so volitale and he really causes me harm, just tryong to get him off of me coauses him harm, and i replay it back the shouting off both of us, the arguing and the fighting and wonder what the neighbors think, and i cry myself to sleep as i think i am in someway abusing him, all i want to do is love him, protect him, nuture him and us both be happy. and it seems impossable! i am such a clam person in normal life, I am educated (although reading this back it may not seem so, i am typing fast so i dont over think) with morales and class, when he was ababy i did evrything to the book, breastfeeding, weaning with NO jars, nutruting him through play, spent evry second i could enriching him and felt like a bloody great mum. now i feel like the worst mum on the planet. and i dont know who to ask for help, and i am worried if i am honest with the situation that 'alarm bells' for his safety will be sounded, when thats not the case. I am fed up of spending my days arguing and foighting with a four year old, when i just wish to have happy loving days. At his preschool is a a diamond, and they are shocked to hear of his behavior for me, I have set boundaries and done all i can, what ami doing worng? and who can i ask for professional help???? Thank-you for reading me poor grammer and spelling ranting post
That sounds tough. Long term single mum of teens here so I know how it goes..... Has DS got a routine for contact with his dad - how's that side of things?
It is so tough! I adore him and hate how the time we have together is arguing and fighting. I have my own business and work hard but mainly from home ( i am a personal trainer and nutritionist which does involve being away from the 'home' to work, and is difficult making my business run smoothly when I am effectively a single mum) , his dad works two jobs ( no longer the live in one) but one is shift work and the other is bar work, and i have tried to establish regular routines for when my son sees his dad for dad and son time and family time, but each week his dads shifts change. so even though he sees him regularly it is not a routine. It may seem odd, but me and his dad being together but living separate works for us (but perhaps not my son) ... when we did live together it was alot of arguing, and 'dad' would never spend quality time with us like he does now, he would either be working or too tired and selfish to come out with us. One huge issue is 'dad' makes horse play of the fighting and turns my sons volatile streak in to a game ...... and no matter how many times i speak to 'dad' it doesnt sink in! I just dont know what to do anymore, and want professional help, but scared to turn down that route incase they think i am unfit as a mum!
When did your DS' violent behaviour start? It sounds pretty extreme in some ways and I do wonder what behaviour he may have witnessed and could be copying. One thing that really stood out to me was that your four year old is shouting "fuck off". Where has he heard this? Not judging, just trying to understand in order to offer constructive comment.
Sympathies. My son is 5 and the same way. I actually wish I were dead sometimes because of it.
I do think you need some kind of external help. Don't be afraid of asking for help - this will only ever be seen as a positive step. I would start at your local family centre and see if they have parenting classes you and your boyfriend could go on. You could also speak to your HV team, although I'm not sure what age they go up to. If you are already having a dialogue with school then perhaps also speak to them and see if they can refer you on to other agencies.
Your ds has been through a lot in recent times, with your serious ill health and his dad moving out. This could be having an impact on his behaviour as being 4 he is probably still too little to be able to express his emotions fully.
I do think that you must stop getting physical with him as this will only escalate the situation and teach him that violence is the way to get your own way.
As much as you can, anticipate the triggers for the violence, and try and get you both out of the situation. My ds is only 21 months, but when he is tired he can get very in my face (hair pulling, pinching, biting, slapping etc). It always starts off well meant, in that he wants to hug or kiss me and then it sort of tips over into over physical behaviour. When I realise he is over tired, I minimise our physical contact and get him to bed ASAP. I realise this is probably too simplistic for your situation, but maybe there's something helpful there.
Expat, I'm so sorry you feel that way. Are you getting any support with your son?
There is nothing wrong with parenting classes or asking for help.
NOT ASKING FOR HELP is much worse all round.
I agree with the others, please get some help. This violence is very unhealthy, and needs addressing urgently. speak to your GP, HV or SS.
His violent behaviour started when he was little, just from tierdness, the odd scratch and hair pull, but try as I might to nip it out, it has progressed worse, and he is a big four yr old, and strong, and I have no otpion but to use force to get him off of me esle he will really cause me damage. now itss not over tierd, its just plain nasty. He has a heart of gold, and very caring, his preschool have said he is one of the best in the class so why is he like this for me. His dad is where the swearing came from, which may give you a insight to why his dad no longer lives here, i also dont think he would be willing to go to parenting classes, i also dont want to go to parenting classes im 29 and would find this humiliating! Is there no way to get help one on one??
Expactinscotland: its tough right! Please dont talk like that though. Your are your little ones world, despite not feeling like it, you are.
i also dont want to go to parenting classes im 29 and would find this humiliating! Is there no way to get help one on one??
I'm sorry you feel that way. I'm sure your humiliation is the most important thing in this situation.
What does your age have to do with this?
I am also a single parent to 2 children, 8 months and a 4 year old son who like you I adore, he sounds like ur little boy, he doesn't listen to me and pushes boundaries continually. Since having the baby this has just got worse, even though I make plenty of time for him once he's home from school ensuring we talk about his day and looking at his reading books, but straight away after we're back to not listening and only once have I had the hitting which he was severely told off for, but he also throws objects. I sometimes feel like a rubbish mum, but I love him so much and just want what is best for him, sadly I don't have answers but want you to know ur not alone. I really hope that things will settle down for you when ur son starts school, but in the mean time have a chat with ur health visitor she maybe able to give you some new suggestions on the way forward.
His violent behaviour may have started when he was little but i'm afraid you are encouraging him and escalating situations in a physical way which is not helping him to deal with his own violence.
"and i do get so angry i grab him ..."
"a 'slap' is the only awanser, so i have done around the legs, or grabbed him , or picked him up and plonked him on he sofa a little too hard .."
This is violence on your part and is only escalating his own agression.
You need help with this i feel, it won't get better on its own.
Thank-you lulubell1973, its nice to know im not the only one. atthestrokeoftwelve. I feel you are judging me here. I dont have a violent or malicious bone in my body, and I have slapped him round the legs once, and regretted it instantly. This way of thinking has been the past two-three days ONLY. So clearly this is not making it worse as its my latest I just dont know how to deal with this anymore tactic. hence why i came on here for advice! I do however have to use force to get him off of me, when he has is wholle three stone body on me and biting my arm whille pulling my hair, force is needed ... i am scared he will do some real damage to me soon
Hey my almost 3 year old has been threw similar he also had asd but I don't see the difference when it comes to the aggression children have, I used to tap my ds hand thinking it might help him realise it's not nice hitting and boy was I wrong.
It took me almost a year of being physically hit my son before I asked for help from our hv, he didn't tell me to do parenting classes he listened and explained after witnessing the above that I was the one the keeping the hitting going and to try and not show any Emotion when my son hit me, it took a month of hair pulling getting slapped in the face and it all stopped, I've not been hit in 3 months.
Unfortunately due to the Autism he still doesn't listen to me giving him instructions that's more because he can't tAlk yet.
The only trouble I got into was for not asking for help before as I thought I would looking like a bad parent and they would take him away, it was explained they would rather here people ask for help than live struggling to cope.
I'm rushing, so haven't read whole thread, sorry.
This might have already have been suggested..
I'd speak to my partner about the seriousness of the situation, of how as a team you have to put on a united front.
If he could speak to your son about how important it is to respect women and everyone, and then gently but firmly reinforce this over and over, I'm sure it will start to get through.
Don't lose your temper with DS, when he's being violent/swearing/shouting at you say "I am going to walk away, because when I am angry it is better to walk away, I do not want to hit you back or shout at you." That's too long winded, but you get the drift.
Model the behaviour you want him to learn. Easier said than done, I know, but if you don't this will probably get worse, or not improve at best.
As hard as it is, maybe both of you together, when no one is angry/upset need to talk to your DS about the mistakes you have made (if he has witnessed this sort of behaviour between you.)
Give him the tools....tell him that when we are angry we need to take ourselves away until we are calm, count to 10...etc..
Make sure he gets lots of exercise , play football with him, maybe consider martial arts as a way of getting rid of excess energy and frustration. In the holidays, maybe consider putting him a holiday/sports club for a couple of mornings if you can afford to, or take a couple of hours out to do something you both enjoy.
If this is all too expensive, what about swimming, or going for walks together?
You're not a shit mum, I'm pretty sure of that, but I wouldn't be mentioning slapping him if you do seek help.
Don't worry about the unonventional living arrangements - who cares. It takes guts to have done that, I think.
Keep us posted
for expat. So sorry to read that and wish we could help.
Don't worry about social services etc, thanks not going to happen.
You must ask your Gp for help, referral to CAMHs sounds like they may help.
You sound like a fab mum.
It sounds like your ex partner may have been abusive? I know children often copy abuse they witness. Women's Aid may be able to advise you how to help your son.
Mummygoingmad, it is worth remembering that good caring parents go to parenting classes. Bad/uncaring parents are the ones who don't go to parenting classes or ask for help.
I'm nearly 40 and a professional who works with children - I would go to parenting classes, or ask for help from my HV if I was experiencing similar issues. No one is a perfect parent, and none of us really know what we are doing. It's important for your son that you try and put your humiliation and worry aside and seek some help.
Go on your own to the classes etc if your boyfriend is not interested, but if you are still together as a couple then you must keep raising this with him. He can't continue to swear and encourage aggression from his son, as look where it's ending up. If he won't realise it, then the HV etc can be useful in making the point to him clearly.
I know it's difficult when they launch themselves at you, but you are still twice as big as him even if he is 3st. Tie you hair back so he can't easily grab it, and as soon as he starts to kick off, stand up and walk away from him calmly. It is very tricky, especially if you don't have the support of a partner, to stay calm in the face of such behaviour but it is really important that you do. You have to show him how to handle his emotions by recognising them e.g. say "I know you are angry, ds, but hitting is not acceptable" or similar. Keep repeating this, and maybe give hi some alternative strategies to deal with his anger. This is where parenting classes will help, to give you strategies to redirect and manage him.
I have a violent child but now at age 8 it is much less severe
It is not about parenting classes and IMO they are often not helpful and would recommend super nanny techniques which do not work with my children
Could you ask GP for a CAMHS referral and they can assess what is going on.
I think the best thing I managed was to change my mindset. She wasn't damaging things to annoy me. Giving an order made it impossible for her to comply, it is just how she is
So, she ran with my phone and was standing with it over the mop bucket (full). I shouted 'don't drop the phone in the bucket' so she did.
If I had thought and said something different like ' oh you have my phone, who are you talking to' and played along then the outcome could easily have been different
I learned to phrase things differently, I dont always manage it though
Once you get into the negative spiral it is very hard to break and see good in the child.
We did filial therapy, a child/parent play therapy, at CAMHS and it helped break the negative cycle
It is so important to have fun times and create opportunities for good times where it is less likely things will go wrong. Children who do not easily meet societies expectations have such a hard time
Thank-you for all the advice, I have been practicing 'thrive' for around six months now , and done the whole count to ten, punching pillows etc ... explaining its not nice to hit mummy, that i need to walk away ( he chases me down!) ,,,, he gets plenty of physical activity ( i am a personal trainer) I run classes for mums and tots so he comes to these, and we go out and play most days. he does P.e at nursery. and when i workout he workouts with me ( at home), he is also signed up to start Maui tai ( a from of matial arts) he also has a great diet, as i am also a nutritionist, i fully understand all about aspartame, monosodium glutamate and e numbers .... he has a regular bedtime routine, and never stays up late. I have very long hair, and he still manages dont grab hold of it if it is up or in a bun as there is so much of it. I know it sounds crazy but he honestly gets me into some situations where i used to just wait or continually calmly ask him to get off ... and would come away from it with deep bleeding scartehes down my face, he has given me black eyes, fat lips, my arms look like I am a self harmer. Yes his dad was rather volatile and derogatory towards me when we lived together, and unfortunately my son did witness this, which is part of the reason why we no longer live together as i didnt want my son put in that situation. I feel more confident in seeking help now thank-you, but the idea of group classes really dont bode well with me. I will however inquire further with his nursery and ask my doctor.
ROADWALKER : THANK_YOU that is what he is like!! He too does things like the phone in the mop bucket, straighteners in the toilet ... etc .... i did assume parenting classes would only tell me things I have already googled and tried myself which dont work for me. What is CAMHS?? x
CAHMS = child and adolescent mental health services.
Your GP could probably refer you to them. They can assess your ds to see if he has specific difficulties beyond the usual behaviour issues of children his age.
Does he do these things to get your attention? Is he worse on days you have been working a lot, or the same? You say he's a lovely caring child, so what sets him off and starts these outbursts? Do you show that he's hurt you and you're upset (sad upset, not angry) or does he think it's a game?
Perhaps keep a diary of his behaviour for a week, and see if you can spot some triggers.
Big hugs to you OP, things sound SO tough right now. I don't have any answers but there is a great thread here www.mumsnet.com/Talk/behaviour_development/2002053-Does-anyone-else-want-to-come-and-be-a-better-parent-with-me that has supported me and might be a bit of support for you too. Other mums on there are struggling with relationships with their kids to varying degrees too and looking for positive ways of dealing with it. It is non judgemental and friendly, and people offer lots of good ideas. Wish there was a magic wand xxx
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