To think this is not "normal" behaviour for a 5yo(101 Posts)
I literally hate my life we are constantly living in fear of my 5yo having a melt down. He is a lovely, kind, empathetic boy and then as soon as his behaviour is challenged he flips into a self distructive spiral.
This behaviour is frequent ( most days) today's example scenario:
In the garden he poured his glass of juice on his 2 year old brothers head. I told him in a stern voice that's not nice and I'm very disappointed with that behaviour. I said brother would have to have a hair wash tonight and so for fairness sake he would have to have one too. Queue various toy cars thrown at my head, hit, threatening to smash my head up and lots of I hate you's. I took his hand and lead him to his bedroom for thinking time, shut the door and he's piss protesting all over the floor. I'm at my wits end. He's screaming, hitting, going crazy.
I know I'm probably too soft as a parent and I know it's likely my fault. But is this a sign of something more sinister?
really hating parenthood in these moments, and feel so low.
How's he at school? I'd keep a note of triggers. Consistent consequences for bad behaviour. Keep enforcing what is and isn't good behaviour. Praising the good. The piss protesting would drive me mad. Good luck.
I agree it's not normal behaviour. Is that what you want to hear?
Gosh that sounds hard.
It's hard to give advice without knowing more about him/ your family dynamic. Do you know where his anger comes from? How is he at school and with other people?
I think in your situation I probably would have banned him from having juice, water (or milk) only until I was sure he wasn't going to chuck it at anyone. Does he have a particular 'thing' about having his hair washed?
Does he have carpet in his room? Could you take it out and change it to wooden floors?
I know none of these suggestions solves the problem, just trying to think of ideas.
He's good as gold at school no problems and generally around others he's an angel - a friend even commmented on how I've got the angelic child. If only they could see the hell we live through at home
Luckily he wee'd on a small rug that I can put in the machine, but yesterday he weed on our lounge carpet and despite cleaning there is a smell.
Our family dynamic is pretty regular, my and his dad still together, neither of us have anger issues or display and anger. He has a really wholesome life, both grandparents nearby, loves school, has friends. I don't think I'm displaying his life through rose tinted glasses but I'd say it's pretty average! His learning at school is coming on at a regular pace.
He has always been extremely sensitive but has been coming out of that since starting school.
I just wonder if it's something I'm doing wrong or if his has an issue I can help him with such as autism. I
Feel if I went to his teacher she'd laugh me out of the room because he's so quiet and well behaved.
Why would you say for fairness sake he has to have a hairwash too? That doesn't make sense to me - I'd have punished, but I don't get that statement?
Children are often different in school and at home. Some react well to the structure and predictability of the school day. My DS isn't as old as yours but I'd be horrified at such spiteful and destructive behaviour.
It's definitely not normal, and weeing over stuff is disgusting.
Based on your op, the punishment for pouring a glass of juice over a toddler's head was not really severe enough. Are you always that soft?
have you tried writing a list of rules together- actions and consequences. E.g. hit someone- immediate time out, pour things on someone- immediate time out and no more whatever it was for rest of the day, don't turn TV off when asked- no TV next day…but positive ones too- we have a kindness chart where if someone is nice they get a sticker etc.
When we have time outs the child is where an adult can see them…and time out doesn't count til the person is sat down and quiet. No chance for creating further havoc then.
With the piss protesting…is it protesting or is he wetting himself?
I would suggest asking your GP to refer you to a paediatrician for further investigation of what is going on.
Thank you for your replies.
I think I am too soft and I think I need to address it. I think I almost fear telling him off because of the consequences of such reactive destructive behaviour.
He's definitely piss protesting, only does it when he is in destructive melt down mode and often smirks about it afterwards.
I like the idea of a list of rules thank you
If he can behave well at school and with friends then surely it is a discipline problem. If my child threw toy cars at my head he would not do it a second time!
Why did you even respond instead of just removing him from the situation quietly? You basically antagonised him when he was clearly in a destructive mood which is what he probably wanted - a rise out of you.
Doing that to his younger sibling says more that he's jealous and that's probably why he always lashes out because he can't explain it or process it properly.
Try 'love bombing'. A child of that nature will not respond to threats positively.
If he piss protests when you put him in a time out, why are you continuing to use time out as a discipline strategy? Or else, put him somewhere that the piss protest won't matter, like a room with a tiled floor. And take anything he can throw away and make him clean it up.
Why are you so concerned with making it fair? That use of language from you is odd, I think
Is it possible that he's attention seeking? That he's jealous of his little brother and is trying to get you to pay attention to him? Not that that excuses his behaviour at all but it may help to handle it. So you try and ensure that he gets no or very little attention for bad behaviour and lots of attention for good behaviour.
With the juice pouring incident, or similar, I'd focus all the immediate attention on the two year old. Perhaps washing his hair straightaway but trying to do so in such as way that this was a treat, to try and ensure that your five year old didn't repeat the behaviour. Maybe a bubble bath with lots of toys, cuddles etc.
For the five year old I'd try logical consequences for the juice pouring. Water rather than juice and a cup with a lid rather than a glass if he can't be trusted to pour it over his brother. Then I would try and catch him being good, particularly with his brother, and praise him lavishly and reward him with your time and attention.
You really need to discourage the peeing on the carpet. Again, no immediate attention for doing so act like it's rather boring. Make him clean / help clean it up every time.
Ow, that sounds really tough.
I think gp and referral sound good, as I don't think I've come across this kind of behaviour either. Rules list and praise sound good.
I must day I would want to give more of a consequence for pouring juice on a siblings head, and as a pp said , I don't get the hair washed too comment.
Also look up hand in hand parenting course, it's totally life changing.
Does he respond to a ticking off from his dad in the same way?
Often children can hold it together at school
and meltdown at home where it's safe to let their frustrations show.
Logical consequences are good.
Time out clearly isn't working for you or him.
I am no expert but have you heard of PDA? (That may well be wrong!! I think it's pathological demand avoidance?! But someone who actually knows what they are on about might correct me!)
Avoid confrontation. Eg a visual list of what to do before school. Set an egg timer to do tasks. Allow take up time. Say I need you to do this. Move away. Give thinking time. Avoid battles and arguments. Do it or consequence. Your choice.
Sorry Op, but in light of the fact he is capable of behaving well at school and other places, it all points to too soft parenting.
Make a plan of action for all transgressions, really think about the rules and consequences and practice what you are going to say and do out of sight of him. Get agreement and support from Dh.
Do not go anywhere you cannot fullfill these consequences for a few weeks. Once you are ready, explain rules and consequences to him and prepare to stand firm, never, never back down or lose your temper. Be calm and firm and consistent, and expect it to be tough until he realises his tantrums will not be tolerated.
I have a lovely friend who had similar issues with her 3 and a half year old son, he was lovely at school and absolute hell at home..she worked very long hours and so he was parented mostly by a nanny.
His behavior became so violent, l could not take my 2 DCs there for playdates as he would hurt them if he did not get his way.
In desperation she gave up her job and took on the parenting role fully...it took 6 months to turn around his behavior but she did it, (with lots of structure and consequences) We have just had a lovely Easter Sunday with them he is now 9 and has spent the afternoon helping his baby sister in and out of the paddling pool and playing with my 2 DCs without any issues whatsoever, he is polite and funny and KIND!
The nanny was lovely but never imposed any restrictions on him, so he always got his own way, except when his parents said No at the weekend hence the outbursts.
This may not be the answer for you op but consider if this relates at all.
Find it concerning in that he smirks about the piss protesting afterwards. That isn't an outburst. He knows what he's doing. He needs discipline and plenty of it. And it needs to make sense. The random hair washing as punishment doesn't really make sense.
I have a five year old, while he doesn't have younger brothers he has never behaved like that. He's had his moments of throwing once or twice but not to that extent.
I agree if he can control it at school then he's most likely being naughty and it's not some sort of disorder hmm. I'm no expert so might be worth a chat with your health visitor though?
My DS is 5 and they can be naughty at that age. But the pissing, hurting you and threatening to smash your head up is extreme. Do you punish for the dirty protests and the violence? If that wasy DS usually bed an hour earlier, no iPad or sweets usually does it for him.
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