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6 year old aggression - is this normal?

(40 Posts)
namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 11:32:24

What's normal for a 6 year old

Without SEN

Please tell me if this is within normal:

-hitting (adults, not peers)
- kicking (objects, doors, furniture, not peers)
- tantrums (perhaps 6 a week)
- breaking things during tantrums (toys they own, like and play with)
- hiding under tables (as refusal to do what they're asked)

Is this just things that are incredibly frustrating but within normal for that age or do they actually sound worrying?

Trying to work out if I'm overreacting or overthinking to be incredibly worried

totallywired Wed 27-Mar-19 11:50:27

Hi op, I'm not a child development expert, but I don't think any of these thing are normal for for a 6yo without SEN. Certainly my two didn't do any of these things and I have seen or heard of this behavior from other 6yos without SEN. Perhaps it would be worth speaking to a HV or GP?

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Wed 27-Mar-19 11:54:46

SEN may not yet be diagnosed.

Ihatehashtags Wed 27-Mar-19 11:55:29

I have a six year old and she doesn’t do any of that. Neither did my older boy. I think you may need to seek help for this child. My friends daughter does all of the above. She has major issues and her parents are getting her assessed.

0ddsocks Wed 27-Mar-19 11:57:00

My son is 5 and a bit and probably still has approx 1 tantrum a day, hides almost every time I ask him to do something. He hits and kicks on occasion (only mum, dad or sister) and very occasionally breaks something during a tantrum, but usually by accident.

I don’t think he has special needs. He’s just an asshole quite a lot grin

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 11:58:25

Oh thank you for replying! I have... and I will keep on...

Just wanted to poll from people anonymously

Angelicinnocent Wed 27-Mar-19 11:59:30

I think any of these things could be expected occasionally from a 6 year old but not all of them and certainly not regularly.

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 12:04:30

@PlainSpeakingStraightTalking that's obviously my concern but what it is or whether I simply need to ride this out or start shouting louder to get things assessed I'm not sure.

Lizzie48 Wed 27-Mar-19 12:04:31

My DD1 (10 this week) has done all those things, though she's finally stopped throwing things. She's adopted, though, it's not unusual behaviour for adopted children (though DD2 (now 7) doesn't do those things.

DD1 is having therapy now, which involves us in learning strategies ti deal with her anger.

In DD1's case, her behaviour is the result of early trauma. Your DD's behaviour sounds very similar, there will be a reason for it. I'd say that you should ask for her to be assessed.

Does she behave like that at school? My DD1 doesn't, so it's been very hard to get them to take her needs seriously.

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 12:07:05

@Lizzie48 not adopted. Can think of reasons if not within normal though - and will shout louder to get help if it's not normal.

No DS school doesn't report concerns. People look at me like I'm mad unless they witness it with their own eyes.

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 12:23:02

@Lizzie48 sorry to tag you again - who do you get to assess that sort of thing. CAMHS have refused to see us twice. I've been offered parenting classes but I've done those, I keep doing... I keep reading books, it's not touching this. I've made yet another GP appointment and yet school reports no concerns. One activity outside of school I think they perhaps understand my concerns and will ask them their opinion. I'm torn between trauma or SEN but I'm worried and at the point of considering buying a bodycam so I can take evidence of it to professionals to show I'm not just a shit parent, this is actually DS outside of school. DS did have a therapy a few years ago I organised- therapist reported they could find no attachment difficulties. It was 30 mins a week. DS enjoyed it and liked the therapist.

I have a reputation as an anxious mum rather than people listening to me I think.

TheNoodlesIncident Wed 27-Mar-19 12:30:15

Are these behaviours mostly restricted to home environment then? If child was presenting with those behaviours in school they most definitely would be concerned.

Often children are able to suppress themselves in school but let it all out when they get home, as this is their safe space.

I'd want additional needs to be ruled out or diagnosed, so I would be pushing for assessment. If not CAHMS then paediatrician. Film the behaviours if you can without being noticed, it will help a lot to be able to show what you're talking about.

lilabet2 Wed 27-Mar-19 12:30:43

Hi OP,

This is probably less common. She might be experiencing overwhelming distress (perhaps from being bullied at school or experiencing stress in some aspect of her life e.g. if there has been a recent bereavement, family split or new family member) or alternatively she might just have problems with her Executive Functions (which are the brains way of controlling how you behave), for example she might have Attention Deficit Disorder (hyperactivity isn't necessary for a diagnosis), Pathological Demand Avoidance, an Anxiety or Mood Disorder or ASD.

I had regular tantrums after the age of 6 and I think there were reflective of undiagnosed Inattentive-variant ADHD, childhood Depression and an Anxiety Disorder.

I think the fact that she throws and destroys her own toys shows that this is not deliberate bad behaviour but a loss of control.

lilabet2 Wed 27-Mar-19 12:31:31

* they were, not there were

Lizzie48 Wed 27-Mar-19 12:44:16


It's different with adopted children. We've had help from Post Adoption Support (after a lot of pushing for it), and they referred us to an organisation called Chrysalis and applied for funding on our behalf. We weren't able to get help from CAMHS either.

Re the good behaviour at school, it's a case of her holding it in all day and by the time she comes home, she's ready to explode, and she feels safe enough to do so.

My DSis has similar issues with my DNephew (7), who isn't adopted, and she's found it very hard to get help for him, too.

I'm sorry you're finding it so hard to get help, it's so frustrating when you find yourself banging your head against the wall. thanks

AllMYSmellySocks Wed 27-Mar-19 13:05:43

No I don't think that sounds normal. The fact that they're breaking their own toys which they presumably want makes it sound like it's not a manipulative tantrum but that they're genuinely not in control of their frustration and anger. Are there any other issues? Or is it just emotional regulation that's a problem?

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 13:07:18

@Lizzie48 thank you. This is where I start to wonder as I guess some people do just have children who are more challenging than others without SEN

Thank you everyone else too. Yes this is at home however not only at home with me alone - could be with a friend to play, can be at an activity we go to, can be at other family homes, could be towards other relatives (adults) etc so yes - school aren't reporting concerns but it is something that happens away from school wherever we are iyswim (unless you're a therapist doing an activity he enjoys in which case - everything masked again, cheers kiddo!)

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 13:12:07

@AllMYSmellySocks mainly emotional irregulation I think but is a VERY literal thinker and speaker.

However doesn't fit other criteria e.g. - keeping up in school, able to sit still, very good at sport - motor skills well ahead for his age, speech very clear, appears confident and happy and very sociable

Until this

Collectorofcookbooks Wed 27-Mar-19 13:12:12


We had massive issues like this with my DD (6 next month). I did parenting courses, had support from school, we had things thrown, like you people thought I was making it up until I filmed her. It nearly broke me.

Unlikely as it sounds, it turns out it was dairy intolerance. Does he have any tummy issues at all?

We cut out dairy and within 3 days my DD was a completely different child. Now if she has even a couple of smarties she reverts straight back to the snarling unhappiness cycle she was in before I tried that in desperation.

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 13:15:35

@Collectorofcookbooks really interesting to consider. I don't think so....

But I did remove it as a toddler for a while and excema and tummy pains cleared up. Then added back in gradually and I thought we were over that problem... may consider trying that to see if anything changes briefly

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 13:19:44

Should have added does have some sensory(?) issues e.g.

Smells that are gross he likes, nice smells he'll complain about

Doesn't connect needing to urinate with the answer - go to the toilet, he'll get worse with behaviour till he does get forced to go at the last minute and think he's thirsty instead

SilverySurfer Wed 27-Mar-19 13:30:13

Sounds like my Godson as a child - he is now a perfectly nice adult.

He communicated by grunting and would bite and kick people's legs as we were sitting talking. He got zero discipline from his parents so when he kicked me for the third time, I pinned him to the ground and told him in my most stern voice that kicking and biting hurts, you do not kick and bite people, do you understand. He eventually grunted and nodded and never did it again. You could try that. grin

TheSandgroper Wed 27-Mar-19 13:39:45

High aggression is often a sign of food intolerance. is a good place to start. Or a dietitian aware of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit practices.

If my mother knew then what I know now, her parenting strategies would have been very different.

namechangedmner Wed 27-Mar-19 13:42:20


Trust me. I repeat that firmly a LOT

It's not a case of no discipline, but nothing seems to ever get the message through that I do wonder if it's actually a case of not being able to control himself

I've been consistent, I talk about it when calm, there are rewards for good behaviour, there's plenty of praise...

I'm still here, as are other family members and people in his life.

Pimmsypimms Wed 27-Mar-19 13:44:46

I have a 6 year old ds and he doesn't do any of those things.

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