Advanced search

Please help me deal with my 10 year old's violence against his younger brother

(20 Posts)
QuintessentialShadows Mon 03-Sep-12 09:12:26

It has happened three times this summer holidays. He slapped his face, then whacked his face another time, and yesterday punched his nose so it bled.

I am very distressed about the whole thing.

It seems to have escalated from some sibling rivalry, to full blown hits to my 7 year olds face.

We have given sanctions, banned screen time, etc, stern talking to (I even lost it with him and shook him yesterday when my youngest came running to me with blood pouring) from his nose.

His explanations?

Brother tried to cheat when they were playing pokemon/bey blade. Yesterday they were waiting for us in the car while we were getting ready to go fishing, and ds1 started making annoying noises and singing, ds2 asked him to stop, then started to nudge him, and ds1 did not like this so he punched ds2.

I dont know what to do with this. sad

DameEnidSpink Mon 03-Sep-12 15:23:57

Sounds to me like you are doing all the right things Quint with sanctions etc

DS went through an aggressive phase at a similar age, we found that getting him to discharge energy on the trampoline and using a punch bag when he felt frustrated help direct it away from his poor little sister.

Is there anything worrying him? Anxiety often triggers aggression IME

3littlefrogs Mon 03-Sep-12 15:30:09

I think you have to keep them separated until you deal with this.

There is every chance DS1 will really hurt his brother.

10 is the legal age of criminal responsibility. I would be getting your local neighbourhood policeman round for a chat. It is never too soon to start learning anger management IMO.

That said, my 2 used to fight all the time and are now the best of friends. Ditto my nephews. I think all siblings go through this phase, but the level of violence would seriously worry me.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 09-Sep-12 16:42:27

Sorry I did not return, I find this whole thing very difficult.

Last week I ordered him to give his brother his Nintendo to make up for punching him, and that next time he attacked his brother he would have to give him his Ipod (his most prized possession) as compensation. We had a long chat where I was talking to him about keeping his brother safe and how I was responsible for ensuring he learnt to behave and not attack others. I thought I got somewhere with him. We had a trouble free week.

This morning, ds2 was on his skateboard, it slipped, ds2 fell and the skateboard flew and hit dh on the shin. Ds1 thought it was hysterically funny, dh doubled up in pain, and ds2 on his bum. So he was laughing.

Then later on today an argument broke out over ds2s skate board. He wanted it back, and ds1 refused to come off it. Ds2 kept asking and asking. In the end he pushed him, so ds1 ran after him and grabbed hold of his head and pulled it, like he was going to snap his neck.

I am so angry and upset. I dont understand this at all.

I am wondering if we should send him to boarding school somehow. Also considering if we need to contact social services and ask for him to be fostered.
Really in agony over this.

Pagwatch Sun 09-Sep-12 16:48:38

Can I just say one thing Quint?

Don't make DS1 give DS2 thins to punish him. You will just add a whole other layer of resentment on top of the sht that is already going on.
Can you expect things to improve if ds2 is happily playing with ds1s prized possession.

The punishment is for his violent behaviour. You punish him. You don't make ds2 any part of it. It will make things worse.
If you take things away then just put them in a cupboard or take them to the charity shop.

3littlefrogs Sun 09-Sep-12 16:50:00

I think you need to make an urgent appointment with your GP, and with your Ds' teacher.

I think a psychological assessment is very important.

I make be wrong, but have you had a lot of family difficulties/ moving countries?? Sorry if I have got that wrong.

I honestly think your suggestion re boarding school/fostering is not going to help in the long term, and is much more likely to exacerbate whatever psychological problems your ds has.

I think this is something the whole family needs to address. How does your DH react to ds' behaviour?

Does your DH have any suggestions/opinions?

3littlefrogs Sun 09-Sep-12 16:50:49

I agree completely with pagwatch. Don't try to put out a fire by pouring petrol on it.

QuintessentialShadows Sun 09-Sep-12 17:04:12

I am just stumped.

He has become so rude, so sarcastic, and everything we say is like water on a ducks back.

Like yesterday, I had made panfried salmon, new potatoes and steemed vegetables for dinner. Cue: screw up his face and go "I am NOT eating FISH".
I did not react to this, just asked him to wash his face and come to the table.
The fish was fried with the skin on, so I had left it with the skin to the pan, so the skin was quiet burnt (but would be thrown away anyway), so he took one look at dinner and said: "Why did you burn the dinner mum, forgot it on the pan, or what?" with a really nasty tone of voice.

I take your point about not giving him the ipod.

I honestly dont know how to deal with this. Yesterday we took them to a skating park, nice day out, they had hours on their scooters, and ds2 got a skateboard tutorial. Ds1 does not have a skateboard. He wants a stunt scooter. We told him he could buy one from his saving money (birthdays, christmas). Ds2s skateboard was a birthday gift, ds1 got the Ipod for his birthday.

It seems he cannot cope with ds2 having things! He does not see that they are different children, they both get things, just not the same things!

If we ask him to do something, he is more than likely to just say "no, I wont do it". Or just ignore the request.
But not all the time though. We had a very nice and helpful week until the weekend.

DH says he is as stumped as me. We are both bubbling along and just shout and make noises without really getting anywhere with him.

Yes, we have moved countries. He was unhappy in Norway, it has not been that much better in the uk. He is doing well academically, but not so well socially.
He punched a child in year 2 last spring.... sad The child was "annoying him and kept pestering him to playfight" he said.

madbengal Sun 09-Sep-12 17:09:12

He's 10, he is probabl;y getting hormones he doesnt know how to deal with and is aggressive without (probably) being abole to help it

School holidays are the worst

Have you thought about a punch bag or a gym etc to get rid of his frustrations

3littlefrogs Sun 09-Sep-12 17:12:24

He sounds very unhappy.

Ten is a difficult age.

GP, teacher and educational psychologist is the way to go. ASAP.

Social services won't be interested.. and you can't just sling a child off to be fostered like that anyway shock (there is a major shortage of carers for children who are in real NEED) but I am guessing that's a knee jerk reaction to feeling out of control in this situation. Ditto boarding school I hope, as I can't think of anything more likely to foster long term deep seated resentment than being sent away when the going gets tough.

However you do have a problem, and he sounds unhappy. Definitely pursue support via school, GP etc but these things take time and in the meantime you need a way forward to decrease his behaviour.

Stop taking his things and giving them to his won't work and it certainly won't improve their relationship!

How do you are DH parent when he is like this? Are you presenting a consistent, united front ? When my DS1 was a hideous younger teen (really vile.. stealing, smashing stuff up, lying ) we realised we had got into a bad triangle. I'd confront him, he's shout and be awful, DH would step in and we would all end up shouting but not resolving anything. In the end it helped for us to agree that only one of us would deal with all incidents (me), and DH would simply stay back. If we needed to confer on sanctions we did so out of his hearing.

It might help to have a simple one sanction approach to any violence. Tell him ANY hurting his brother is not on, and if he does he will go to his room/have whatever sanction works best. No argument. He knows this in advance (and of course the same has to apply to his brother) I'd try and ignore the rudeness as much as possible.. pick your battles at the moment, and if he is rude about the meal provided..fine.. he doesn't eat it, but he doesn't get an alternative, or only a two slices of toast type.

I don't know if any of that might be helpful? Incidentally if he is having problems socially and has for a long time, I'd ask about having CAMHS assess him.. he sounds a tad aspergery in his inappropriate reaction to your DH being hurt, and his social difficulties at school.
Hang in there!

QuintessentialShadows Sun 09-Sep-12 18:26:17

Of course I dont want him to go to boarding school or fostering, that was the frustration talking. sad Thanks for recognizing that. We love him and want him with us, and we want to be a happy family that does happy things, with happy and well behaved kids. la la la.

He does seem to sometime have problems with empathy, and grasping what to say or do in social settings. I have two friends with sons on the spectrum, and I had wondered if he could have some mild asberger. However, he spent considerable amount of time last year with the senco, who was brilliant, and she felt it was more related to insecurities related to some pretty awful bullying in Norway. It seems he just lashes out when he gets frustrated and does not know how to react. Not a good trait in anybody! Which is why we get so frustrated when he pulls a punch, because we know the horrid consequences if he were a grown up. Which of course he isnt, and he may grow out of it.

He says he feels stressed. He feels stressed about things he wants and does not have yet. Like the stunt scooter. But we cannot just run and buy something the minute he wants it, to prevent him getting stressed! confused

He is also stressed about school, as he has exams and sats this year. The local secondaries are pretty awful around here, so we are also applying for a few public schools. Although he wants to go to the private school "down the road", he is stressed out by the pressure of exams. Not sure this might be a contributing factor now.

Not wishing to slate the SENCO in any way (and it's great that she is good.. sadly that is rare..) but she isn't remotely qualified to say whether he has Asperger's or not ... Anxiety is a HIGH factor in Asperger's, and the lacking empathy also does kinda raise a ??

Needless to say I'm not qualified to diagnose either grin but I have an Aspie myself and my job is with children on the spectrum and what you have said, just makes me think he might warrant a more specialist eye than just assuming it is because of the move etc.

girliefriend Sun 09-Sep-12 20:51:06

Interesting what people are saying about aspergers as he sounds very like my step nephew. He is 9 and a few times this summer my sil has been saying all the same things you have! He to has been very aggressive towards his little brother, nearly smothered him at one point shock can't bear anyone having something he hasn't got, lacks empathy, can not understand why something maybe appropriate for a 2yo to do but not him,struggles in any social situation so generally sounds very similiar and I have often wondered if he is on the spectrum. Sorry no real advice but you are not alone!!

nooka Sun 09-Sep-12 21:07:52

Perhaps some counseling might help? Either on his own or as a family if it's more of a dynamics thing. You might be able to find something quicker privately than through the GP, although I'd go and ask about a referral to CAHMS too especially as this seems to be an escalation of a longer standing problem for your son.

tb Mon 10-Sep-12 19:45:32

Quint have you had a look on the national autism soc's site for pda? Lack of empathy is a good indication, and anxiety too. Unfortunately the anxiety gets worse as daily life makes more demands as children get older.

Our dd is nearly 15, and we're waiting for an assessment at the regional centre. Last year she floored me (I ended up with a fractured tibia, sprained knees and sheered cartlidges). In the past she's threatened to kill dh when being told off for swearing, and attacked him with a felt tip - fortunately the knife block was empty at the time.

There is a national assessment centre for pda in Nottingham, and you can be referred there by your gp.

DD was admitted to hospital for anxiety when she was 11, and spent 2 months in 'famille d'accueil' when she came out, but it didn't really help, except it gave us a breather.

MumOfTheMoos Mon 10-Sep-12 22:47:58

I would get some outside help - my sister was violent to me as a child and I often wish my mum had not tried to just cope with it within the family. I was a scapegoat for all sorts of stuff/ issues and she could have really done with help rather than just punishment (& which sure would hav made my childhood more pleasant) - there will b something behind the behaviour. It's the right thing to do for both your ds. I'd second 3littlefrogs.

Sweetiesmum Wed 12-Sep-12 02:56:20

Hi, I really sympathise.
We have a son who we are once again struggling with similar issues to yours. -sometimes leading to hurting his younger sister when very irritable, lacks empathy, has been diagnosed with mild auditory and visual processing disorder in top maths group but struggles with comprehension and dislikes reading. we are looking at assessing for aspbergers/other issue as we know this is too hard for the family without support.

In the past we have found purely by accident he is much calmer, less angry when giving him 1/2 adults dose mega dose magnesium, but had stopped this as no issues for quite a while.
In desperation, we have started magnesium and fish oil again last night after he took til 12 midnight to fall asleep (hot water bottle soft lighting, rubbing his back, but he cried every time we left the room, very distressing as feeling frightened something bad would happen if we were all asleep). He threw a clothes basket at his now 6 year old sister yesterday and punched her in the stomach the day before. This morning calm and dressed for school as tho nothing happened... We are sticking with the magnesium and fish oil for now in case it continues to help! We know that we need to get him assessed also so we can address any future issues. has some info if interested
we usually try to avoid food additives but he had had lots junk food lately
Good luck with whatever you decide

TheBossofMe Wed 12-Sep-12 03:03:52

Quint - would your DS1 maybe be interested in taking up a martial art? e.g. taekwondo, karate or judo. He sounds like he has a lot of pent up frustration and anger, and martial arts can be a really good way to give young boys and girls a way to release some of that energy/anger etc in a controlled environment. They can also be great for teaching discipline, respect etc.

It could be his "thing" if skateboarding is his brothers thing, as well, something for him to do that's his own.

Juejue11 Tue 19-Apr-16 13:57:15

I need help or suggestions!
My son is 13 diagnosed ADHD and ODD around 8 years ago. The last couple of years lying and stealing have been escalating. We have tried the talking to, taking away electronics, grounding him etc to the point he has only his books for entertainment. He sneaks and takes my husbands phone and hacks it in the middle of the night, staying up till all hours playing games and surfing the Internet for inappropriate content. He was caught at 3am today with hubbies phone in his bed (hubby is so and has taken on more than he bargained for)
We are at the end of our rope. It's gone from raising the cupboard and fridge and squirrelling food in his dresser or under his bed (which is disgusting) we even tried getting things like grain bars and snacks that we said if he was hungry, these would be acceptable to eat, but he still takes everything. He goes in our room rummaging through our closer and drawers looking for his phone and games etc.
We have the same conversation every day. It's a strain on hubby as I work and he is home with him after school and the bumping heads is getting to the point of screaming matches every single morning and night. This atmosphere is bad for everyone. Stress is off the charts and I know we have to reduce that all round or we aren't going to get anywhere. What do we do??? At my wits end here. Ready to run away myself!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now