Please tell me I'm not the only one whose five year old makes death threats!(5 Posts)
DS3 is a very bright and loving little boy, who is generally very well behaved and polite. He doesn't cope well with being hungry or tired and when he is either (or heaven forbid both!) he becomes very stroppy. He makes all sort of threats if we don't give in to his tantrums. (which we don't).
As an example: Tonight he is a bit tired as he had a late(ish) night on sunday, (we had a chilled out teacher training day yesterday) while reading with Daddy at bedtime he started to get silly. DH warned him that if he didn't read sensibly then reading time was over. He carried on being silly so DH followed through and put the book away. DS got cross and started saying he wasn't going to bed etc. DH said good night then put him in to bed and walked away. DS then stood at the top of the stairs threatening things like "I'm going to find my hardest toys and throw them at you" "Daddy you're an idiot" and "I'm going to burn down the house with everyone in it except me and Mummy"
After a while he calmed down and got into bed and was crying for me. I left him a short while then went and saw him - I explained that he had made daddy sad and that the things he said to daddy were unkind. He sobbed and said that he knew it wasn't nice and he wanted to say sorry to daddy. I gave him a quick hug and told him to go to sleep.
My older boys are quite a lot older and I can't remember if they did this, DH is worried he's going to grow up into a psychopath, I think he's just testing boundaries and trying to assert his control. Please tell me I'm not the only parent to a five year old threatening arson!
Firstly, I doubt he's the only one! He is saying the worst things he can - as you say he is testing his boundaries. I would try to think where he might have got these ideas from. Has he been watching the news? There have been quite a few stories on lately about house fires and deaths. Maybe he has heard other children talking about such things. I think you are handling it perfectly and if this is the only problem he has then he's unlikely to turn into a psychopath. When one of my daughters was about 8 she brought a friend' brother home. I heard him threaten to 'cut off your mother's t""ts" I was horrified and sent him home. He's now about 25 and absolutely lovely - no problems at all. They just try to shock you!
I think you're right that he's just saying the worst things he can think of. I think the burning the house down has come from a couple of arson attacks locally recently - the kids at school have been talking about it as one of the victims has children at the school. I'm glad to hear the friend's brother has turned out OK
It could also be an influence from fantasy.....do you monitor the tv programmes he watches....I work with young children...they take in more than we think....very impressionable minds. There is one child who watches puerheros...he comes out with loads of threats about killing people and burning things down. Children can not differenciate the difference between fantasy and reality until they are at least 7 years old. As he understood that it is not nice.....and felt bad about it, it may be a behaviour issue, as the ones I work with don't feel empathy at all. Monitor his behaviour....try and find out what triggers it....if you have any real concerns, go and speak to his doctor.
Children pick up all sorts of nasty things at school. He is trying to be very horrible to his daddy because he wants his daddy to feel really hurt - because he was really hurt that his daddy stopped reading him the story. Maybe a better tactic at bed time would be to finish the story quickly rather than 'punish' DS by taking the story away. He's tired, a little hyper and then faced with the disappointment of losing story + daddy time, and he is utterly powerless to prevent this happening. Who wouldn't express their annoyance. That's all he's doing; he's pissed off.
My DD has said equally horrible things and at an early age. Note that he did not include you in his 'arson plan' - he wanted to be very clear he was punishing daddy for withdrawing from him. I very much doubt he is a psychopath or a sociopath. He is just a normal little boy who is expressing his anger. Tell him it is ok to be angry with daddy and sad he stopped the story, but not ok to say horrid things. Give him the language and the permission to express feelings of anger; there is nothing wrong with them and it is perfectly ok to let them be expressed.
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