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Clever or disturbed?

(5 Posts)
JESSEY Fri 17-May-13 09:56:46

My 4 yr old sons behaviour is causing me a lot of anguish. His mum and I had a very acrimonious split over 2 years ago but I have always had 50-50 (probably more) access/shared parenting. Sometimes mum takes advantage but I never refuse I just love having him with me. I am in a stable relationship of a just over a year - she also has/had a new partner but they split up every few weeks (the last time just a couple of weeks ago). My son told me a lot of stuff last week-end which prompted me to talk to his mum. She admitted that things had been volatile and my son had been affected by this. Yesterday he told me more stuff that is worrying me - saying things like mummy's house is an angry house I want to live with you daddy. TheN this morning he didnt want to go to nursery and threw a tantrum, kicking, lashing out then starts asking for his mummy and saying my house is angry. He also says that he wants to be a good boy but his brain is angry?? He is such a lovely chatty little boy usually but I am seeing the personality being sucked out of him and I dont know what to do. His mum is very aggressive and a hothead and it's always someones elses fault she has a lot of issues relating to her childhood. She also has an older boy (19) who has left home and wants no contact with her - he also was an angry little boy/young man. At nursery and pre-school they have nothing but praise for my son saying he is a joy and such a good boy? I am going to speak with my ex this evening any advice/help/suggestions would be appreciated as I feel so alone and out of my depth. I am going to suggest to her that my son stays with me for a period until she sorts her personal life out - good idea or not? I just don't want to go storming in with the stuff he's told me in case he is playing us off against one another - but neither can I ignore it - HELP

Meggie3 Fri 17-May-13 11:27:10

Hi, I really feel for you, that's a horrible situation to be in. The first thing I would say is you need to keep things as normal as possible for him so I'm not sure that changing his home situation is a good idea, but obviously you need to talk that through with his mum.
The other thing is that boys actually get a 'boost' of testosterone when they're 4 and coupled with starting school they often find it hard to deal with, I wonder if that's what could be causing the angry feelings ? They're obviously also huge sponges and pick up on emotions flying around them. I have 3 Sons and 2 of them have suffered from anger outbursts which I think they get from their grandad who has a real temper problem which I used to find terrifying when I was little but have gradually come to understand ! My 7 year old particularly has terrible anger outbursts and I try to get him to take a deep breath and count to ten so he thinks about how he's behaving and he does eventually calm down !! His home background is very stable so it may not be related ? When I spoke to his school they also said he was lovely child and a pleasure to teach, not what I see at home smile
Maybe you could talk to him about how adults sometimes get angry and it although its scary it doesn't mean you both don't love him more than anything and you'll always be there for him ? He sounds like a sensitive boy that may respond to that ?
I hope that makes some sense, I'm certainly no expert but I just wanted to reply smile you could always go and see your GP who might be able to recommend some counselling ? Good luck with it x

JESSEY Fri 17-May-13 11:50:41

Thanks for your thoughts - appreciated. I have managed to speak with his mummy since posting and I am going to take him to the park after nursery and have a quiet chat with him. His mummy has accepted that her home situation has probably caused his erratic behaviour and this alone is a first! She denies some of the stuff he is saying and says he says similar things about me when he's with her so I guess we will just have to monitor the situation. He is sensitive and very sharp so he is definitely picking things up but is unsure how to deal with them. Just don't understand why he doesnt show any of this stuff outside the home.

Meggie3 Fri 17-May-13 12:46:45

That's great, a positive step ! I wondered that about my son and someone said it's just because he feels safe at home so he can express himself ? Not sure but it's certainly true that my kids true feelings come out often when they're relaxed and feeling comfortable, like bath time or bed time smile good luck I hope you get somewhere with him !

matana Fri 17-May-13 13:05:19

I think this is a really common reaction in young children whose parents split acrimoniously. They find it hard dealing with the transition between two homes on a regular basis and two parents whose styles are very different. They can feel disloyal to one or both parents and can also become very withdrawn, or instead act out in other ways like telling tales. It can be very traumatic for them, even if both parents are very stable. It's so, so important for them to see that their parents have put their own differences aside and are clearly and firmly putting them first. This is easier said than done when i know so well that feelings and emotions in these situations can run high. But if you can work with your ex at having a good relationship with each other (or at least tolerable) then your little boy will benefit no end. Talking with your ex is certainly a good start. Good luck - your little boy sounds lovely and you sound like a great parent.

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