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I hit my son

(10 Posts)
toddn72 Fri 28-Mar-14 07:31:55

I hit my son last night and I have not managed to sleep as I have so much regret.

I am divorced from his mother but we get on very well. I am remarried and I live in another part of the country but I have regular contact with my son.There has been a lot of problems since he started secondary. In January he had tried to commit suicide by standing in front of traffic. We did not know about this until he got into a fight in school because another boy was going to tell everyone. He had also taken a belt into school to hang himself. He had been assessed and he was found to be at no risk to himself. He had fallen out with a group of new friends which had caused this. His behaviour at home had got worse. He is very aggressive and abusive to his mum and step dad. He has had to be restrained by my wife and I on several occasions. He does not tell us anything and he is always angry and belligerent. He has refused to speak to me and he tells me that he hates me. He is secretive at home and he will not discuss anything with us. His mum and step dad are on the verge of splitting up because of it. His mum is in tears everyday. She feels she is doing a bad job as a mother and I feel that i am not coping as a father.

I had phoned him a couple of days to arrange to pick him up from school. My father in law lives near where we are and he is terminally ill with cancer. He had decided to go to his home in the same town that my son lives. His health had deterioated over the last couple of days and he was not capable if driving. I came down to pick him up and take him back to ours. He has been like a grandfather to my son and I wanted him to see him as I feared that he may not live much longer and it was maybe the last chance for him to see him. When I turned up at school I saw my son with a group of friends and I was distracted as I was talking to his headmaster. We had arranged for us to meet round the corner but when I arrived he was gone. I drove around trying to find him. Half an hour later I saw him at a park. I shouted his name out of the window and he saw me then ran away. Whilst I was trying to find him I talked to his mother. She said his behaviour was now at a point of being unmanageable at home and she could no longer cope. His stepdad has lost it with him the night before because of my sons abuse.I saw my son again at the same park. I parked my car and I approached him by foot. He was with some friends and when he saw me he started to laugh then he ran away. I told him not to do of his friends shouted for him to run away and they all laughed. I was furious at this point and I ran after him. I caught up with him and he said for me to go away and he hated me. I slapped him on the nape of his head/neck. I got hold of him by the neck of his jumper and I took him to the car. I git him in and we had been arguing and he started crying. His friends turned up shouting at me that I cannot hit my kid. I asked who was encouraging him to run away and said that they had no idea what he has been up to.

I took him back to his mothers house and he was aggressive and abusive and I had never seen him as bad as thus. His mother said that this is what he has been like recently. I apologised for hitting him and I explained why I was angry for him running away when he was meant to be going to visit his ill step grandad. I told him that I was wrong how I reacted.He did calm down then he agreed for him to come with me to visit him.

We have been asking him fir ages what is wrong. He finally admitted that he has been getting bullied in school by half a dozen kids. It is not physical but verbal. He has been getting angry and upset and taking it out on those closest to him. He likes the lessons and the teachers in the school but it is a lot of the kids he does not like.

I feel ashamed of how I reacted. I am going to seek some counselling for this. I know I am not setting a good example. My son was seeing a counsellor for OCD who he really liked and he wants to see her again. I am also worried that I am reported for hitting him. I am a health care professional and I could lose my job. I just feel so much pressure and helplessness at the moment.

schnockles Fri 28-Mar-14 07:44:45

Didn't want to read and run, although unfortunately I have no advice for you.

It sounds like an awful situation and I hope your son opening up yesterday is the beginning of the end of his behaviour. You are right to seek counselling.

Wiser MNers will be along soon!

MrsBigD Fri 28-Mar-14 08:18:50

toddn72, so sorry to hear you are all having such a hard time.

Great that despite the little hiccup of the slap around the head, you two managed to talk and him to open up. Maybe he needed a quick jolt to get his attention? Not that I advocate physical attention grabbing...

I think it's good news that he wants to see his counsellor again, that's a sign that he wants to get himself 'under control' again.

Good luck to you all smile

ReluctantCamper Fri 28-Mar-14 08:25:02

tod, while what you did was wrong, I think lots of people would have been driven to the same thing. I don't know much about teenagers so have no wise words I'm afraid. Just wanted to say that it sounds like you care about your son a great deal.

claraschu Fri 28-Mar-14 08:27:50

I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like this is just part of a huge buildup, and maybe it will be a turning point.

Good for you for sticking with him and not giving up on him. Of course no one should lash out in anger, but I think it is worse just to let him go with his "friends", especially as some of them could easily be part of the bullying group. How old is your son?

Counselling sounds like a very good idea, as he has made suicide threats, which I think should always be taken seriously, as well as having OCD.

toddn72 Fri 28-Mar-14 08:43:49

Hi Claraschu. My son is 12 years old. You are right as there has been some build up for a while. I feel frustrated as before he would listen to me and now he is just completely rude. After last night he lay beside me and gave me a hug. We also talked properly for the first time in months. I had feelings of just wanting to walk away and use his non-communication as an excuse. I would never do that but I did have the feelings all the same. He seems to make friends very quickly then the friendships dissolve as quickly as they were made. He is an only child and he puts a great importance in his peer group and I think he is trying to be someone he is not.

BluBurd Fri 28-Mar-14 08:49:26

Please don't raise your hand to him again. I am not judging you, it's just when a child behaves like that there is in my opinion, always something going on behind the scenes and your son needs support.

I say this as someone who's brother behaved much like your son and he was struggling with a terrible secret. My dad lost his temper with my brother regularly and hit him. They now have no relationship.

I am glad you have got to the bottom of what's going on and can now support your son the way he needs. All the best to you both.

claraschu Fri 28-Mar-14 09:00:25

I have a 12 year old and two older teens. I think your son was glad to get a real passionate reaction from you and it helped him to open up. The next few years are such a difficult age, and you sound so caring and full of love and concern for him. You are absolutely right never to walk away and allow the non-communication. (Of course you might need to walk away to allow cooling off, but you know what I mean.)

With hindsight, I would try to keep as much control of young teens as possible, (without being controlling). Talk to him about the dangers he will face in the next two years, and try to talk about addiction and sex as openly and wisely as you can, without embarrassment. I would try to be very clear about your boundaries, and about why you believe in them.

I think it is absolutely wonderful that he has the self confidence and the trust in you to tell you about the bullying. Lots of kids go through a phase of trying to be someone else, and trying to fit in with a group (often an about-face from being very independent minded as children). It is all part of the difficult process of growing up. Your son has a lot of strength to be able to discuss this with you.

People often think that only girls go in for bitchiness and verbal bullying, but I have seen boys being equally catty and mean. Are you going to talk to the school about the bullying?

mummyxtwo Fri 28-Mar-14 12:18:29

Golly, how stressful for you all. I don't condone the hitting but realise it was an isolated episode in the face of a lot of stress and frustration. You can't change it, but you did the right thing by apologising to him and saying you were wrong to do that. Admitting you were in the wrong does not mean you are saying that his behaviour was in any way acceptable. Perhaps this can be a turning point for you all? If your son broke down and admitted he has been bullied to you then that sounds a good starting place to begin to deal with his issues, and great that he has finally opened up about it. Can you talk to his teachers, or his mum talk to them? I do hope that his mum and her partner can try to resolve their relationship issues as your ds needs to see unity and stability at home right now. I would try hard to maintain this new openness with your son and encourage him to talk to you more. The bad behaviour can't be tolerated though, and while he needs support, he also needs boundaries setting and to know that bad behaviour has a consequence. I would ask for as much help as possible from the school. All the best.

SJaneS Fri 28-Mar-14 12:30:39

Hitting your son is never ok or acceptable but it sounds like this is a 1st rather than a consistent pattern of behaviour that you should seek professional help for. You're not on your own here, you're not going to be the only person on this site who in very exceptional circumstances at the very end of their patience has spanked or hit their child. I can't and don't excuse it but have done it myself - you're not a serial abuser though but need to make sure it never happens again. Don't sweep it under the carpet but your focus needs to be 100% on your son not on you - own your mistake but concentrate on him. As above, speak to the school. Get him back to counselling. Befriend him on social media to check this isn't spreading to online bullying. Listen to him and spend time with him. Check for signs of self harming, drugs etc. Just keep aware. My eldest is 19 and she has been through sexual assault, self harming, verbal and physical bullying and a suicide attempt in the last 5 years. As a parent of a teenager it's easy to feel completely and utterly powerless to make things right - all you can do is be there, fight (verbally obviously!) his corner, make sure he gets any professional or medical help he needs and isn't fobbed off or lost in the system and if necessary, change schools. Finally, good luck. He will emerge the other end.

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