My 6yo is violent and threatening to kill me. What can we do?(29 Posts)
DS3 is 6, he's always been a challenging child but the last couple of months he's become unbearable at stages. He regularly screams at the top of his lungs for 20 minutes at a time (pause, then restarts), kicks, punches, bites me or his siblings. He's currently trying to break his door down.
Today I picked him & his siblings up from school (he's a twin so there's DD 6, DS1 11 and DS2 8) to take them all to soft play 5 mins away in the car as a treat. On the way out of school, DS2 was telling me about his star of the day award and DS1 was humming a tune he'd made up that day. That was it. He started screaming 'stop it' at the top of his lungs and as we continued towards the car I ignored him so he started kicking me and hitting me. I tried to hold his arm so he couldn't so he tried to bite me instead. All the while yelling full tilt at all of us. By the end of the street, he'd started calling us idiots and he hates us, then 'I'll kill you, I'll kill you all'. It took 20 minutes to get him into the car with his belt done up, he hit ds1 over the head with a full water bottle with no provocation and ds1 went for him so I had to break that up. He hasn't stopped screaming, shouting, threatening or attempting violence since then. I had to abandon the trip obviously and ds1 was very upset as we'd arranged to meet his best friend there.
This kind of behaviour has been going on since November, although in the years before that he was just as likely to tantrum a lot & at times has made family life a misery. His older brother ds1 was diagnosed with Aspergers about 6 months ago, and they're certainly quite similar in some ways. DS1 at about 7 become quite aggressive too. I have spoken to school about him a few times, in Reception the teacher agreed with me that he had some ASD traits but in Year 1 he doesn't seem to be exhibiting the same issues. Over the summer he showed no signs of this behaviour and was a pleasure to be with, so I assume that school is stressful for him in some ways although he's very bright and top of the class along with his sister. He has never shown this behaviour in school although ds1 didn't either until he was about 9.
Although I know a bit about ASD obviously with one child already diagnosed, I can't really tell if this is what is likely to be ds3's problem. He doesn't seem at present to have any social or communication issues (ds1's primary problem), obviously he's very rigid and my guess is there are some sensory issues, particularly auditory. He's quite young for us to be looking for a diagnosis and we've only just finished the 18 month process with ds1. We just don't know what to do. When he's not behaving like this, he can be the sweetest, most helpful, lovely little chap & I try to make sure I tell him I love him when things are calm. A month ago, I really lost it and smacked him several times, it was awful and I felt I'd lost his trust for ever. He's obviously angry with me although I have been super calm with him ever since it wasn't the first time I had smacked him so I feel I'm to blame in some way with my actions. It isn't the right way to manage him, but after several years of this I don't know how to deal with him. I am reading the explosive child, I try to be flexible with him as I know that helps but he still kicked off today (and before & after school every day last week....). Help?!!
OP this sounds horrendous! Sending hugs
I'm not in any way qualified to comment on this other than being a mum of 2.
Nevertheless, here's my tuppence worth -
1) He is clearly struggling with his own emotions. As difficult as it is, the best way to help him when he's going of on one is to give him cuddles, gentle talking etc. He can only learn to deal with difficult emotions in a calm way if you teach him how. Ignoring him just leaves him all alone with all this painful stuff going on in his head.
2) Try reading up on 'love bombing'. It might work for you.
3) But most importantly, just get him to a child psych - urgently!!
Good luck OP. x
ASD or not this does not justify violence. You have three other children who deserve better. I would get on to Social Services this morning and ask for help.
OP your school health team will see / talk to you and are best placed to make the right referrals for your ds. Your school will give you their number, or might even make an appointment with the school nurse for you.
I wouldn't call social services if I were in that position.
I absolutely don't want to go to social services & that isn't their role afaik. I can and do protect my other children as much as I am able which is why I had to put him in his room eventually. He won't allow me to talk to him much less cuddle him until some time afterwards. My eldest son struggles with his emotions greatly but was always happy for me to talk to him, help him calm down. Dp & I had a long chat last night after I'd posted, trying to analyse why ds3 gets so distressed in certain circumstances and we concluded that noise might well be a catalyst. Ds1 has sensory issues with noise at times but I guess ds3 presents quite differently so we hadn't really thought of it until now. We tried out headphones & music with ds3 today (explaining why to him & the other dc) and he was an angel!
Sympathies OP How is your partner towards him? Does he have any advice/support?
Can you get time to have a morning or afternoon out just with this child and maybe this will help? I do this with my kids often they enjoy having time without other siblings around
We've ordered an MP3 player for him as quite frankly we will throw anything at this problem. Chatted again with dp for a while tonight and looked up auditory processing disorder as ds3 had failed a hearing test last year & when retested the audiologist had mentioned trouble processing. They didn't diagnose or suggest treatment or anything else and neither of us had thought about it for months. I'm going to talk to the school tomorrow and see whether we can get further testing but he may still be too young for this. What we've read tonight matches the problems ds3 has at home, his academic progress blinded us somewhat though. We can ask the school for some suggestions of additional strategies. Feel we've made a bit of a breakthrough today but who knows what tomorrow will bring. Thank you.
Thank you 123, dp finds his behaviour frustrating to say the least but isn't as emotionally affected as I am so deals better with him. But I'm a lot more affectionate so I still have to keep trying to let him know he's loved despite the behaviour. He's lovely 121 although it doesn't happen much. All 4 at school & I work but we have a big house so I will try to go off with him somewhere and do something. He's so sweet when he's not threatening to kill me, I can laugh about a bit tonight but I was sobbing my heart out last night.
We sought CAMHS referral for ds1, I wouldn't go near them again they were completely useless and appalling. Told us it was basically our fault ds1 (who turned out to have ASD) was soiling daily and my lack of bonding with him as a baby. The school have a behavioural support worker on staff who has helped with ds1, will try and speak to her tomorrow as well. I do wonder what I've done as a mother to have 3 boys with issues, it's turned into the most chaotic household. I have serious problems with anxiety and panic, but at least I'm on meds for that which really help. Sorting out ds3 would help more!
The other thing I thought was is there any way to stagger the school collection times so that he comes out when all others are settled in the car first (or vice versa)?
Sometimes the daily routine just needs a few little tweaks to accommodate the personalities of all the siblings it's so hard though
Then of course there's the usual questions like is there a lot of sugar in his diet/lots of TV/enough fresh air every day I have to keep check on these things with my 3 each day otherwise all hell breaks loose
I read somewhere that children on the autistic spectrum often can't bear a lot of sensory input at once and lash out to try and make it stop. Does this sound like your DS?
I was in charge of special needs in a primary school for several years. Ask if you can see the headteacher tell the school secretary that it is urgent. Explain in full to the head who will refer your child, they can get specialist help in immediately in cases such as yours. If you use the phrase that the child is a danger to others in your family then you should get some action done quickly. You can if all else fails go to the doctor and ask to section your child but that is only if you feel that you or your children are in danger of being hurt.
What is going on with DS2? I did not catch that.
You say he is young for diagnosis but he is not!
Thank you all. Yes sensory issues may mean he's lashing out, he often repeats a phrase over and over as though he's overwhelmed. He's 6 years old. He's not capable of really hurting any of us, he's saying those horrible things because he can't cope. I tried the music again this morning and he was calm, will take headphones again for after school.
I can't stagger the times they come out of school although I do pick him and DD up first then we have a walk round to meet ds2. It does work better when ds1 walks home with friends as then there's not so much noise plus ds1 & ds3 wind each other up! Have tried to explain to ds1 (11) that ds3 is possibly experiencing same problems with noise that he has.
Re: diagnosis I meant for AUditory problems as from what I've read his brain may not have developed enough. Yes we could seek a ASD referral for him but my gut feeling is that the auditory problems are at the heart of it. He's socially pretty good with peers, there's nothing off about the way he relates to other children aside from this behaviour (which he doesn't do at school). I will speak to someone at the school today about him who knows his brothers and me. We do try with diet/fresh air/sleep I think he does pretty well.
Ds2 is 8, I've already had to seek help for his behaviour from school behavioural contact as he's very anxious, angry and gets hysterical very easily. He's a much more reasonable child to deal with, and I think I could help him calm down if ds3 is not kicking off 3x a day! We moved bedrooms about before Xmas so ds3 is on his own, now ds2 shares with DD as they get along vv well.
I will post later as phone useless, but hang on in there!
If youbhave sound-reducing headphones that would be even better but tbh my eldest finds even ear muffs helpful!
Thanks Medoc. I feel as tho we might be onto something with the noise. Special headphones a good idea, will look now. His earmuffs broke a while ago I will buy more if that will help! Waitíng on a call back from the school nurse who can advise on next step with hearing assessments etc. I'd like to rule it out before going through ASD assessment again (ds1 diagnosed June).
How has he been since you've been using the headphones? ANy improvement the last couple of nights?
My 5 year old is similar to this and is violent to the family, peers and staff at the school. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and also ODD.
He sounds really stressed and completely overwhelmed in that scenario you described. If he is finding school difficult and has sensory issues than school with soft play afterwards sounds like a recipe for a meltdown . Is there anyway you can organise things so he can wind down after school?
It's been ups and downs with him, when he has music/headphones in he's fine but can't have them all the time! School runs bette but mainly because I am being extra vigilant to make sure he's not about to kick off. Soft play after school prob not a great idea but I got my sister to help yesterday and ds1 was so keen to go with his friend, I couldn't let him down. Ds3 didn't completely kick off but was aggressive and shouting at times, I spent the entire time just handling him. Last night it was a huge trial to get him to bed and then when I finally relaxed poor ds1 came down sobbing because kids at school had been horrible and he didn't want to have Aspergers anymore . Cue an hour of talking and LOLcats to cheer him up.
Ds3 wet his bed at about 3 in the morning and then had a complete paddy about it so I feel like he's ruling the roost 24/7 rights now. I have an appt at school next Wednesday, asked the school nurse to look into diagnosis options for auditory processing issues.
Cece that sounds really stressful for you, he's so young. I have read about ODD before but not thought about it for some time as we were going through Aspergers diagnosis for ds1 until recently. I'm writing down notes about his behaviour so I can talk to school next week. But of course this year school have had no issues with him! Hoepfully they will be more receptive than when I first suggested Aspergers for ds1.
Ds3 does go to my DM quite a bit, he did last Saturday and I think other kids appreciated the break. I don't think he finds after school club very restful, they all go once a week at present. I usually pick them up from school, drive home then the kids have a snack & watch TV or go on a device, help me in the kitchen etc. we don't usually do anything after school, I figure they all need to chill out but tbh we usually have the car journey with ds3 screaming blue murder so I have to stop etc. he's got his new headphones today so car journeys may be better now. Thanks all.
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