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DS2 lashing out at friends when they upset him

(19 Posts)
LemonBreeland Thu 12-Nov-15 14:51:58

DS2 is 8 and at parents evening last night his teacher told us that he is hitting or kicking his friends if they say something nasty to him or hit him first. He ends up getting in trouble because they then tell on him.

This is also a problem at home, mostly with his younger sister. She will hit him and rather than tell me or DH he will hit her back, make her cry and inevitable get into trouble.

His teacher says he gets very upset when he is told off, and he does at home too. I just don't know how to help him learn to tell an adult if someone hurts him, rather than lashing out.

I don't think it helps that he is in a friendship group with 3 boys who are alpha male types, for want of a better descritption, and he just isn't. He has been friends with these boys since they were 4 years old.

Any advice please?

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Nov-15 17:53:37

I think there is a big difference between hitting and hitting back. Neither are ideal, but one is definately much more serious than the other <imo>. What happens when he 'tells an adult' at home or at school? Does it work? Does he think he gets a good outcome that way?

ButEmilylovedhim Thu 12-Nov-15 18:02:40

Are these other kids getting told off too? Seems very unfair if not.

LemonBreeland Thu 12-Nov-15 21:23:18

Hmm good question. I'm not sure if the other children are getting told off too.

At home on the very rare occasions he tells me I will tell his sister off.

When we talked to him he did say that of he tells the teacher someone has hit him she doesn't care. I will ask him regularly what is happening at school and that he won't be in trouble with me whatever has happened so he will open up. If I feel the teacher is not listening to him then I will make an appointment to see her.

I just wish I could fix it all for him. He is quite a sensitive soul really.

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Nov-15 22:38:29

Yes, that's the thing about "telling an adult"
It only really works if they listen and act. I'd have a word now - take him to see her and present it as a problem to be solved. What should Little Lemon do when he's being hurt/teased?

Nataleejah Fri 13-Nov-15 10:31:44

Hitting back -- fair enough. What kind of friends are those who start hitting you first?

Stompylongnose Fri 13-Nov-15 11:59:00

I wouldn't tell him off for hitting back unless he's hitting them so hard he's breaking someone's nose or something. My son's a similar age and would think that the person who was hit back is getting what he deserves.

Does he tell the teacher that he is hitting back? Is one boy (or a group of boys) targetting him or is it one boy hitting out at anyone?

I wouldn't tell your son to tell an adult while in the playground. In my experience they will tell the children not to tell tales, include the child who everyone is complaining about (making that child even less popular and stopping the kids asking for help in future) or force a verbal apology (which is unfair when you've been hit). You can't rely on playground supervisors informing the teacher unless there's a trip to the medical room involved either. [bitter experience]

If my son was typing this, he'd advise your son to verbally stand up for himself ("Why did you hit me?"), make a quick assessment on how hard/deliberate the hit was and either tell the person to play elsewhere or if it's a game where you can avoid hitter then to avoid them. To be honest, I've seen his group stick up for each other when someone is "out of line" which puts the person who hit in their place without involving the adults.

LemonBreeland Fri 13-Nov-15 14:11:57

I like the idea of telling him to ask someone why they hit him. I agree that telling a playground supervisor isn't going to work. They are worse than useless.

I may speak to his teacher, as after further discussion It is mostly in the playground.

Thanks for all of the helpful comments and suggestions.

amarmai Mon 16-Nov-15 19:17:49

cue a playground supervisor telling you off for disrespecting their professionalism!

LemonBreeland Mon 16-Nov-15 22:24:25

I didn't mean all playground supervisors Amarmi (smile). I only meant the ones in our school. I'm sure there are some good ones out there somewhere.

TreacleMoon123 Tue 17-Nov-15 23:31:50

My daughter is (almost 8) is going through some anger issues at the moment too. Someone recommended a book to me & I thought there was no way it would help. Well we are into day 3 of reading it and I have to say there is a marked improvement in the way she is dealing with things.
It's called 'What to do when your temper flares' by Dawn Huebner.
I can't praise it enough, it's really fantastic!
It's written in child friendly text and language.

LemonBreeland Wed 18-Nov-15 09:52:27

Thanks Treacle (that sounds a bit Mick Carter from EE), that sounds really interesting, I will have a look at it.

minipie Wed 18-Nov-15 21:13:48

I remember my mum telling me that if someone did something nasty to me, they were in the wrong. But if I retaliated, that would make me in the wrong too and so I would lose any sympathy for whatever had been done to me. I rememer this had quite an impact on me and my behaviour.

I can't remember how old I was at the time... Do you think he would respond to that kind of explanation?

TreacleMoon123 Thu 19-Nov-15 01:00:50

It's really worth a shot Lemon, we are on day 2 of no behaviour issues and settling herself to sleep without wearing herself (and me) out with s tantrum first. I'm putting it all down to this book. It's really helped her understand what's going on when she gets mad.
Hope everything settled down for you soon, I know it's not easy flowers
Let me know what you think if you order it..id love to hear someone else's opinion on it.

Katarzyna79 Thu 19-Nov-15 01:24:03

treaclemoon thanks for suggestion my son is 9 has anger issues, defiant will not listen to basic orders even if asked nicely. if hes reprimanded or doesn't get his own way starts crying and showing anger.

he also constantly bullies his sister, or kicks her, pinches her, then says she started it (sighs). Strangely in school he is praised and loved by teachers and students. My house is not a nice place to be in right now yet I wont give up on my son. My husband is giving up though.

TreacleMoon123 Fri 20-Nov-15 00:53:05

It's heartbreaking Kat, I know exactly how you feel. Very similar story in this house!
Day 3 of now major meltdowns today so there definitely is light at the end of the tunnel - just take it a day at a time x

OutsSelf Fri 20-Nov-15 01:08:39

My DS gets very aggrieved about being told off if he's hit someone I think because he is hurt by the idea I haven't noticed how desperate he must have been to hit someone. (He's only 4, before I sound completely hopeless).

While obviously, obviously he just must learn to sort his problems out without hitting, at the same time responding as if I'm astounded and concerned that my good kid is behaving badly rather than going into it as if his bad behaviour is all I can see makes a real difference here. It's the difference between sort if saying, "What have you done?" accusingly at him and saying, "what's going on?"in a concerned way at everyone.

Of course you absolutely must at some point say, " you must never hit" etc. But it doesn't have to be the first thing out of your mouth. If he's hitting younger siblings, and constantly getting in trouble, but does it anyway, it could be that he thinks no one is going to be on his side anyway so he may as well hit his annoying sibling for doing something upsetting.

<disclaimer> no experience of 8 ye olds

LemonBreeland Fri 20-Nov-15 09:34:27

I have ordered the book and told ds about it. He seemed keen on the idea, I think he wants some help with it.

TreacleMoon123 Fri 20-Nov-15 11:17:13

I hope it helps Lemon. It has really helped dd and I to cope with all that's going on. It must be so frustrating for them not knowing how to deal with all these feelings and emotions they have.
I spoke to a counsellor yesterday re dd and she said to always get down to their level when talking to them, put your hands on their shoulders and try and keep eye contact where possible. Obviously this wont work while they are in meltdown city but it will help to avoid the power struggle once they've calmed. She also recommended trying to see the situation from the child's point of view before reacting. (Not an easy one to do sometimes)
It's great that your ds is keen on the idea. At least it will facilitate a bit of one on one time for you both too.
If love to

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