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3 year old violent outbursts towards me and his Dad

(12 Posts)
mummyagainin2016 Mon 30-Nov-15 10:05:46

My son is having increasingly frequent violent outbursts in which he hurts me or my husband. We try to parent gently and on the whole he's no trouble and is bright, active, thoughtful and sociable. But things like turning off the TV after a certain amount of time, getting dressed at either end of the day and one or two other things make him lash out, kicking us, hitting us etc and just being physically uncooperative and very cheeky verbally. He's so strong now. This morning I've been prompted to post because in response to me turning off the TV after a number of requests for him to do so, he headbutted me in the nose deliberately when I picked him up, then slapped me in the face and kicked me as I put him down again. I try remain calm in lesser outbursts and explain that it's not nice behaviour, that he has hurt me etc and I point out that we don't hit it kick him. Sometimes he kicks the walls and floor in temper or hits himself. I don't know what to to next?! Help!

ImperialBlether Mon 30-Nov-15 10:12:08

Is he sorry for what he's done afterwards? Is he getting enough sleep? Does he have a good diet? Poor you, it sounds really painful and upsetting.

berylbainbridge Mon 30-Nov-15 10:13:44

Are there consequences for his behaviour? 3 is a very tricky age - sympathies to you!

mummyagainin2016 Mon 30-Nov-15 10:22:27

Just after I posted this I tried to dress him and he kicked me near my tummy. I'm pregnant... I saw red and for the first time in my life I'm ashamed to say I slapped his lower leg once. He cried out, in shock as much as anything I think, saying 'You hit me!'. I feel awful..... I apologised and we cuddled and talked once things had calmed down.
Do consequences continue even after he says sorry, which he always does, eventually?

abbieanders Mon 30-Nov-15 12:24:02

Do consequences continue even after he says sorry, which he always does, eventually?

Yes, otherwise sorry just means let's forget any consequences.

treaclesoda Mon 30-Nov-15 12:29:53

You have my sympathy. My four year old is like this, and it is very very challenging. His behaviour is good at preschool and with his childminder, but when he is at home he occasionally gets so angry that it is like a red mist descends, and there is no reasoning with him.

I will be watching this with interest as we are at our wits end as to how to deal with it.

Believeitornot Mon 30-Nov-15 22:36:49

Set him clear rules and walk away if he hits you.

When is he like this?

Also have you been bigging up the pregnancy a lot? This might be unsettling him.

mummyagainin2016 Tue 01-Dec-15 09:56:59

So, this morning went better. He got dressed without any conflict when he woke up and then had breakfast after watching one TV episode (as agreed beforehand). I said he could watch one more TV episode while I made his packed lunch. When that finished, he bit me as I tried to pick him up to go to brush his teeth and get his shoes and coat on. He'd been watching TV and didn't want it to turn it off so I did and then he turned it on again, so I turned it off again. I put him on the sofa, showed him the teeth marks, said that he'd hurt me and that biting is wrong etc then he starts kicking wildly so I moved away so my tummy was safe. I picked him up when he'd calmed down a bit and as we went through the doorway he kicked again and hit his foot on the door frame, and said I'd hurt his foot on purpose? I've told him he can't watch any more TV at all today which led to rage and tears from him.

He's generally like this in the morning when we need to get ready, if we need to go out at any point and at bedtime. Hates getting changed into / out of PJs, hates having the TV turned off, doesn't like leaving the house (but likes where we end up usually - soft play, park, even the supermarket..!)

He doesn't know I'm pregnant. We've had 2 MCs and are so nervous about this pregnancy so we've hardly told anyone. I'm 16 weeks now.

mummyagainin2016 Tue 01-Dec-15 16:49:37

We've only been home from nursery half an hour and he's already had a complete meltdown and when I put him in his room to calm down for 5 mins (not something I usually do but I needed the space!) he emptied out two of his drawers, all the clothes now on the floor. I could scream! I sat down and he ran and me and headbutted me in my side, then he lay on the floor kicking and whacked his foot against the wall, hurting it, but that was my fault according to him.
He's enraged that despite saying sorry again at nursery pick up (unprompted) for biting me this morning etc, I've said no more TV today.
I'm at the end of my tether and can't wait til DH gets home later.
He's fallen asleep now, just standing next to our bed with his top half resting forwards on it. Obviously tired, but he was in bed and asleep last night by 830 (he doesn't sleep if he goes up before 8) and woke at 7 this morning.

mummyagainin2016 Tue 01-Dec-15 18:04:41

Would love some more advice please?

SevenSeconds Tue 01-Dec-15 20:53:39

Have you tried time out / naughty step? Straight there for any violent behaviour and stay there for 3 mins?

EricTheWildCar Tue 01-Dec-15 21:07:14

Hello - big hugs to you! It sounds tough, and difficult to know how best to deal with things.

I would like to add the disclaimer immediately that have no idea what I am about to suggest is the 'right' way to deal with it, but when my DS (2) has occasionally done similar things to me I have reacted (completely instinctively!) with self defense moves first and foremost to physically prevent him from hitting me (before explanations about not hitting etc. once the immediate threat has stopped and he has calmed down). Maybe this could be helpful for you both in terms of your pregnancy (far too important to risk!) and also showing that you will not tolerate being hit. After all, why should any of us, even (or perhaps especially) from our own child?

Just tonight, when DS was a bit over tired and about to go to bed, he came at me pretty quickly from the side on and tried to hit me with what would probably have been quite a bit of force on my head (I was sitting on the carpet with DD). I should add that this is not really commonplace but does happen sometimes when he's tired or frustrated. I didn't even think about it (I could only half see him becuase of the angle he was at and barely had time to react) but instinctively moved my arm around in a 'blocking' move which resulted in him not making contact with me at all but his arm being pushed away and him being moved (not roughly!) away from me. He was left sitting on the sofa looking a bit confused and not very happy that his assault had been foiled!

Please don't for a minute thing I am advocating any kind of violence or 'hitting back' type response - I am honestly the most hippy / pacifist / pro-gentle parenting types around! BUT at the same time I am absolutely buggered if I am going to just let anyone hit me without stopping them from doing it (I may be a hippy but am a bit of a feisty redhead one!) :-D

DD saw what happened tonight and seemed quite impressed (she has been on the recieving end sometimes when her brother is at it!) In the past I have tried to teach her some very basic self defense too (although I always emphaise that hitting is wrong / not to hit back / only do enough to stop someone from hurting you etc. - obviously don't want to turn it into a physical fight or put herself in any danger!) I just really want her to know how to protect herself if cornered or attacked unaware by a (strong) 2YO terror, as she has been before now. Anyway, I digress...!

I am sure someone will tell me if this is in any way really bad advice, but I do wonder whether (as you mentioned gentle parenting etc - which don't get me wrong, is usually my own approach too!) that you may have just been just a bit passive about actually allowing the hitting to happen rather than physically stopping him in his tracks? It takes a speedy reaction time to get it right but there seems (to me anyway!) to be a huge difference between taking a gentle approach and actually putting up with violence against you... If you were able to hone your reflexes to block / stop him before he could hurt you, then do the gentle explanation thing later (once he has calmed down) could that possibly work? It might make him realise that you are simply not going to tolerate being hit / kicked / hurt and that him trying will have no effect because you will simply prevent him from doing it and walk away...

This is only a suggestion of course as I have found it to be useful in my own circumstances... The very best of luck with it all!

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