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Son (10) just attacked me. How do i deal with it?

(28 Posts)
RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 16:01:18

He used to do this when he was about 4/5/6 and i could handle it. He hasnt done it in years but he is ten now, almost as tall as me and does martial arts. He knows he can easily hurt me. It was almost definitely a push back reaction to me becoming firmer and not negotiating on consequences like i usually give in. He wanted to go to friend's house which is no issue but he was pestering younger DS (6) for the Playstation game he was playing as he said friend doesnt have it and wants to play it. DS2 said no, he was still playing it. They argued. DS1 asked for me to tell Ds2 to let him have the game. I said no, that it isnt friend's game and that Ds2 is playing with it (if Ds2 hadnt been it would have been no problem to take it) DS1 started crying and whingeing which i ignored and then he got angry speaking sharply to DS2 i told him if he continued that attitude he wouldnt be gojng to friend's at all. He continued. I said he wasnt going. He threw his watch at me then walked out of the room. Then came straight back in and kicked me in the knee and was throwing punches at my head. I managed to hold him so he couldnt hit but he was kicking so i pushed us both on the sofa so i could lean on his legs. I yelled for him to stop. I was in tears and he said "or what?" And i said "you go to your room. You are grounded" and i got off him. He went to leave then tried to come back through the door again to hit me but i closed the door and held it. I dont know if he is on the stairs or went up to his room. My leg and foot is killing me.

What do i do? I'm not having this shit. No fucking way. I feel like caling his dad to come and take him but i know thats not dealing with it and i dont want to create an option where if he's pissed with me he can kick off and get to go there (where there isnt any discipline)

He has just come in and said sorry. I burst into tears and said i am not ready to speak to him yet and asked him to go to his room which he has done.

So what are his consequences? All i can think of is grounding him? For how long? Playstation ban? I want him to be so unhappy with the consequences that he never dares lift a hand to anyone again. How do i make this message stick?

Figwin Tue 12-Jan-16 16:08:07

You refused his apology?

The best thing to do would calm tell him he can't people and ask him why he did it and what he was feeling. Teach him that when he gets those feelings to breathe and count to ten etc.

originalmavis Tue 12-Jan-16 16:13:56

Whens he next at the dojo? If he does martial arts then he should be learning to control the rage. Squeal to the sensei.

If he has calmed down you should sit down with him and calmly and quierly explain why this was absolutely wrong, never acceptable and that there will be consequences. Decide what this is and it needs to be stuck to. I'd also throw in a punishment too for good measure - like taking out the of rubbish for a month.

I'd tell him that tbe emotions are part if growing up - getting cross, frustrated and agitated. He needs to get a strategy - try counting to ten, snapping an elastic band on the wrist it walking out of the room, turning around then walking back, etc.

Can his dad also have a word? He needs to be coming out with 'this is your mother - tbe one who sticks up for you, who is always on your side and who will always be doing her best for you. She works for you, runs herself ragged for you and goes without for you. You will never ever raise a hand to her or be disrespectful to her again.

Hope you are OK! Sounds awful.

Seriouslyffs Tue 12-Jan-16 16:18:44

hmm Fig
That was a very understandable and reasonable response RudeElf, otherwise it can become 'sorry, thank you, can I go then?'
I'd be tempted to leave it tonight. Not withhold anything, so supper, normal bedtime etc. but calmly, saying give me a bit of space, DS.
He's 10. He doesn't need telling that you can't hit people, he knows. What he needs to know is that you categorically won't accept it.

kormachameleon Tue 12-Jan-16 16:20:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 16:22:03

Yes i am still so upset i am not fit to speak to him. I am still welling up. So i said that. Normally when he does wrong and apologises i accept it and we talk but i can hardly speak. It would just be anger talking to him now, i am not calm yet. I dont know what to say to him. What punishment to give. I need to be calm as well as him. I am really angry that he has done this.

He is back in dojo on friday. I will speak to the sensai. Worried it undermines my authority though? Same with speaking to his dad. His dad wouldnt say any of that to him anyway. He isnt bothered about Parenting or discipline.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Tue 12-Jan-16 16:27:58

My dd had similar episode on Sunday albeit not as violent towards me, more her room. Started as I'd told her it was bedtime, which it was, same time every night.
I told her it was in no way ever ok to act like that and then let her stew on it for a night and day.had a calm hat with her last night re expectations on behaviour, how it had made me feel, how she felt in terms of abiding it happening again.then removed her iPad for a week and set an eat bedtime til Saturday which she HATES. I'm sticking with it though.hopeully it will work as otherwise I'm clueless!!

originalmavis Tue 12-Jan-16 16:29:30

Senseis job is to ensure any nartail arts isn't used like this - we had a wildfire lad at our dojo who was asked to leave as be just couldn't stop whalloping other kids, adults, trainers... The senseis have a way of explaining it to the kids that make them understand that aggression and violence is for losers.

What would sting more - loss of electronics or pocket money? Which would be easier to police if there set other kids around or if he can just go to a friends house to play?

I'd stop pocket money and ipad/Xbox for month and make him wash the car once a week.

Tell him that you are not prepared to speak to him yet but that there will be consequences. Don't be angry or cry. Keep your chin high and be on control.

Is he the eldest son from a divorce? I remember reading book about that dynamic a long time ago. All very emotional and can be explosive.

IsItMeOr Tue 12-Jan-16 16:35:09

Sounds very sensible re speaking to Sensei. I thought they were told that they were not to do it outside the Dojo (a bit like Hogwarts and magic...)?

There is a book called The Explosive Child which we have found helpful with our 6yo DS. I think the method would work better with older DCs, so definitely recommend it.

RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 16:40:46

Local police station has shut down (as well as each one in every surrounding town hmm) so we dont have one for 20 miles.

Yes he is eldest child from separation (we werent married) he was 5 when we separated.

He doesnt get pocket money. I think i'll ground him from going to friends for a month and ban playstation for same length of time. I think before i speak to him i'm going to ask him to have a long think about why he cant do this and what he needs to be doing when he is angry or frustrated. Then i'll talk to him about what he comes up with.

notarehearsal Tue 12-Jan-16 16:41:15

Elf, I so feel for you. My lovely son did go through a time at about a similar age when he pushed past me a couple of times also squared up to me and I did wonder what was going to come next. However, he didn't have an aggressive personality and it fizzled out. No idea if it was right or wrong but I took a deep breath, looked him in the eye and told him that if he ever ever laid one hand on me or any other woman it would be the last thing he ever did. Probably way too harsh a thing to say and I really don't know how I could have given an appropriate consequence after this threat!) but it did shock him out of the behaviour ( which wasn't in his character anyway) I was a lone parent and was adamant he wasn't going to turn into a thug.This may not be a popular opinion but I see absolutely no reason for you not to show him just how bloody angry you are. I don't mean scream in his face but he's actually assaulted you, he's of an age he could be prosecuted and it may be a good idea to point this out to him. If he had done the same to a stranger he'd be arrested. Would it be worth mentioning to him that you will discuss this with the sensai and, you'd very much hope that everyone will still agree that his activity is still an appropriate sport for him to attend??

RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 16:41:36

Thanks for book recommendation.

RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 16:43:58

Yes its worth trying the "if this is how you are going to behave then martial arts isnt for you" he is very keen on it so could be enough of a threat.

timelytess Tue 12-Jan-16 16:45:50

Of course you refused his apology. Now you quietly remove all his privileges and all but the most basic support. Explain to the martial arts instructors that your son is misusing his learning and therefore might not be able to attend in future. Explain to your son that if he does anything like this again, you will not provide lessons.

When he has shown himself compliant, you accept his apology.

IsItMeOr Tue 12-Jan-16 16:54:29

Oh, and second/third/fourth the posters saying that it's okay to refuse to accept his apology until you are ready. You are not an automaton, and while you love him unconditionally, that does not mean you will find all of his behaviours acceptable.

I would say sleep on the consequence if you feel able. Tell him you're going to think about it maybe?

ItchyArmpits Tue 12-Jan-16 16:58:55

After a big adrenaline dump it can easily take a couple of hours to calm down properly - I would make him wait until at least 5.30 until you address this with him, because he will be more able to take in what you are saying then, and you will be better able to model the calm and self-discipline that he desperately needs to learn.

I suspect that your son does not fully comprehend the consequences of his actions (most young people don't, as violence is very unrealistically portrayed on TV/film/computer games etc).

Kicking you in the knee could have severely incapacitated you (this is why it's a popular technique in self-defence). Please put some ice on all the bits that hurt, and go to the walk-in/minor injuries unit/A&E/whatever you call it if it gets worse. Knee attacks can tear ligaments, muscles, tendons, cartilage and break bones. That's why they are not allowed in martial arts competition. I sincerely hope that you are at most bruised, but if you'd suffered what I just listed you could find yourself unable to drive, or walk with aids, for months and possibly years.

Punching you in the head? People's heads are very fragile. Had you fallen over backwards as you tried to get away from him, you could have hit the back of your head and suffered life-altering injuries, or death.

I definitely would explain the events to your son's sensei, as s/he needs to know in part so that they can keep a close eye on your son and make sure he doesn't do anything similar to other children in the class, and in part so that they can reinforce the "this is for respectful competition, self-defence and the defence of others, and NOTHING ELSE EVER" aspect of martial arts practice. Also, if your son knows that other people he cares about will find out what he's done, he may be less likely to repeat it.

When you speak to your son, I would explain about the danger of what he has done, very slowly and quietly. I would tell him that I would be letting his father/sensei know too - because you have a duty to be truthful to them. Whatever you decide is an appropriate punishment, let him know at the time and stick to it.

Frankly, I'd consider discussing it with his teachers as well, see if you can get some support at school.

TeapotTam Tue 12-Jan-16 17:28:07

I would be awfully angry, a 'sorry' doesn't always fix things. Did he seem genuine? I would do grounded and no games for 2 weeks. Be stern when you tell him then when you've calmed down and are a bit more rational have a chat about why he did this/is so angry. Good luck OP

bbpp Tue 12-Jan-16 17:43:16

I agree you don't have to accept his apology. He needs to know he can't attack people, say sorry, and all is well.

Definitely talk to his martial arts teacher and tell them about his behavior.

I agree with banning playstation for a month and grounding him for the same time. Give him a week to 'break in', if he's not aggressive for the remanding 3 weeks then end the punishment. If he is, keep going until he can not be aggressive for minimum 3 weeks straight. It's not a big ask, that's the responsibility of a basic human.

Are his playstation games violent? Does he watch violent shows? Perhaps take away any which aren't age appropriate until they are. They do influence behavior.

I disagree with using chores as punishment, he should be doing them anyway. At 10 he should be able to dust his own room, make his bed, put his laundry away, wash the dishes 2/3x a week. You can start bring that in now but explain it's a permanent change, not a punishment.

Also recommend talking to the school counselor and seeing if they can help with anger management techniques, or look some up online and talk them through with him.

Runner05 Tue 12-Jan-16 18:09:23

I would wait until you're calm and explain that hitting and aggression is never the answer and that the consequences are no (insert favourite game console etc) for a month and no going out or having friends over for that period. Also explain that you will talk to his martial arts instructor as he is never allowed to use martial arts for attack and that if an incident of like this happened again you will have to consider whether he is mature enough to learn such a responsible discipline.
Explain that what he has done is assault and against the law and as such if it ever happens again you will frog March him to the police station and have them caution him.
I would also find out if your local police station has some sort of community outreach program where either individually or as a group a police officer speaks to young people to explain the consequences of breaking the law.

This might all seem a little over the top but if you treat it like it is a very big deal with very real consequences and stick to the imposed punishment then hopefully it will never happen again.

I would also speak to his dad and ask that he shows a united front and speaks to his son about how it is never acceptable to hit anyone much less his mother and continue punishment that you have outlined. No special treats or days out, no friends, no games console etc.

Antisoc Tue 12-Jan-16 18:23:48

How scarey for you. I am not surprised you are so angry and upset. I think grounding and no electronics for a month is ok but maybe if he shows true regret and behaves impeccably he can earn back some of his privileges.
I would involve your ex. If you can. Hopefully, he will be equally horrified even if he is lax with discipline generally

You need to talk to him and let him tell you why he did it and how he is going to make sure it doesn't happen again. He needs to try and understand it himself.

Involving his martial arts Instuctor is also a good idea.

Another idea would be for him to have a bit of counselling . I know that is a bit of a MN cliche suggestion but I think it's a really serious situation.

Might his school also have someone who can help ( I have no idea?)

I know you must feel really worried but it isn't a hopeless situation, your son can still 'come good' . I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.


RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 18:41:12

Ive calmed a fair bit now. I made dinner for DCs and ran a bath for Ds1. Called him down to bath while dinner was cooking which he did and got his pjs on. He ate and then i told him to go to bed. He brushed his teeth then came and apologised again, he was very sincere. So i said, "i am glad you feel sorry. Go to bed and i will speak to you about this properly tomorrow."

I will involve his dad. He is due to stay there this weekend so i will attempt to get his dad to uphold the grounding and playstation ban at his house.

I am really strict with his playstation games. The oldest age rating he has here is age 12 but (and i have rowed with his dad before over it) they have those horrible cage fighting ones at his dads and at one point they were playing red dead redemption and call of duty there.

Younger Ds has a behavioural therapist due to anger issues. He is awaiting assessment for autism and ADD currently. I will chat to her and see if there is any support available for older DS. We do anger management strategies for younger DS that i can try with Ds1. Funnily enough i dont even allow DS2 to use the "scream into a cushion" or "punch a cushion" strategies because i dont want to create a habit of anger having to result in either screaming or punching something. We do deep breathing "smell the birthday cake, blow out the candles" and also to take some quiet time to yourself until you feel calm and ready to speak respectfully. These are the methods used in school too.

I will ground for a month and reassess at the end of the month. He will be told this. That if he has shown any signs of aggression then his grounding will remain until i am satisfied he has left the behaviour behind.

Antisoc Tue 12-Jan-16 21:16:17

What do you think about writing down his punishment and your expectations and getting him to sign it. It would only be a paper exercise but getting him to agree with the punishment might help.

gamerchick Tue 12-Jan-16 21:23:34

I hope you do tell his teacher, he will come down on him like a ton of bricks. He can't use his MA outside of training and certainly not to attack his mother.

RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 21:25:02

I dont really want to give him the impression that he has any say whatsoever in his punishment. Getting him to agree doesnt feel right really. Actually i can see him not agreeing and it leading to another row between us.

RudeElf Tue 12-Jan-16 21:28:07

I'm definitely telling the sensei. The way he kicked my knee was how they kick in class. He knew exactly what he was doing for maximum impact on me. The sensii are always reminding them that qualification for the next grading is dependant on behaviour at home as well as in class.

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