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5yo aggression, at my wits end(2 Posts)
I'm at my wits end with my 5yo DS's aggressive tantrums. I'm a single mum of 3, their dad has them every second weekend but otherwise he's not involved. I work full time too. DS1 is 10 and has always been a really placid boy, I did the naughty spot with him and it worked really well. My 4yo DD is easy going as well. With DS2 though, nothing seems to be working. He's always been a really sensitive and emotional child. Really energetic and full on. He's the sweetest, kindest boy most of the time and really affectionate, happily chats away to people, but he always demands more of my attention than the other two. We love our cuddle time and we're really close and out of the three of them he seems to need more affection and attention than the other two. I've always put it down to his personality, he's just more spirited than most kids. He's always been difficult about things getting himself dressed, putting on his shoes..he's well able to do it and does it for others, but 9/10 times when I ask him he's always reluctant, wants me to do it for him and always gets stroppy. I put that down to me working full time and only having the attention of 1 parent divided between 3 kids when I am home, so I think his refusal to do these things is just his way of looking for some one on one time with me..so I don't mind doing it. He's always been fine in nursery and school, apart from a phase of hitting other kids in nursery when he was 3 or so that lasted a couple of weeks. I've checked with his school to see if they've had any problems with his behaviour but they've said he's been fine apart from rough playing in the yard. They stressed it's never an aggression thing, but literally because he's a really big lad and because he's boisterous by nature he can sometimes play too roughly but nothing out of the ordinary. He's always had tantrums, probably more than most kids, and I've always done the naughty spot when he's kicked off, which seemed to work to some extent. However in the last 6 months or so his tantrums have escalated. Now around once a week he's hitting/punching/kicking me, throwing things, screaming, trying to break things when he has a tantrum. It's only ever been me who he does this to, never his dad or in school. Anything could set him off, as I said he's always been sensitive and reacts really emotionally when things don't go his way but now he has a full on meltdown at least once a week. He frequently tells me he wants to kill me, or kill other people when he's upset. His tantrums got worse and more frequent last month, so I decided to change tact... instead of punishing behaviour during tantrums I decided to ignore it completely and put him in his room when he had a meltdown and told him he wasn't to come back out until he calmed down. I talk to him a lot about deep breaths and counting to ten when he's really angry but he forgets it all in the moment, and I know that's down to his age. We have a star chart, he gets a star for each day that he's good and doesn't have a meltdown. I abandoned the naughty spot to minimise punishments, and brought in a 3 strike system instead - he gets 3 strikes a day and if he uses up his strikes then he doesn't get his after dinner treat (usually something like a biscuit or a lollipop), and he doesn't get his star. I thought this was working really well, I hadn't seen a tantrum in over a week and generally his behaviour seems much calmer and better. But this morning my childminder told me on the way to school he had a meltdown, punched and bit her and screamed at her to "shut up". This is the first time he's been like this with someone else. I should stress that this childminder just started last week, and she's still settling in so I know that the change in childminder will probably have unsettled him and probably explains his meltdown. But I'm still concerned. His teacher has said there's no issues and she doesn't suspect any ADHD-type issues, he can sometimes be impulsive but he has no problems with his school work, his behaviour is fine and he has no issues concentrating on his work. Am I overreacting to these type of tantrums? I honestly can't decide if I'm making it worse by reacting too much or not reacting enough, or am I making a big deal of something that's normal? It's really stressing me out and not sure if I'm handling it the right way. I'm trying not to react and really trying not to get cross and lose my temper but when my 5yo is screaming at me that he wants to kill me, punching me and biting me, it's really hard not to get cross! Is it just a phase he's going to grow out of? Right now I really need to hear someone tell me this is normal and he'll grow out of it! Sorry for the long rambling post btw!
No advice I’m afraid as my little boy only 3 .... but you are certainly not alone! I’ve just posted about something really similar - biting, kicking and violence against me. My little one does this multiple times a day to me. It’s heart breaking and I feel pretty awful most of the time ... big hugs your way x
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