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Bit freaked out

(11 Posts)

My DS 4yo today said rather angrily that he didn't want a brain anymore because it made him think bad things!!!!!
He told me that he was thinking about someone shooting me and people shooting people.
I tried to play it down (while inside i'm not so calm) and tell him to think about nice things instead, like mummy and daddy and gran loving him and giving him cuddles and telling him he's clever or that we love him., Or think about his pets. He said he can't think about those things because his head won't let him and if he thinks about his guinea pigs his brain thinks about bad things. I confirmed that he didn't want to do bad things to the animals or me or other people and that he didn't want bad things to happen them. He said he didn't.

As I type he's in his room (where he'd put down for the night) talking to his grandmother about some other thoughts he's had that he doesn't want to have. This time seems to be about a tv programme that he rarely watches and someone in it having nipples. He said there was more but he didn't want to tell me (i don't know why, i promised i wouldn't be angry at him). He said he didn't want to tell me. So I asked if he wanted to tell my mum and he eventually said yes. To be honest, i'm glad because what i'm thinking he's thinking is probably worse than what he actually is.

Sorry to go on, but I'm a bit freaked out. We've had a bad couple of days with little whinge tantrums and the attitude of a teenager but he was beign really good today until started hitting himself in the head and saying his brain was making him think bad things.

Please tell me if this is normal. And if it's not please tell me what me to do. He starts school on monday and i'd hate him to have some sort of emotional issues. I do my best with him but he's v sensitive and I could probably be more consistent with him and now i'm petrified i've f**ked him up.

Please help, i don't know what to do.

forkhandles Wed 09-Sep-09 20:48:55

I doubt it's going to be anything that you have done to him, so don't be too hard on yourself. It sounds like he's worried about something he's seen, like you say maybe on the TV, or something he's overheard - maybe some older boys talking. Maybe it's scared him and he's not sure what to think about it. Do you think he's stressed about starting school, or something else, and this might be how it's showing up?

helenruth Thu 10-Sep-09 14:03:25

I think you've done the right thing playing the situation down and not paying to much attention on what he has said. Could it be a mixture of anxiety about starting school and something he has overheard or seen on tv. If you continue to be concerned I found the school nurse to be very helpful especially helping my son handle his emotions.

LadyGooGoo Thu 10-Sep-09 14:15:16

Probably different, but when I was younger, I'd fixate on things and be unable to think of other subjects (big one was of a hand turning a door knob - and never knowing what was on other side, sounds like nothing, but i found it v. scary). The only solution I had at time was to imagine my head was a tv and that I could turn onto different stations, if the "tv" flicked back I'd just look through some more channels!

Would like to add that have turned out normal, never watched horror films and didn't have traumatic childhood.

Think it can be hard for a child with a big imagination because you can see so many possibilites and not always have the reason to understand the likelyhood of them happening.

HTH

Roomfor2 Thu 10-Sep-09 14:23:24

I remember at a similar age suddenly reaslising that one day my parents are going to die and how final that is and how hideous, and I was inconsolable about it! Maybe he is just starting to understand some new things about the world (that sometimes bad things happen to people) and is trying to process them.

thedolly Thu 10-Sep-09 14:26:54

My DS was like this at about the same age. He needs a strategy to deal with the unwanted thoughts. Our 'strategy' was for DS to imagine being a stowaway on a pirate ship - he would befriend the ship's dog etc and eat the pirates food (the story would get more and more complex as he added to it each time he had 'unwanted' thoughts).

It is perfectly normal to have unwanted thoughts and at this age it is hard to know what to do with them.

You can reassure him that it is a side effect of having a fantastic imagination/brain.

I also found it distressing/freaky at the time but made sure to put a brave face on.

nickschick Thu 10-Sep-09 15:49:20

I think your son is just developing his conscience,hes learning right from wrong and things that are socially acceptable.

The way to work through this is to let him talk about it and guide him to appropriate behaviour.

mathanxiety Thu 10-Sep-09 15:59:34

Has he ever watched the news? I thought I had limited tv pretty well but I never thought the news would upset them. This is the age when they begin to realise that there's life and death, they have an inkling of the real world where there is often violence, disasters, and certainly death, but they are also sorting out where exactly they fit in, trying to gain the right perspective. My DS used to have similar worries/ thoughts, and by accident I found he loved the idea of being a fireman or policeman (we read several books featuring firemen and his school visited the fire station) so he used to go off putting out fires and rescuing cats dogs, goldfish, grannies, children etc., several times a day.

crankytwanky Sun 13-Sep-09 20:32:53

I second Math's theory about the news. Do you have the radio on in the background? I recently heard the killer of Baby P used to pull the legs off guinea pigs. He may have heard something similar. I think children absorb a lot more than we think.
I hope your wee lad is ok smile.

womblemeister Sun 13-Sep-09 21:18:25

My DS is also 4 and also comes out with similar things, ever since he found out what a brain was. A frequent reply when asked why he did something wrong e.g. why did you hit your sister, throw that toy etc., is "My brain made me do it". (BTW he hardly ever hits anyone or throws things).
Current fave: "When are you going to heaven Mummy?" shock and yesterday "I want a new family" after being put on naughty step for not eating lunch. But at school they think the sun shines out of his proverbial... go figure.

Just be glad he's intelligent and sensitive, hard to find blokes with both these qualities, no?

springerspaniel Wed 16-Sep-09 19:00:29

My 4 year old asked me who would look after him if mummy and daddy died.

Clearly had worried him a bit. He was happy after I gave him a few options (Andrew's mummy, granny, etc.)

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