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My son keeps threatning to self harm he's only 5 !!!!! Help!

(6 Posts)
demonpants Wed 30-Sep-09 09:21:48

My son who is usually a very sweet and innocent little lad has just recently started to ask if he can go and hurt himself. It always happens when he's a bit tired and something isnt going his way like he hasnt got another sweetie or something basic then he'll look at me with a very strang face and say 'I want to go and hurt myself, can I mummy please?' If I ignore him he will keep asking if I say dont be silly he will wander off and sulk but the other day I got so fed up I said well go and do it outside because I think you're being a bit daft and he went outside and started bumping his head against the wall! then yesterday when he didnt get an ice lolly from the shop he suddenly announced that he wants to kill himself, this I cant deal with. Is he attention seeking? should he know about this at this age? none of his friends mums have heard their kids come out with this sad

cory Wed 30-Sep-09 09:29:46

My ds went through a similar stage, but it was after something really bad and upsetting had happened.

What I would do would be to tell him: "yes, it can feel like that when we're upset, but I'll show you a better way of getting rid of the bad feelings without hurting my boy because I love you"- and then show him how to beat up a punch bag or the bed clothes or something. Or draw a picture about how he feels.

demonpants Wed 30-Sep-09 09:39:11

Thanks, I'll give that a try. Im normally quite diplomatic about these things but this time Im lost. My husband and I seperated last year and we tried to make it work again last month but unfortunately my husband didnt want it as much as we did and so we're seperated again although we're still close friends and the kids see a lot of him I think hte upheaval may have upset him more than I gave him credit for. Is your little boy out of it now? did it take long or was there a pattern to it? sorry for all the questions its just really upsetting!

cory Wed 30-Sep-09 09:51:47

I'll give you the story. Ds was about 5 or 6 when he found out by accident that his beloved swimming instructor had just been murdered by her boyfriend. It was a terrible shock to him and all the more so because he was not able to speak about it in a family setting, for the sake of younger relatives. We worked out a special password that he could say when he needed me to take him to one side to talk.

This was about 3 years ago. It wore off after a few months. I would imagine something like your situation might take longer, because your ds is going to be more continuously reminded of your separation, if that is what has upset him.

The good news, from my end, is that ds, who is now 9, has just been going a very upsetting year again: his friend's mum died in the spring and ds himself was diagnosed with a condition that he knows may lead to permanent disability- yet he has not gone back to self-harming. He has been angry and rude and defiant, but he has not gone back to hurting himself. So at least in his case, this was a one off, rather than a sign of permanent problems.

demonpants Wed 30-Sep-09 10:01:52

Oh the poor lad, thats terrible. Its a good sign that after all of this years shocks he's learning to deal with his anger outwardly now and not take it out on himself though. I'll try to be a lot more sympathetic with my boy and use the tricks you've suggested. Hopefully that'll help. My fear was if he's like this now what is going to happen when he gets to his teenage years! Thanks for your help you've been a star, I hope your DS is ok and manages to get through his troubles x

pranma Wed 30-Sep-09 17:19:01

When my ds went through this many years ago[because of bullying]we went out and bought a huge floor cushion from Ikea and he used to punch it or throw it or even 'stab'it with a plastic sword.We used to call it Mr Nasto and it represented all his horrid feelings about himself and others'Eventually it went to university with him and graduated into a ......floor cushion!

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