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9 yr old w/behavior issues
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9 yr old w/behavior issues

I'm on the web doing research for ADHD or something that can help me decide if my son needs help from a professional.  He just turned 9 - he is a great student at times hard on himself if he doesn't do well - will punch himself in the face or pull out his hair if I tell him he has the wrong answer while doing homework.  He fights with his 5 yr old brother all the time and will just hit him for no reason.  

Yesterday he walked to meet me at the school yard (my kids are in 2 dif schools).  He walked with another boy & girl.  I saw him push the little girl on the ground. I called him over to address the situation & instead of coming ran around like I didn't exist and hiding behind a tree.  When I finally got there I said go apologize to her now...he walked to her said sorry & her answer was he's mean and does it all the time.  In that moment I felt heartbroken of how such a handsome young man can possibly be looked at as a bully.  He then asked to go to the other side of the bldg with his friend - I said no because of what just happend.  He proceeds to scream that I'm an iddiott for all the other parents to hear.  I was very embarrassed and told him he was punished.

We finally made it home - I put him in his room.  He just turned 9 so I took away his new Guinea pig.  Told him to stay in his & do homework there and he can come out for dinner.  When my husband got home he punished him for a month - no baseball, soccer, tv or DS.  I think a month is harsh.

Last week he was mad at me on Friday & I did go to smack him and before I could do so he slapped me across the face.  He knew last week I was upset with him yet is continuing to misbehave.

Do I call his peditrician to see what help she can give or should he speak to someone outside the house.  I feel he has anger issues.


8 Comments Post a Comment
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134578_tn?1404951303
Is the smacking (by you) something that has happened a lot, or was that a one-time deal?  If hitting is a way that stress is manifested in the family, he might not have anything like ADHD, he might just have a learned reaction.

Please see a children's therapist or school counselor or a family counselor.  Explain the situation and ask what direction to go.  My guess is that it's an all-family situation, and will take an all-family solution.

Good luck, sweetheart.
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535822_tn?1417529476
He has learned some of the behavior from you, if you hit he will ,children learn from us . so I would stop that immediately ..Removing privileges works better at this age ..Is he jealous of his brother does he his brother getting attention he doesnt get?
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there.  yes, I'd call the pediatrician.  He does seem to be having a hard time.  

He has perhaps some anxiety.  The pulling out of his hair and hitting himself indicate that.  He could just be afraid of failure and have low self esteem which you would want to address or his nervous system could be out of sync and he is seeking input to calm itself.  Impact is input.

My son has sensory issues---  he is prone to playing too rough, getting carried away, lacking filter with words and actions, impulse control issues, over the top anger at times and then a fight or flight response (running behind a tree).  

I would talk to the pediatrician.  Perhaps he would do well working with a psychologist (pediatric) that would help him with handling anxiety, frustration, anger but especially the anxiety as that may be the root cause.

You can then talk to the pediatrician if he/she thinks anything neurological is going on.  If so, the appropriate professional to address it is key.  We attend occupational therapy which helps with behavioral issues, social skills training, and self soothing techniques.  Very helpful for my son with sensory integration disorder.  

I will say that staying calm yourself is really important.  Being a good role model as well.  When he slapped you across the face--  what was his punishment?  Your follow up is critical at that point.  Is his dad involved??  

good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
  Your son has many classic signs of ADHD.  Doesn't mean that is what he has, but it certainly is worth looking at.  I will give you a good site to check out a bit later.
   The anxiety, frustration, anger are typical of someone who has ADHD, and doesn't know or understand why people are always on their case.  As a school principal I would watch kids on the playground hit, slap, push other children and when asked about it - really (honestly) weren't aware they had done it.  This kids were ADHD who reacted without thinking (no filters).  Typically, they had one or two close friends and the rest of the kids stayed away from them.
    It sounds like your son is quite intelligent.  Intelligent kids with ADHD can go a ways through school before they start to have problems.  I have found that its about 4th grade and usually math that they start to have problems.   And, of course, there are some kids who are so smart that they literally can coast all the way through till college.   Anyway, I would have a talk with his teachers to see if he shows any of the classic symptoms.   Last year's teachers might be a better place to start since they would have had more time with him.     I have several good sites for ADHD information, but I would start here - http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK1.   This will give you a pretty good list of symptoms.
   I am also the CL on the ADHD website here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175  and if you want more information or have other questions you can easily reach me there.
    And I think that if this information does sound possible to you - it might be a good idea to ask your pediatrician for a referral to either a psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD so you can get the best help.
    A quick comment on your question about a months punishment being harsh.  Punishment is usually done as a way to change behavior.  For someones behavior to change the way to do it is with immediate and age appropriate action.   And, of course, consistency is also very important.
While a months punishment might work for a child in high school, it really is not effective for a child of this age.  Not only that - what if he screws up again?  What are you going to do?  Put him on bread and water?  
   But more importantly, if he does have ADHD this form or behavioral change will never work - and will probably make things worse.  Kids with ADHD need behavioral change.  It is as important or more important then medication.    If you do think he might have ADHD, I suggest you get the book -    "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.   She has lots of good ways to change behavior as well as ways to help in school etc.   Another good book is Love and Logic by Fay and Cline for behavioral change - although you would have to tweak it a bit if he does have ADHD.
     And by the way, I get the sense that both you and your husband are frustrated by whats going on and that is beginning to effect your decisions.  So its definitely time to get some answers!!!!
     I will monitor both this site and the ADHD site if you have any more questions.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
No the smacking doesn't happen a lot but yet I do slap his behind if he's fresh.  Never has it been anything more then that. He didn't get punished after hitting me - we spoke to him & that was it.  

I tend to be the softey that if my husband punishes him by the next day he looks at me with those big blue eyes and asks to watch TV till dad gets home and I say yes.  So I feel that is my first mistake with not following through with punishment.  

But after the incident at school on wed with pushing the little girl and him calling me an iddiott we did punish him...he's been in his room since Wednesday.  He can come out for dinner and a snack.  I took away his guinea pig, tv, wii and DS.  My husband told him he's punished for 1 month and no soccer or baseball.  I think 1 month is quite harsh for a 9 yr old & my husband agreed - right now taking it day by day.  

I do agree that it's a family issue and advised my husband that maybe counseling is best even for us as parents with how to handle him differently.  I guess as a parent I feel we all give our kids too many choices - I didn't have choices like this when I was a kid.  

My husband is very good with him and has a lot of patience.  Me on the other hand I admit that I look my temper easily & yell.  Nothing ever more then yelling but you are certainly correct with them being a product of their environment.

We have a younger son that is 5 1/2 and he does seem to be jealous of him saying he is babied more then him.  I did explain yes your 9 we expect more from you as far as respect & behavior.

Guess in the end all I want to see is him have a healthy respect for me. My company has an Employee Assistance Program & they do some free counseling so I'm going to call the # today to see what is best & maybe it should start with me and my husband.  We have a very loving family & I would hate to see me and my husband go at each other because of misbehavior.  All my friends both in my age group (39) and older just keep advising me that we have to be on the same discipline agreement for both children.  I feel we are but as a mom I want my kids to have everything so I guess I have to look at myself first.
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535822_tn?1417529476
"We have a younger son that is 5 1/2 and he does seem to be jealous of him saying he is babied more then him.  I did explain yes your 9 we expect more from you as far as respect & behavior.' your words...
I believe that all children should receive same attention where possible ,the answer to his behavior may be as simple as that  he feels left out and from what I have picked up ...its all about punishment.. how about focusing on his positive side and praise him when he does something right ...
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134578_tn?1404951303
You mention yelling; we find in our household that tone of voice makes a HUGE difference in our kid's stress level.  He even picks up a tense voice or a raised voice between me and my husband.  A kid who feels tension at home will not be a relaxed kid at school, he'll be acting it out.  My husband and I have made some agreements lately that we (in our case it is mostly him) will not yell as a first response, and we have even agreed that even if we are a bit mad at each other, unless it's important, we will pretend to be happy and enthusiastic when we are together with our son.  Sometimes the stuff we're mad about is stupid stuff anyway, so what is the big deal about a little forced cheerfulness, and it makes our son very happy.  

Good luck with your counseling.  Kids are like little radio receptors, they get ALL the channels coming through the air and blurp them right out.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Just want to re-emphasize that you discipline a child with ADHD very differently then a child who does not have it.  So figuring out if this is a possibility is very important because it does change the whole behavioral modification approach.  But, yes, consistency by both parents is extremely important.
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