Child Behavior Expert Forum
At a Loss
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At a Loss

Please help?  My 5-year old is having problems I don’t understand.  His father and I were never married and separated when he was a year old, after our relationship got abusive.  He lived with me for 2 years, and then lived with his father for 2 years.  He moved back in with me and I got married.  I now have another child, 10 months old, and am pregnant again.  While he was living with his father, his uncle, who is 8, beat him up. He has seen violent and sexual movies with his father. (Transformers 2)  For a while he was wetting himself for no apparent reason, and had nothing to say about why except “I don’t know.”  He stopped wetting himself when we had to leave early from a family party because we didn’t have a change of clothes.  Now he’s gotten violent, he has been hitting his brother, we caught him attempting to stab his brother in the neck with his brother’s bottle, repeatedly, and yesterday he hit his brother’s head against an end table repeatedly.  When we asked him why, he said he wanted to kill his brother.  I am so scared to leave them alone together.  He doesn’t show this sort of behavior with other children.  Is he jealous?  We’re planning on taking him to therapy but we are so in the dark about why he’s doing this.  Is this my fault?  Is he acting out for attention?  We have tried timeouts, talking to him, spankings, and taking things away.  Nothing is working.  Will therapy?
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You are doing the correct thing by getting help for him. He is showing signs of emotional disturbance. Now, at the time I imagine you thought you were doing what was best for him. But the situation he underwent during his early years is a formula for emotional disturbance. He has not had the benefit of a stable, consistent, unstressful home situation and you are now seeing the results of that early upbringing.
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Thank you, and thank you for your prompt reply.
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