My 7 (almost 8) year old son has recently gone from saying "I'm stupid. I hate myself" to "I hate everything about myself. I want to kill myself. I don't deserve to live."
Every time he gets mad at me he will hit himself in the head or scratch his body up. If he said he hates me or his dad or our family, I know that is normal, but the anger is always turned on himself. We live in an intact family setting- I am at home and my husband works outside the home. We are very confused about this behavior.
Our first counseling appointment is two weeks away. In the meantime, EXACTLY WHAT DO WE SAY & DO WHEN:
1. He starts hitting himself & scratching himself
2. He says "I want to kill/hurt myself."
3. He says "I don't deserve to do...(whatever we are doing that is fun- going to the park, movie, etc.) and hides.
4. He is rude and nasty to his two younger brothers
ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED UNTIL WE ARE ABLE TO START SEEING A COUNSELOR.
Comments about his lack of deservedness do not require a response - simply carry on with whatever you are planning. The same can be said in general of his statements about killing or hurting himself, though it can be useful some of the time to either (a) make a reflective sort of remark, such as: You must be very unhappy/upset, or (b) express curiosity about his statement (e.g., What would happen if you did that? How come that would help?). In general, though, when children make such remarks in moments or emotional reactivity, it's better not to respond because they cannot 'hear' the response in a rational manner. If he acts unreasonably to his brothers, employ discipline - e.g., give him a 'warning' to stop the rudeness or mistreatment, and if he fails to do so place him in time out. For the most part, you needn't intervene if he hits or scratches himself, beacuse this will promote an unhealthy sort of interaction. Only if he's posing a threat to himself should you restrain him from doing it. You are also doing the sensible thing by planning to talk this over with a clinician.
My son is 6 and is currently on Risperdal for Bipolar. He too says "I'm stupid" "I'm Ugly""I hate myself". His counselor tells me to do things with him that he likes and enjoys. He loves arts/crafts and we make sure we have enough supplies in the house to keep him busy. His older brother teaches him origami which he loves to do also. The next thing she told me to do was to spend 15 minutes of floor time with him each day. Just get down to his level and color, read stories, play games, talk whatever.
When you see your therapist ask about books you can buy to help with disipline matters, building self-esteem, etc.
How can you tell if a child is Bipolar?Our grandson has ADHD but the last two months, besides being so angry and aggressive, then he has low self esteem,but most of all,he's been talking to his grandfather(who is deceased) he says there are people standing at the door and no one is there.We've had him Dr. to Dr and Medication after medication. nothing seems to help the little fellow.Please give me your advice.Thanks Debbie
I just reread the DR'S reply: If a child hits or scratches themselves do not intervene unless they are posing a threat. Isn't that (hitting/scratching)posing a threat?
Second, I forgot to mention that Risperdal is an anti-psychotic medication that is used for schitzophrenia( Though my son is not). It helps with Rages, Nightmares, Hearing Voices.
Bipolar Children are often mistaked for ADHD. Or as in my son he is Bipolar, ADHD, ODD(Oppositional) Are you saying that your grandchild "sees" people are does he hear voices? (How long has it been since Grandfather's decease? He may be just missing him.) I'd like to hear from the Good Doctor here if this applies to Bipolar or Schitzophrenia. I do know that "hearing voices" is somewhat common in Bipolar.
Bipolar symptoms in my son included Mental Family History. This is very important. If anyone in family (Parents, cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents) have any mental issues than this is something to tell a psychiatrist about. Any threats about killing self, desire to go to heaven should be taken seriously. You may want to check out the Library for The Bipolar Child by Demitri Papolas. A very good book. My son goes off in Rages (major TemperTanrums lasting hours) when saying NO or just not giving in.
I don't believe in labeling childrens behavior. It is a cop-out.And I don't believe in giving them drugs...ie Bi-polar, etc..
Kids need love, assurance, attention and even discipline.
There are other ways of dealing with some of these problems that come up. Running to a DR. for quick fix drug is not the answer.
Long walks and talking with the children will do more good than anything else.
Especially if you don't judge and ask the right questions.
Kids are people, not possessions.
I have a 7 year old Granddaughter that just started to wet the bed. I believe she is doing this because she feels her Mom does not love her. Mom has turned custody over to the Day 9 days out of 14. I think I probably would do more than just wet the bed.
I am open for advice and comment.
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