My son is six years old and at school and when I'm not around he is very violent to the other students. He's kicks, slaps, choke, pulls hair, has tantrums ect.. So I have put him in Karate for self dicipline and we go to Childrens Specialized Hospital for behavior therepy ever friday... NONE OF IT IS WORKING!!!! His behavior is getting worst and he's suspended every week.. I'm stressed and don't know what to do any more. Grades are excellent!!! He's a very smart boy and very social. He makes friends everywhere we go. Keeping them is the problem.. Please tell me what should I do? Because he gets punish and things taken away but that boy does not care about any of that.. He will have fun standing in a corner blinking his eyes.. Please Help!!!!
Oh goodness, that certainly is stressful! Sorry to hear about this going on.
What do you think triggers your son's outbursts? Are there particular situations that are stressors for him? What do you see in home in terms of his ability to cope and handle frustration, sadness and anger?
Does he have any diagnosis of any sort through his behavioralist or are they just working on things that you've identified as issues? I'm sure they are working on managing his emotions (called modulation) and it would be really helpful to know what strategies they are giving him to control himself when angry.
My son has sensory integration disorder and also can be volatile. He isn't typically physically violent but can have a meltdown or become very angry. We use things like a "stress thermometer" which is really helpful that I can go over with you as well as various coping strategies. It has helped tremendously.
You are very wise to get on this because while he makes friends now, this will catch up to him. Kids will not want to be around him and parents will start to say their kids aren't allowed around him if he is prone to violence and aggression. You don't want that for him.
What is his home life like by the way? Siblings, mom and dad live in one house, any volatility at home? Sometimes this kind of information helps.
So, some more details would really help.
Don't feel alone. Many many children are working on things and find kindergarten and first grade difficult transition years. Okay, two other questions---- did he have this type of temper issue prior to this school year and where does his birthday fall in the calender year?
Very good important questions by specialmom to help figure out what is going on.
Let me add one or two more. Does the "kicks, slaps, choke, pulls hair," thing happen only during the tantrums or do they happen during normal play activities? Also, how long do the tantrums last? And yes, does he have any brothers or sisters and if so - how old are they?
Thank you for responding to my post... He is really defensive I think.. He has this way of if you do something to him, he's going to do something to you. I have a 7 year old daughter. they fight like normal siblings, like, don't touch my stuff... They do get along, but when he start to get on "her nerves" thats when the pushing and shoving starts.. They also "play fight".. like they are super heroes or something.. then they get serious and I have to break it up.. I don't really know about him having any stressors, but he does get upset when he tells me something and I don't believe him.. He lies a lot and beats around the bush... He's suppose to get an evaluation this summer from his school.. Dad is not around!!!!!
Okay. Well an evaluation may be very helpful here. I would, next school year, ask the teacher to kind of keep track as to when she notices him becoming upset/mad/frustrated. What happens before the outburst. And you start really trying to pay attention to that as well.
I do know that two kids close in age can be chaotic. I have two boys that are 8 and 7 and yes, they are difficult to keep from arguing/fighting and things that were play turn into a fighting match, ugh. But, I don't allow any physical stuff. That is an automatic time out and loss of privileges. Do you institute any rules like that? I would have them pretend fight when playing super heroes rather than actually touching each other.
And as far as his volatility and the physical reactions he is having, I'd start working on proper expression of emotions. There are many books out there written for kids describing various emotions especially when angry. My son described a bad mood as a storm cloud for a long time and a temper outburst as a tornado. Sometimes he'd say there is a storm cloud and I don't want there to be a tornado. I'd know that was his way of telling me that we needed to change what was going on at that time-- the game, what his brother or friend was doing/he was doing, etc. So, go to your local library and go to the emotions section and for the big price of free, you'll find lots of resources to help with your son's expression of his emotions. Practice talking about it with him. Talk about how you are feeling . . . Ugh. I can't find my car keys. That makes me mad. I get mad at myself for not putting them where they should be. Mad at the keys. It makes me feel frustrated and worried that I won't find them. Keep dialogue about emotions going.
Then talk about WHAT he can do when he is mad/upset. Act out or just talk about various choices. He can use his words, he can walk away (my sons have both been doing this . . . they say not another word to the irritating brother/friend and just hold up a finger (to indicate, give me a minute) and they walk away for a couple of seconds. Take deep breaths and then return with a new plan. Better than shouting or getting angry at someone. Your son can have a cool down spot to go to that no one bothers him. (even at school he can have this). He can square breath (breath in for 4, hold 4, breath out for 4, hold 4, repeat), he can count, he can open and close his fist tightly. All appropriate ways to handle anger.
Then you can talk about what he can't do. Hitting is top of the list as well as the other things that have been going on, A good book is "hands are not for hitting". He'll be able to understand the message from that book. I would have firm boundaries and consequences in place. I step in and remove my child from any situation (no matter how complicated and disruptive to our plan it is) that something like a push happens. I'd leave a friends house if it ihappens there, I'd have him go to his room while others stay and play in your backyard, etc It just is not tolerated.
At school, ask them what discipline measures they will have in place besides just calling you. A reward system is institutded for routine offenders and a loss of privilege is also often in the plan. Don't let them take away recess though as this is important for kids to be able to have a physical outlet for energy and frustration during the day.
What are the evaluating him for? Is it a general evaluation or something specific?
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