My son who just turned 5 last month is very violent. His 7 year sister is literally petrified of him. As am I. When he gets mad he will bite, pinch, slap, punch, and even kick with all his strength. He has even bit me so hard that he drew blood. I have tried everything. Time out does not work. He refuses to stay there. Spanking just makes him even more violent. I have taken things away from him and even tried the rewards theory. Nothing works. Here is the kicker. He is only like this with certain people. At school he is an angel. I am at wits end with him. I have run out of ideas on how to control him. I have seen a medical doctor for this and I have tried everything they have suggested. I need some new ideas. He can be such a loving boy. Just not as often as I would like. Please help me !!!!! I am afraid that as he gets bigger he will seriously hurt me or one of his 2 sisters. I am open to all suggestions. Thank you for your time.
It sounds like you have your hands full at home. The good news is that your son behaves appropriately in the out-of-home situations. This brings reason for optimism. It also indicates that there is something amisss in the parent/child interaction, and that should be the focus for some professional attention. You have tried a number of things, and I guess you've concluded that they don't work. However, it may be that the way you have implemented the tactics - for example, time out and reward systems - is the proble, not the tactics themselves.
Seek a consultation with a pediatric mental health or behavioral health professional. It's important to reach an accurate diagnosis and then to develop strategies to employ at home to manage your son's behavior.
If you want to compare your approach to time out with recommended methods, utilize the SEARCH function in this Forum and you will see other questions and answers that deal with this issue.
Sometimes, oppositional defiant disorder, which often does not respond to discipline techniques, is specific to certain environments. --only at school, or only at home. Which means the behavior doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the efforts you are making or not making. Check with a mental health or behavioral health specialist. Sometimes, it is not a matter of what you are doing wrong or right, it is something going on with the child -- a professional can help you sort this all out.
A lot of kids with behavorial problems have a deficiency in essential fatty acids, and have problems with artificial ingredients in food. When my 6 yr old son was 4 he would have out of control rages, complete with hitting, scratching, biting, kicking, spitting, throwing things, etc. We eliminated artificial dyes, flavors and preservatives from his diet. No Jello or Kool-Aid and 99% of candy. I cook from scratch and use no preprocessed foods because they are full of artificial ingredients. I also limit sugar, juices, sodas and junk food.
We also added essential fatty acids; we use a product called Efalex which has DHA, an essential fatty acid shown to improve behavorial problems. After only two weeks of doing both of these things the tantrums stopped and he became calm, obeyed, compliant, and verbalized his anger instead of acting it out.
A good book about essential fatty acids and behavior is "The LCP Solution" by Jacqueline Stordy and Malcolm Nicholl.
A good site for support and advice on behavior problems, ODD, ADHD, etc. is conductdisorders.com.
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