I read the question from K submitted concerning her nephew who is diagnosed with ADHD. I have a similar problem with a relative's child who I watch after school. He is nine and needs to be monitored constantly. If he is allowed on the computer or to play video games, he will sit quietly for hours. If he is not doing that, however, I can be sure that one of my younger (4 year old and 9 month old) children will be injured by him. He will wait until my back is turned and trip them, knock them down, hit them with an object, etc., and then claim it was an accident. I have alerted the parents when it happens, and they have witnessed it, but always accept his claim to it being accidental. I have also witnessed him being cruel to animals, and my dog, who likes everyone, growls at him, which makes me feel he did something to her that I am not aware of. I know he is spoiled and not expected by his parents to be as mature as his age would dictate, but I worry that there is something more than poor parenting going on. I now keep him away from my children as much as possible, but that is not a solution to his problem.
I agree that there is reason to worry about this boy. There may well be inadequate limit-setting from his parents, but in and of itself this does not usually result in the sorts of gratuitous aggression that you describe. The symptoms themselves can be typical of several emotional disorders (e.g., Conduct Disorder, Mood Disorder), but one way or the other they warrant specialized intervention.
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