My son has just turned 5 years old, we seem to be having some behavioral problems with him at the moment. the teachers are complaining at creche (twice this week) and he seems to be so "violent" all the time, like acting like punching, sword fighting and just plain "violent"
Does anyone else have this problem?
My mom in law said that we should take him to a behavioral physiologist? (does anyone know what we can expect?)
We have punished him like taken his psp away, he is not allowed to watch tv and we have also taken some of his favorite dvd's away ect, but somewhat it doesnt seem to "bother" him...
The teachers say that he is not "scared" of anyone or anything, if that makes sense.
Would love to hear from any other mommies who are going or have been though this.
What games and tv shows does he watch? Is there anywhere where he could witness violence?
Is the violent behaviour new or was he always a child with intense violent tantrums?
Violent tantrums between the age of 2 and 4 are very common and if it is not persistent I wouldn't be too worried about it. But a child of 5 is normally more apt at using words, or at least showing more signs of being able to control temper tantrums.
I am a firm believer that when a child becomes increasingly violent there is deep unmet need in the child. I believe the child is trying to communicate that he needs help in some area of his life.
I would most definitely recommend that you visit a child psychologist.
I am also not a fan of harsh punishment since I believe it doesn't teach a child to problem solve but only creates an "obedient child" that will become more sneaky with mischief.
A great read on managing behavioral problems is Lawrence Cohen - Playful parenting. This must be one of my most treasured parenting books that has truly changed the way I parent.
I love this website and suggest you browse around, here is a similliar question by another parent of a violent 5 year old:
I am sure a therapist will probably help anger management skills for your son.
If I were you I would stay clear of punishment since I am sure it makes the anger only worse and won't help to get to the root of the problem.
A great tool to check whether the games/tv shows are appropriate for your child's age is "commonsense.org". They rate and review all kinds of games/music/apps/programs for children. Really great site. Just enter in the search bar whatever you want to find a review of.
Well he likes Ben10, which i have also stopped and like spiderman, superman, iron man, typical boy movies and programs i suppose. there is some sort of violence there and visible. he has also been an "action" packed kid like always running around and "fighting" the bad guys ect, but it seems to be getting worse, he likes to use "sucker sticks" from tuck shop on fridays at creche at wolverine knives. i dont know if he is being a typical boy or if there are underlying problems. it just seems to be getting worse, the teachers say that i am going to have problems with him going to big school next year, something that i do not want. he seems to be wanting to hit and play fight alot more often than usual, we have told him not to raise his hands to other kids ect but doesnt seem to be working.
I am currently 8 months pregnant and not sure if its jealousy?
Thank you for the website's i'll def have a look into them.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! I can imagine that this must be quite stressful for you to deal with now nearing your due date. But I would urge you to make an appointment ASAP with a psychologist or play therapist before the baby is born.
And yes, I think that the fact that you are pregnant and your son is unsure how the new baby will affect you is playing a role in the violent play. The arrival of a new sibling can be very stressful for young children. A therapist will be able to help you with preparing him for that as well.
I have just quickly looked at the titles you have mentioned that he watches:
Ben10 - age 8 -9, Spiderman tv show - age 7, movies/games ages 11 - 13,
Iron man ages 11 - 16. These programs contain a lot of violence!! I think part of your problem might lie here. The common sense website has a great search option where you can search for appropriate movies/games etc just for a 5 year old. Taking away all his favourite shows I can imagine might cause more anger for a while but I think you did the right thing. But I would suggest making a lot of extra time for connecting with your child in something that he wants to do together.
I am a firm believer in encouraging "rough housing play" as a form of connection. In the book playful parenting there are quite a few chapters on that. Basically it encourages physical play fighting for children to have a safe outlet for aggressive feelings and the opportunity to master the feeling of feeling powerful. Children love to experiment with feeling of power. This is normal and healthy but a parent must guide a child in healthy games that encourages the child to feel in control when experimenting with power opposed to a child that is scared of having feelings of power.
There are rules when roughhousing and all must agree that when someone shouts "time-out" all parties must stop right away. The idea is not to hurt each other (allthough it might happen by accident and that is when a time-out is called) but to safely let out aggressive feelings and letting the child feel powerful. Pillow fights are a great example. Playing games of chasing is also great and letting your child win in a humorous way will build strong connection. I can imagine that being highly pregnant that you won't be able to partake much in such play, but how about an arm wrestle? Perhaps your husband can do the roughhousing play for now. When your child decapitates you with his sword practice playing very elaborate dying sounds and expressions. It will get your son laughing!! Perhaps watch some bad B-grade movies where people die really dramatically!
With roughhousing I would not allow any real play toys like swords etc, but only imaginary swords etc.
Ok, i have booked the appointment for my son (27th June) I hope we can sort this out, he does seem to be a bit better this week, but havnt spoken to the teachers as of yet.
We do include him in everything like we take him to the scans (recently he came to the 4D scan - three weeks ago and this past saturday) We have even asked him to choose a teddy for his sisters room. He was proud when we were walking out the shop and telling everyone who this teddy is for.
I just wanted to add that I had a similar problem recently with my 2.5 year old. She just became sooooo violent at home - only with her dad and I and with her cousins. She has always been very good with sharing and all of a sudden no-one was allowed to touch any of her things. She was different in the sense that when I spoke to the teacher, she said she was the complete opposite at school - completely withdrawn.
I took her out of school for a week and went to see a clinical psychologist. Turns out she was being bullied at school and hence the acting out at home. We have now, on the advise of the psychologist, removed her from school and rather sending her to toptots twice a week with my mom or myself where she can regain her confidence.
So just wanted to re-iterate that children do act out when they are trying to "tell us something" so always good to try and find the root cause.