Punishment for an unpunishable 6 year old

Elizabeth - posted on 10/13/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old son is becoming very aggressive and violent at school. He is also becoming belligerent, disobedient, cocky, and rude at home. My husband and I have tried everything from time outs to swats. We have gone so far as to take all of his toys away and hide them in the attic where he can't find them. Nothing seems to be working. What can I do now?

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Elizabeth - posted on 10/22/2013

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Thank you Shannon for the advice. I am hoping to be able to buy both The 5 Languages of Love and The Nurtured Heart Approach on our next paycheck. Hopefully this will help me and my husband try to at least understand somewhat how our son is feeling and why he is acting out.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/22/2013

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Xander is EXTREMELY smart for his age. He is actually still in Kindergarten. We had him held back. The only reason we did that was because he was the youngest kid in his class last year because of his July birthday. He BARELY met the deadline for school. So he did excellent on the assessments that his teacher gave out, but was constantly in trouble. Although not like this year. Last year it was mostly talking out when not supposed to. Spitting on other kids and school property. Getting bored and poking holes in things that didn't belong to him with his pencil. Scribbling instead of trying to color. All of these things have had great progress with this second year of kindergarten. As far as we know he has no learning disabilities. However, once he turns seven his pediatrician is going to test him for ADHD since it runs in the family. My son's father has it, and so does his grandmother.

Carla - posted on 10/18/2013

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Has he been tested for learning disabilities? I'm thinking he's six and maybe just started first grade. My kids all have special needs and the only time they ever give me a hard time is when things are getting stressful at school. Now the minute I can see them getting grumpy Iask them if they are having a hard time with school. Just a thought. Both my boys when they get stressed they get angr and mouthy, my daughter not so much.

Shannon - posted on 10/18/2013

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Please get the book 'The Nurtured Heart Approach' by Howard Glasser. Specifically designed to help parents of defiant children when nothing else works.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/17/2013

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Not really. He bullies the other kids and some bully him back. It's kind of like a get what you give with that situation.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/17/2013

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We had already thought of that. But, I am glad to know that we are not the only parents believing in doing this.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/17/2013

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Thank you for your response Bree anna. I will be looking into buying that book you mentioned, and see if it helps any :).

Sara - posted on 10/16/2013

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Also look into legal possibilities of removing access completely from his mom. Talk to a lawyer and have a counselor probe him for hints of being hurt by them. If there is a problem that makes the kid this violent then they will remove access. If he clams up or acts out worse the next time he sees them then its time to save him from the bad parent

Sara - posted on 10/16/2013

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Ok I can very much relate and offer some advice that has worked for us. I have a 5 year old stepson with a mom that's all about herself and rarely sees the kids or talks to them. Constantly breaking promises. So the kids have that emotional issue that needs talked about. I approach it by asking what she does that makes him feel bad. He won't open at first but sometimes just sitting there and rewording helps. Pushing does not. I will ask if he is sad because he got hurt and he will finally open up about it. They need help finding answers and words. Then he also was violent in school and at home. Started with verbal violence and threats, then escalted to him punching his 3 year old sister in the nose. We tried it all from the extreme calm nice approach to a butt whooping. Finally we explained to him when people hurt other people they go to jail and lose their family. So he went to jail for a day. Home version. He had to sit on the couch and watch everyone else play. Couldn't talk or play with anyone, had to eat alone, and ask to use the restroom. It is extreme but we were desperate. Well believe it or not it works. Consistent not giving in and tough love. We didn'tyell it in his face. Calmly explained it on his level and told him you do a crime then you have to do time. My sons scars from his mom is mental however not physical. I come from an abusive ex too. Stay strong. I know it is hard. But also, too much counselors will make him feel like there is something wrong with him and that will cause him to act out. I homeschool now because I saw the public school want helping his violence or his brother's education. If you can please try it. Changed the violence because he wasn't around violent kids anymore. It has made it very hard but it was vital to my kids well being. I am a mom of 4, going on 5 and they are 9,5,3,&1. So I do know what I'm saying out of experience. Not being rudeat all. I just look for help myself from people who have gone through what i have. Wanted to clarify validity of experience.

Breeanna - posted on 10/15/2013

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My first suggestion is read the book "The 5 love languages for Kids" Its life changing. My second suggestion, and I mean this seriously, PRAY OVER HIM. Secrets are fine and normal but if its a dark scary secret he doesn't want to talk about you NEED to claim that child as Christ's. He could very well be a potential host to a demon. I might sound crazy but both of these things have worked first hand for me. That's my experience. Most kids act out because they don't feel loved. The book will help you identify how to show him you love him because we all have different ways we hear and feel love besides just the words, and if you don't feel comfortable doing the prayer yourself I know any open Bible church would gladly pray over him for you. Good luck!! ♥

Elizabeth - posted on 10/13/2013

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Dove thank you for your response. Xander is in counseling, and has been for going on two years now. And myself, his father, and his father's mother, along with my mother have all tried asking him what's going on to make him do these things. He will only say that these kids make him angry. And then the "bad dark secret" thing comes out without him actually ever telling us what exactly it is.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/13/2013

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My son goes to counseling once a week every week while he is in our custoday. My husband and I have full custoday of him. His mother and her husband only have vistation rights during summer breaks, Christmas, and Easter. Xander's mother is not the brightest crayon in the box, and does not believe in counseling or medicating or anything like that. So at this point we have not felt the need to tell her about his counseling meetings. Because honestly the "secret" problem seems to be pointing to something that was done on her time. My son keeps telling me he has a bad dark secret, but then won't tell me what it is. I am a survivor of abuse from childhood and my first marriage. I see definite signs of something similar going on with him. I feel so helpless because I cannot help him if he does not tell me what is wrong, what has happened, etc....My husband and I are seriously considering having him see a psychiatrist along with his counseling. Does anyone believe that to be too much for someone so young? However the sit down with his teacher principle and school counselor sounds like a very excellent idea Evelyn. Thank you so much for the advice :D!

Dove - posted on 10/13/2013

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Has anyone asked him why he is acting like this? With that much violent action I would be bringing him to counseling to help get to the bottom of this.

Ev - posted on 10/13/2013

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I would advise taking this to his doctor and having him evaluated for any possible problems. No child should be this way at his age and it does not sound normal. If the doctor can not do the evaluation then maybe the doctor can suggest resources to get the testing done. It seems to me the boy needs some help you can not give him yourself without some backup. It seems to me that the general punishments are not going to get across what you want him to be like. THere may be underlying things going on here that you do not know because you can not see it. I would also have a sit down with the teacher at school along with the principal and school counselor to see what can be done to work with the boy.

Elizabeth - posted on 10/13/2013

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We don't have cable. He watches things on Netflix or DVDs that we have bought for him. Mostly Veggie Tales, Imaginext clips attached to the toys he has received, Thomas the Train, Power Rangers, Documentaries on Dinosaurs, Caillou, Sesame Street, Care Bears, The Page Master, Monsters VS Aliens, The Reef, The Mulan movies (1 and 2), The Smurfs, Night At The Museum, Chika Chika Boom Boom, etc...He only gets to play Leggo Indiana Jones and Leggo Batman. Ratchet and Clank (Doggish Character and robot fighting bigger robots and such), Gex, and Spyro. He doesn't really have any friends that want to play with him outside of school. He is extremely mean in school. In his first two months in school he has pushed a kid to the ground a couple of times, headbutted another kid in the face, broken another one's finger, and kicked and hit a little girl in the throat....I am so ashamed to say. And to be completely honest he is my step son. I call him my son because I have been in his life since he was two years old. His mother is not reall around except for when she wants to be, so I honestly couldn't tell you what she does when he is there with her and her husband. But, no he doesn't not always just get his way with things. His grandmother on his dad's side used to let him (last year). But she has gotten a LOT more strict with him since all of this has started. And I can say that he used to be given things without earning them, back when he was four. But ever since he was five and living with his father and I we make him earn what he gets. We try really hard to teach him that nothing comes for free.

Ev - posted on 10/13/2013

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WHat else have you done with him. WHat kinds of tv shows does he wtach? What kind of video games is he exposed to? What behaviors does he see his friends outside of school and in school protray? Has he always had his way in things? Has he always had things given to him without him learning to earn it?

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