What to do about a abusive 11 year old boy?

Cassandra - posted on 10/02/2011 ( 31 moms have responded )

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I have a 11 year old boy who punches me and kicks me if he don't get his way. He has started hitting his sisters to and they are younger then him. He sees someone a the local mental health clinic, but it's not working. Will he out grow this or should i be more worried then i am. I feel like i did something wrong as a mother. This all started about the time he went through pubity.

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Krista - posted on 10/03/2011

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Um yeah, because abusing a kid with emotional issues always works out REALLY well...

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No, he will not out grow this.It will only get worse. Get him another therapist. Possible a Christian one. The local mental health is usually run by the state and I'm not saying it's bad but. And yes, I would be worried. Kids who go through puberty don't usuall do this. At least mine didn't and I have 5. Do you attend a church....talk w/a pastor. Find a group online that deals w/kids like this. If he's doing this to his mother and siblings, think of what he'll do to others.

Betsy - posted on 10/03/2011

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Dear Cassandra,

I am not here to judge you, but I have a few resources that I think would be very helpful. Focus on the family is a great place for you to get information on how to raise kids and deal with discipline issues. Dr. James Dobson has a couple pf books out that are very good, Dare to Discipline and raising boys. I would suggest that you go on the web-site and get their phone number and call the counselors there. Cassandra these are caring people that can help you. This behavior is not acceptable and it must be stopped, I don't know what I would do in your shoes other than what I told you. I will be praying for you.

Krista - posted on 10/02/2011

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You HAVE to take this seriously --- your daughters are relying on you to protect them. And no, he's not going to grow out of this. If things aren't working at the clinic, then like Nikki suggested, talk to a psychiatric doctor who specializes in development and behaviour.

Nikki's advice is excellent, so I would follow it, if I were you. Don't give up on your boy, but don't put your head in the sand, either.

Good luck.

Nikki - posted on 10/02/2011

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I would take it seriously because it is a serious issue and not something you want him to think is ok to continue. If it's a problem now and nothing is done about it, it may only be a bigger issue in the future.

You might find it is hormonal and it seems to diffuse itself once the hormones seem to level out but I would be talking to a doctor and possibly a developmental and behaviour specialist.

I would also implement some serious and consistent consequences for his behaviour.

Communication is also really important, have you discussed why he is doing this? What does he feel before he becomes aggressive? Is there a way to stop the behaviour before it begins? Look for triggers in his behaviour, when you see him become frustrated encourage him to communicate what his issue are and try to find a non violent solution. He may just need to learn some effective problem solving and conflict resolution skills.

The aggression may make him feel powerful and in control, so you need to take the power away from him and teach him how he can use communication to get his needs and wants known.

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Katherine - posted on 10/03/2011

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****ADMIN WARNING****

There is to be no flaming or personal attacks. I have already deleted 2 posts. The OP isn't asking whether or not to beat her child she is asking for sound advice. That being said I am locking this thread.

Brandi - posted on 10/03/2011

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Honestly people, u need to control ur children, I agree take a belt to his rear end. Everything these days has a damned name, oh well it's adhd, or odd, guess what bullshit, it's a way for ur children to conrol u. What happens when he realizes that ur not gonna fight back? If another adult came up to u and hit u, r u just gonna stand there? Children need to know that no matter how big or bad they think they are, there's always gonna be someone else out there that is twice as big. U let it continue and he severly hurts ur daughters because u idly stood by, then u'll be wishing u had grabbed that belt, for generations people have spanked their children and it's worked, they weren't running round beating on their parents or siblings because they knew if they did, then their "ass would be grass". That damned time out shit works on my dog, but not children. My dog can't pull a gun on me but kids sure could, it's important they know the end result. So lady get ur head outta ur rear and protect urself and ur daughters. Worse case agreed send the boy to jail. He'll be thinkin twice wwhen he comes home.

Jennifer - posted on 10/03/2011

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Listen to Lisa and Betsy... I listen to focus on the family too it's a wonderful program and have called there myself for different reasons. I also noticed you didn't mention his father. Perhaps that may be part of the problem? Of is father is there with you what is he doing. Does he have anger issues? Is this learned behavior maybe? This is a very serious issue. Domestic violence is extremely high in the World!

Jane - posted on 10/03/2011

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Is he only doing this at home? If so, he may have what they call ODD (Oppositional-Defiant Disorder). This probably has absolutely nothing to do with how permissive you were, but can be made worse by getting his way. It often is related to being impulsive, which can be related to problems in how the frontal lobe of his brain works and can have genetic components. He may need extra help up to and including medication, boot camp, anger management, and more intensive counseling. He might also need to go live with another relative, one who has not been a target and who can enforce rules.

Certainly sports can be a helpful outlet as can having a male mentor who can model how men should behave or being involved with church or with social groups such as scouts or the Boys and Girls Club.

If he does this sort of thing to others outside of the immediate family also, then he may have Conduct Disorder and definitely needs intervention, Without it he is heading towards jail as a violent offender.

Make sure he understands that you WILL call police if he hurts anyone, and then do it.

I say all this because I have a son who has ODD and it has been a battle to keep him from hurting others.

Patsy - posted on 10/03/2011

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Q: when you spank him does that help him far as him stopping for a few days.... or it doesnts do nothing... changing doctors is good plus some type of bootcamp male figure but most important is you have to show control and dont break down and cry showing your emotions/frustrations to him stand firm...... spankings/strong punishments....

Patsy - posted on 10/03/2011

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Q: when you spank him does that help him far as him stopping for a few days.... or it doesnts do nothing... changing doctors is good plus some type of bootcamp male figure but most important is you have to show control and dont break down and cry showing your emotions/frustrations to him stand firm...... spankings/strong punishments....

Heather - posted on 10/03/2011

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Be worried. I would have him speak to a child psychologist. He needs to talk to someone about his anger and frustration, and he might need to take some anger management classes. PLEASE seek some help for your son.

Betsy - posted on 10/03/2011

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you know what is so funny, before when we would spank our kids, we would never see this craziness, but now that the norm is not to spank look at all that is happening, i don't know if spanking at this age will work, still praying for you.....

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Ummm krista dear.. I don't have issues like that with my kids.. nor did I mention my kids trying some bullshit as such... my children are behaved and act properly... I don't have those issues...if my child did anything of the sort.. I would whoop his ass... I don't have those issues.. my children behave as a child should... direct you shitty ass comment to the asanine post of a child hitting his mother.. maybe you and your kind can give reasoning for this but I don't...

Tracey - posted on 10/03/2011

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No, he will not "grow out" of this. This is not normal. Not to say it's a mental illness necessarily, but it's not right.

When he was younger, did you give him whatever he wanted? Did you let him whine his way into things? If so, you now see why most people will say you have to cut that behavior while they're very young. Because they *do* grow to be bigger than you.

Unless you have a reason to think he has mental problems (does he seem to enjoy hurting people or animals?) then he's just doing this because he can get away with it.

I would second contacting Focus on the Family. They have all kinds of ideas and help for you on how to set and enforce limits.

My son has tried this kind of thing with me (sad to say; it's because his dad doesn't treat me with respect). And he lost his favorite stuff for months, returnable only with a long period of good behavior, including being cheerful and willing about doing things I asked him to do. No whining, period. His favorite thing is his PS3, and he's lost it for weeks before, because that's how long it took for him to get the idea I was serious. He knew if he yelled at me again, it would be even longer, and if he ever again raises a hand to me, I get rid of it.

This is just one idea. Focus on the Family can give you more.

As far as the suggestion to get him in sports or martial arts, I know martial arts just taught my son to kick more accurately and do more damage. Gymnastics and dance were what got him to really be disciplined, but it's not really a matter of discipline. It's male aggression and disrespect, and needs to have proper behavior and attitudes enforced. At the very least, take away everything but food, shelter, clothes, education, any medications--the essentials for life. No toys, TV, friends, entertainment of any kind. Tell him why; tell him the right way to behave. If he starts screaming, you're suddenly deaf or he's speaking a foreign language (I never learned Whinese, for example).

Good luck with it. Don't let it go any further!

Krista - posted on 10/03/2011

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Um, Nacole? You're claiming that your own kid has no respect for you or his siblings, so I'm guessing that "beating him within an inch of his life" isn't working out all that well.

Katherine - posted on 10/03/2011

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I don't think beating his ass is going to make him see anything but red. He is hurting the mother and the sisters. Do you think he is going to take a "whooping?"

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Seriously.. whoop his ass and move on.. I can't believe you have to ask.. tired of people making g excuses for bad kids that need discipline. That's what's wrong with him. He lacks discipline. He has no respect for you or his siblings.. I wish my son would.. its sad that you fear your child... Next you'll make excuses for why he blew up the school or the house.. Take control.. Be the parent.. Whoop his ass.. Beat him within an inch of his life.. Allow him to see the crazy in you..

Alexandria - posted on 10/03/2011

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First thing stop blaming yourself!!! You didn't do anything wrong. Try talking to him and see if you can find out why he is doing this make it very clear to him that this behavior is not appropriate and never give in to him.You might also need to talk to someone at the mental health clinic about the possibility that there is something going on that may require more than counseling to resolve.

Irene - posted on 10/03/2011

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Spank his butt. Don't let him get away with hitting you or his sisters, get the belt and tear his butt up. Puberty is not an excuse to be disrespectful. Children today needs to know the parent is in charge and not them.

JuLeah - posted on 10/03/2011

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Don't blame this on age or anything else. He is in charge of what he says and what he does.

You say it is not working, but how long has it been? It might be months before you see results. I'd talk with the person he is seeing though and make sure he/she knows your son is violent towards his younger sisters

Kids don't 'just out grow' these things - you are correct to be worried and to be getting him help

What is he like in school? Problems in any other area? Can you see a pattern?

Safety plan with your younger kids. Talk with them about how to stay safe, what their options are. Is there a safe place in the house they can go when he gets violent?

How long has this been going on? If it is new behavior, maybe something happened? Something he has not told you about?

So, he does need to understand that he is in charge of his actions.

I assume no phone, no games, no computer, no TV, no spending money ... nothing extra like that happens in his life. If he has assess to that stuff, remove it. He can earn it back with good behavior.

A day with no violence and he gets his phone back or something - but he has to earn it, work for the stuff he wants.

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I think Lisa and Betsy said it well. Take their advice. That energy needs to be directed in another way.

Christy - posted on 10/03/2011

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Keep taking him to therapy. This isn't typical of an 11 y/o boy, meaning the physically abusive aspect of it.Is there a father figure around for him at all? If not, can you get him into some program where there is a man to help his behavior (Big Brothers, for example)?

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I would re-evaluate your relationship with him. Do you come off as if you are afraid of him? How do you react to him? You need to take him out of the environment, and have conversations with him. Take him to the park for a walk and start a conversation in the car. My son and I call it quality time. I would out of the blue say you know we haven’t spent quality time and we both agree on an activity were we both have to engage in together. He actually will plan quality time. I've always pull time out of my busy schedule and I tell my son "we need to have a conversation" and I treat him as if I were talking to another adult. You know - I want to tell you - what I don't like and what I do like about how you handle or did or say... keep it simple. He will open up to you, but be ready to their cut throat truth. Warning do not cut him off listen, wait till he finishes, do not belittle him. Think about what you want to achieve out of the conversation. If he pressures you into a particular issue just tell him you know let me think about that and I will talk about when I have the answer. I had in a few occasions had to say - I'm sorry I handle that incorrectly. This is the time for the two of you to be honest - not screaming. They are kids and don't know how to articulate their frustration so you kind of coach them to verbalize it. I tell my son being a parent is my job and you have to let me do my job. He doesn't fight me on anything and he will let me know how he feels and we negotiate issues. I give in a few and I make a stand in the issues that are really important. You have to empower him by letting him have a voice. Just tell him how you feel and back off so he simmers into it. For, example I personally can’t stand a kid yelling and screaming so when he was little I told him tell me what you want but I don't want that in my house. He learned to verbalize his anger and frustration. He will tell anyone how he feels and what he likes or dislikes without any fear and he does it very respectfully. I hope that helps you.

Betsy - posted on 10/03/2011

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Sorry I do know what I would do, I would take away everything from his room and only give him a mattress to sleep in, I would also try to enroll him in some sort of sports or martial arts, they learn discipline and respect. where is his father? or any positive male role models to snap him out of this, Dr. Phil's son told off his mom once and he pulled the car over and let him have it, he told him that he is not allowed to treat his wife that way and to never ever dare speak to her in that disrespectful way. i have twp sons and when they get a little out of control dad has to step in and have authority over them, and while i can control them men sometimes need other men to step in and let them know this is not acceptable, sorry to be so long please let us know any updates

Debra - posted on 10/03/2011

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Is there a possibility that he is being bullied at school? He maybe acting out his frustrations on you and his sisters because of something at school.

Also, I would consider transfering his care to another therapist. This one is not working. Perhaps you could talk with his school counselor as well. She may offer insight and suggestions.

Good luck. And don't blame yourself. We all do the best we can with the knowledge we have before us at the time.

Toccara - posted on 10/03/2011

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Oh my this is serious! Get him on SCARED STRAIGHT you need to get in control ASAP

Katherine - posted on 10/03/2011

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Nikki said it all. I would take her advice. This is not going to go away on it's own. If you are trying something and it's not working then you have to try something else.

He definitely needs some behavioral counseling. Hurting you and his sisters is very dangerous. It needs to be taken very seriously.

Lisa - posted on 10/03/2011

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I work with young boys with behavior issues, and my suggestion is this... (Please dont hate me for this)
Sit down with your son at a time when he is calm and explain to him that you love him and his sisters very much and that it is your job to make sure that they are all healthy and safe and that they grow up to be smart healthy and respectable people and because this is your job, the next time he hits someone, you will be forced to call the police. Make sure he knows he will have to deal with what ever concequence comes from that.
And for the hard part... DO IT!
You will be teaching him responability for his actions. As far as a criminal record at 11 nothing will probably be done other then a firm talking to. You'll only have to do it once or twice and you will be protecting your self and your children.

Good luck

Kelly - posted on 10/03/2011

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Change doctors or perhaps before you do have a full discussion to see if he is getting the help he needs but it's not enough. Do not let this go on or continue. You need to have a full program in place at home for his behaviors and the Doc should put one in place. I have raised three boys and although puberty and hormones can make them more irritable mine have never had this issue. You need to resolve this now. Everyone needs to be safe. He may need inpatient care if it is out of control. Feelings are ok but acting out aggressively is not under any circumstances. You need to explore some behavior mod programs and find the right Doc for this. He may not grow out of it.

Kiah - posted on 10/02/2011

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He is out of control.......find out to get him on SCARED STRAIGHT......or enroll him in a Military School or boot camp of some kind

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