14 answers

6 Year Old Hitting and Kicking His Mom When Angry

Since my son was young, he has used his hands when he was unable to use his words. As a toddler, he would push, hit or pull the hair of his playmates when he was angry. I thought he had outgrown this as he got older. But lately, he seems to be falling into old habits. However, the change is now the only person he is aggressive with is me. When he is angry and I am attempting to discipline him, he has hit me and kicked me. My method of discipline is giving him a time out, taking away toys and/or priviledges. He does not behave this way towards others and at school, he is a model student and friend. I've discussed this with his teacher and she sees none of this behavior at school. I've talked to other moms of his friends and he doesn't behave this way with them or their kids. His dad has talked to him extensively about this behavior to no avail. I am getting very frustrated and concerned. Has anyone else experienced this type of behavior? Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to help him learn to control his temper and use his words rather than his hands? Other than this issue, we have a normal, loving close relationship. He is my oldest child and I love him to pieces. I just cannot tolerate this behavior and want to know how to help him.

2 moms found this helpful

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HI, I'm reading The Way of Boys, by Anthonly Rao, Phd.
I am finding it ssooo helpful in helping me see that my boy is just that, a boy, and needs alittle extra help with using words rather than physical contact and other social skills. I highly reccomend it. good luck to you!

More Answers

Dear S.,
If one of my kids ever hit or kicked me....
OOOOOOOOOOOH....the first time would be the very last time. He may have anger issues, he may be jealous of the baby, frankly, it doesn't really matter. If he can control himself at school and in other situations, he can control himself at home. Period. If my kids even tried getting lippy with me, I'd say, "Excuse me! What is rule #1?" They both knew it. It's RESPECT YOUR MOTHER. If they ever hit or kicked me, with one look, you can bet they'd have been on their knees begging me to spare their life. I never whipped my children. I didn't have to. They knew when I was pissed and when they'd pushed too far. A time out? Pfffft. Taking some toys away? Pfffft. That's what you do when they throw a fit over not getting a second cupcake. Hitting or kicking mom? That's solitary confinement. He should be grounded...big time. Allowed out of his room to go to school, to eat, to bathe and brush his teeth and go right back into his room. No friends, no TV, no toys. One week. If he apologized to you, accept his apology and talk about why he is being punished, but DO NOT GIVE IN. No "he said he's sorry so one day in his room is enough." No way. He needs to know you are serious and will follow through and he needs to know if he hits you or kicks you again, it will be 2 weeks next time.
Don't cave in and feel sorry for him. He needs to realize the consequences for his actions and that won't happen if you don't make the consequences something that will sink in.
If you could ask my kids, do you know what they would tell you rule #2 is? It's THINK before you DO. In other words, "If I do this, will I get in big trouble? If the answer is yes, I better not do it."
Like I said, your son already knows not to do those things to other people. You can work on finding out why he's angry or other ways for him to deal with it, but in the meantime, punishment should be swift....no questions asked, no negotiating, no backing down.
The bigger he gets, the more he will be capable of seriously physically hurting you and you need to stop it now before it gets to that point.

Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful

Dear S.,

Of course you love your child, but he’s abusing you and if nothing you do has worked, including his father speaking with him, it’s time to ramp up the consequences.

Today have a conversation with your son about his hitting and kicking. Don’t just say it “hurt’s mommies feelings”, say it hurts your body and should NEVER happen again and if it does he will get a spanking, time out, and loss of all privileges including dessert for one week.

A mother abuser will grow into a girlfriend/wife abuser. Nip it in the bud.


1 mom found this helpful

He needs a good belting, but you need to verbalize to him that this is going to happen before he hits and then you have to follow through. Talk afterwards about good n bad choices...u make bads ones like hitting you get consequences. etc...then you quickly have to find atleast three good things and give him praise. Make a big deal. Try to always talk about your feelings, happy, sad, hurt maybe use emotion pictures.

1 mom found this helpful

This might sound intense but it worked on my son. Next time he acts out, take him clothes and all and put him in the shower and turn on the cold water, the shock will tell him you mean business then turn it immediately to warm. As it warms up have him take off his clothes and hand him a towel. Wrap him up and then sit him on your lap and explain why his behavior is not okay and every time he does it this will be the result. Please do this in a loving voice not with anger. My son only required two trips to the shower at about the same age. He is now 19 and when he sees some kid acting out he laughs and says I think that kid needs a cold shower!

Try enrolling your son in a Tae Kwon Do or Karate class where he can work out his aggressions and the instructors can help to correct where he directs his anger. I've heard from several people that this has helped their child in getting their anger under control and controlling the direction in which the anger is aimed. Good Luck!

I'd say keep doing what you're doing & being consistent w/punishments. It also sounds like there's a lot of discussion about this behavior to your son which to him, may give it more power, ie, even tho it's a negative act, it's discussed a lot so he, which he knows & also knows it's upsetting to you, so he keeps doing it. He may be feeding off the negative he's getting. Kid are funny this way, even tho they don't want to get you angry or get in trouble, they're still getting attention so they keep up the unwanted behaviour. I suggest as soon as he starts hitting or kicking, immmediatley convey that the it's unacceptable. Keep it simple using 1 or 2 words, 'unacceptable' & ' time out.' Also, try to really praise the positive....any time he's behaving politely, using nice words & being sweet, lavish him w/praise, tell him how much you appreciate it. Like another mom said, I also suggest you arrange to spend some time w/just him. If he's home while the baby is napping, give him your undivided attention. When you husband is home, take your son out for a special outing. Best of luck!

HI, I'm reading The Way of Boys, by Anthonly Rao, Phd.
I am finding it ssooo helpful in helping me see that my boy is just that, a boy, and needs alittle extra help with using words rather than physical contact and other social skills. I highly reccomend it. good luck to you!

My first instinct is that when he is doing it, first hold him away from you to stop him, and don't use a lot of words, but once he stops, hug him and hold him very tightly. Something is instinctively telling me that holding therapy would be good for your son. (Don't know how physically affectionate you are with him, but that's my take on it.)

p.s. - OH! Just saw that you have a new baby! Of course. He's jealous. All the more reason to do the holding therapy. Just love him up. I disagree with the moms who tell you to punish him.

A couple of things that worked for me when my daughter was younger and behaving that way.
1. When he is not angry or in trouble sit with him and discuss alternate ways to handle anger, i.e. go to room, scream into pillow, hit pillow, draw pictures(or write stories if he knows how)that express his feelings, deep breathing and counting.
2. Stay consistent when he is angry, remind him of what he choice to do when angry.
My daughter is now 11 and still gets angry. We explained that she needs to control her temper and that she was the only one that could. She now has methods to help her express herself in better ways. She was very much like your son in that it was all directed at me and never to anyone else. My MD said it was because she feels the most comfortable with me and knows that I will love her no matter what. That is true and I helped her know that although I love and support her I can not tolerate her hurting me.
Good Luck

Sounds like he may be jealous of the baby. Now that the baby is moving more and doing cuter and cuter things the older one may be feeling jealous, and mad at you for paying more attention to the baby. Try spending some special one on one time with him outside of the house for a while, it may make all of the difference in the world :)

You don't mention what the situations are that you are having to discipline him for... except that you say 'when he is angry'. If you are trying to discipline him just for being angry, time out and taking away toys may not be your best options. Are you using your own words with him first? I'm thinking in terms of talking with him about what he is angry over, and what he can do about that situation... or for that matter what you might be able to do to help him deal with the situation. Perhaps just having a talk rather than imposing discipline measures immediately will diffuse his anger and get you farther with him.
While writing this, I actually just had the opportunity to use my own advice with two little guys (2 and 3 year olds) who decided to have a fight. One had pushed the other and the other one responded by hitting the first one on the cheek, and both were crying angrily. Talking with both of them about what had happened worked much better than if I had immediately put them in separate corners to cool off ... which is sometimes my method.

I've been there. Mine is older now, and I can hardly believe he's the same kid. He's a real sweetie now. Kids sometimes regress for a while. Remember that although you are now the only target, it isn't you causing it. Sometimes kids have only so much self-control, and they use it up at school because they are less comfortable there---it can be unpredictable with all those people. At home, it all comes out...no fun for you.
Just be consistent.

Didn't have time to read all the responses, but I agree with hugging/holding. My daughter is very physical and even hurt her older brother (scratches and even one bite), but got much better when I offered her a choice between "hugging Mommy when she feels bad" or having a time out in her room until she is ready to be nice. She's almost 5 now, but will often hold her arms out while scowling, to let me know that she is feeling bad/grumpy/angry and needs a hug. She is otherwise VERY verbal, but gets into these moods where she doesn't seem to be able to use her words. And with your son, it might be a need for attention from you in particular. My daughter regressed a lot when my son started getting homework - which my daughter would see as extra attention for him, even though I was sitting with both of them and trying to also have her do some coloring or letter practice. My kids are 2 years apart in age.

Hi S.,

I read your story and my heart goes out for you. I think you need sometime to talk with your son. At age of 6 he tries to be independent from you. It seems like his behavior shows his rebellion to show you he is a big boy now and your discipline make him be controlled by you. I think many small talks would help to ease his concerns about being independent. You can sit him down and ask why he has to react that way to you. Ask him what did he think that is okay to do that. Ask him what is his reaction if someone do it to him? He is 6 and he knows what he id doing and he has the conscious about his behavior. And most of all he is learning. It is critical time for you to shape him into a better man when he grows up. You can play psychological game with him now. He understands. SO just ask many questions as you could to stir his emotion, you will find out the reason why he acts that way. Once we know the cause then we will have the right treatment to cure this disturbed behavior. Good luck. Email me if you want to discuss more. I will be happy to talk to you.

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