May 15, 2008,
S.H. asks from Syracuse, NY on May 07, 2008
My Out of Control 7 Year Old
I have a 7 year old in 1st grade. I swear he is the most sweet and tender little boy. I think he is turning evil! He has been doing some really mean things to the kids in his class. He cut a little girls pony tail, he cut another little boys shirt, gets into kicking matches, most recently stabbed a little girl in the hand with a pencil. I am at my wits end. I just don't know what to do with him any more...
L.H. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
You really need to sit down and talk to him to find out why he is doing these things. You need to look at the cause rather than the behavior in order to stop the behavior. You might even want to call in the school pyschologist for an evaluation and help. Something happedn to change him. Maybe he doesn't feel he fits in...Maybe the school work is too difficult or too easy for him....Maybe he was picked on and is getting revenge. You're not going to stop this behavior until you find the cause first.
G.L. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
You have some serious issues. All of the things you mentioned sounds like a deep need for attention. There is something bothering him and you need to get him into counseling immediately. I don't want to alarm you but it sounds like he may have been abused in some way and does not know how to tell anyone or is afraid. Think about any changes in his routine lately. Has he joined a new group at the y or church. Is there a new sport he is playing. Think. 7 year olds don't just "become evil" there is something else going on. Look for someone who specializes in working with children. Don't wait do it now. Good l;uck.
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V.S. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
You have gotten a lot of good advice. Many people sympathize, but I have alarm bells going off in my head, and I'll explain shortly...
Please, you HAVE to rule out health and psychological problems before you can call this a "behavioral " issue. Hitting, even the kicking matches and being rude is one thing, and although you would expect him to have workd through these things in pre K and Kindergarten, it's still "normal".
But stabbing a child with a pencil? Using scissors to cut a child's hair or shirt? That's outside the realm of being naughty. That's disturbing behavior, and you need to intervene for your son's well being and the safety of the other kids. I'm surprised the school hasn't suspended him for the behavior you describe.
My daughter showed signs of aggression and a lot of lying and anger starting at about the age of 7. As it turned out in her case these were signs of bi-polar disease. But of course I recognized it only in hindsight when she was properly diagnosed as a teenager.
My nephew was subsequently diagnosed at 7 because of the familial diagnosis of my daughter. It turned out they were both abused by a family member. Neither my sister-in-law or I had a clue at the time, but it came out in psychotherapy, and we jailed the bastard.
Both are now perfect on medication. A psychiatric diagnosis is not a stigma, and it's not a behavioral problem It's a chemical imbalance that can be totally reversed...
Please rule out the harmful things that your son may be suffering.. Don't be complacent and hope it will pass.. Your best case is that it is just misbehavior that you can correct with strict rules, limits and consequences.. But Please.. be sure HE is safe and healthy first.
K.M. answers from Syracuse on May 08, 2008
Have you tried talking to him and asking him why he felt it was ok to do those things? He could be being influenced by other kids in the class. I would suggest a good old fashioned spanking. My 7 year old would certainly get a spanking for any of that.
J.H. answers from Syracuse on May 08, 2008
I'm not quite sure what to tell you - I would definitely schedule an appointment with your pediatrician and possibly a child therapist...I don't know at 7 he will be able to tell you what is wrong. In the mean time, I would be sure you don't leave your 2 year old with him unsupervised. Also, someone recommended a spanking - I personally feel that is the LAST thing this poor child needs...call your pediatrician today and get started for your sons sake.
Best wishes to you both,
W.C. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
When I read your post it was almost as if I had written it myself. I have a teenage son who is so loving, and yet is impulsive and often does things that annoy or risk other classmates. He was just suspended for cutting another boy's hair. We have been to counseling and the psychologist thinks the impulsive (and stupid) behavior is part of ADHD.
I am also worried about my youngest son (3) who seems to love negative attention at times. I don't know if he just picked up on the fact that being bad can get you attention or that he has neurological issues too. My suggestion for your son is to seek counseling no matter what the cause. Sometimes things are too much for a mom to try and solve on her own.
Stay strong and best wishes for a good outcome.
C.D. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
Sounds like he needs to be taught ways to handle his anger. Maybe some kind of martial arts class would be helpful, as well as telling him to count to 10 and take deep breaths when he gets the urge to do something destructive.
S.M. answers from Syracuse on May 08, 2008
Hi S. !
I can totally relate to this. My son wasnt the extreme of cutting hair, but most of the other things were an issue at that age.
Not only were we taking counciling, but very close contact with his pediatrican. Discussing these problems with the Dr will also help in finding out if something is medically a concern.
Start with the Pediatrician, they will make sure he is healthy and then move into the counciling to find out why his behavior has changed. Is he acting this way at home or just in school. It could be in reaction to something that happened, being bored or many other "growing pains".
Sounds like you are right on top of things! Continue to explain why those behaviors are not acceptable and provide mild punishment (loss of TV, gameboy, computer, play time w/ friends etc) during this time until you can rule out medical issues.
Best of luck!
R.L. answers from New York on May 08, 2008
I don't have any experience with this, but I'd say it's time to get help. This is beyond being the class clown, or class bully. He's demonstrating dangerous and aggressive behavior. What have his teachers said about his school work, friendships, etc? He needs some adult help, all this behavior is screaming out for it.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I cannot imagine how this must be for you. My thoughts are with you!!!