Anyone Have Experience with Boys ( My Son Just Turned 6) Who Hurt Mom?

Updated on June 24, 2019
L.S. asks from Livonia, MI
17 answers

My son got upset because it was time to put I pad away and go to sleep, and he hit me in the head with it and really hurt me! I have a big red lump on my forehead . He started to cry and said he’s sorry he didn’t mean it. Etc.. but this isn’t the first time he has hit or thrown something at me when he gets mad. Any other moms have experience with this? Thanks so much . And yeah , the iPad time will be cut down starting tomorrow.

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Your son needs the iPad TAKEN AWAY. PERIOD. He's six (6) years old. Not a toddler.

There is NO "CUT DOWN" time. IT MUST BE TAKEN AWAY. Your son needs to learn how to handle his emotions. Throwing something and hurting someone is NOT how it works. The question is WHERE is he learning that behavior from??

You will tell him today that because his behavior was unacceptable, he will no longer have access or be able to use the iPad for 2 weeks. You put it on the calendar. Don't make a big deal about it. Be matter of fact. Your behavior was unacceptable. You do NOT throw things nor hurt people because you don't like what was said or done. You have now lost the iPad for 2 weeks.

If he asks for it during that time frame? You tell him that if he asks for it again? It will be extended ANOTHER day. No means no. Actions have consequences. He can go outside and play. He can read a book. He can play games. No iPad. DO NOT GIVE IN. DO NOT compromise.

If it happens again? You will take ALL electronics away from him. If it happens again? I would also strongly suggest counseling on behavioral management.

Pay attention to how things are handled in the house. If daddy throws a fit? He's learning it from his dad. If daddy gets away with it? Then there is your problem and you must fix it. If you can't fix it? You demand counseling for the family on dealing with emotions and treating people better.

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

ohhhh not only NO but effing HELL NO!!

My child hit me with a tablet because he was angry? That tablet would NEVER touch his fingers again. EVER. This isn't about "cut down" this is about taking it away.

If this isn't the first time he's lashed out in anger? He might need to talk with a counselor or you might have to be more vigilant in dealing with him. Set clear boundaries and expectations along with the consequences for said infractions. If his dad is in the picture, you BOTH must be on the same page about the anger management and electronics time.

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E.J.

answers from Chicago on

So what will you do when he is 16 if this is how he copes with being upset now?

The time to address this seriously is now!

This is not about the Ipad, it’s about managing emotions.

There is no shame in getting help if you are not sure how to address this. You tell your son that you love him enough to find better ways to address feelings that won’t hurt others.

Talk to your pediatrician and ask for a referral.
Call his school (plenty of staff work full-time in the summer) and ask for a community referral list, and for parenting resources. Many districts hold parent education nights now.

Is your son’s father involved, and is he supportive? If so, get him involved.

Last, talk to the local librarian. That person will know about community events/resources and parenting books that will be helpful.

I used the book 1,2,3 Magic, but there are plenty of other books. You just have to find your style and be consistent.

Your post has an element of victimization to it, as if you feel powerless over your son. That is not a good position for a parent to be in. I strongly suggest
you seek out support for yourself to help address this.

Additional:
I agree with the others, that it’s time to put away the electronics until both of you get a better handle on his emotions.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

You have some harsh reality in the comments so far and it probably hurts to hear it but most of them are spot-on. I agree that this is about managing emotions and he needs help. He is remorseful which is important but I think you need to ditch the iPad for an extended period and having it before bed is probably not ever a good idea. Taking away the iPad shouldn't necessarily be about punishment over this situation, although a little bit for sure it should, but mostly about the reality that he's probably getting to much screen time. Screen time can make kids agitated and short tempered. At 6 I didn't really allow my kids any electronics after dinner time. We did family things, played outside, played games, read, etc. to start winding down before bed. They get zombie-ish with electronics and if they are already tired it's not a good combo.

Get some books from the library (you can google appropriate titles) and read some books about emotions. Encourage him to talk about how he feels about things. Tell him that it's okay to feel angry, but it's never ok to hit, kick, etc. someone when you're angry. You're going to have to put it in some serious effort here but you can turn it around.

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E.B.

answers from Denver on

I agree that this is not a "boy" issue. This is a frustrated and impatient and angry child issue. You can't just "cut down" electronics time when a child strikes out in anger, whether or not an injury occurred.

So along with completely removing the iPad (and any other electronics) for an extended period of time, there are a couple of things you can do.

First, tell him that you love him, but that hitting and throwing and hurting are not acceptable behaviors. Tell him very clearly, in plain language, that it's ok to be upset but it's never ok to hurt a person or damage something. When we're upset or angry, we have to use our words (and nice words, not mean words) to tell someone, or we have to take some deep relaxing breaths, or go sit quietly in a comforting place. Practice with him. Help him find some good words to use, but also help him understand that when you say something, you mean it.

That's the second thing. If you say that bedtime is in 10 minutes, or the tv goes off after this show is over, then keep your word. Don't extend it or give in or get distracted and forget.

Another thing is to make sure that the consequences for behavior are very clear. Say "you know that you must be in your bed in 10 minutes because it's 7:50 pm, with a book to read quietly. If you are not, bed time will be earlier tomorrow, and even earlier the next day if you can't obey". Or "you must turn off the computer (or the tv) when this timer goes off. If you refuse, then the computer (or the tv) will not be allowed at all tomorrow. It's your choice".

And help prepare him for ending the game, turning off the tv, turning off the lights at night, or coming in from playing outside. Give him an ample warning. "I'm going to call you inside in 15 minutes. When you hear me call, it's time to come in immediately." Or "you may play your game for 7 more minutes and then when the timer rings, you must shut it off, or else you may not play that game at all tomorrow (or for 3 days or whatever you decide)". Use a timer on a phone or a simple kitchen timer so that he knows you're not going to get distracted and forget. And keep the time limits consistent. "On school days we turn off all electronics and tv at 6 pm. You may play outside until 5:30. On Friday and Saturday, electronics can stay on until 7:30 (or whatever makes sense for your schedule)."

Consistency and clear consequences can help.

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J.T.

answers from Dallas on

Cut down??? He’s 6, not 2! You need to reign this in NOW before he’s 16 assaulting you. This is a WAY bigger deal than you seem to realize. No iPad AT ALL for a loooooooooooooooong time, like months.

You say this isn’t the first time, which means he’s learned this is something that’s acceptable. You need to COMPLETELY disengage, don’t give attention to this type of behavior, and remove the privilege of ALL items/activities that evoke this response. Further, I’d call his pediatrician tomorrow for a referral to a psychologist/counselor for him AND you.

Good luck! He’s young and you CAN turn this around, but don’t let it slide. This is not “normal” behavior.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

You have some great answers. Some kids have a really hard time with very strong emotions and need help learning the right way to handle their emotions. My son was like this when he was young - he never hurt me but he would get extremely, irrationally angry when he did not get his way. Electronics made it much worse. I had very strict rules...he would get a 5 minute warning and a timer was set and then if he acted out in anger anyway he had a consequence. We actually had him see a therapist who specialized in behavior and taught him many ways to take responsibility for his own behavior. He went weekly during 4th and 5th grades and it was very helpful. This now seems like a distant thing in the past because he's a very rational teen now.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

Kids react physically when they don't have the vocabulary to express complex feelings. They don't yet have the patience to think before they act. So we have to help them do this. And 6 is an age when they most certainly can do this.

If your son has done this more than once, one obvious place to start is more immediate consequences. If he's not old enough to have empathy, then seeing you hurt won't be effective. Having an immediate change in his personal circumstances will be. So cutting down iPad time is a delayed consequence, so separate from the hitting, that it seems to him as "mean Mommy" rather than "I really screwed up and this is going to make me miserable."

So, I would take away the iPad immediately and always - if you read studies about kids' brain development adversely affected by screen time, you'll be shocked anyway. Don't buy into the sales hype that it's "so educational" - so are reading books, drawing, playing with Legos or doing anything else creative and unstructured. But the immediate point is, kids who throw things can't have anything valuable. Period. "We'll talk about it when you're older and able to use your words." Make it clear that no amount of crying will make you change your mind, and don't relent. Set a far off date - like a birthday that's at least 6 months away. This is even a good time to introduce a calendar. Show him how many days/weeks/months it will be before you can drive/go to the beach/amusement park/consider electronics. Don't engage in nagging and repeat explanations. Keep it simple and matter-of-fact. A kid who reacts with high emotion can't be disciplined with high emotion from parents.

Next, I'm not a huge fan of making kids say they're sorry. They think it means "I get a do-over" and so they don't change their behavior. If you have a huge lump on your forehead, then that might mean you "can't go out to the park because everyone will want to know how this happened" or "I have a huge headache right where this bump is and I can't drive you or cook your favorite dinner." Give him cereal for dinner and don't do things he wants because you are hurt.

If he hits again, you treat him like the toddler he's behaving like - into his room now. And if his room is a haven of toys and electronics, you need to pare that down because it's not a punishment.

Finally, if you think this is more than a behavior-and-discipline issue, I'd work with a child psychologist or counselor to help your son address his anger and to help you find strategies for dealing with him more effectively. Maybe there's something else going on, maybe you just need to make some alterations in how you handle him. Is his father involved? Do you two work together from the same parenting philosophy? If not, a counselor can help with that too. (Ask your pediatrician for a referral to someone who takes your medical insurance)

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M.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

You are cutting down iPad time? My kid would lose all electronics (including gaming systems and hand-held devices) for 2 weeks. And then strictly limited time indefinitely (until he is a teen probably). I think you are not taking this nearly seriously enough.

I also suggest that you find a therapist and schedule a few sessions. Please know, I am not saying this is your fault, but some kids are more challenging to parent than others, and if your son has a temper that he has trouble controlling, then getting some expert advice on strategies can only help you in the long run.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

Can't say my kids hit me, no.

They got upset at that age, at times - I had one that when very frustrated, and didn't have the words, would throw things in his room - but I can count the number of times on one hand.

I had another who would be sneaky and do the odd bit of naughty behavior, like hide something. Again, a few times - around that same age.

Sounds like your son was overtired, overstimulated (I wouldn't do iPad before bed), and was annoyed he had to put it away. I think some of that can just be avoided with a better routine (my thoughts).

If your son is regularly hitting/hurting you, then I would think he needs a better way of communicating or dealing with frustration. I'm sorry - doesn't cut it. We didn't do that in our house. Consequences (i.e. boundaries) where there's an action if he does something that's hurtful. I'm sorry after a hit, over and over .. doesn't result in anything but just words.

He doesn't get his iPad period if it's used as a weapon.

That's what would happen here. Take it away - until he's kind and respectful of others and deserves it - period.

We don't hit mommy - or others, period.

If he's regularly upset/frustrated, and you have regular sleep/food/routine patterns, and start implementing consequences for his behavior and rewarding good behavior .. then I'd talk to someone about his behavior. But I'd try all that first.

Boys at that age can act out a bit when frustrated - mine did. (ETA - I don't want to focus on boys only - all kids can, for me, my boys did in particular). I just didn't allow it. At age 7, there's a big leap in maturity for kids, and they mature. They learn how to deal with emotions a bit better if that helps. You may notice an improvement. Good luck :)

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Not since our son was 3 yrs old.
I was picking up something behind a door when our son came into the room and pushed the door hard - the door knob hit me in the head and I just burst into tears the pain was so sudden.
He surely didn't mean to hurt me and he was scared to see me crying but we settled him down and told him he was getting bigger and didn't know his own strength and he needed to be careful and gentle.
It took a little time for learning that we play a certain way outside and at the playground and another way inside but he got it.
By 6 he was already getting a reputation for being a gentle giant - he was already the tallest kid in his class and his size kept anyone from picking on him.
Not that he wouldn't react if anyone hit him but he knew his limits and so did everyone else.

You really need to re-think the whole iPad thing.
That sort of a temper tantrum at age 6 is not acceptable.
A week without it would be my starting point.
And then you need to get some rules and boundaries in place.

Starting now (and it should have been sooner) - he has to earn his perks with good behavior.
If he earns none - he gets none. Period.
Decide up front how many hours a week he gets to use the iPad - and a lot of kids only get a few hours a week - not a few hours a day - during school they only get it on weekends not on school nights and not before homework is done.
He needs to be helpful, help with chores, not have any major blow ups - and THEN he gets his time on the weekend.
And part of that is - when his time is up (give him a 10 min warning) - he hands it over with no major attitude about it.
No screen time of any sort for several hours before bedtime will help him sleep better.
He can read a book with you for bedtime - a time honored tradition.
Through elementary school kids need to run outside, climb trees, ride bikes, splash in puddles - enjoy their childhood - he has his whole adult life to sit in front of a screen.
Don't let him get addicted to sitting and screens so early in his life.

Make it the same with tv, phone, computer - any screen time - he has to earn it.
Getting this down now will save you a world of trouble when he's older.
Oh and be sure to tell him up front that you WILL be monitoring everything he does online until he pays for his own devices and follow through with actually doing it.
This will also save you a lot of grief down the line.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

sounds like a kid who needs better boundaries.

'cut down' time with a screen that he's so addicted to that he hits you over it is a pretty tepid response. especially since you say he has a tendency to act out violently when unhappy.

it's time for mom to stop being hurt and sad when your son attacks you and to take firm, serious and inexorable action. 6 is plenty old enough to understand that this is unacceptable behavior.

any child who hit me in the head with something would be living in a very stripped down world for a while. privileges like screen time would come to a screeching halt and have to be earned back.

if you're having a lot of trouble saying no to your 6 year old, you'll be in deep doodoo when he turns 16.

get your parenting philosophy, focusing right now on consequences for bad behavior, hashed out right now. make sure your husband is on board. lay down the law to this young hooligan and make sure you're not waffling on enforcing it.

khairete
S.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Cut down? Take that iPad away from him for at least 2 weeks, with zero apologies.

I had a temperamental child, but he never went that far. Do not discount the possibility that he will continue this as he gets older and end up physically abusing women.

Does he hit other children? Does he yell and scream when he gets angry or frustrated? Call your ped and ask for a consultation with a child psychologist to get help. Don’t let the discomfort of this issue get you to pretend this problem away. You need help with him. He needs help navigating his anger. Get the help, and take away that iPad.

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K.C.

answers from Houston on

Yes, I've raised 5 sons and 2 daughters. None have ever hit me before but they have hit other adults while having tantrums or in angry. I believed in spankings and/or firm consequences. A 6 year old, definitely, knows better! You should address it immediately! If you are a mom who doesn't believe in spankings then he needs very firm consequences!! No iPad for an entire day! Do not decrease his hours the first day. He has to show signs of improvements first, before allowing him to touch the ipad again. Give him other fun time options and explain to him why he's being forbidden to use the ipad. Let him know until the tantrums are better his iPad is off limits. This is a very serous offense. Make him write a paragraph of why he's punished and how he plans to improve.He also, may need counseling, because it's ALWAYS unacceptable to hurt mommy as well as anyone else.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

I wouldn't read anything into this. This isn't because he's a boy. Girls can hit, too. This is about teaching him how to handle himself when he's upset. In the past when he has gotten upset, he has responded by getting physical with you. That is not acceptable, so you need to begin teaching him that and teaching him how to respond.

Don't worry about it. There's always going to be something he needs to work on. This is something the two of you need to work on. Calmly let him know that when he gets mad or upset, he needs to use his words and not hurt other people. Be sure to tell him when he is not actually upset or mad. Let him know what the consequence will be if he chooses to behave inappropriately, and be sure to follow through.

This is going to happen again. He's not going to learn this overnight. Just stay calm and consistent, and he WILL get it.

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Z.B.

answers from Toledo on

That sounds like a 6 year old to me! Many kids at that age will lack impulse control and will act out when they suddenly have their toy taken away from them. So, help him learn.

One thing that might help, especially with the ipad, is to give him a 2 minute warning. It might also help to talk to him before giving him the ipad. Let him know that you will give him the warning and that you expect him to turn off the ipad and had it to you nicely. Maybe even have a little reward for behaving correctly.

This is pretty normal, but you do need to teach how to do better.

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*.*.

answers from New London on

Kids should not allowed to watch bad tv, swear, have a iPad more than an hr or 2 a day, no tv in the bedrm , no tv or tech during dinner or overnight...and they should be Bored /Not occupied all the time! With that being said, our tv shows/movies, etc are more are MUCH more violent than the time I was a kid. Still, hitting is not allowed. Pull him aside and tell him that these are the New rules concerning the Ipad.

One night my kid had a phone and was texting on a school night at 2 am. ( Ten other kids were texting, too----I was not surprised). The next day, I said the the new rule is that the phone goes on the kitchen table every night at ….time. Then, I had my husband explain why. -----The rule could be followed or the phone was gone.

If u read the research, Ipads and tv, etc.... should be cut off well before bedtime.

Use this as a teachable parenting moment---Because that is what it is. Parenting is not easy!

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