My 8-Year Old Has Violent Thoughts

Updated on February 23, 2009
A.C. asks from Houston, TX
38 answers

My 8-year old son is having violent thoughts and sometimes actions. Before Christmas break his teacher sent home a drawing that she had found in his desk. The drawing was a picture of freddy krueger and at the bottom of the pic. it said "what the f i cant fing do this". Then about 3 wks ago he took a pocket knife to school and told another little boy that he would stab him. Then this past week he went up to the same boy and pointed his fingers like a gun and said to the boy, "I'll shoot you with a real gun". I have had a long talk with him, punished him, and had him see the counsler at school but nothing seems to be getting through to him. Im very concerned about this and want to keep it from progressing but dont know what else to do.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Austin on

Find a good child therapist immediately. There is something going on with him and he doesn't feel he can talk to you about it. Maybe he will open up to a therapist. You want him to be able to deal with whatever it is...sounds like the aggression is becuase he doesn't know HOW to deal with his feelings. Pick up the phonebook today!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.T.

answers from Houston on

Hi A.,
I think something wrong has happened to him in his short life. Get him to therapy asap and see what the professionals think. Maybe something has happened you are not aware of? But he needs help and quickly.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Houston on

I would get him to a child counselor (not a school counselor). You want to get to the bottom of this before he gets any older. Maybe he's very angry about something and this is his way of venting .

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Houston on

First off, thank you for reaching out. This is a very scary situation.

Secondly, you need to get your son professional help. This is not something to mess around with. This is beyond the scope of your ability. He needs to work with someone who specializes in assisting children with these issues.

I am a retired counselor, worked with adults and teens, and I would have referred you to a specialist had you come to me. If you let me know which part of town you live in, I will be happy to get you some resources.

Please please please do not wait on this. Get him help right away. Yes pray, yes monitor his activities, and yes get him help.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.M.

answers from Austin on

First off, my heart goes out to you. My children are much younger, so I've never had an experience similar to yours. I can only imagine how distressing this is for you. You've gotten some great advice.

Recently I've been reading a book called The Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv. One of the things he talks about is calming effect being in nature has on children (on all of us, actually!). As I read your post I thought of so many things from that book.

In our daily lives, we're often so over stimulated. School is busy and loud and then we come home to tv and games that are also busy and loud. It can just be a lot. Especially for a kid who is going through a rough time. Nature can be very soothing.

Maybe your darling son would benefit from a nice low key camping trip or even just an afternoon hiking with you on one of the natural trails around. It would be time away from tv, games, and friends (if those are contributing to the problem) and it would be just nice time with you.

Obviously this would not be a substitute for professional help, which I think he'll benefit from, but maybe a nice way to reconnect with him. You both might need this. You're probably both feeling very stressed right now. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.D.

answers from Victoria on

He could be bi-polar, my nephew is 10 and has bi-polar tendancies. I would see a child psychologist right away! Not only are they prone to outburst and violent behaviors, but by teen years suicide is very prominent. God bless you and your son.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.W.

answers from College Station on

You might have a doctor check him out for Bi-Polar.I know this is sad but i know several children w/ this disorder and they have all much of the same problems w/ also other things as depression,etc.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.R.

answers from Austin on

Dear A.,

First of all I want to commend you for asking for some help with this very troubling issue.

With that said, how in the world does an 8 year old know who Freddy Krueger is? My children are 12 and 22 and they have never seen Nightmare on Elm Street! Does he go to friends' homes where they allow the viewing of this kind of violent content? Secondly, where does an 8 year old get a pocket knife-does he have an older sibling or a friend with one?

I urge you to get some referrals from your school counselor for some private practitioners in your area. Some posters have recommended a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are physicians who prescribe medication and in general, work with people who are hospitalized. Most of the psychiatrists that I work with(I am a social worker)do not provide therapy, but medication monitoring. Ask the school counselor about psychologists and social workers in your area who specialize in young children. It is VERY different from adult practice.

Good luck and I hope your little guy gets some relief! Please don't punish him anymore. He is obviously in a lot of pain to be expressing anger this way!

D.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Austin on

Greetings A.,

Look around your neighborhood for a cub scout pack to join. Some kids watch a movie that they are not supposed to and get the idea that behavior like that is acceptable.

In cub scouts, they learn how to behave because other kids in the pack help control or eliminate that kind of harmful behavior.

If you need help finding a cub scout pack, email me at [email protected]____.com where we can talk privately. I can locate a pack in your area (I am the committee chair for my son's pack).

Cheers

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.D.

answers from Houston on

That is a very scary situation. I think you should start with things you CAN control. Start with his exposure to violence on tv, I would even go as far as restricting his viewing habits to PG. Next, consider the video games he has access to, not necessarily at your home, but friends and relatives also. Even take all away if necessary. I have found even the nightly news has an affect on my daughter, I try not to let her be exposed to even real life violence. Make sure for you and his father with him, to spend one on one time. Just hang out, play basketball, fish, whatever he enjoys. Let him know there is a wonderful life outside of guns and violence. The fact that you are seeing this change in him and genuinely want to help him is a huge first step. Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Austin on

I just want to warn you about the effects of putting him on psych drugs. These are very powerful drugs that can do much harm. These drugs just mask the symptoms and do not get to the source of the problem. At 8, he may not be able to express himself enough to get to the root of the problem. I would suggest doing extroverting activities with him (getting his attention outward) such as sports, spending more time with you and definitely getting rid of all video games, any kind of violent TV, etc. Also, cut down on the sugar, junk food and processed food. Also vitamin B1 can help. A psychiatrist will medicate him, which may be easier for you in the short term, but definitely destructive in the long term. That's my opinion.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Austin on

Hi A.,
Most children at this age know right from wrong and think about their actions before they put them into affect. Children at this age can easly be influence by things they see or hear. I have an 8 yr. old and monitor VERY closly what he sees on t.v. or video games.I will not let him see anything violent or play any games that has blood or shooting in them.
Their is a place in Austin called Life Works.Its a place that offers counseling to adutls, teens and children.I took my to older children when they were having some issues and it really did wonders for our family and themselves.They have a grant program at no cost if you don't have insurance.
We parents need to be responsible for our childrens mental and health well being so that they can grow up to be succesfull adults.If you don't get him the help he needs now, if and when he does something against the law the state will make the decisions for you whether you like it or not. Possibly take him away and put him away.
Do right thing and get the little guy some help.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Houston on

My first question is: How in the world would an 8-year-old know who Freddy Krueger is? Have you been letting him watch things like that?

There is so much violence on TV, I'm not surprised that some kids seem enthralled by it.

My only suggestion to you now is to get him professional help. Don't wait on the school counselors to help him. They are overloaded with paperwork and barely have time to talk to their students. Another question to ask the "Mamas" is, "Can you recommend a good child psychologist?" (Don't ask for a psychiatrist--they'll just want to medicate him, and he needs therapy.)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Your child needs to see a professional now very important. Do this for yourself and your son.Talk with you Dr. about this he may be able to help also.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.C.

answers from San Antonio on

I agree 100% with Donna. I second everything that she said. I would like to reiterate the TV issue. Some children are just affected more by these images than others. Don't use it as a punishment, just take it away. Record things that he can watch and keep the rest away. This includes the news. That is really the worst kind. Commercials need to be screened too. There are many that I even have to change the channel during.

I wish you the best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Morning A.;

I'm wondering how such a young boy saw the pictures you are
talking about? What you need to do is take away all of his
video games if he has any.
Children only act out on things they have seen, so, he has
seen this behavior some where, but, where, that is what you have to find out?
Your not looking at a cure that can take place in one day.
This is going to have to be a long drawn out thing where he learns that being good is better than being evil!
Good Luck
B. C.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.A.

answers from Austin on

Hi A. - I'm sure he hasn't actually seen the Freddy Krueger movie since he is only 8 so I am wondering why he knows so much about it. From what you have said, he needs to see someone other than a school counselor. I would make him an appt. ASAP.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Odessa on

Hi A..

You need to get your son to a child psychiatrist immediately. It is possible that this is nothing more than your son's reaction to being bullied at school or in your neighborhood or it could be indicative of something much deeper. Either way, you need to get help for him. It hurts my heart that an 8 year old could harbor such fear or even anger. You are right to be concerned and no matter what, he is yours and you need to love him through this. God speed to the both of you.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Agree with everyone here. Two points to clarify though: you had him meet with the school counselor. Were you present as well? I would highly recommend that all appointments discipline or behavior related be attended by at least one parent. Two is the best!
No child should go to a meeting with a counsleor or principal, etc...without a parent. If you sit there quietly while the child talks, you will learn a lot as the son communicates with the other adult.

I have 3 teen boys. Two of them could distinguish well between fiction and real life. They could watch a scary scene in a movie or read a scary story in a book and know it was "make believe."

A third boy has a very creative, intricate, story telling mind and he wove lots of fiction into real life stories and vice versa. He would draw pictures, too, about his day at the park with Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader and the light sabers or whoever....

As a result, movies, music, books, tv, video games...everything (!) had to be scrutinized to keep him away from those things until about age 12.
This included our home AND at friends' homes, too. His mind needed more time to mature so he could make a clear distinction.
It is a hard stand to take, but MUST be done. I felt like scum telling kids' moms, if there is a scary movie or violent game to be shown at the slumber party, my son will not be able to attend. But it was important.

How do you know if he just has problems distinguishing fantasy from real-life or really has violent tendencies? See a child psychologist...and do that ASAP.

Your family is in my prayers.

1 mom found this helpful

L.H.

answers from Austin on

He needs to see a therapist---not just the school counselor....Call "The Listening Tree"...they have a policy of not turning away people due to inability to pay so if you have limited resources you can still get in and the therapists there are all wonderful and highly qualified. There's one who is a child psychologist but I don't have her name. Talk to Victoria Sullivan or Kent Foster and tell them "L." suggested them.

GOod luck. I don't mean to alarm you but this is alarming behavior for an 8 year old and needs serious attention.
School counselors are not equipt to deal with much.
L.

1 mom found this helpful

R.W.

answers from San Antonio on

Is he getting picked on at school? Sometimes this is the result from getting bullied at school. Is the little boy, your son is threatening in his class? If so, try to move your son into another classroom if possible. If his behavior doesn't change, or he starts picking on other children, take him to see a professional.

We went through some hard times with our son in school. He was getting picked on and and our son was getting into trouble on a daily basis. His folder was getting marked every day, and his behavior at home was AWFUL. We took him to see a child psychiatrist and he told us, that our son had an anxiety and some type of mood disorder. We decided to remove him from his classroom and he was placed in another kinder class. His behavior changed DRAMATICALLY! He looks happier and is not worried or nervous any more.

Good Luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.E.

answers from Houston on

i wouldn't worry too much about it just as long as you have a talk about his feelings and explain that we don't want to do that with our friends and talk about other peoples feelings and how that could really hurt someone.

i think as long as he is not hurting animals or anything like that, he's fine and just exploring something from a movie or something. Does he play video games? i don't think he is having violent thoughts just mimicing something he seen.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.B.

answers from San Antonio on

A.,
Contact your pediatrician IMMEDIATELY and ask for a referral to a pediatric psych. Explain in great detail the severity of his issues so that they can push the envelope and get him seen sooner than later. I say this because it can often be weeks to get a first appointment with a pedi psych unless the referral comes through another doctor such as your son's pediatrician. They is way beyond the expertise for a school counselor.
I don't believe this is all from television, games, etc. so things you say or do or any discipline/punishment isn't really going to positively affect the situation or his outlook. (It would be like telling a diabetic child to stop having blood sugar issues or youre going to take away the TV.) However, those actions could potentially push him into further into more violent incidents if you don't seek immediate action.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Houston on

I have never been in that situation, but I can give you my gut instincts after reading your post. First, I would completely remove the television. No movies, no cartoons, not even news programs. A lot of those programs are garbage for the mind anyway. Then I would contact a pediatric psychiatrist and set up an appointment ASAP. I would also check into his friends as well. Do you know the moms of his friends? Find out what they are doing when they are together. I hope that helps.

Best wishes to you and your son.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Houston on

Take him to a child counselor/phychologist. The school counselor is not trained to handle something of this nature.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Definately get him some counseling. Don't look pass that or think he will grow out of it! God bless you! I'll be praying that you get some answers.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.A.

answers from Houston on

A., I commend you for asking for help. I know this is very difficult for you. This is also difficult for your son who may honestly not know why he does these things. This is definately beyond a school counselor's area of expertise. Your son does need professional help before he is a teenager. My daughter's psychiatrist recommends a baseline psychological evaluation by a pediatric psychologist. Then the psychologist will recommend a pediatric psychiatrist, if necessary. Ask the school counselor or your pediatrician for a referral.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.G.

answers from Beaumont on

Prayer is the answer. You have got to pray for him. I would go to his bedside when he is asleep every night and pray for him.
Do you go to church? Take him to church and Sunday School. I don't know what else to tell you.
When I don't pray, everything starts going horrible around my house.
God bless you. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.K.

answers from Houston on

Remove the violent games and monitor what he is watching on tv. If you can't monitor what he sees then just don't let him watch.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Houston on

Samaritan Counseling Center will let you pay on a sliding scale fee. If you cannot afford that, then definitely take him to Univ of Texas Med Branch in Houston. They can see him on a sliding scale fee. He needs to see someone who can get to the bottom of it, then help him redirect his thoughts.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.E.

answers from Houston on

Hi A.,

Have you ever thought of putting your son into a sports program? Maybe then he will be able to keep his mind on other things instead of hurting others. As parents we have to monitor the programs our children watch, the videos games our kids play and the people they hang around with. My son couldn't watch certain movies until he turn 17. You have to let your child know what he WILL NOT do in your home. And while you are discussing this with your son make sure the conversation is one sided. Meaning your son does not have an opionion. (He can have an opionion when he starts paying rent). You need talk to him about real life situations. And sometimes talking is not enough, sometimes we have to show them what the term Cause and Effect means. Don't Give Up!

M. G.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.S.

answers from Houston on

sounds to me like he DEFINITELY needs a shrink and some meds. I wouldn't delay if I were you

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.B.

answers from Austin on

I had the same problem with my 8 year old boy too. His was directly related to the inappropriate movies, games and shows that my ex-husband was letting him watch. Boys are naturally more agressive. Has this other boy done something to yours? I would watch him and make sur he is not carrying bad things to school. You could do a contraband check of his pockets and book bag before school. (I do it to check for unauthorized toys.) Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.H.

answers from Houston on

Hi A.,

My daughter is a school Psychologist for an Intermediate school here in Texas. You can email me so we can talk more about this if you would like. I can get feed back from her as well if that would help.

[email protected]____.com

You had said you had talked with him and so has the counselor at the school. Has he mentioned being afraid of anything or anyone in his surroundings. Has there been a change in his life that he may feel a loss of control over? Is this the first time you have become aware of the behavior?

Would love to help!

C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.P.

answers from Houston on

It really sounds like his TV-watching needs to be monitored more closely. When you say that nothing is getting through to him, what does that mean? Does his behavior remain exactly the same? What does he say about what's going on? How does he respond when asked why he does it or where it comes from? I'm sorry for so many questions, but I think that his take on why he's doing it says more about how far it will go. Maybe he doesn't think about it at all. Maybe TV and certain people in his life have glamorized it. Maybe he's angry about something. My stepson spent some time threatening kids at school. His excuse was always that he was being picked on. Maybe on some level your son feels like a victim. Is he only doing this at school? How does he interact with his parents and other relatives, children in the family?

When I was that age, I would go to church and lure my friends (two sisters who were a year older and a year younger than I) into the restroom or some corner where I would proceed to pinch the heck out of their arms. They didn't like it, but they would always fall for it, and I don't think that they ever told anybody. I just remembered that a couple of years or so ago, and I was so ashamed to know that I had behaved that way. I don't know what was going on with me at the time, but I used to actually do things like that to certain kids my age, just to see what would happen. I'm not making an excuse for your son.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.D.

answers from Houston on

My thoughts are...I hope he's not getting sexually abused somewhere. He's extremely angry about something that he can't talk about.

Besides getting some quick, serious help for your son and listening to him for what's really going on, here are some more suggestions: Get everything out of your home that would be displeasing to God, which means pornography, x-rated books, violent movies, games and toys, "idols" that you've looked to instead of God, and all kinds of things that are not good for your spirits and not inviting to the Holy Spirit. Get some help from a good church that teaches the Bible. Get a Godly person to help you pray over your home, asking God to cleanse it and dedicate it to Him for His purposes. Pray for protection over your son in the powerful name of Jesus. Turn your life and your family over to the Lord. You'll never regret doing things God's way! He offers protection, provision and blessings but He waits on your invitation before He'll come into your life.

Praying for you, N.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Odessa on

your in trouble u r way to close to see if u have a real problem talk with the school counselor and see where u should go it may be nothing but do u really want to chance it wishing u all the best

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.M.

answers from San Antonio on

Take him to see a real counselor. Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a phychiatrist.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches