out of control 7 year old

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We have not actually had a diagnosis for my grandson yet, but his extreme behaviour has been getting progressively worse over the past three years, to a point now, where he is violent towards my daughter and his sister, and on occasion to me. He lashes out, then invites you to hit back, when we don't he just hits, or kicks, more. He swears and smashes and throws things. As a family they are being supported by a Surestart Support worker who I must say has been brilliant, CAHMS are now involved, but it took them 18 months to decide this, originally they said 'because he was not like it all the time, it was not a mental health issue'. My grandson can be the most loving and affectionate little boy one minute, then an absolute monster the next. We really are at the end of our tether. My daughter has been to the GP several times for help. At the last visit she requested a referral to a paediatrician, and was told this was CAHMS responsibility, then guess what? CAHMS (at a meeting with my daughter, support workers, schoolnurse, headmistress and myself) said it was the responsibility of the GP, so now we have letters flying backwards and forwards between GP and CAHMS, but this is all taking time, time that we don't feel we have. My grandson knows that his behaviour is out of control, but he doesan't know how to stop himself. He is staying with myself and his grandad at the moment, as his aggression towards his mum was escalating to such a degree that we felt it was better to remove him from the situation. He told me this morning that he thought he should go into care so that he wouldn't hurt anyone any more, this is heart breaking as we love him so much and just want him to have a happy, healthy childhood. If anyone has any helpful ideas of where to go next I would love to hear them. By the way, my grandson is really well behaved at school most of the time, the only issues he has I would say are normal for a child of his age, ie spats in the playground, nothing violent.

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  • Posted

    Hi Elaine.  I was saddened and interested in what you have written as my grandson who is only 5 has been displaying very similar behaviours, particularly towards his mother (who is separated from his father).  I am not sure if this is of any help, but I watched a TV programme a week or so back called 'My violent child' (Channel 5 I think).  It was interesting that the therapist involved put the behaviours down to high levels of anxiety caused by the parents' relationship difficulties and also other stresses in the mother's life in his early years.  She advocated an approach where the child was not punished for violence but was drawn close, touched and spoken to in a very calming voice.  It seemed to be having some good effects.  In another case where the child did have a diagnosis of autism the therapist made a den for the 14 year old boy under his bed and he went in there when life was getting too much for him.  The boy himself hated his violent behaviours and admitted that he was actually very depressed about it.  Anyway, I do hope your little grandson will get all the help he needs and will be able to return to his mum's care; it must be heartbreaking for you all.  
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    • Posted

      Hi Roseanne

      I had a son who had behaviour similar. Autistic tantrum, caused by confusion and frustration. Could be he likes things done in a certain way.

      My son who was a very clever lad would challenge every one regardless of who they were.

      It's this confrontation of arguing that starts (fuels the rage} of confusion and shame for getting something wrong. Children often siblings are very quick to judge and are often very cruel too. Once they know how easy it is to wind him up. You need to be calm as behaviour has a mirroring effect. They will copy your feelings speech and behaviour. You must stay calm! Easy to say l know. He is fighting himself, trying to be normal. There is a lot of support for children now. If you talk to the school they can help. Doctors can refer you to get diagnosis and statement {if you haven't already done so)you are doing all the right things. He will need support guidelines routine. Maths is a good one. Only one answer the right one. A door is open or shut my sons favourite tantrum. From the film The Snowman. I am walking in the air! NO ! YOU CAN'T WALK IN THE AIR!! This is where we left the Birthday party. Always retain a sense of humour. You are not a lone.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Lloyd, what you've written is very helpful and enlightening.  I'm not sure if my grandson would be classed as being on the autistic spectrum but much of what you write certainly resonates.  He is in a period of great change (new school/house move etc) at present and so we have to see how things settle down.  Thank you again for the humour and for the helpful advice if things should continue or worsen.  I am sure Elaine will find your comments helpful too.
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    • Posted

      Hi Roseann,Thank you so much for your reply, it is heartbreakin, as I am sure you will know from your own experiences. I have watched 'My violent child' and have recorded it for my daughter to watch to as she feels she is being a bad mother, and I have tried to tell her, there are lots of children out there with the same problems. My grandson does actually take himself into his bedroom (at my house) where there is a desk with a gap in the middle and he tucks himself in there until he calms down. He also has a space under his cabin bed at home, which I am going to suggest we put a curtain around and make it his safe, private place to go when he needs to. We do show him a lot of love, but mostly he just pushes us away initially, it takes alot to calm him. We are also lucky enough to have ponies and chickens, and he does love to be outside with them, or cuddling the cat. He does hate himself for his outbursts, but will tell us that he doesn't know how to control himself, which is very sad for a 7 year old. As for going back to early years, I think there may be alot in this, my daugheter is also a single mum, with a very stressful job, little support from her ex, either financially or for the children, he has now re-married and has two more small boys.  My daughter separated from her partner when my grandson was only 3 months old (due to domestic abuse) and he had very little contact for about three years, now they see him probably once a fortnight. I think this situation has had a bigger impact on him than we realise, I think there is alot of resentment towards his mum because of this, they do say you always hurt the one you love the most, he knows that whatever he throws at her, she will always love him. He says he dare not play his dad up because he would punish him. Incidentally neither him nor his sister enjoy staying with their dad whichg says alot. We are hoping that he will soon go back home, but are taking things slowly, My daughter and grand-daughter are coming to stay with us tonight and do this probably a couple of times a week in the hopes that we can slowly get him and his mum in a happier place. Again thank you for your reply, it's good to talk to someone who understands, I really hope every thing goes well with your grandson too. I will also take on board what Lloyd says, I do think a sense of humour helps!
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    • Posted

      Your reply means a lot to me too Elaine; I think we may be in similar places with our lovely grandsons.  My daughter's situation is/was very similar to your daughter's with the relationship going wrong very early on.  My grandson will now go happily to his father, who is wholly inadequate as a parent but manages to buy his son's affections with computer games etc.  My grandson is very confused and takes it out on his lovely mum with punches and kicks and some horrible verbal abuse.  And yet he is the most lovely little boy when he's not doing all of this.  I hope you can gradually manage to get your grandson back to his mum, but, in the meantime it sounds as if you are doing all the right things and giving him that safe place to go to when it all gets too much.  Maybe we can keep in touch and swap stories as things move forward for our families.  Take good care of yourself in amongst this challenging situation and hope the spring weather brings some ease to everyone's moods and stresses.  Very best wishes to you all.
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    • Posted

      Morning Roseann, gosh we could be talking about the same family, I would love to keep in touch, it really does help. My grandson has gone home to his mum this weekend (my grand daughter has come to me for a few days), we are seeing how things go and taking it very slowly. We just have to all keep positive. Take care
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    • Posted

      Morning to you Elaine, great to hear that things have moved forward a little more positively for you, but sounds as if you will have some longstanding babysitting commitments one way or the other!  I shall send you a private message (look at top right of page) with my e-mail address so that we can swap stories without involving the whole world in our dramas.  Just to make you laugh, my grandson returned from daddy this weekend with a new song that I think daddy helped him to create:  'Granny is a stupid little old lady, and she's fat', repeated over and over.  Last time is was 'Granny is stinky and she's fat'.  What a wonderful role model daddy isn't!  But it made me laugh.
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    • Posted

      I think daddy has ADHD .... I'm sorry he has been so rude. His behavior is out of control! Daddy needs to see a professional and meds to help him think ahead and that there are consequences to teaching his child rebellious and disrespectful behaviors. Some day it will backfire.

      I raised two boys with ADHD. 

      Hope you can enlarge & read the pic. LOL

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    • Posted

      Many thanks 'hope4cure'; I think you may be right, it's either ADHD, a personality disorder or some form of autistic spectrum disorder.  I can handle the abuse but I fear for my grandson with this role model of a father.  There is absolutely no chance of daddy acknowledging that he has a problem unfortunately so he won't seek help.  It is possible that my grandson may have ADHD and we are keeping a close eye on how things develop.  All respect to you in raising your two boys with this problem; you must have gone through hell and I hope the outcome has been good for you and your boys.
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    • Posted

      Your grandson can be tested by any child pshyciatric evaluation. There are tests designed to find out if he is in the ADHD or in the autism spectrum or both.

      There are also special schools that are designed for problem children and all education is centered around therapy. Even a private Christian school has more decipline and the daily routine with rules & constructive activities. To do this he must be on medication to control his behaviors and attention disorder as well as any meltdowns. Starting early is paramount.

      A daily routine the same time for chores activities and dinner bedtime is essential to manage a child and constructive a good schedule at home. There also must be consequences for uncooperative behaviors which must all be consistant. It's a lot of work and it never is easy. This can make it easier to live with him however. A daily calender so the chaildhood cannot argue posted at a level he can understand. This way the child knows what's next and knows how long each activity takes. My son did well with wearing music ear phones at home. Music is excellent therapy as he goes thru his daily schedule. It blocked his own negative destructive thinking and he learned to stick to task. Small times are scheduled at first until he his trained for loner periods of play time, chores, etc. Energy minute of his day must be planned out.  This is what is referred to as behavior modification. There are many methods plus the child should be on medication. Medication helps with focus and less meltdowns, the child is calmer and the effects of his meltdowns on the family is far less frequent. The stress factor is limited and coping with the child is easier. 

      It's a lot of work at first. Actually once the method is in place the whole family 

      has benefits that can in turn be handing over the control back to the parent and authoritian figures in the child's life. He must learn good behavior is rewarding including respecting his peers.

      some children do well others may need in hospital therapy for several months to undo all the bad behaviors. Removing them from the home is the best way many parents respond unknowingly by encouraging unacceptable behaviors. Which later on in life can put the older child at resk for further unappropiate behaviors.

      its not easy but everyone must be consistant in decipline consequences and rewarding good behaviors, as well a a consistant daily schedule.

       

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for all of the info above; you have clearly learned all the necessary techniques and all the sources of help, probably through bitter experience.  I don't think we are yet able to say one way or the other whether to seek assessment or put a label on my grandson but we are playing a watching game.  Thanks again for taking the time to offer this help and all best to you and your family.

       

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