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My 6-year old is incredibly violent, he chokes, hits, screams. What do I do?


I recently became engaged to a single father. The mother is not in the picture, she is a heroin addict who has nothing to do with her children. It has been very hard for the 6-year old boy since she has left. But his violent behavior started before this. He has always been violent with his little sister, who is 3 and 1/2 years younger than him. He has slammed a car seat into her head at 6 months old, he has thrown things at her head (and hit her) for asking to use his sponge in the bath (she doesn't know her colors yet), he has smashed her face in the carpet, he has wrapped his hands around her throat. He is also violent with adults, he has hit his Nana in the head for not letting him play her kindle because he was not allowed to (he had gotten in trouble at school). He has now become increasingly violent at daycare/school. He has already wrapped his hands around one kid's throat, and then yesterday, he actually held the kid in front of him as he choked him, so that he could see the kid turning red. The kid and him were wrestling and playing and he snapped. He also lies, continuously. I am terrified for the 3 year old. I do not know what to do anymore. We've tried time-outs and taking things away (he doesn't care about anything). We've tried rewarding him. We've also tried spanking him. Nothing works! I'm at such a loss and I'm terrified. Does anyone have any ideas? He is in counseling and they were supposed to do a home-based program, but no matter how much we "pester" we have not heard anything to get it started. I'm just at my wit's end.

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on Aug. 16, 2012 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (21)
  • That's not right what so ever. Have you taken him to the doctor?

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 1:59 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • He sounds like a sociopath. I wish I had a plan of action to get you help but at that age, where does one begin? Hopefully these ladies have suggestions. In the meantime, he could actually kill the younger sibling so that needs to be watched very diligently. He clearly needs help. The issues at school are also very scary with the choking...the other parents backlash could be swift. So ya, you need help with this kid. Have you talked to his doctor?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:01 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • Has he been evaluated for a mood disorder?

    Answer by 3libras at 2:02 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • I don't usually say this first hand, but I'm thinking medication and not just counseling. A good psycotherapist may be needed. I am surprised social services isn't involved. If they are they could be held responsible if they fail to take action and the smaller child is hurt so bad the child is permanently injured or worse. Another thought would be parenting classes for the both of you, not because you are bad parents, just a fresh view point and maybe some new ideas.

    Answer by Beeyatch80 at 2:03 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • His father has (I have no legal rights, no matter the fact that I am the primary caretaker, that I provide for him and am a mother to him). Unfortunately, we have gotten nothing. Almost everybody responds with the generic "oh, he's 6 and he's angry that his mom's not around." Or "he's 6, it's normal behavior". They were supposed to get the psychiatric in home care started over a month ago, and despite many phone calls to see what's going on, we've heard nothing. The state and doctors are doing very little to help us. I'm just at such a lot, and I am very worried about him being a sociopath. He knows how to act like he cares, but he just doesn't. He feels no remorse when he hurts someone, he only feels bad that he got caught/in trouble.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:05 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • And Beeyatch80, I've thought about that. Social services has been to visit our house because he lied and told everyone that his dad spun him around by the arm and slammed him into the driveway, cutting his elbow. In reality, he fell. It was unfounded, but they have done nothing, even after telling them that he punched a 9 year old in the face for playing with him, he hit his sister in the head so hard she had a bruise on her forhead for a week, and punching the dog for eating the food that he dropped on the floor. Nobody is doing anything to help. And I agree with the parenting classes, which is why I was hoping the would come out and do in home evaluations to help us learn to deal, from a psychiatric stand point. The worst part, for me, is that I am in school to get my masters as an applied behavioral analyst. And I have no idea what to do.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:09 PM on Aug. 16, 2012


    You know in your gut it's not normal behavior for a six year old. That is for certain. I'd really bug your doctors on this and get a second opinion if you can. I agree about medicating too simply because the alternative could be devastating. IDK, hate to medicate. There are therapies out there that are newish (neurofeedback) but insurance usually doesn't cover them....

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:09 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • I would do what you need to do to get legal rights so you guys can make arrangements on this if mom isn't in the picture. I would also switch therapists.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 2:16 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • They were supposed to get the psychiatric in home care started over a month ago, and despite many phone calls to see what's going on, we've heard nothing.

    "I" would take the child to their office (especially on a bad day) and force them to actually "see" the behavior. No Appointment, no calling in- just go.

    Right now it seems you are just a voice on the other end of the line. It hard to ignore what you can see.

    Answer by feralxat at 2:27 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

  • I would take him to a psychiatrist who can dispense medication should he need it rather than a psychologist.

    Answer by robinkane at 2:28 PM on Aug. 16, 2012

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