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Does my four year old need a therapist?

My son has behavioral problems that me and his teacher, father and day care provider have discussed and we all agree they are not "normal" for children. He has tried to kill my parents puppy by stepping on its head, has thrown the puppy across the room and tried to choke his fathers cat. I dont know where he gets these ideas, but now he has a baby brother (from his dad, not me) and his day care lady says he goes around asking other kids to play "kill the baby" with him. He also (just recently) started calling the other children in daycare "fat and round" which I know he didnt get from me. A friend of mine refferred a "child psychologist" to me, but is that really what he needs? And what does a child therapist do? I have tried talking to him and the social worker at his school has been seeing him on a weekly basis but still no progress. Im at a loss.

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Asked by dustinsmom0113 at 3:49 PM on Feb. 21, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (27 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • i dont really know much about child therapy but it sounds like it would be a good idea. i mean it sure wont hurt anything. i think if hes playing "kill little brother" that is something to be VERY concerned about.

    Answer by Chandra034 at 3:54 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Well, your little boy's behavior is stemming from SOMETHING he either heard or saw, and now apparently thinks is ok. Not only that, he's 'recruiting' other children now, and that's a problem.

    I'm not a big subscriber to the whole 'therapy' thing, but I think this is one time where I'd say it probably would be beneficial for him to go.


    Answer by .Peaches. at 4:25 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • I have this feeling that he gets it when he spends time with one of his older cousins at his dads. He is only about 2 years older, but he has been to a therapist and I know his whole situation has been messed since he was born. I brought that up to my sons father, and he gets all defensive everytime I even suggest it might be something happening during his time with our son.

    Answer by dustinsmom0113 at 4:42 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • My son is seeing a psychologist (he's just turned 5). If you have the name of a good one..go for it. On one hand it's not going to hurt. On the other hand, s/he can refer you elsewhere if that is what your son needs.

    If it is something with the will come out and you can use the therapists recommendations to help you if you need to....

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:16 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Yes, I think a therapist couldn't hurt. I am a special educator and too often parents don't seek any help for children until they reach school age. A good psychologist will be able to help you see what is age appropriate and what is not. Good luck! You will not regret seeking help for your child!

    Answer by conmorave at 6:26 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • your son who is 4 is already displaying like 3 of the signs of a potential serial killer. he needs a serious therapist or whatever.
    i'm not bashing you. but you need to get him some help. what are you gonna do when he actually hurts someone?

    Answer by princezzmommie at 6:49 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Does he have to go visit with the cousin when he goes to dads? I believe I would limit there time with each other. Explain to your child's father that you are seeing these behaviors and how they are impacting his son. Can you refuse to let him go visit if the father doesn't agree?

    Some children go to what is called "play therapy". It is just as it sounds, the therapist plays with the child and allows the child to talk and "act out" his thoughts through play. I think it would be beneficial and also give you information to share with his father that might help convince him. It might also give you information about what your sons visits are like.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 9:05 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Make sure you are not entertaining negative behavior.   A therapist will be able to help you firmly & lovely discipline a child with out feeding into the negative, and help with feeding the child with positive reinforcement.  I have a feeling he is normal BUT just off and needs some attention & parents could most likely use help with approaching the child.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:32 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Your child should be evaluated by a behavioral psychologist who will then determine if treatment is needed and what kind.


    Answer by EiEiO at 9:32 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • It may be something as innocent as a cartoon on tv. Our son would go straight for his sister's neck when he got made. We linked it back to him watching the Simpsons. We stopped letting him watch it and drilled it into his head that it was not ok.

    You may also want to get him tested for food sensitivities. These can go undetected and cause behavioral problems including depression, aggression, and violent actions.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 10:17 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

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