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Why is my son hiting people? HELP

Posted by on Aug. 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM
  • 9 Replies

Hello,

My hubby and I are going nuts trying to figure this out. His preschool teachers are unhappy. I think they think there is something going on at home that simply isn't. 

Back ground.  Son is 4 years old, there seems to be a high likelyhood that is is ADHD, have been working with the schol district to get a diagnosis so we can get the help we need with him. In his IEP he tested in top 5% in cognitive and school readyness etc... and nearly off the charts in Hyperactivity, impulsivity, distractablity etc... DH has a back injury from a car accident and so has been off work, and I am a full time student about to graduate in Oct. He has both of us here, though DH can't do as much as we would like, you know boy stuff like wresting, and roughhousing etc...

There is frustration at times but we don't really talk about it in fron of him. We know how sensitive he is to it, so we try to be aware and waite till he's in preschool or asleep. There is no domestic violence in our house. he generally doesn't see violence on TV, though sometimes he's seen some Bruce Lee stuff, and some video games, like treasure hunting, etc... but not the really violent bloody stuff.

we only spank in serious matters which is very rare. we generally opperate on a reward system, and a time out/ lossing rewards and preveleges etc...  We keep a fairly consistent routein, with rules that he knowa and understands. In general he is a very happy, sweet, gently boy who likes to be helpfull. He's not a mean, or angry, problem child, He is generally well behaved and polite, most people adore him. 

Basicaly our son has a good life, has swim lessons, gymnastics, things to help chanel his energies into positive outlets etc... so we don't get why at school, (never when I am around) his teachers say he hits, we have been trying to modify his behavior and teach him the rules which he knows by heart now. so he knows that he isn't suposed to but does it any way. teachers say it does not seem to have any cause, and now other parents are complaining, and we are afraid that they will kick him out.  this school is an in between daycare/preschool because he doen't do well with the more ridgid structure. Regular preschools won't take him because he can't sit still and teacher student ratio is 12 to 1, and they tell me he needs smaller groups where he can get more one on one attention, so we have him in a school where they are suposed to know how to handle ADHD issues and have a 6 to 1 ratio. They are rated best in the area, and manage licencing etc...the other in home day care programs in the area.  we were lucky to get him in there.

So, when we ask him why he hits he say's he hits when the bad man comes, or that he's fighting bad guys.

 How do we effectively get him to stop hitting? We don't even understand why he's hitting in the 1st place.

please help

by on Aug. 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM
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Replies (1-9):
Bieg9093
by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM
The teacher should be looking for patterns and similarities. Does he target certain kids? Does it happen most frequently at certain times, or right after certain activities? Does he appear to be doing it out of anger, out of frustration, out of excitement? Is he sensory seeking? Does he use language as the first tool in his toolbox to get needs met? And this "bag guy" thing...are there any other signs of irrational fears or that he's seeing or hearing things that aren't there?
Bieg9093
by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 3:46 PM
Oh...and do you see an increase in undesirable behaviors offer he watches a Bruce Lee? And when you say he's "sensitive" about it...elaborate. What happens when you correct and discipline him after he does something wrong at home?
strictmomhere
by Platinum Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 4:17 PM
Hmm not sure hugs
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
etmermaid
by on Aug. 14, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Thank you Bieg.  good questions. i'll ellaborate,

The teacher doesn't see any patern for why, he'll be playing, not arguing over a toy or something and apperently will just hithe knows to express dislike with words when someone does something and is generally very good at expressing himself.  It happens at all times during the day for no apperent reason as for as they can tell.

in terms of sensory, I think yes perhaps. He hits his head with his hands(fists) of on other things when he is over stimulated and frustrated. though I understand this is a sensory thing it freeks me out, I will offer him alternatives, like on the carpt rather than wood floor. 

In terms of irrational fears, yes.  but we though he was doing better.  He has anxiety about being alone in his room. He used to have nightmears and say bad guys were there, so we taught him how to pray, told him there were angles there to protect him from these bad guys ets... I don't know how far it is his imagination (normal for a 4 year old) or if there is something to worrie about.   I used to think I saw people who weren't there, and it scared my mom.

after watching Bruce Lee last month on the Anniversary of BL's death my hubby showd him a little of a BL movie and our son got all excited and started talking about supper hitting power, (along the lines with his superhero play). we talked to him several times that he should not be hitting any one, that he should have super x ray vission powers instead. etc....

He is emotionaly sensative. Example; when he was 2 1/2 things w/ hubby were difficult inregards to his accident he was always in pain, dealing with depession, and would lock himself in our room during the day.  My biy comes up to me and asked, 

Son- Mommy, why you sad?

Me- I'm not sad babe, I'm happy.

Son- No mommy you not happy you sad.

Me - why do you think I'm sad?

Son- (points to bedroom door) because Daddy's in there.

My som also has anxiety, and worries about his daddy.  On days when he knows daddy's not doing well he ges overly emotional.  so previously we attributed his outbursts with his anxiety about his daddy. But things have been better, Hubby is coping better, they play together more, though not a lot of physical play.

In terms of discipline we will take away priveleges make him go to bed early etc... and make sure he knows why. we'll ask him to tell us why he got into trouble, eg hitting, and why he shouldn't do it and he'll tell us, He'll also appologize and say he'll never do it agian. Every day he recites the rules to me, and I tell him not to do anything to anyone else he wouldn't want them to do to you. He takes pride in earning how to be a gentleman, being polite and holding doors open, etc...

 

sometimes he'll do it on accident and immediately without hesitation say sorry and give hugs and kises. 

 

Bieg9093
by Silver Member on Aug. 14, 2014 at 6:52 PM

 

Quoting etmermaid:

Thank you Bieg.  good questions. i'll ellaborate,

The teacher doesn't see any patern for why, he'll be playing, not arguing over a toy or something and apperently will just hithe knows to express dislike with words when someone does something and is generally very good at expressing himself.  It happens at all times during the day for no apperent reason as for as they can tell.

in terms of sensory, I think yes perhaps. He hits his head with his hands(fists) of on other things when he is over stimulated and frustrated. though I understand this is a sensory thing it freeks me out, I will offer him alternatives, like on the carpt rather than wood floor. 

In terms of irrational fears, yes.  but we though he was doing better.  He has anxiety about being alone in his room. He used to have nightmears and say bad guys were there, so we taught him how to pray, told him there were angles there to protect him from these bad guys ets... I don't know how far it is his imagination (normal for a 4 year old) or if there is something to worrie about.   I used to think I saw people who weren't there, and it scared my mom.

after watching Bruce Lee last month on the Anniversary of BL's death my hubby showd him a little of a BL movie and our son got all excited and started talking about supper hitting power, (along the lines with his superhero play). we talked to him several times that he should not be hitting any one, that he should have super x ray vission powers instead. etc....

He is emotionaly sensative. Example; when he was 2 1/2 things w/ hubby were difficult inregards to his accident he was always in pain, dealing with depession, and would lock himself in our room during the day.  My biy comes up to me and asked, 

Son- Mommy, why you sad?

Me- I'm not sad babe, I'm happy.

Son- No mommy you not happy you sad.

Me - why do you think I'm sad?

Son- (points to bedroom door) because Daddy's in there.

My som also has anxiety, and worries about his daddy.  On days when he knows daddy's not doing well he ges overly emotional.  so previously we attributed his outbursts with his anxiety about his daddy. But things have been better, Hubby is coping better, they play together more, though not a lot of physical play.

In terms of discipline we will take away priveleges make him go to bed early etc... and make sure he knows why. we'll ask him to tell us why he got into trouble, eg hitting, and why he shouldn't do it and he'll tell us, He'll also appologize and say he'll never do it agian. Every day he recites the rules to me, and I tell him not to do anything to anyone else he wouldn't want them to do to you. He takes pride in earning how to be a gentleman, being polite and holding doors open, etc...

 

sometimes he'll do it on accident and immediately without hesitation say sorry and give hugs and kises. 

 

 

I'm seeing 2 things here.  The sensory...that's good news.  Sensory seeking kids just love the feel of impact.  And if they lack impulse control, as they often do, they're just as likely to hit others as they are to hit themselves.  And while we can teach them that it hurts, and they understand what pain is, getting hit isn't as big of a deal to them as it is to other kids.  So they don't sympathize with a victim because, y'know...they wouldn't mind the feeling of getting hit.  With time, maturity, and sometimes a little OT, they learn to cut it out.

The apparent randomness of the hitting along with the "bad guys" explanation and your feeling that he's got some anxiety...that doesn't sound so good to me.  It reminds me a lot of a kid I had in my 3rd grade class who was later diagnosed schizophrenic.  Some days, he worked extra hard at doing the right thing...almost compulsively.  Other days, he was a hot mess...upset, paranoid, lashing out at others over little  (or imagined) things. 

So I don't have any good answers for you.  But since you're currently undergoing the evaluation process, I'd just say to report everything you see, regardless of if you think there's a reason for it or not.  The more pieces of the puzzle you give to the experts, the more likely they'll be able to see a clear picture.  Good Luck!

sarahfaith123
by Sarah on Aug. 14, 2014 at 8:26 PM
My advice is don't spank and don't allow the Bruce lee.

I would make sure he tires himself out at the park, a karate or dance class daily. Limit sugar.

Sorry you're going thru this
happynewyorker
by Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Maybe the environment is different for him. Hitting is his form of communicating. 

I tell mothers to check out Additude Magazine online, they have a lot of helpful information. You can ask this same question on the website and you will get not only responses from other parents but professions. If cafemom can't help. I do suggest you try the website.

I use it all the time. I receive daily emails. My daughter doesn't have ADHD but the information provided is 100% helpful.

http://www.additudemag.com/

 

 

emarin77
by Bronze Member on Aug. 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM

The school will have to set up a plan and do behavieral management with him.  At his IEP I would make sure this plan is made for your son.  Follow up with the school at his IEPs or earlier to see how the behavieral management is doing.  You as the parent really can't do anything else because you are not at the school during the day. 

My son at age 3 was a hitter too with me and his father.  He has mild Autism.  My husband and I put him in a time out for 3 minutes.   Taught him to use his words, "We say, I'm angry, we do not hit" at the beginning and ending of a time out every time he hit.  Within 2 months he started using his words.  Buy 5 he was using his words 95% of the time.  By 6, he is using his words 99% of the time now. 

I also suggest not hitting your child in any matter when your child disobeys.  Use behavieral charts with  small awards during the week and larger award for the weekend.  My son uses this and does very well with following directions and he has become very independent too.

MrsBx
by Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM

At a certain age, children are pre-verbal, meaning that they haven't yet learned how to express their emotional feelings with appropriate wordage. This is a learned skill, passed down from parent to child, or paly-mates and teachers to the child. If your child is in a schooling or day care situation, he may be learning inappropriate behaviors as a means of expressing his frustration or getting his needs met. That would be typical for a small child up to age 2 and possibly older, depending on the rate of maturity of that child. Have you taught your son the appropriate way to ask for or get his needs addressed? Teach him about public behavior vs. behavior that is used at home. I'm sure you will witness that in a store, restaurant or other public arena where parents allow their children to run around, make unnecessary noise and become disruptive to other people. Those children are seen as little heathens, where it is really the parents responsibility to teach them how to act in public. If your son is biting you, then that's a much different issue to address. Encourage your son to be more verbal instead of physical in getting what he wants. Does he know what he wants? Going back over your notes, I can only asume that your son is distressed over his dad's withdrawing to another room.  Talking to your son about why daddy needs to be alone when he's not feeling well may be all your son needs to feel "safe".  This is a stage of development that is enhanced by just explaining things in simplistic terms, at his level of understanding. I would not take things way for punishment as his dad is kind of being withdraw already. Maybe coloring or some other activity to take his mind off of emotional stuff would be better. And make sure to monitor what, if anything, he is viewing on TV, which is a mindfield of vicious issues in itself. 

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