difficult child is 'stabbing' a picture...?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    difficult child's been home sick the past 2 days. He's feeling better at the moment, still not 100%, but better.

    He's sitting at his little table coloring (he chose a "sit down activity" after he got WILD). He is coloring a picture of a friendly ghost and a boy. He has a red crayon and is bringing his hand with the crayon up into the air and bringing it down on the picture like he is stabbing it, bringing it down on the ghost and the boy. He is yelling "DIE! DIE! DIE TO DEATH!" Then laughing about the "blood" the crayon is making.

    Is this typical behavior for a 5 year old boy?
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well.... it depends. For some kids, no way. For others, it's not a stretch at all. You would know him best. Did you ask him about it? I'd be interested to know what he was thinking/feeling at the time.
  3. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    No, no, no....I don't believe that is typical behavior at all. But, if he saw something recently on TV maybe & is "acting it out"??? Boys will be boys. Typical behavior for sure has children's imaginations flowing at times, but not in that direction. JMO. I'm sure others will come along with more & I'm curious to see what they have to say (now my mind is racing about my difficult child & some things she has displayed......were they in that direction or not :confused:) . LOL!
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Personally, after I saw and heard some things from my difficult child when he was completely unstable, I took drawings to his therapist at the time and asked him about those and other "phrases" difficult child seemed bent on saying. therapist was a male and said he saw no reason to be concerned- he thought it was typical boy stuff and wanting to achieve some shock factor when he realized it made me react. therapist also said to just watch out for any signs of whether or not he thought any of this was real (hallucinating) or if he seemed to get fixated on any of it or paranoid. My difficult child had just turned 11 at the time so I would think this would be even more true for a younger child. He might have seen a scary movie or had a nightmare- it would probably be worth asking him and keeping an eye on how often and to what extreme this is happening. But just based on this incident and nothing else, I wouldn't worry too much. Knowing what I know now with mine, I'd try to hold some of the shock in too, around him.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Yeah, pretty typical. Not pretty, not a lot of fun but not really out of the norm. Kids, especially boys, are fascinated by blood and gore. They really don't have any real concept of what death is at 5, but I'm sure he's seen or heard something that says he's supposed to say die when stabbing someone.

    I would say if it is non-stop for a long period or something that occurs no matter what he is doing, then I'd be concerned. Otherwise, chalk it up to one of those boys will be boys things. If he were a easy child, I'd say talk to him about how negative those thoughts and words are, but I'm not sure I'd say that to him. If he's typical, that would just give him "permission" to do it more since it obviously bugs mom.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If he's doing it constantly, I'd worry. But it IS showing he's capable of role-play and imagination games, even if it's more 'boy' stuff and hence more violent. Sorry to sound like I'm stereotyping the genders, but kids ARE different, there are gender differences.

    Talk to the therapist if you're worried, maybe tell him you don't like the violence, but think about it - kids' cartoons etc are stylised violence. We grew up with it too. On "Simpsons" they deal with it using itchy and Scratchy, but think back to our own childhood - Sylvester & Tweety, Roadrunner & Wile E Coyote - all were remarkably violent, but there was a sense of impermanence about it. You'd see a cartoon character hit on the head, be stunned, a lump would raise on their head, they'd be scratched and bruised - and the next frame they're off and running, without a mark on them.

    Barbie dolls in sexual bondage would be more of a concern.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My oldest son was into gore and horror when he was young. He does have some psychiatric issues now, as an adult, although he's non-violent. I would bring it up to psychiatrist as it IS disturbing and I really don't think it's that normal for a five year old. I've had four other five year olds and none of them did that.
    I think that a fascination with gore and blood is considered a red flag for bipolar, according to Dimitri and Janice Papalos "The Bipolar Child." The kids tend to have vivid dreams that are gory and they act them out.
    As an adult with bipolar, my guilty secret is that I love to read True Crime. I also love to watch murder stories on Court TV (well, before it changed names). I sometimes wonder if this fascination has to do with my mood disorder because I sure ain't REALLY violent. Why do I enjoy reading gory books????
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Be sure he did not get a reaction out of me with this. I just watched from afar. His stabbing games are daily, tho this one with the crayon picture was a first, and he was really aumsed by the "blood" factor.
    difficult child 1 did something similar - only he drew pics of family members first, then mutilated them. The other 2 didn't do this at all - oh yeah, they'd play bad guys and kill someone in the game or whatever, but it wasn't a daily game and it was just part of a larger game, not the point of it.
    I'll ask therapist. He does have a violent streak and a history of taking it out on people and the animals.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Shari, sorry you're going through this- if you've seen other concerning behavior- and you say you've seen a violent streak with people and animals, then a talk with the therapist sounds like the best idea. It's good that you're staying on top of this- Good Luck and keep us posted!
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    You know, he had bad dreams last night - was up thru the night with them. Seems to be sleeping restlessly tonight (in fact, just growled at difficult child 1 in his sleep (tho difficult child 1 is long gone)). Wonder if thats any part of the added display today.
    Dunno. Wondering "out loud", I guess.
    Anyway, thanks all.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The bad dreams - a sign of a vivid imagination. And yes, you can get all this with bipolar and other problems, but you can also get it with 'normal' kids too. I used to get recurring, vivid, full-colour nightmares. I think because life was so stressful, my nightmares were worse because it was my mind trying to sort through all the input from the day, and there was just so much to deal with.

    MWM, you said, "As an adult with bipolar, my guilty secret is that I love to read True Crime. I also love to watch murder stories on Court TV (well, before it changed names). I sometimes wonder if this fascination has to do with my mood disorder because I sure ain't REALLY violent. Why do I enjoy reading gory books????"

    I'm not bipolar, but I've always had a fascination with murder mysteries, especially true stories. Forensic stories, detailed descriptions. As long as it is sufficiently realistic. I don't like BAD medical fiction, for example. Our shelves include a number of books on real life murder and forensics. husband is also into this stuff, as is easy child 2/difficult child 2. I also write some fairly nasty stuff (at times), including a couple lately from the point of view of a really twisted criminal.
    I remember watching early TV programs on Aussie TV (back in its infancy) that featured criminal court cases, etc. I used to watch Perry Mason (first run) and try to solve the crimes before he did. I read just about every Ellery Queen, every Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer (except they were getting a bit silly at times). I did NOT enjoy reading "Hannibal" because I felt Thomas Harris was getting gross purely for gratuitous reasons. I don't like feeling used by the authors I read. But otherwise - there is some fascinating and compelling nasty stuff out there, in real cases, so that fiction often just can't compete.

    So I wouldn't see this fascination with blood n' gore as exclusively the domain of someone with bipolar.

    But with this kid's behaviour - I would definitely be talking to the therapist and psychiatrist about it.

  12. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    so sorry you're dealing with this at the moment! i have another persepective - I am an artist - or so my BA says! Have you looked into "play therapy"? Hard to find a good one in any area but they actually use drawings, play, creative expression to analyze kids feelings. It may be of use to have an "expert" take a look especially at difficult child's age. It could be nothing, but I assume from the post it concerned you greatly. I am no expert in this area, but what you describe could be one of two things - either he is acting out something that scared him or he is truly having difficulties in other areas. From an artists perspective his drawings and behavior are out of the norm. My understanding is that use of black crayons and "blood" are atypical and need some looking into. A play therapist is taught to look for these signs and can advise better. Save the drawing - bring it to someone who is qualified to analyze. Yes, I know another "expense'! But better to find out now rather than later. My heart goes outto you - I'm pulling my hair out with just the one i have never mind several at once. Keep strong - keep us posted !
  13. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! You said he was home sick. Is he taking any medication for the cold/flu/chest problems. that he is home with?

    We noticed with difficult child 1 that when he's taking medications. that are OTC or prescription, he's aggitated, extremely verbose, obnoxious and gravitates toward ANYTHING that may annoy you. He also has very vivid dreams when he's taking anything. This could be part to blame.

    If you bring this up to psychiatrist, gp or therapist, make sure you mention any medications or change in routine.

  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Now that this is on my mind a little more than normal, he does this a lot, but since its more imaginative play now, instead of actually hurting us or the animals like he used to, I've made it a non-issue in my own mind.

    But first thing he did when he got up this morning was to pick up a screwdriver and pair of pliers husband left of the endtable. He was not anywhere close to me, was strictly playing, but he was making stabbing motions towards me and saying "die to death" again. Again, he got no reaction from me, I just took the screwdriver and put it away. So he picked up the pliers and started saying "pinch you to death"...and i took those and put them away. Gave no reaction other than to say "gosh, dad forgot to pick up his stuff" and went on about my merry business. But as I'm thinking about it now, this type of thing is pretty much a daily occurance. The coloring picture was new, but this morning is same ol', same ol'. He just isn't hurting anyone with it anymore, so I've mostly just ignored it.
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member


    yup i'd have to agree that boys are fascinated by blood and guts!! so i'd try not to get too upset but i think i would def. speak to him about it. maybe ask him what shows he's been watching, about friends at school if they like to do that? if he's mad at anyone if anything bad an argument happened at school that sort of thing. has he ever done that before?

    it's a classic line i find by all the pysch that their drawings are an insight to their mental state or feelings, yet sometimes i think it can just be a drawing or their imagination.

  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    He's not taking any additional medications.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Shari...you mentioned big difficult child. Could little difficult child have heard or seen anything about the war? I really dont see how anyone could shield him from all reports about it and maybe he is putting it together in his head that his big brother is going to war and bam...die die die! He has to kill the bad guys. Just a thought.