Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    difficult child always has a little disturbing episode here and there... It last for a few minutes, and then poof! Gone.
    For exemple, today he had 2 so far:
    1. Takes his sister little doll and puts the doll's face right on his private's... Some back and force with the face and then I stopped him. Asked him what he was doing. Just casually replied that she was looking at his underwear. Later I asked him why he was doing that, he just told me "she is not real". I asked him if any "real person" were doing that, he said no. (Thank God!)
    2. Right out of the blue, difficult child says that he will have some dogs when he grows up. And he will throw them in the fire. He repeated himself a couple times (I ignored it) and then his brother tells him he will go to jail if he was to do that. I nodded. So difficult child, changes his story a bit: he will throw the dogs to the wolves so the wolves will be the one ending up in jail. I pretty much ignored it.
    Several time a week, he makes some disturbing comments/gestures. And he is soooo focused on his pennis. I try to tell him that people don't want to see it (including myself), that he cannot touch it in front of me, etc...
    It really makes me feel weird, but I have no clue if it is normal behaviot or not. My other son sure has never done anything like that.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he adopted by any chance?

    All I can tell you is my experiences. I've raised five kids and none of my kids ever said anything like that. Not even close. I did adopt an older child who was very disturbed and killed two of my dogs. I was told that the three signs for budding BIG problems are: 1/cruelty to animals (I have no idea about talking about being cruel to animals) 2/peeing and pooping inappropriately 3/fascination with fires/fire setting.

    This child abused my two younger kids very badly, but they did not admit it until he was gone. If your son was abused, there is a chance he won't tell you. The kids feel ashamed.

    He needs help. Now. (((Hugs)))
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    He was not adopted. He has been going to daycare since the age of 18months though. I had to pull out both of my boys out of when daycare last year because my older son told me he was being spanked. Was not sure if it was tru but I did not want to take a chance. Turns out it was true: that same daycare just got its licence removed for child abuse (spanked a child with wooden spoon: the kids was blue and red!). difficult child was only 2 and 1/2 so I will never hear if anything happened to him.
    I will mention it to his therapist...
    As far as cruelty to animals: he LOVES animals, will look at them for hours, kiss them, but for some reason he always manage to squish small creatures (we live in the woods). This morning, he caught a toad and I stopped him from stepping on it. After that he was good with it and just walked around with it in his hands.
    When it comes to peeing inappropriatly... well it's not really the case. But really did not know a 4 year old could masturbate... (it is not new either). I can see it happen by accident at that age, but purposly?? It is not an every day occurence with difficult child, maybe weekly? Probably not related, but he still pees in his pull up at night.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I have limited expertise in the matter but from what I have seen, read, heard, masturbating in small boys is normal. Not to excess and not continually, obviously. But sexuality in children - ie the discovery of pleasure related to certain sensations - was "revealed" by Freud a century ago and really is not news now... From what I have seen in my son (who is not "normal" either, but there you go :) ), he sometimes rubs himself; I say nothing but have told him he is not to do in front of other people, and I have never heard tell that he has... So I guess the doing it in public, or the not assimilating that it is socially "taboo" may be of concern. Do you have a good therapist or trusted counsellor you could ask about it?
    As for the violent imagery and talk, I'm not sure. To some extent boys do talk like this, again based on what I've heard, but then say my son would be more extreme than most. He isn't particularly violent towards others (though his gestures are often too brusque and impulsive - in other words he quite often hurts other children without meaning to) but his talk IS sometimes violent. He will say "I am going to cut you!", for example, when he is angry with me. It sounds awful, I know, but I don't actually take it to mean that he is inevitably going to be a dangerous criminal as an adult... It is an extreme thing he says to reflect an extreme emotion. I also used very extreme and passionate language as a child, but did not grow up to be violent...
    So I urge some measure of caution in considering these things. Take them seriously, of course, but remember that children, especially children with "issues", just blurt out whatever comes to mind. It does not mean they are going to act it out. Sometimes it may do, but we cannot take that as automatic. in my humble opinion.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Malika, I hear what you say. My difficult child is actually NEVER violent (in action or language) when he has a meltdown. It is more like an inside storm that goes with a lot of loud crying.
    When he has those "disturbing episodes" he is very quiet. I call them disturbing, because they are to me. I am not drawing any conclusion because I don't even know why he says/does things like that.
    He also forgets those episodes within a few hours. If I try to talk about it at night and, for exemple, it happened in the morning, chances are: he has no clue what I'm talking about.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am going to agree with Malika here with the comments. I always gave Matt's comments too much leverage I believe, and all of his comments freaked me out. Yet, they never amounted to anything. So, I am not sure what to say other than we know they are not normal, and yet there are no answers on how to handle things like that.

    On the flip side, it is possible that he was sexually abused by this place. Same thing happened to Matt at that age, he came home talking about the sitter spanking him. I pulled him out of the place, and the sitter adamantly denied that anything had happened. Two months ago, age 20, Matt spilled to me that he remembers being sexually abused. He could not remember any of the details except the feelings, and some objects in the house. He has had some lifetime repercussions from it - and in this conversation he revealed to me some of the torment he has gone through with himself and sexuality. It was so sad. I could never place why he acted or did certain things until he told me this a couple of months ago - now it makes sense.

    Your son doing that with the doll is not normal, and indicates some sort of sexual impropriety happened. He is acting out the action and trying to resolve what happened to him by using play. I would get him into play therapy with this issue as the main focus.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Trying to squish, say, frogs or wildlife isn't normal either, if that's what he does.

    The talking...well, if that's all he does...but you never know. I think I'd be the most disturbed if he is deliberately trying to squash animals in the woods. I've never known any kid to do that. I guess I'm cautious because I saw what a child who was disturbed turned into without getting the right kind of vigorous help. I take mean, aggressive language seriously and my k ids were never allowed to talk that way, but, then again, they never did. We had other problems, not that one.

    The masturbation would be a non-issue to me unless it was constant. Even babies can find their parts and play with them. The doll would alert me to possible child abuse.

    I do hope you get help soon though. I wouldn't wait. See what professionals think. An outside view is one that is more objective than us, the parents :)
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Is he on any medications?
  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    No medications. So whatever is going on is the "real" little boy that I know. I remember having to answer the question "cruel to animals" and I looked at my husband... I really did not know what to answer so we settled for "never". Again tonight, he picked a block of wood with the intentionof throwing it on our sleeping pet pig. I caught him on time and he tried to explain that he was just going to throw the wood next to the pig. Yeah, right. But once again: it can be funny to a kid to see a squeaking scared pig... although not nice to do.
    I will share my concerns with his therapist.
    husband tells me the doll episode is just a coincidence... I don't know. He is very focused on his pennis, and I can understand that in a little boy . But he also always wants to see me naked and would really like to touch his baby sister's private's. I keep on telling him it is just not something to do. He does not make a scene, but occasionally I have to remind him of it when I change her diaper and I see difficult child's hand approaching.
    For what it's worth, I had a discussion with the boys about no one looking/touching in their pants. And also telling an adult that they trust if it was to happen.
  10. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    The animal cruelty would be a concern even if it is small animals, would you trust him with a pet hamster? I think it's normal for boys to be very curious about bodies and body parts...when my boys see me naked they gawk and will ask me..mom why do you have large chest and I don't and daddy doesn't? Mom how come you sit to pee? They are curious, now that they are getting bigger they rarely see me naked but they are still curious. totally normal. I've seen my M playing with his penis in the bathtub...he's asked me "mom why does it get hard like that?" I tell him "because you are rubbing it and blood enters your penis making it hard" I try to tell them the truth without making things sexual or confusing. The anatomical stuff. They think it's funny to show their butts to each other and pull mooners etc...of course I get super angry because they can't do that at school, so they need to know it's not ok to do that.

    I see in your siggy that your difficult child has ODD and animal cruelty and ODD go hand in hand from what I've read.
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well...I think all you can do at this point is redirect and keep him in therapy. It is hard to know what will happen, but it is obvious he has some issues. Try and cultivate your love for animals within him. Comment on what the pig might be thinking or feeling at any given moment for example.

    FYI ODD does not mean he may be cruel to animals that would be more a CD diagnosis.

    being a sexual abuse survivor myself, and then watching what my son went thru, I would be more focused on that. Playing with your genitals is normal, but the other things you have written are not. Perhs he is acting out his sexual trauma in other ways, ie being angry at animals. I would have the therapist focus in on that.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Throwing something at a pig and thinking it's fear and pain is funny is not normal. It is animal cruelty and sadistic. Please get him help. This is not normal boy stuff. It's more and can be ominous if not addressed early. Has he ever killed a frog or a hamster or a small animal? A small animal is an animal. My daughter had a friend who squished her gerbil in her hand at age six. As a teenager she was on drugs, really weird, and I heard she ended up in some hospital because her parents could not handle her. Not trying to scare you, but don't make light of any animal abuse. It is NOT normal even for little kids.

    Your answer t hat he is never cruel to animals was misleading to whomever tested your son. He is. At least sometimes. I would keep the animals away from him. Hide them/rehome them. You don't know what he has done to your pets when you don't see. in my opinion this is a possibly dangerous boy who can be helped now, but may not be if you don't tell the therapist the entire truth, even about the animals. I know it's scary to admit it, but you do want to help your little boy!
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Ne could also have early onset bi polar. Which would explain the sexual hyper arousal.
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    With respect, I disagree. As Steely pointed out, ODD does not mean he may be cruel to animals. My son - who certainly has many of the symptoms of this behaviour that has been termed ODD - really loves animals and is markedly gentle with them. Little girls and babies too. :)
    Having read more of your posts about this in this thread, I agree that there are some issues of concern here. The sexuality and the desire to hurt animals seem to be somewhat beyond "normal" - but I also do not want to be alarmist... I hope you can get some clearer idea soon of what exactly is going on for your little boy.
  15. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm agreeing with Steely on this.

    I'd urge caution on all accounts--not bring additional pets into the household but continue to be vigilant about any who do have or around. Masturbating is normal at this age but intense curiousity about other's gentials (ie more than a few questions or passing comments) isn't typical. Repeatedly trying to touch baby sister's gentials during diaper changes is not normal, nor would repeated requests to see you naked. With most kids this age the body things tend to be spur of the moment curiosity questions and not focused interest questions.

    I would mention concerns to his therapist. I'd also read up on hypersexuality that goes along with a bipolar diagnosis even if that isn't a current diagnosis, just so you have an idea what to look for and suggestions on handling situations if/when they come along.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Curiosity and masturbation are VERY normal in children. When my son was in daycare as a toddler there were a couple of little girls who would rub themselves until they slept. The family of one girl, one I knew VERY well, had been investigated VERY intensely because the parents were divorced before the child was born and each parent wondered if the other one had "let" someone abuse her. NO ONE had every abused her. Apparently some kids just do that. The other girl's family I didn't know well, but I do know that an investigation showed nothing.

    But what your son is doing is a bit different. Usually what kids do is have a hand in their pants or over their pants, and it can be tough to get through, but gently telling them that they must be alone iwth a door shut to do that usually is enough to break the habit. just stopping htem, telling them to only do that in the bathroom or bedroom with the door shut, that it is normal but they must not do it around anyone usually gets through.

    Your son's behavior is rather scary, in my opinion. The doll was one thing, but touching his baby sister's privates is another. Both may be signs of abuse or of a symptom called hypersexuality - this is often a symptom of bipolar disorder. Bipolar can appear in children at any age and I STRONGLY suggest that you get a copy of "The Bipolar Child" by Papalous to see if this may be what you are dealing with. I will say that trying to see you naked if it is persistent is also disturbing. Kids ARE curious and that is normal and natural, but what you are seeing sounds overboard.

    Kids ARE to some degree sexual. NOT NOT NOT the way adults are. The sensations of masturbation are pleasant, often soothing to them (hence why many masturbate when going to sleep - it is far more common than people realize, or when anxious) but they are NOT the sensations that adults feel fromt eh same actions. Little boys do get erections and that is also a normal thing and does NOT indicate sexual arousal. It is just a normal biological function. I babysat a kid who had an erection at EVERY diaper change. I swear that even the mom never changed a diaper with-o seeing one, but it was NOT a sign of anything sexual or abnormal. It was just how that kid was as a baby/toddler. I remember it because it seemed so strange, I had NO idea little boys did that.

    the animals scare me badly. It is HIGHLY abnormal for a child to repeatedly find fun in making an animal hurt. Most of the children I know would have cried if they stepped on a toad by accident and would NEVER have tried to do that or had to be stopped from it except if they were truly absorbed in something else. Throwing things that are heavy on a family pet is even more disturbing. MUCH more disturbing. Pets have a bond iwth the family. Kids see the family caring for the pet and they learn that bond also - and at a very young age. So wanting to throw something on a sleeping family pet is a really BAD sign. At this point your son must NEVER be left alone with the pets. NEVER - not even for a second. If you love the animals, you will protect them from him by either making sure that he is NEVER unsupervised around them, and is actually very closely supervised, or else by finding them new homes. It will hurt, but NOT as much as having your child kill a pet that did no harm to him because he thought it was funny. This is NOT NORMAL.

    Hurting animals is one of the most reliable predictors of violence as an adult. That is sad and scary but very true. there are a LOT of very well done studies that show this over and over. in my opinion htis is something major to work with.

    If your son is bipolar, he is going to need medication. there simply is no way to handle it with-o them. PLEASE read the book I mentioned above and take it to the psychiatrist. For some BIZARRE reason most psychiatrists want to completely ignore the medication protocol for treatment of bipolar and instead rx medications that are KNOWN to make bipolar worse, esp in children. LOTS of them want to start with an ssri or snri antidepressant (prozac, lexapro, effexor type medication). Proper treatment for mood disorders is to stabilize the moods and deal with aggression with up to 2 mood stabilizers and an atypical antipsychotic. AFTER these have been at therapeutic levels for about 6 weeks and the patient is stable, mood wise, then any remaining symptoms can be treated. In many cases the symptoms that the other medications would treat are gone once the moods are stable. If not, very small amounts of antidepressants, stimulants, etc.... are given.

    Time and time again parents come here iwth kids diagnosis'd with mood disorders or bipolar and the kids are out of control and the doctor is giving antidepressants, stimulants, etc.... But the doctor can't answer when the parent asks why the approved medication protocol is NOT being followed. I personally have asked a LOT of psychiatrists why they wanted to diagnosis my child with a mood disorder but NOT follow that medication protocol. Not a single one has EVER given any kind of halfway rational answer. Often it was because 'they wanted to see if it would work' as the closest they could come to ANY rational thought behind their choice. My son does NOT have bipolar, he has unipolar depression and never mania or mixed states, so for him treating bipolar is not right. In fact it took 3 different kinds of antidepressants to get him to stay out of the depression. If he were bipolar he would NEVER be stable on those medications.

    Anyway, I hope you can find GOOD help for him. The interest in sexual things is not normal and the desire to hurt animals is even more disturbing. Please do not ever let him alone in a room with his sister. It isn't easy, trust me, I know. been there done that because Wiz would leave jess bruised or bloody in the time it took to go up to the bathroom, much less the time to actually use it. I spent years with my daughter accompanying me to the bathroom at home if husband wasn't home to supervise them. It was what it took to keep her safe. husband took Wiz with him because we wanted NO questions about inappropriate behaviors with them, Know what I mean?? But he really does need very very close supervision to keep everyone safe.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After our foster son who abused our younger children and killed our dogs was gone, we learned A WHOLE LOT about budding psychopathy in children. We took our kids to top specialists in top hospitals in our state to get them help and I will REPEAT what we were told in less gentle terms by a ton of professionals, many from Mayo Clinic, but some from university hospitals AND child protective services (who have seen just about everything).

    There are three BIG RED FLAGS in children who are at HIGH RISK to become psychopathic as adults and it starts very young. These three symptoms are:

    1/Peeing/pooping inappropriately. It may be that they do it at too old an age or smear their poop or poop in closets. It is one of the BIG THREE. Alone it can mean sensory problems, but part of the group it is a big red flag.

    2/Fascination with fire and fire setting, such as the young man my friend had as a foster child who burned her house down. However...there are smaller signs. The child WE had, set tiny fires that hub and I never saw. He did it in his room and forced my other kids to watch and often said, "If you tell them, I'll burn the whole house down. See, I'm crazy and I don't care if all of us die." The kids were terrified and did not tell us until after her left. That is another of the BIG THREE.

    3/Cruelty to animals. This includes ANY animals. Normal kids do not tear t he wings off of flies or step on mice or laugh at hurt little pigs or kick horses or choke the dog (often when nobody is around). We found out our son had been doing these things to many animals AFTER he left. My other two had seen him choking cats etc. in the nieghborhood but again he said "I'll kill YOU and Dad and Mom too" so they were afraid to tell us. Only after he killed our second dog did we know what he was really like as he was great at hiding the worst of himself. The first dog he killed, our beloved dog of eight years, we thought was killed by some wild teens who were angry at my daughter. NObody cried louder at his death than the boy who had killed him...he was quite an actor, which can be part of psychopathy in children. The second dog he killed was just a puppy that we'd gotten to replace our dog. He got careless...since he was the only one home except for me and the puppy was in the house, we knew that it was him who had put the leash around the poor little girl and thrown her off the top bunk, choking her to death. Makes me cry even now.

    This child was 13 by the time he was asked to leave. We had no idea how bad it was or that he was this sick at all because he was good at hiding it and acting great to grown ups. Do not allow your child to go this far. Do not take hurting animals lightly. It is not a normal kid phase. It is a very serious symptom of something badly wrong. It needs help TODAY.

    I would rehome all of your pets. You can not watch him all the time. I would limit his time in the woods unless you can keep your eyes on him at all times. Take him to the best psychiatrist you can and good luck, hon. We all wish you and your little one a favorable outcome. My experience has left me, unfortuately, knowing just how bad it can get if we let things like this go. THIS IS NOT HOW BOYS ARE, even if somebody says "It's just boys." It's NOT.

    I do not have a clue what is wrong with him. I wish I could help more. I just know that the behavior has to stop. Good luck.
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I really am sure that everyone is making valid points but I am a little concerned that klltc is going to be freaking out here :) The sexual stuff seems unusual, I agree, and beyond the normal curiosity about different bodies, private parts, etc that you see in small children. As far at the cruelty to animals goes, if I understand it right, klltc has said that her son intended to throw something at a sleeping pig (worrying but he is only 4??), that he sometimes squashes insects - it is not clear whether this is deliberate or not - and that he tried to step on a toad. The thing is I probably should refrain from even commenting because I have truly next to no knowledge about bipolar disorder, for example. And people here on the forum do and that obviously needs to be listened to. But a kind of pattern I see in all these things is that it is a child who wants to touch, or to connect physically with things (in a not-to-be-encouraged way, obviously)... is there some clue there? Could it equally be a developmental immaturity, a lack of understanding that living things are living and do not want to be pushed, prodded and poked?
    I wouldn't like to be told my son sounds like a future axe murderer and I'm sure klltc doesn't either...:) Please don't misunderstand me - I am totally aware that people here have had bad and distressing experiences and want only to warn and help. Do you trust your psychiatrist, klltc, to talk about all these concerns with?
  19. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Well, well, well.... Did not think people would be THAT alarmed. His behavior puzzles me, that's for sure. Otherwise I would have not started a thread on it. But it does not worry me to the same point as some of you guys.
    When it comes to animals, I am really not sure of his true intention. Therefor I do not want to draw any harsh conclusion. Regarding the pig episode, I agree it is not something to do. Animals should be respected, just like human beings. BUT, I think of the tipical joke "spooking someone for a good laugh", everybody has done it. Maybe difficult child sees it the same way and does not understand that the wood could hurt as well. I don't know. All I'm saying is: there could be all kind of explanation for his behavior.
    husband also agrees those things should be monitored but as he put it: "don't think it is anything, but I will not let my guard down". I think it is a good approach. It will be talked about in therapy, maybe without difficult child so I can speak freely and let the therapist handle it the way she thinks is best.
    Whatever the problem is, I want to remain hopeful because he is so young and husband and I are seeking help now and not later.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Kids do not try to hurt animals or squash frogs or even tear wings off the fly. No, it is not normal. Yes, it needs to be vigorously addressed. This is not anywhere near normal nor developmental as even two year olds that are normal kids do not do that. It sounds to me like he had every intention of harming the poor pig too, and has already harmed wild life.

    Sometimes we read about children who are definitely heading in frightening directions and in my opinion we would be remiss not to act alarmed. Kids who harm animals (and I think he was ready to throw something at the pig, but for mom being there) often, if n Occupational Therapist (OT) usually, turn that against humans. Every serial killer started out with aniamals (not saying he will be a seriaal killer or a killer at all, but it's a very serious sign that can't be just tossed off as "he's young" or "he's developmentally delayed." My autistic son has never harmed an animal. He was developmentally delayed and he most certainly got annoyed with our dogs barked, but he covered his ears. He did not attempt to harm them.

    I'm not exactly an expert, but I did live with a child psychopath and have much contact with very high caliber professionals who deal with this sort of thing. For me to be lax about this would be to disregard everything I know from people who are some of the smartest in the field. There are plenty of k ids who just come here with mainstream difficult child issues...backtalking, not listening, maybe hitting Johnny lightly when Johnny wins the game, or he has a meltdown when Dad says "no."

    This is beyond all that I want this poster to realize that this is something to take extremely seriously. She doesn't know what he may have done BEHIND her back. Sadly, this issue must be addressed. Add to that, the excessive masturbation and the doll by his sister's crotch...this child has severe problems and it can not wait and I'd feel like I did not do my best if I said, "Well, don't take it too hard." I truly think she should. This does not seem like bipolar disorder or ADHD or ASpergers to me. It sounds like the child we adopted and he was dangerous.