My story

Liam’s Mom

New Member
I have 2 sons, almost exactly 2 years apart. They are currently 2 and 4.

My 4 year old is intelligent but wild. He can be extremely disobedient, to the point where I get really angry.

He’s had a temper since he was a baby.

He just finished a year of Montessori school (half days), which was really hard. He spent a lot of time separated from the other kids, sitting in the office, because he was being unsafe. He pushes, scratches, bites occasionally.

I get so mad at him for hurting his brother that I’ve smacked him in the face. This his happened 2 times, and both time were followed but a lot of serious talking and hugging and I apologize and talk about how bad it is to hurt people and how it’s not ok for me to do it, or for him to do it.

I’m therapy for rage and very open about it. I had an abusive relationship In the past. I envisioned raising my kids without violence (like screaming when angry), but I do it anyways. It’s so hard to stay calm when he is hurting someone.

He gets grabbed and put into timeout for being willfully disobedient (doing the opposite of what he is asked to this evening he wouldn’t stop licking his grandma, then he punched her!).

His younger brother is sweet and very kind, but is starting to exhibit some more negative behaviors that he copies from his brother (pouting, screaming when he is unhappy).

Any advice? Sorry for not giving more details now. I’m grasping at straws for how to stop his aggression!

We are working on never being aggressive with him, but to stay calm when he is punching feels unrealistical. When I yell, if I am angry enough, it can stop and reset him. He can be very good and focused. He is articulate, creative and adventurous. We (his dad / my husband) and I love him very much, and tell him often.

He doesn’t play that well with other kids, so we don’t do it that often. He is unpredictable and can be very unsafe. He can also be very calm and in control, if he is rested, fed, feeling loved. Any descent into discomfort for him results in hurting someone else.

I realize that his aggression probably comes from me being aggressive (yelling, and picking up and putting in time out mostly, arm squeezing, just touching him when I’m angry must feel like an angry touch to him). I am working very hard to stop any aggression or violence from me, but I have to work very hard to stay calm! I am overworked and underrested, pretty broke with not many friends.

I feel bad for him for dealing with aggression and bad for his brother for having a stressed out mama and a brother that gets most of the attention.

Any words of support or advice are welcome.




Well-Known Member
This child is not a bad boy. Something isnt right with him and he needs to be evaluated. Kids dont act that way. I am taking a layma 's guess with maybe high functioning autism.

It does no one any good if you hit him or yell. He probably cant help his behavior. It needs professional attentiion. Suggest a neuropsychologist.


Well-Known Member

What I did with my son is I took him to a regional children's hospital. There should be a child development center. He will be seen by a team of professionals beginning with a thorough examination/testing by a neuropsychologist to receive a diagnosis. He will also see a psychiatric social worker, and a psychiatrist and possibly a pediatric neurologist. They take all kinds of insurance including governmental health benefits. There should also be sliding scale, or free. The other alternative I would consider is taking him to a University Medical School/a teaching hospital. To the pediatric neuro-psychiatric clinic. Again, for a proper diagnosis.

The proper interventions and treatment will begin with a diagnosis. I would also involve the school district now. He can get early intervention services, probably. Request an IEP. He will be tested by a school psychologist. We got early services. My son was able to go to a behavioral nursery school for the 2 years, I think it was, before he began kindergarten. If I remember correctly, I think this was free.

There is no way to know without testing what is going on. It could be something as simple as a hearing problem, for example. He could have some sort of sensory issue.

What is happening to you, is what happens to most of us. We take personally on some level what is happening. Even if we know we are not to blame, we seek to identify a culprit. We vacillate between us and our child. The thing is, it is neither of you. It is the situation. Until you understand what is driving the situation, it will be very hard to not be triggered.