violent 9-yr-old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by hipperq, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. hipperq

    hipperq New Member

    My 9-yr-old has been increasingly violent and upset lately. In the past month she's talked at least 5 different times about wishing she were dead, wishing my husband was dead.

    I walked in the door just after bed time this evening to see her holding a metal folding chair over her head and threatening to hit him with it, while he was staring her down. She threatened me with a chair shortly after that. She stomped around, mad, and shut herself in her room.

    Now she's calm again, but telling me there is no place in the whole house that she wants to sleep. She's been doing a little of this for days, sleeping on couches, etc. But tonight she claims even the couches, etc. won't do, she can't sleep, etc.

    She was sent home from school Thursday for hitting the art teacher with a thrown lump of clay, then throwing rolls of duct tape at her classmates.

    I'm in way over my head with this child, and have no idea what to do with her.

    She gets so very angry, then fine again, then angry again, over and over. Her psychiatrist is of little or no help; I'm working on switching her to a new one, but the one recommended to us has yet to set an actual appointment, though I've talked to her secretary twice on the phone in the past week.

    Has anybody dealt with a kid like this? Where did it go from here? I mean, she's only nine, what is 13 going to be like?

    Her therapist says that even though she doesn't think she's serious about the suicide comments, we are probably going to have to call her on it and take her in to the hospital if it keeps up. Has anyone dealt with that? What do they do with a kid this young?

    So, so overwhelmed here.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yes, there are many here who have aggressive children. Many others who also or alternatively threaten to kill themselves.

    Do they have her diagnosed with any thing? Does she have rapid cycling bipolar disorder? Other mental health issue? Any neurological condition that is going on?

    Many of us like to have complete neuropsychology evaluations done. A neuropsychologist is specially trained to connect behavior to how the brain works, to make a diagnosis, to explain why behaviors are happening, and then to make recommendations for treatment and school accommodations/recommendations.

    They look at all brain based conditions whether neurological, mental/emotional, genetic/health, situational....

    Psychiatrists (in general) only consider mental health and they do not (often) help with ideas for other treatments......but of course they and neurologists and also good pediatricians are very helpful if medications are needed once you know what is going on.

    Has she always had challenges? How does she do in school with friends? School work? What other issues does she have? Any motor or sensory challenges? Does she have any hobbies or interests that are unusually intense?


    A book that has helped many of us no matter the diagnosis is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene.

    It's very cheap of bought used like on Amazon not too expensive or digital he has a website too.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Mine was older than that when violence started showing up... and it wasn't drugs.
    It was a difficult child who had been bullied by teachers and classmates for one too many years.
    It was a difficult child who was at the end of his rope - no cope left, lost that a long time back.
    Part of it was exhaustion - mental, physical, emotional... he was being hammered on every front.

    We turned him around - but not until we knew what was driving it.
    More detailed comprehensive evaluations, more reports, more sub-evaluations (Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)), more of everything, for... the nth time around.

    You need to find out WHY this is happening.
    The range of options is huge...
    Have you ruled out a possible physical cause? (such as a brain tumour, or thyroid problems, for example)

    Beyond that... there's three main groups of challenges that can show up as violence (that I'm familiar with - there may be others)
    1) Mental Illness (depression, bi-polar, etc.)
    2) Developmental issues (such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie)
    3) various layers of abuse - for example, if this were (not saying he is) an older adopted child where the normal attachments were not formed in the first three years of life, there may be Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) at work; but in any case there could be abuse by older kids, or by teachers, for example...
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    My oldest started saying he was going to kill himself or that he wanted to die at age 5. It really depends on the child how you handle it. For us I didn't show any expression and acted like I was ignoring it. I would try to increase supervision without him realizing it. If I showed any emotion when he said this he would say it more. Plus I would tell his therapist and they would talk about it in therapy. He is just barely starting to try to not say it. It slips out when he is upset and he looks at me and says sorry mom.

    *Other parents would have to take there kid into the er. It just depends on the kid.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My son was violent from about the time he was 2 or 3. By 9 it was down right scary. At age 12 he pushed me down a flight of stairs. At age 7 my son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. He went through many hospitalizations between the age of 7 and 13. There were many times I wondered what age 15 would look like. I didn't think we would still have him living in our home. Thankfully, due to a great psychiatrist, great therapists, some great teachers (not all), and through finding the right medications (after many, many trials) he is not now violent (or very rarely and not to the old extremes). He is still a difficult child to the fullest (and probably always will be to an extent) but we are working on it.

    The neuro-psychiatric exam that Buddy mentioned is a very good idea. It really helps to get a full picture of what is going on with your difficult child.

    Welcome to our corner of the world. I hope you will find as much support here as I have.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I prefer neuropsychs, but this child needs a total evaluation. Is she adopted? Even if not, I was wondering if she hd a very chaotic time in his early years? Some violent kids have had extreme chaos as infants and toddlers, including numerous caregivers rather than one, or for whatever reasons they were not cared for at all (some bio. moms take drugs), or babies shifted from mom to dad to grandma to auntie and back again. This causes insecure attachment. If not, was there a problem with the birth? Any glitches in the child's development or ability to relate to people, including same age peers? Any speech delays, even if the c hild caught up, or inability to play with toys or any other strange quirks? Are
    there any mood disorders or autism on either side of the child's biological family tree. Is your husband her father? Is he good with her or does he hit her? Has your daughter ever possibly suffered physical or sexual abuse? Does she have siblings and, if so, is she ok with them? Animals? How are her academics?

    The more we know, the better we can steer you.

    Welcome to the board, but sorry you had to be here.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    One question: did this behavior start after she started the Zoloft?
  8. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    My very first thought was what medications is she on? My son had reactions like that on two different medications. Both had to be stopped immediately. Violence like that requires a psychiatric hospital visit. Next time (it sounds like there probably will be one), call 911 immediately and tell them you have a mentally ill child threatening you with (whatever is the weapon of choice at that time) and that she's made suicidal and homocidal comments recently. That might also be the fastest way to get a new psychiatrist on board.

    Another issue that jumped out at me was the "there's nowhere to sleep" issue. One medication caused insomnia for difficult child 1. difficult child 1 also, even now, goes through bouts where he just can't get comfortable anywhere and is awake most of the night. One night he slept in the bathtub and not too long ago, he slept in difficult child 2's clothes basket up against a wall. I'm lucky in that we do online school from home so once he does fall asleep, he can sleep as long as he needs to. He's VERY sleep sensitive and he's a nightmare to deal with when he hasn't had enough sleep. He's more irritable and uncooperative.

    Those are just the two personal experiences I have lived through. They are both things most people don't even think about so thought I'd get you at least think about them. The medication issues came on VERY gradually (up to 5 months) so I never put 2 and 2 together.

    Good luck. I KNOW how scary the whole thing is. ((((HUGS))))
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Good point, count mine in as another who had a dramatic increase in aggression from several after a long time, two right away.