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Old 03-28-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

Please help! My son has always been a happy child with a good sense of humor. For the last couple of months or so, his behavior has been deteriorating. He's becoming aggressive and generally unlike "himself". He attends a very good preschool three times a week, which he loves, and I stay at home with him (for the most part) during the day when he's not in school. The school has not reported such concerns. He's been making comments for the last month or so which I've been ignoring, chalking them up to "normal" kid attention-seeking behavior, such as "I want a different mommy" or "I don't want this family anymore" or "I'm not a good kid"...hate that one, by the way. Usually I just say "well, I love you" and change the subject. UNTIL TONIGHT...My son was angry and said " I'm just going to kill myself". I couldn't help but react. I took him in the other room, told him I was glad he was expressing his feelings, but asked him where he was getting this. He just said he didn't want this family anymore.

So...I mean, I've read about childhood depression. COULD this be it? Anyone with experience in this? And...in reading my OWN post, I may come to the conclusion that he's been abused or neglected in some way...no, not it either. I work with sexually abused children and my husband and I are very dedicated to figuring out what is going on. Ideas? Thanks!!!

 
Old 03-28-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

Is he being bullied at school?

 
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:37 PM   #3
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

I suppose it's possible-he attends "lunch bunch"-a program with peers his age as well as children up to three years older than him. Good thought. So now what? I'm always asking him about his friends and how school is going. He seems to like Lunch Bunch too. There are time when he says he doesn't want to go, but says it's because he wants to be home with me. Hmmmm.

 
Old 03-29-2009, 08:51 AM   #4
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

I would approach the adults at the school and the lunch program, and talk to them. Explain what you see in your son, and ask if they have noticed any problems between your son and other children. Make them aware of your concerns, so they can monitor more closely. Make your son aware of who the safe adults are, so if he has problems he knows who he can talk to. Also that he can talk to you, or Dad, or grandma, or whoever, and that they will help him if he is being hurt. Also, be aware of who he is playing with when not at school, monitor that time as well.

There are lots and lots of websites that cover bullying, maybe you could find one that is geared toward children. The thing that we as adults forget, is that bullying can happen at any age, not just to the older children and teenagers. Little ones like your son have a hard time understanding that the way they are being treated is wrong, and at the same time have a hard time expressing their feelings. They just aren't able to process the information the way an adult would. On the flip side, the child doing the bullying just isn't mature enough yet to have empathy for the child he is hurting. Vicious circle.

You will do great in getting to the bottom of the issue. Bullying is of course one option, but it sounds as if you are being proactive. Good for you Julie!

Last edited by bassclari; 03-29-2009 at 08:53 AM.

 
Old 03-30-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

Thank you, bassclari, for your comments! It's something to explore-

 
Old 04-05-2009, 07:22 AM   #6
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

This is very common for boys at this age. I have seen and heard about this type of behavior in 4 year old boys who say the same types of things your son did. One 4 year old I cared for would go into verbal temper tantrums over the littlist things or sometimes over nothing at all. Saying things like: "I hate you" and "I dont want you anymore," but if you give him a few minutes or so and revisit his statement, he will take it back or admit the opposite. Almost like he didnt say it at all. I was practically in tears when he said it to ME and he got the reaction he was looking for, any reaction. I think its an age thing in boys. They get to that age where they have learned how to say these things to push your buttons. They dont mean or even realise what they are saying. Some experts say that this type of behavior is a means of getting a reaction and the best medicine is to simply ignore the behavior instead of giving in.

Last edited by eep113; 04-05-2009 at 07:23 AM.

 
Old 04-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #7
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

juliejd, talking with the school is a good start but I would also say talk to the child's doctor and ask for a referral to a child psychologist. We have had ups and downs with my son over the years (he is now 7). We went through the I hate you stage, I am want a new home, etc. This all changed about 1 month ago when he told me he did not want to be on his Earth. He wanted to be on the Moon. He also told his brother one night while we were sleeping he was gonna get up and leave the house in the middle of the night. I knew that this was not a normal thing. Then take into account all the other things that happened in the past, he is now going through depression (which runs in the family my side). So please do more than just talk to the school and then blow this away. This could be serious or it might not be there is no way to know for sure.

 
Old 04-05-2009, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: Worried about 4 yr-old' s recent behavior and comments

Well first off make sure you do not and I repeat do not allow any medical professionals to say your child needs any medication to help...I done some research on child depression and found that over 50% of the school shootings the children were on antidepressants, not to mention the 8 yr old that committed murder,the 11 yr old that committed suicide....So, rule out medication..please....

One of the things I have noticed that preschools, kindergarten, etc, is that adults are expecting too much out of CHILDREN..they forget they are children, and want them to act like responsible adults and in return these children rebel.....But, as many suggested start at the school and express your concerns is a great start....

When my son was 7 yrs old a comment was made at school that I was not notified about until almost 7 weeks later, his comment was "I'm gonna blow my brains out"...now mind you he has no way in doing so, but I think the school should have contacted me right away w/ such a comment, that is NOT normal ,typical behavior for a child, That is a red flag for something!....So ask the school about all comments, behaviors and such even the ones they felt was not a concern, Talk w/ other parents from the classroom and see if they are dealing w/ the same issue....

 
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