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Old 09-17-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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Question not sure what to do

My son (he's 8), has been agressive towards my ex-wife, even to the point of throwing himself at her, and mild hitting. This is not something he has ever seen (at least not from me), and I'm not sure how to help, being that I'm not the custodial parent. I've thought that if he loses privelages at her house, he should lose them at my place, next time I have him. I'm sure he has anger over the divorce, and she is most proximal, so she gets the brunt of it. I know I did the same to my mom, even though it was my dad who caused himself to get kicked out. But that aside, what can I do? I don't want him to think hitting his mom (or any woman/person), is o.k. I've tried to get him to talk; he is very articulate, so I know he knows how to express this way. I've thought about having him draw, use his toys, etc. I've told him many times that I will listen, and that if he is mad at me, he can tell me. I may not like what he has to say, but I will listen and look as objectively as I can at what he said.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: not sure what to do

Sounds to me like you are doing all you can, personally. You might want to get him involved with a councelor...someone he can talk to who is not directly involved. Someone who has no stake in the situation.

Kudo's to you....it's so refreshing to hear someone say something like:
Quote:
I've thought that if he loses privelages at her house, he should lose them at my place, next time I have him
.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: not sure what to do

He has a condition called Selective Mutism, in which he only communicates with certain people. In spite of this, we have tried counselors, but they eventually get frustrated with his not talking and they give up. And unfortuantely, we have wasted allot of time and money on counselors who assured us they could help. We are both social workers, so we know the same things as the counselors, but obviously we are biased, that of course gets in the way. He's made allot of progress in many areas, but the anger is as intense as ever. She is getting him a punching bag and he and I have very physical play, with tackling and throwing eachother around.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: not sure what to do

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin01 View Post
He has a condition called Selective Mutism, in which he only communicates with certain people. In spite of this, we have tried counselors, but they eventually get frustrated with his not talking and they give up. And unfortuantely, we have wasted allot of time and money on counselors who assured us they could help. We are both social workers, so we know the same things as the counselors, but obviously we are biased, that of course gets in the way. He's made allot of progress in many areas, but the anger is as intense as ever. She is getting him a punching bag and he and I have very physical play, with tackling and throwing eachother around.
Again, it all sounds good, but just to clarify for the sake of anyone else reading, it was not your bias I was concerned about...it was the fact that he may not feel comfortable telling you or your ex some things he is feeling because he might be afraid of hurting your feelings.
I know that's paradoxial considering that hitting certainly hurts, but that could be an expression of desperation due to surpressed (verbal) expression.

All that said, I have an autistic child and work daily with many others. I understand very well how difficult it can be to get a child to open up to anyone else at all. So, I can see why counceling could be an excersize in futility for you.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: not sure what to do

Have you considered a Big Brother. I've worked with a couple selective mutes and my daughter is friends with one. She spoke to nobody outside of the house until my daughter decided to call her on the phone. She doesn't speak otherwise but wil via phone. I'm thinking out loud and maybe the ease of a big brother sort of relationship could open him up. Counseling sounds like a terrifying place for a child with this to open up in. One of the girls in my class spoke to me after about a month but not the children nor other adults. I simply ignored the fact that she wasn't going to answer
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: not sure what to do

to add to the above wonderful support...
I agree with you that he behavior need to be refocused...

have him / help him to write a letter of apology.

With parts to focus on...

Part1. Ask for forgiveness for the inappropriate re/action

Part2. state why that behavior is wrong. and the out come that wrong behaviors have on oneself and family and subjected person

part 3. What are better options to a better appropriate response to the connected feeling.

and I also agree, a mutual grounding at both home is very beneficial to a separate two parent home.

My kids are late teen and they write one automatically now with out being ask.
and now aday they can come up with some creative funny ways they could have defused the situation on their own.

for example :
" the next time my brother punches me on the arm, my alternative response can be singing a lovely tune to him to stop." and he has and it does defuse the negative tension that was building up and lead someone to punch an arm

just food for thought, hope it helps
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: not sure what to do

I understood what you meant, I've often though he doesn't want to hurt my feelings and I know he is protective of me. I am going to try a few things this weekend, and see if I can make it a safe way to say what's on his mind.

---------- Post added at 09:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:15 AM ----------

He speaks with myself, as well as my ex; he is VERY verbal with us, but selective with other adults. He also speaks consistently with his peers. With the hitting, etc, I know he misses me and in angry about the situation, but he won't say anything.

---------- Post added at 09:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:18 AM ----------

Thank you, those are good suggestions.
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