View Full Version : 4 year old attacks pitbull

09-10-2008, 12:12 AM
I am ashamed to admit this, but my son seems to have a mean streak in him. He isnt even 4 yet, but he managed to hurt my dog badly enough for a few trips to the vet. We have a metal security gate that leads to a terrace, which he slammed into the dogs head. It took awhile, but the dogs head swelled up like a bowling ball, and she was bleeding out of her ear. She looks like she got hit in the head with a baseball bat. At first I thought a bee crawled into her ear, or some weird abcess happened to a tooth. Good thing my maxie is a tank, and has been recovering well.
The real kicker is that he denied doing anything to the dog for 2 days. He even came to the vet with us. I tried to get him to admit it in his sleep, but he still lied to me like a well groomed academy award winner. Finally the vet shaved her head and took x-rays to reveal a vertical skin wound. Only when I told him the doctor told me someone physically hurt the dog, did he finally fess up.
The thing is, I dont have any other kids so I dont know how normal this is. Hes jealous of the dog, but I never thought he would try to kill her. Had she been a small breed, thats what would have happened. So I know that he knows what he did was wrong, but I didnt know if he understood the possible consequences. So I asked him what he thought would happen if he slammed the dogs head in the door. "I thought she would die," he said. Except for school and meals, I havent let him out of his room for 2 days.....but I dont know what else to do.

09-10-2008, 08:49 AM
Sounds like you might need to start paying a little more attention to your son. I am sure you will do the right thing to help him but without knowing more, I would suggest you spend a lot more time with your son and give him the attention he is desiring.


09-10-2008, 09:10 AM
I know it sounds like that on the surface, but the kid is spoiled and selfish. My wife and I spend plenty of time with him. (We dont even have real jobs.) I am reluctant to spend even more time with him because that would be rewarding him for bad behavior. Thanks for the suggestion though, eg8.

09-10-2008, 10:07 AM
Alright man. I hope everything works out.


09-10-2008, 11:44 AM
There's definitely something wrong there. I've raised or helped raise at least 10-15 kids and have pretty much seen all the types. There are 2 that exhibited the lack of empathy at that age that you describe. One has a total disconnect and appears to have no real affection to anyone or anything except himself. Just when you think you've finally found something that he really cares about, you find out it was wishful thinking. We finally had to come to the conclusion that we just weren't capable of dealing with him. Sooner or later he was going to really hurt someone. We managed to get him into a school that only dealt with kids with his type of anti-social behavior and he is doing much better now. The sooner the better is all I can say. We've run into many parents that have kids with this type of problem. Sometimes the therapy works and sometimes it doesn't. For the parents where it doesn't work or the kids stop taking their medication, they end up locking their doors at night while they are asleep and put up with abuse from the child during the day. The normal punishment/reward systems probably aren't going to do any good at all.

There are two things I can highly recommend for you. The first is to learn how to meditate and then teach your son to meditate. It will be tough, but him learning how to control his mind and his anger will be paramount to your peace of mind. The benefits you receive from meditation will also help you cope with the stress of your ordeal.
The second thing I can recommend is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Google it for more information and how to find a practitioner in your area. It's supposed to work wonders for children and grown-ups alike.

Always put your love for him first. Try to see things from his point of view before getting angry. Treat the things that he does as if you had done them yourself. Getting him and yourself into counseling may be a good idea as well. You need to find out how he views himself and others. Try to get inside his head as much as possible so that you have more affinity for how he is feeling. Everything I've read and everyone I've talked to all agree that the sooner you can make positive changes in his behavior, the better chance he has of recovering and living a normal life. Good luck!

09-10-2008, 04:55 PM
I appreciate you taking the time to write that, Bsmutz. Sounds like some sound advice, thanks. Other than bullying the dog, my son doesnt have any other social problems. He seems to only harass the dog because he knows dam well the dog cant tell us what happened. I am hoping this is an isolated incident, but I'm just not convinced. Thanks again.

09-11-2008, 01:11 PM
I think I got a little carried away, probably thinking worst-case-scenario. Kids are all different in their own special way. If he's doing well everywhere else, this just may be jealousy or something he'll outgrow. As you've indicated, you don't want him to start thinking that it's okay to hurt animals or people if he thinks he can get away with it. I would definitely try to find out why he thinks it's okay to lie to you, too. It's extremely difficult to raise a child who lies to you. I've had to deal with 3 pathological liars. Fortunately, two of them would finally break down and fess up if we put some pressure on them. However, it becomes a real strain on the relationship in time since you can never trust them and they always feel untrusted. We used to have to shake my granddaughter down before she got on the bus for school to make sure she didn't have her Gameboy or some other toy she knew she wasn't supposed to take with her. Make sure that you and your wife are totally honest with him as much as possible. This includes Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, lol.