Posted by: Worried | 2009/04/29

Sadism in a 5-year-old

I take care of a few children and one of them is a 5-year-old boy that I worry a lot about. Many times he kind of loses control of himself and starts to sing very loud or shout things that he keep repeating, usually " You are aaaaaall dumb" , and he totally ignores everything you say or ask in those moments. He tends to hold to people constantly or lean on people or pull at people' s clothes, and most times he expresses his happiness or frustration by hitting people repeatedly and screaming things that make no sense or closing his teeth tightly(clearly more because he loves to do it than because he wants to hurt them). He also loves to touch, spank and smell girls'  and women' s bottoms, touch or kick their vaginas as well as touch his friends penis, and he constantly seeks for contact with his penis, usually by asking his younger sister to touch it or by lying or her or asking her to lie on him. In his heart, he is very sensitive and a lovely child, but most of the time he acts like this and fantasizes about shooting guns or playing games in which he is the father of his younger sister and his mother is the mother of his sister (this might be a reflection of the fact that he rejects his father authority and affection and does everything he can to compete with him). He ofen says he is the boss in the house. He slept with his mother until a month or two ago, clinging to her the whole night long, as she said, and even though he sleeps in his own room now, he is very attached to her.
I don' t know if all of this is normal in his age, but I see him as a potential rapist in the future. He seems to have the same sadist character and I find it hard to show love for him because I see only evil in all he does. I don' t talk with him about it because he is a child, but I worry a lot. I tried to explain that he shouldn' t touch people' s privates because it' s not okay and it' s even full of germs but nothing stops him from doing it. He is very frustrated because of bullying in school, so I suppose that' s where this all comes from. He also looks up to his strong male schoolmates and even says he' s going to marry a boy of his class, and annoys and takes advantage of the weaker boys and girls to the point that his sister has started to bite her own arms because she feels powerless against him. What should be done or what should we know to handle this in a better way?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

YOu are very observant, and your description convincingly suggests a realyl disturbed child. We can't usefully guess the reasons for his disturbance --- he ought o see a child psychologist o child psychiatrist for a proper asessment, aided by your detailed observations of his interactions with others ( as, obviously, he won't display all these features during a consultation, and his parents may not be aware of all these features of his condition ). Its surprising his parents haven't done this already

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Our users say:
Posted by: Philna | 2009/04/29

I think there are psychological issues with this boy .a 5 year is still an innocent child who would does not yet not the difference between what is moral and what is immoral . There are definitely things happening in his life and he probably has a lot of stuff in his mind . I would argue that its a matter of nurture vs nature with this child . I dont think its a natural act / biological/ hereditary reason, I think its more of the environbment he grew up in . Perhaps the parents are not letting you in on what goes behind the scenes in their home . Tell the parents that this behaviour is bothering you and the rest of the children and you will not allow this child to be part of the team unless he sees a psychologist. Make it a condition that he must leave or seek psychological help. That will be the only way you can get on the road to discoverying and helping the young chap .

Reply to Philna
Posted by: Anonymous too | 2009/04/29

What does the parents say about his behaviour? Have you discussed it in detail with them? It might seem a bit extreme, but if you aren' t getting answers from the parents you might think about calling child services.

Reply to Anonymous too
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009/04/29

Has this child ever been taken to a psychologist? There is definitely something very wrong.

Reply to Anonymous

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