Where the Violent Things Are

I was reading a post on the popular and awesome Finslippy (and Alice’s subsequent Redbook article) a while back about kids who get a little physically violent when they throw a tantrum, or sometimes even if they are just playing or excited or whatever. The point is, they hit/kick/bite/punch/pinch/scratch. And IT HURTS.

At the time I read this, Bowie was doing a little bit of hitting, but nothing of note, really. I still could sympathize, though. It was annoying. And I was feeling like a bad parent, like I had done something to bring this behavior on. I was worried that he wouldn’t outgrow it before school, and that it was all my fault.

There was also a slew of comments in response (which I can’t seem to locate at the moment) about how other moms didn’t have this problem and “my son never hit me” and that kind of thing. No one said outright “You’ve brought this upon yourself!”, but it was there, between the lines, very passive-aggressive-like.

So, fast forward a few months to now, and the violent outbursts gradually increased until last month when I ended a 4 hour plane ride with bruises, scratches and a bite mark leaving people to wonder what I said to start that bar fight I was in.

Bowie hits. And bites. And pinches. And I am at my wit’s end trying to get him to stop. I have tried every parenting method from calmly explaining the consequences of his actions all the way to doing it back (in a manner that won’t physically maim of course). My frustration is two-fold. #1. I have no idea where he got these habits from and #2 IT HURTS. It really hurts. I have bruises and bite marks and scratches, and I flinch when he comes near me sometimes; it’s like being in an abusive relationship.

I know it’s a phase, and it will pass. But, will I make it to the other side? Will his playground friends? He is just so rough.

And I used to poo poo all over the theory that violent media have caused children to be more violent, but my one and only theory about where he got this from (aside from friends telling me ‘he’s a boy, it’s natural’) is that sometimes when he’s playing, we have some not so kosher television programs on in the background, such as The Wire, Weeds, Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy, Dirty Harry movies, stuff like that. He’s not sitting there watching it with us, but I’m sure he’s seeing stuff he shouldn’t. So, we will curb that.

What do you think? Was your child like this? Will I survive? Is it the TV? Halp!

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