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Why does my child hit me and get violent?

Q: I have 2 sons, the elder one is almost 3 years old & the younger one is 6 months old. We stay in a joint family. My problem is with my elder son. His behaviour is very erratic at times and that is what I am concerned about. He is quite good most of the times with everybody at home, but for some strange reason he gets violent only with me and starts hitting me with whatever he can lay his hands on or scratches me with his nails. This lasts for about 10-15 minutes only. No doubt, I get angry with him & shout at him. I know this is wrong, but I am unable to control my temper. After this period he is normal and starts playing with me again. He is very much attached to his grandfather and always wants to be with him. He is a very active child and quite intelligent too. The only problem I have with him is regarding his behaviour. Do I need to consult a psychologist or is this normal?

A:I do not think that you need to consult a doctor for your 3 years old son. It is quite natural for them to feel a little hostile to the father and be almost jealous of the time the father spends with the mother. He will get over the phase. But do give him some special attention, on the condition that he does not hit you or scratch. Play catch ball with him and let him win 2 out of 3 times. He will want to be like you and grow up modelling his behaviour upon yours. Also, he may be envious of the attention the new baby is getting. Make sure both children are included in the time you have and talk to the older child and also listen to him. Ask him to tell you how he feels rather than acting it out. Patience and affection will do the job for you.


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