Is My Four Year Old Nephew Dangerous?

By Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D.

I would like some advise on my four year old Nephew. He has showed signs of there being a problem from an early age these are the signs I have noticed over the years;

  • putting toys in colour order and easily throwing a tantrum, fits of rage if this is disrupted
  • emotional detatchment does not like cuddles, close contact and again throws tantrums if this is comprimised
  • blaming others for any disturbances
  • easily angered
  • preferring to play alone
  • aggressive towards adults and children, but mainly adults
  • attaches himself to one person for the day and will not communicate with out shouting to anyone else
  • says hurtful and damaging things on purpose, saying “I hate you” etc

and most recently and by far the most worrying he has been saying he is going to stab people “until they are dead”. At nursery recently there was a new nursery nurse starting and he told his regular nursery nurse that “I dont like her I am going to get a knife and chop her to little pieces”. He said this with no emotion in his voice or on his face and the nursery nurse involved explained it was very unnerving.

I need advise on this as my two year old son plays with him (tries to) and I am very concerened that there is some serious underlying isues with my nephew and my son may be in danger. His parents are not willing to admit there may be an issue.

A: Hello and thank you for your question:

At the very least, it sounds like this little boy is very angry. There may be a lot of reasons for his anger, especially if there is trouble at home.  If something is upsetting him, or if he isn’t getting the correct kind of discipline (consistent and fair), then this can make children very angry.

There are other issues that may be in play as well. There may be some ADD in this child which can make him controlling and angry, or he may have other mental issues developing as well.

I don’t know that I would necessarily diagnose this child as autistic without interviewing him, his teachers and his parents. But I would tell you this—if you are concerned with either your child’s safety or development, then I would try to find him some other kids to play with. Your child needs safe places and people to learn from and your if your nephew has you worried, don’t expose your son any more than you have to.  If his parents don’t or won’t understand, that is truly sad, but your duty is first to your boy.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

 

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Aug 2009

APA Reference
Walcutt, D. (2009). Is My Four Year Old Nephew Dangerous?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/08/01/is-my-four-year-old-nephew-dangerous/