6 year old peeing on the walls

by chrissy

My 6 year old is literally out of control. You tell him not to do something and he does it anyways, you yell at him for something and he still does it. He keeps running and jumping onto our new $1500 living room set , he leaves trash laying around, he is always being loud and he has peed, YES peed on the wall/floor 6 times since moving into our house a month ago. I just spoke to him yesterday about his behavior and said if he keeps it up we are going to end up out of this house with no place to go and he can not bring any of his toys along or his dog and I was hoping that would have some effect but nope, woke up this morning to find he peed in his room.

My boyfriend is at his wits end, he said if my son does not start behaving he is going to have to ask us to leave because he can not have him peeing all over the house like an animal. My son has had a behavior problem for some time now but he has got worse since moving here and before this he had not peed on the floor/wall.

My boyfriend does not want to hear anything I have to say about why he is misbehaving. I am thinking it may be because he is missing my parents, up until now we have lived with them his whole life or that he is lonely because he has nobody to play with or spend time with but my boyfriend refuses to consider any of that and says it is because he my son thinks he runs the house and thinks he can get away with everything.

I just took everything accept the his bed and tv out of his room which I feel horrible about but what the heck am I suppose to do and why is he acting like this? I am just totally lost and at the end of my rope here.

Ben's Response:

What is extremely clear here, is that your son is very angry. I'm sure that all the reasons you mentioned - like missing your parents and being lonely could have a lot to do with it. Like an animal marking his territory (peeing on the walls), this may be his own primitive way of letting you and your boyfriend know that he wants his territory back. He's lost the home he's known all his life and now has to share a new space with your boyfriend as the new dominant male. Sadly, there are many people who would immediately diagnose him with something like ADHD and put him on medication, when the most likely issue here is purely an emotional and relationship issue. A good child therapist could probably do wonders for him. It would give him a place to safely act out all his rage and hurt feelings through play, without having to piss on the walls to make his point. The therapist could also help you to be more confident and assertive as a parent without your fear, desperation and anger causing you to lose your power and authority. And I think it is critical that your son develop a positive, healthy relationship with your boyfriend. If I was 6 and enraged that I had to move into a new house with your boyfriend, I'd probably jump on your $1500 couch too! This is how an angry kid acts when they don't know how else to express their overwhelming emotions, and they feel like they've lost everything already, so they have nothing more to lose by acting like a little animal.

Just taking away his things is not going to solve the problem. And shaming him will make it worse. He's trying to tell your something and he needs someone to listen.

This is definitely a problem that can be turned around.

Wishing you the best,

Ben Schwarcz, MFT

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