A RECOILING mum yelps as her young son violent bites her as she tries to put the eight-year-old to bed – a process that can sometimes take up to six hours every night.
The aggressive tot is relentless as he rains down kicks and punches on his mum – who has to restrain him to stop his wild outbursts.
Emma and Adrian have been left distraught by their sons’ unruly behaviour[/caption]
Distressed mum Emma, 37, a part-time school dinner lady, has been at odds with her son Ioan, eight, for months – with bedtimes being a war zone as she struggles to get him to go to sleep.
Emma and her husband Adrian, 46, a housing officer, from Barry Island, south Wales, are also parents to daughter Sorrel, 11, but it’s their son who’s driving a wedge between them both.
While Ioan is well-behaved at school, their home life is a different story and the tot will often bang on the walls, jump on the floor and throw violent tantrums from his bedroom.
Emma even recalled how once her son jumped so violently around his room that he knocked a radiator off his wall.
Getting their son Ioan to bed had become a nightmare[/caption]
The only way Emma can make him stop is by restraining him – but this is when things turn really nasty.
The strained family are appearing on Channel 5’s Violent Child, Desperate Parent, which sees psychologist Laverne Antrobus enlisted to help with Ioan’s rages.
Emma tells the show: “From top to bottom, I’ve had bites, bruises, pinches, kick marks, he has had handfuls of my hair, and he’s bitten my face before.
“It breaks my heart… it makes me question myself. Things cannot carry on the way they are.
Emma would often restrain Ioan at bedtime in an effort to get him to stop jumping around and hitting her[/caption]
“We’re struggling in so many ways – I honestly don’t know if we can carry on.”
The hours of Ioan’s screaming and violence are driving a wedge between his parents and also disturbing sister Sorrell.
On visiting the family, expert Laverne says: “I can see straight away how his behaviour dominates the house.
“He’s hurting his mother, I’ve seen her arms, they’re bruised and bitten.
“Ioan’s being restrained and that seems completely wrong to me – it doesn’t help him and in fact he’s more violent because of it.
“Emma’s doing the lion’s share of the work and Adrian’s nowhere to be seen, I need to talk to them about being a much more unified couple, working together.”
She went on to say that doing this will help him see his parents as the “leaders” of the family.
Laverne adds: “I want Emma and Adrian to back each other up so that the children see them as a strong couple.”
Laverne goes on to notice that Iona is stuck in a “developmental phase” – where his mum “belongs” to him while his dad doesn’t get a look in.
She tells the parents that Adrian needs to start going upstairs and getting involved with the situation, to show his unruly son that he’s got two parents – who he sees as a team.
She adds: “He needs to know, his job of trying to get between you is coming to an end.
“If we let him keep this position your marriage will end.”
Laverne implements a new bedtime routine – that means Ioan having to accept that his dad would be involved.
At first, the new regime doesn’t go as planned – and Ioan soon kicks off.
He bangs on the walls and jumps on his floor as the parents try and talk him through his anger.
He screams and hollers and Adrian takes over – with Laverne telling Emma to separate herself.
Laverne tells Emma: “You’re away from him, you haven’t been bitten – so that has to be a better thing for you and him.
The tantrum continues until Ioan exhausts himself, with Adrian urging him to get into bed.
It takes a gruelling one and a half hours, but Adrian manages to put his son to bed – something he hadn’t been able to do for years.
Laverne tells him: “He let you soothe him slightly and that’s big because he’s so used to his mum doing it.
Home life is a struggle for the family thanks to Ioan’s wild behaviour[/caption]
“In that moment, Ioan realised that he had to allow his dad to have this space.”
Laverne leaves the family for a couple of weeks to see how they get on.
On her return, Laverne asks Adrian and Emma if they’ve noticed any differences.
Emma is far less bruised and the couple have managed to get him into bed in around an hour each night – and seem more together as a result.
The expert then goes on to try and strengthen the bond between father and son – something that has been lacking.
By the end of her visits, Laverne is impressed with the family’s progress.
She tells the parents: “What we have now is something that seems much more balanced and I think that balance is very strongly linked to the fact that you two are much more united and able to show him a very different way of which you can be parents together.”
Emma acknowledges: “We’ve kept him too young; we’ve not been the parents he needed us to be.
“I can’t believe how strong he has been to change this quickly.”
Laverne adds: “When I arrived, this was a family who felt at breaking point, Ioan’s behaviour, his violence and aggression really dominated family life.
“Now, they’re building better and stronger relationships.
“If they can keep building those relationships then they really do have a good chance of becoming a family who are much happier.”
Violent Child, Desperate Parents airs on Channel 5 on Wednesdays at 9pm
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Previously, viewers left shocked as a child from the show tried to HANG himself ‘for attention’.