“My son punches, kicks and spits on me.”

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My son, Dominic, is now 13 years old. He is five feet tall and weighs 41kg. Dom is a lively and extroverted conversation starter with random strangers, a delightful cuddle bug with a wide smile and tenacious sense of humour, but he is also violent and abusive.

His behaviour, or what psychiatrists call Emotional Dysregulation, dominates our household. Everyone is constantly walking on eggshells. The slightest tinge of frustration could set him off. If I ask him to wait, even a minute, it could set him off. Sometimes, setting him off is just matter of his own exhaustion. He still never sits down.

Dominic calls me all the names you shouldn’t call your mother. Yes, he uses all of them. He gives me the finger. He pokes me, bumps into me on purpose, punches me, kicks me, pinches, spits, and pees on me. His anger can be triggered at a moment’s notice.

His moods carry him up and down,…

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