Channel 5 viewers were stunned by the extreme behaviour of a troubled six-year-old girl on the latest episode of Violent Child, Desperate Parent.
Mum Lisa was at the end of her tether with daughter Demi, who was routinely kicking, punching and biting her, and called in the help of child psychologist Laverne Antrobus.
She spent several days with the family in an attempt to discover what triggered the naughty behaviour – Demi could be lovely and full of hugs and kisses, Lisa explained.
"It’s like somebody turns the switch on and somebody else comes, what she calls the 'bad Demi'," the 29-year-old single mum explained of the violent outbursts.
They live with Lisa’s parents, Sharon and Pete, and Laverne suggested that Nanny’s involvement was confusing the little girl.
"I can see there isn’t a very clear marked line about who is in charge in the household in terms of the adults… is it Mum that takes the firm hand or is it Nanny?" she observed.
Sometimes I wish I could kill her, but there’s no way to kill her. She’s horrid.
"I think if I’m confused then Demi is going to be confused."
Demi spoke about her naughty alter ego, heartbreakingly admitting: "Sometimes I wish I could kill her, but there’s no way to kill her. She’s horrid."
As Lisa revealed that she’d experienced a difficult birth with Demi and worried that it had affected their bond, Laverne advised that the child was picking up on her tensions.
She then suggested using negotiating techniques on her daughter, instead of always issuing an outright 'no'.
Within six week’s Demi’s violent outbursts had completely stopped!
But some viewers were alarmed that a child's behaviour had been allowed to get so difficult.
"Why oh why was the child allowed to act in that way in he first place," wrote one on Twitter.
Another posted: "Watching violent child desperate parents and I cant believe shes letting her child bite and spit at her."
A third commented: "Watching violent kids, desperate parents is making me so angry! How can you let your child beat you like that!"
Nothing like a bit of empathy...
Catch up on the series on Channel5.com.