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Impulsive behaviour

(7 Posts)
Maiyakat Sat 24-Oct-15 13:39:45

DD is 3 and a half, no known additional needs, but was exposed to a hefty dose of methadone in utero and was in hospital for several weeks being treated for withdrawal. She is generally reasonably behaved - she's definitely 'spirited' but we have firm boundaries and she responds well to these. She's now in school nursery and no issues with behaviour there.

However there are certain times when she gets fixed on something she wants to do, and nothing except physically removing her from the situation will work. It's like a switch goes in her brain and she has no control over it. Problem is we have this with car seats. As soon as she was able she was taking her arms out her straps. Nothing worked to stop her - bribes, threats, staying calm, getting angry, punishments - made no difference. We got a Houdini Stop, which was a godsend until she was able to undo it. So then we got a high backed booster with an impact shield, which has been great, until 2 days ago when she able to reach and undo the seat belt buckle....

So I guess my questions are:
- Does anyone have experience of children exposed to methadone in utero and this affecting their behaviour (struggling to find any helpful research)
- Any ideas for keeping Houdini child in car seat?!!

listsandbudgets Mon 26-Oct-15 20:35:10

Just read this with interest. First of all I do not have an adopted child or one who has been exposed to methadone BUT I do have a 3 year old who sounds very similar to yours. He's spirited, strong willed and seems magnetically attracted to any dangerous situation from which we regualry have to remove him. We can't just hold his hands in the street, we have to keep him on reins as well. Oh and he HATES his car seat.

We've tried everything to keep him in his car sear including the things you've outlined above. Nothing works. We've tried talking to him about why he does it and he says he does't like being trapped. This is not comforting he breaks out yet again and starts climbing into the boot in a no stopping area shock.

So sadly I have no helpful advice but I hope you won't mind if I lurk on your thread in the hope that someone else does.

NuffSaidSam Mon 26-Oct-15 22:54:32

I don't have any advice on the link between methadone and behaviour.

With the car seat have you tried distraction? A few ideas that have worked for us;

Bingo - give her a list of things to look out for.
Ipad/screen - not ideal, but better than escaping her car seat?
Food - feeding them normally keeps them quiet/still for a while.
Lucky dip - fill a pillowcase/bag/box with a variety of novel items, and let her spend time taking them out and investigating.
Sticker/colouring book
I-spy/I'm thinking of an animal/20 questions
Sing along
Threading - give her a shoelace and some beads. If she's the competitive type, give her a challenge, 'can you put 10 beads on before we get to nursery?'.
Map reading - put her in charge of navigation
In a rush - leave in a rush and get her to put her socks and shoes on/brush her hair etc. on the way (there is an episode of Mr Bean were he gets dressed in the car and my DC find this game hilarious as a result!).
Phone call - get her to phone daddy/granny and tell them about her day.

You could also try something like this to distract her and facilitate the feeding/colouring/threading etc. or at least slow down her escape!

I think you probably just need to break the habit; the mental equivalent of physically moving her away when the switch gets stuck.

RandomMess Mon 26-Oct-15 22:57:26

There is a cover you can get to cover over the adult belt bit - have you got one of those?

RandomMess Mon 26-Oct-15 22:59:16


I did the whole, stopping the car and refusing to move until they redid the seat belt. Worked particularly quickly when it was somewhere they wanted to go!

Maiyakat Tue 27-Oct-15 19:55:54

Thanks for all the ideas. All the distraction ideas are great, but are difficult to manage when it's just me and her in the car for a long journey.

We now have one of these, so she can't reach the buckle:

It seems to be working (along with the fact she wasn't going to be able to visit her beloved uncle this weekend if we couldn't get it sorted!)

Kewcumber Wed 28-Oct-15 12:34:45

along with the fact she wasn't going to be able to visit her beloved uncle this weekend if we couldn't get it sorted

In the end this is what worked with DS. Understanding that running scross the road/unbuckling his seat belt was unsafe and we would have to stay home and not go to (nice place) if he wasn't safe.

Alternatively I would stop the car and sit and do nothing until he did it back up again saying "what a shame we will be late to XYZ but we can;t go until you're safe"

He learnt very fast (about the same age - maybe a little younger)

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