AIBU to think this isn't normal behaviour for a 5 year old

(97 Posts)
BergamotMouse Sun 19-Sep-21 19:02:24

Mostly posting here for traffic. Sorry if long.

My DD (5 years old) has such a lot of energy. Assumed it was normal but her calm 2 year old brother is making us question this a little.

She cannot sit still! Will rotate in her chair at meal times, cutlery clattering to the floor, drinks knocked over etc. If watching TV she will often be bouncing or be upside down, suddenly diving across the sofa for no reason.

She still has really big emotional outbursts, cannot control herself and will try to hurt us, she almost appears to shake with rage. These can last an hour or so.

She will not stop talking, interrupts frequently. Will often say 'mummy' or 'daddy...' to start a question with no direction and then just find something to fill it with.

She has issues with the toilet, constipation (on medication for this), will still have damp pants and is very against being told to go even though she's dancing around clearly desperate.

But on the other hand she is a fantastic big sister, patient most of the time with her brother and very kind. Plays with him intensely. Likes make believe but neither of them really play with toys.

They have very little screen time, Half an hour a day or so, sometimes none and we try and have them outside most of the day. She is absolutely fine when outside, we have no issues with behaviour then.

No issues from school, doing fine academically, I'm led to believe she's very well behaved. Ahead of where she should be with her reading, slightly behind with maths. She has some very close friendships (seems quite intense) but will be quite cold and distant with others. Children from school will shout hi to her in the park and she will give a brief wave, if that, and when I ask who it is she says she doesn't know.

I don't know what I'm thinking, Some kind of ADHD? Somewhere on the autism spectrum? I'm a teacher so don't say this lightly. Or is this just typical 5 year old behaviour?

OP’s posts: |
Bywayofanupdate Sun 19-Sep-21 19:05:14

I can't help but just wanted to say that this could have been me writing this post! My almost 7 year old behaves like this too so interested to see what others comment with

crazyguineapiglady Sun 19-Sep-21 19:05:33

"Normal" is very wide and none of those things sound hugely abnormal except maybe the tantrums. If she manages fine at school then probably not ADHD and nothing screams autism.

BergamotMouse Sun 19-Sep-21 19:08:17

Yes, perhaps just normal. I've always passed it off as being high energy but we find ourselves struggling more and more with the constant motion and talking. We're done in by the end of a weekend and short tempered.

OP’s posts: |
Dragonpox Sun 19-Sep-21 19:08:20

My 6yo does a lot of that, can sit still, be bounces around in front of the TV, has tons of energy, she doesn't hit us but does have outbursts and lots of eye rolling. Her friendship groups seem to vary by the day. I'd say it's all quite normal.

Flowers2020bloom Sun 19-Sep-21 19:09:53

Typical 5 year old I would say!

BergamotMouse Sun 19-Sep-21 19:11:18

Ok, probably what I need to hear, just normal behaviour!

Perhaps I need to try and grow a longer fuse.

OP’s posts: |


Hesma Sun 19-Sep-21 19:11:34

Sounds about right for a 5 year old to me

SaltySeaAir Sun 19-Sep-21 19:12:16

Sounds very normal to me 🙂

crazyguineapiglady Sun 19-Sep-21 19:18:18

My 4 year old does the "MUM...!" without knowing what she is going to say and it is very wearing!

Keeva2017 Sun 19-Sep-21 19:19:16

My nearly 5 year old fidgets constantly. It’s rage enduring being sat next to her for too long because you will get elbows, knees feet poked at you constantly.

Massive emotions, outbursts are short but hella you know they are happening. Really struggles to contain her anger sometimes. Always conscious that in structured activities you hear her name constantly with “Betty listen please, Betty stop that now” and you see she is struggling to keep her attention.

It’s hard but I think the poster who said normal is a wide spectrum hit the nail on the head. They are just learning and their little brains are doing their thing. Like your daughter mine is a great sister, can be so kind and has a wicked sense of humour. I have to try really hard not to nag her because really she’s still so little and I don’t want her to think there’s anything wrong with being her.

Keeva2017 Sun 19-Sep-21 19:19:52

Oh and my fuse could do with a little Lengthening too!!!

Lindy2 Sun 19-Sep-21 19:20:18

Your description sounds very similar to my DD who is now diagnosed ADHD. However, the difficult behaviour and inability to stay still continued at school as well as at home. At 5 she certainly wouldn't have been able to hold her impulsive behaviour in just because she was at school.

Pissinthepottyplease Sun 19-Sep-21 19:25:58

Constipation can cause small wee accidents due to the pressure of poo against the bladder. Constipation also has an impact on behaviour. Is her constipation under control? As in are her poo currently a 4 in the Bristol stool chart?

Indecisivelurcher Sun 19-Sep-21 19:26:22

This rings similar to a relative same age who has just been assessed privately for adhd and told probably yes. His anger is the main issue, he has a short fuse and goes from 0-10 very fast and with no sense of proportion, he has injured teachers lashing out. However I was surprised because in many many ways this relative is similar to my Dd, only her emotions come out as anxiety or self directed rather than anger. I suppose I'm saying i can see why it's difficult to judge. Is there someone external who would give you a view, such as a teacher or relative.

nedtherobbot Sun 19-Sep-21 19:28:23

Sounds like my 5 year old's sensory processing difficulties. He is autistic but have learnt that sensory issues can be stand alone. Constant movement even when sleeping. He masked to a certain extent at preschool and initially at school but the sessory issues that he didn't have at school were quickly recognised once specailists went into observe and work with.

scully29 Sun 19-Sep-21 19:30:16

My 6 & 7 don't sit still, I don't think kids can? Definitely normal to us to run kids after school, like going to the park for an hour. The impact of sugar is noticeable so maybe look at that with your DD?

Draineddraineddrained Sun 19-Sep-21 19:31:00

You are describing my DD (4) down to the constipation 😮 I've been thinking ADHD too... But according to the MN hive mind it'd just normal! I've been tearing strips off the poor little thing today, I've had her and her baby sister on my own for the weekend and eldest just WILL. NOT. LISTEN. To a single word I say, she's always yapping but never listening and it drives me potty. I feel so mean all the time. Definitely need that longer fuse 😔

scully29 Sun 19-Sep-21 19:31:24

Oo and have you got a fidget spinner? I discovered them recently.

DollyDinkle Sun 19-Sep-21 19:32:32

Does she breathe through her mouth when she's asleep?

DeepaBeesKit Sun 19-Sep-21 19:33:33

The calm 2 year old is more of the anomaly in my book......

parietal Sun 19-Sep-21 19:37:44

my child was similar for a while & the constipation was a big cause. she was always uncomfortable / kinda needing the loo but not wanting to go. so she'd jump about and be badly behaved / unable to control her temper.

bribery of ipad games to sit on the loo at the right time + movicol helped a lot.

Ironmanrocks Sun 19-Sep-21 19:38:27


Does she breathe through her mouth when she's asleep?

Why is this relevant? I am very interested in your answer, I'm not being rude.

VelvetChairGirl Sun 19-Sep-21 19:39:02

Depends kind of sounds like mine he is 11 now and not much different, he is ASD.

gingerninja99 Sun 19-Sep-21 19:42:24

Sounds similar to my DD at that age except the tantrums, now she is almost 10 and hitting the preteen age and she slobs about most of the time! No ADHD or anything was just a high energy child, now the hormones are starting to kick in she's more laid back and has settled in and does the things she enjoys like reading, drawing and writing stories

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