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Help needed with 4 yr old - lack of concentration and listening

(7 Posts)
tigersmummy Thu 20-Sep-12 10:59:33

My DS aged 4.5 yrs has always struggled to focus and concentrate. He sleeps well (approx 10-11 hours a night) but has the energy of a Duracell bunny. We often joke that he does in one day what 2 children do, he's that energetic.
Nursery have often said that he's very intelligent and needs over stimulating - now he's just started school and we want to move him onto the next stage and help him with concentrating and more importantly listening. When he's hyped up (and no I wouldn't describe him as a hyperactive child) he goes into a different world and it takes some work and time to bring him back down to earth.
Its definitely not his diet - he only drinks water and milk (occasionally he has no added sugar blackcurrant squash but the merest drop, literally to colour the water), never has any type of juice or sweets, has a good range of healthy foods, fruit, vegetables, dairy etc. so I am confident its not anything he's consuming - he also has packed lunches at school so I know exactly what he's eating there too.
He gets frustrated and angry at times and I think he needs help learning how to channel that angry energy and also to calm down and play gently/quietly when necessary.
Now he's started school we are paranoid that he will get labelled unfairly - however we don't like to admit it, school years bring labels especially for confident/talkative/boisterous children.
I have considered cranial osteopathy as have heard that before 6 years old that can be beneficial. He had a difficult birth - 45 hours resulting in emergency c-section because he was back to back (only just found out he was back to back due to 2nd pregnancy). He's always resisted and disliked being confined.
Any thoughts welcome!

familyfun Thu 20-Sep-12 11:05:08

can you walk to school and let him use energy on the way?
can he have half hr on swing/bike/scooter before school?
can you try splitting weekends up so he has half hr activity an then half hr quiet time doing a jigsaw so he gets used to different expectations at different times?
try and incorporate some school rules at home? like a certain rug in bedroom for storries and when on the rug you have to sit still and listen?

familyfun Thu 20-Sep-12 11:06:09

can he draw a picture when hes angry/frustrated to show his feelings, it would give him time to calm down too?

CinnamonPreztel Thu 20-Sep-12 17:29:45

Do we have the same DS?! Because I'm sure you just described mine! I also hear children like this are often intelligent and need over stimulating. I know my ds loves to be outdoors, and I'm going to try to sue this to our advantage in terms of learning. So for teaching him letters, use a stick to draw in mud etc.

Have you spoken to his teacher about your concerns? I don't know much about cranial osteopathy but after doing a quick google search I am very interested. I remember taking my ds to hospital at a few weeks and the doctor said he didn't "feel" like normal babies- he was "rigid". He just never relaxed. What was your ds like as a baby? Did you try baby massage? This didn't help my ds. Does Cranial Osteopathy help if it is just their personality?

I think you have half the battle won already- a tuned in and caring mum who isn't dismissing her child as "naughty".

meddie Thu 20-Sep-12 17:54:47

You just described my son too a tee. He was exactly the same, full of energy, seemed to be unable to sit and concentrate on anything for any length of time, but bright as a button and I too was concerned that he could be naughty if he didn't get stretched (he loved learning anything new, but seemed to lack focus to stick with anything).
His teachers have met children like this before and for the most can recognise a bright child as opposed to a just plain disruptive one.
If its any consolation, my son is now 23 and has left Uni with a 1st class degree and is now working for google.
he was hard work as a child as he needed a lot of attention and diversion, but he has turned out to be a lovely, caring considerate adult.
you sound like you understand your sons needs and are doing everything right,

vole3 Fri 21-Sep-12 21:34:16

Sounds like my boy too.
Had a pretty rough day as got call from school asking for him to be collected at lunchtime as he was excluded for the rest of the day for hiding under the desks and pushing chairs.
So ends his second week in year 1 and it seems that his regular teacher has good coping strategies, but the head who takes his class on a Friday doesn't.
Have meeting scheduled with her next week and can't help but feel that I am failing him, but so is the school by excluding and isolating a 5 year old from his peers as it is easier than finding out what engages him.

tigersmummy Sun 23-Sep-12 21:14:42

Thanks all, good to know there are others in the same boat. 3 weeks in and the teacher told me earlier this week that he retaliated against a boy who hit him first by pulling his shirt cuff. When I spoke to her the next day she said it was difficult to get him to concentrate but that affected most boys - grr the boys v girls debate already - but when I asked her for some tips to get him to focus and concentrate she kind of made a face and couldn't tell me any. Frustrated! Luckily he has two teachers who job share so I will approach the other teacher who is more personable and who herself has a little boy who has just started school.
I know consistency is the key; this afternoon DH looked after him whilst I took a nap (being 38 weeks pg is so tiring second time round which doesn't make the whole situation easier) and was told he couldn't have another film as he had been rude. He literally exploded with rage - we feel so sorry for him because we haven't taught him how to deal with his anger. He did calm down and went to bed later in a relaxed and calm manner but its still very upsetting.
familyfun we have to drive to school but he likes going in to the playground, is confident running round with older children he doesn't yet know and as soon as the bell rings immediately lines up as he should. He doesn't like drawing but I will give it a try - thank you for the tip.
Cinnamon thanks for the praise, DH keeps saying the same, that the fact we love and care for him enough to deal with these issues is half the battle won.
vole I so feel for you having to collect your DS - sometimes with me I think its the embarrassment factor that affects me, no-one wants to be the one with the child who is problematic or troublesome. I agree the school should not be excluding a child, especially for such a non-issue, and working with him instead.
meddie hurrah for you and your DS - there is obviously light at the end of the tunnel, thank you for the hope and encouragement!

DH wanted to wait until baby had arrived until getting a cranial osteopath involved, as he has had a lot on recently (new house which hasn't gone down well, made worse as we go past to get to school; leaving nursery; starting school; new baby) but I don't see the point of waiting so will do some research. If anyone has got feedback, good or bad, on cranial osteopathy I'd be glad to hear it.

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