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Hyperactive 2.5 year old, noticably more so in social settings

(6 Posts)
YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 13-Jul-15 17:07:09

My DS has been dying to move and explore from the word go. He was very frustrated and eager to move as a tiny baby, so when he mastered crawling at 6mo he was off and I mean would literally crawl away and keep going if I had let him. He mastered walking at 9 months and to this day is still a runner. The thing is, he will just leg it wherever he feels the urge and no amount of screaming "STOP" or "Come to Mummy!" will work once he has decided he wants to go, he just completely ignores me and will keep going like he hasnt heard me. I have tried to be consistent and warn consequences such as "you'll go back in the pram if you do it again" and he inevitably does do it again so ends up in the pram. He will scream and thrash not to go back in but will calm down quite quickly and does seem to understand what he's done as he will beg to get out and say that he'll hold the pram. Then it just repeats.

It is not just running, it's also climbing on things he shouldn't and running off to places we tell him not to when inside. Once he decides he wants to do something, there is no stopping him, it is like he is compelled to do it. No amount of distraction seems to work, even if there are other organised activities going on in the room e.g. at a toddler group. He might also decide (this happens less often) that he randomly wants to scream or shout something or even just talk when wet are somewhere quiet, and me telling him that we need to be quiet just doesnt cut it).

I know it is the job of two year olds to be defiant, but he has cousins and friends of very similar ages and whilst they have their moments, they are controllable for the most part. DS is noticably on another level.

I have noticed that this behaviour seems to become exacerbated in social settings e.g. a party, wedding, christening etc. He just goes completely wild and uncontollable and if you try to restrain or physically remove him from whatever he wants to do, he will scream and thrash and it is like you can't get through to him - the determination on his face is such that you feel he has reached the point of no return. For example, we hosted a family party recently and he was just tearing round the place having a whale of a time but when I say his name and try to speak to him and he just kept wriggling away shouting "no mummy", I can't engage with him at all when he is in that zone. The only way to calm him down in those situations is to remove him to a quiet place. Sometimes that means us leaving wherever we are.

DP and other family I have spoken to ackowledge that he is hyperactive and he is well known for it, but they think it is just a personality thing and that he has a lot of energy and sense of exploration. They think that in social settings he is just over excited. It is hard not to worry that it is something more when it stands out from the behaviour of other children the same age though.

Just interested in what others think?

Just to add, I am confident he has a good understanding of what I am saying. He can follow instructions well and tell me what he wants too. He is also capable of concentrating on activities if he wants to. It is more that if he has decided he wants to do something, he will not be stopped.

YouMaySayImADreamer Mon 13-Jul-15 17:13:14

Sorry just re-reading my OP, I feel it is a bit one sided. He is a lovely little boy, likes other children and although has a little strop over sharing what he feels is his or he had first, will look a bit sad then get on with it rather than throwing a huge tantrum. He has short lived strops rather than drawn out tantrums, doesn't hit or snatch, says sorry very affectionately when told to, seems increasingly interested in other children, and has a good little sense of humour. Just wanted to paint a broader picture of his personality.

Greige Mon 13-Jul-15 17:59:30

I have no advice, but you could be describing my ds, except that my son won't say sorry, hits and throws things. He is extremely affectionate - with me, not so much with anyone else.

I will be following this thread with interest.

TowerOfJoyless Tue 14-Jul-15 07:14:02

I very rarely post on MN but felt I had to in this case as I could really identify with your situation! DS (4.10) was very similar to how you describe your own DS, exceptions being he wasnt particularly sociable and wasnt much of a climber either (thankfully!).

As a baby I took him to rhyme time but it was a nightmare, could not get him to stay still, he would fight me and whine until I let him crawl off. Nobody elses baby was like this so I gave it up quickly. At parties he would run wild while all the other kids would be sat down eating the food when it was brought out, I would spend my time chasing him in case he made a break for a door and got outside. At nearly 3 years old I was still stuffing him into high chairs when out at restaraunts etc if DH wasnt with me as it would be only way I could get to eat what I ordered! DS is small for his age so could still manage it easily lol. I remember looking in envy at my cousin's DD of the same age who sat nicely and didnt run all over the place.

when DS started nursery at 3.4 the staff quickly highlighted how he had poor concentration, would get disruptive during 'circle time' and couldnt handle more than five minutes of sitting still. We agreed to an Ed Psych review which tbh I feel didnt really help much and they werent overly involved for most of his time in nursery. A year later, the Ed Psych told us she felt DS was like a different boy from the one she first met - a lot more sociable, chatty, calmer and better with the concentration.

In short, I think all it took was time and he got better with it! He still loves a good run about in the park and is very fidgety when sitting down but at least I no longer feel he is near enough bouncing off the walls lol.

YouMaySayImADreamer Tue 14-Jul-15 11:52:15

Thanks so much for your post tower and also greige it helps to know im not alone at least.

tower it is so reassuring to hear that your DS has now settled a bit of his own accord with age. I'm also really interested to hear how it was dealt with by nursery etc as I really don't know who to turn to right now. I was going to try and speak to my hv as I cant think who else would know where to point me.

We have had another disasterous morning at a playgroup. I took him out in the end as I was nearly in tears myself and did cry when I got home. Everyone tells me he is just hyperactive and to just enjoy it, but I know that most of them are just being polite and think he is a brat because I can see them getting frustrated and annoyed with his behaviour. But it's not like im not trying to stop him. I am constantly following him around telling him no and trying to distract him, it is exhausting.

People also keep telling me it's his age but I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall trying to explain he has always been like this. I observe the behaviour of other two years olds too but whereas they might not be always fully joining in, he is actively trying not to join in by doing something completely different and wanting attention for that instead, or is disrupting the activity and not seeming to notice that noone is giving him any attention for his behaviour. It is definately more marked in big groups as well.

TowerOfJoyless Tue 14-Jul-15 17:42:41

I know what you mean when you say your DS has always been the way he is, when pregnant with my DS and I had my scans both the Sonographers commented on how I had a 'very active baby', lol. He was also a bit of a grumpy baby which didnt change until he could move independently. Then the trouble really started!

At nursery the staff looked to the staff looked to the Ed Psych for advice. She recommended sitting him at the front during group sessions so he could focus better, use of a 'fidget toy' to help keep him sitting for long periods (which worked great during the nursery end of term show,he sat still for over half an hour!) and for some reason a firm No and explanation of why naughty behaviour was unacceptable worked better than Time Out.

Tbh though the best thing has been giving it time - he is pretty much unrecognisable from the hyper two year old he used to be and most of the change has been in the last year. Now he moans if he has to make the less than 10 minute walk to our local swing park, preferring to go by car. Changed days! Hopefully as time goes on it will be the same for yourself x

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