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At my wits' end with 2.9 yr old son - any advice please?

(5 Posts)
SweetSecrets Thu 31-Mar-16 21:20:11

Ok, let me have it - all of your tips and tricks, advice and opinions on disciplining my son who is 3 years old in June.

He's a sweet, kind and loving little boy...until he isn't. Today - walking on the beach and he threw stones at a dog and another little boy. Huge meltdown when removed from beach, with shouts of 'cuddle' as he knows he's done something wrong. Withholding affection feels wrong when he's so upset, but so does hugging him when he's been naughty.

He gets in a mood and I know he's going to do something unkind - pushing his 5 year old sister, tummy-barging a random child at soft play, pretending to kick a dog. It's like a well of frustration and testosterone, and he's driven to act up.

I have a 5 year old daughter who has been, and still is, the picture of calm, considered, kind behaviour. Now I am the mum everyone's looking daggers at because they think I have the child from hell and I'm not disciplining him/setting boundaries/giving enough attention etc. People tell me it's the difference between girls and boys, but that doesn't feel right.

I feel like I've tried everything - time-out, being angry, being calm so as to not give negative attention, completely over the top positive praise, removing treats (he just cries and doesn't remember why he's being denied something), and so on.

He is truly a lovely little boy and it's why his behaviour is so upsetting, as he looks like a nasty bully with parents who tolerate his behaviour. He goes to preschool 4 mornings a week, no problems with his behaviour there at all.

He has had a speech delay but is catching up really well and what I had attributed to frustration at not being able to communicate his feelings, hasn't gone away as his speech has improved.

He thrives on routine and things were improving, but my husband lost his job 3 weeks ago and has gone from being away Mon-Fri to being home 24/7. My son is so clingy with him and I know that all of this change and stress is affecting him, but what can I do?

The health visitor suspected ADHD at his 2 year old assessment, but preschool disagree with this. He moves around a lot, falls over a lot, is intensely emotional in all directions (laughing, crying, screaming, hugging), loves playing with dinky cars and little else. Could there be a sensory issue?

Please, anyone who can help I'd really appreciate the advice.


APotterWithAHappyAtmosphere Fri 01-Apr-16 00:22:45

Hi Sophie, just to say I had a very difficult 2-yr-old who has blossomed so much since he turned 3, he's like a different child sometimes. The testosterone is still there and we still have to remind him to be gentle but it's almost like he's hearing and understanding for the first time.

Given that you think your DS is stressed by the recent changes, I'd give him as much consistency as possible and just keep waiting for June! I hope you see the same kind of turnaround we have.

Playitagainsam Fri 01-Apr-16 07:39:02

Someone once suggested Sensory Processing Disorder to me when I was having problems with my 3yo behaviour. It didn't fit for her but I do remember there being an element of it around being hyper/in everyone's faces. Could be worth a look.

JustPoppingIn Fri 01-Apr-16 07:56:01

My DS, can behave in a similar way. I would look out for things that triggers his behaviour. My DS dislikes noisy environments and sudden noises and that can cause him to go to a place where he finds it so difficult to control his behaviour.

Also, we have a few feelings book which we read from time to time. I am not sure they help, but they don't hurt.

Also it helped to use the same language as DS nursery, ie gentle hands.

SweetSecrets Fri 01-Apr-16 10:17:50

Thanks everyone, that's all very helpful advice.
Your experience is very reassuring APotterWithAHappyAtmosphere, thanks and I'll hang in there.
That's really interesting Playitagainsam, I'll do some research and ask preschool, thanks for suggesting it.
I'll definitely try your ideas JustPoppingIn. His older sister has a book about feelings so I can try that tonight. Thanks for replying.

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