Help with nearly 4 year old behaviour - book or strategy recommendations?(7 Posts)
My DS2 who is nearly 4 has always been a challenge but he is getting steadily worse - the good days are few and far between now. I am at a loss as to how to have a good and happy relationship with him where we can enjoy time together.
He has very little self-control and is impulsive - he hits, punches and bites other children, charges at things, throws things, runs away without thought.
He talks constantly and interrupts all the time, he makes up songs using rude words (poo, wee, bottom) which he sings loudly and at inappropriate times. He shouts at me all the time that he doesn't love me anymore, or that he is going to hit me, or he won't be his brother's friend. He doesn't want to do anything - if he is given a choice of activity to do with me he says he hates them all. He says he doesn't want to do something even if it isn't an option and even if he isn't asked if he wants to do something he will say 'I don't want to' on repeat.
He is unable to choose from food options - or will choose something that he knows we don't have in the house. If he is given no choice of food he won't eat it. His behaviour is a lot worse when he is hungry so not giving him food isn't an option. He says he is tired a lot (he sleeps around 11 -12 hours) and refuses to walk - even from a car park to school.
I speak to pre-school a lot as they find the same issues as me. They use an egg timer when he is violent and he has to sit out.
I send him to his room with an egg timer or threaten to take away toys. This doesn't stop him though and we are making no progress.
I am wondering about ADHD - he seems to tick a lot of the boxes but I know he is too young for a diagnosis and regardless of this I still need to know how to handle him.
Does anyone have a good book or good strategies? I am nearing my wits end and feel like I can't enjoy any time with him.
You need to speak to your GP about this and ask for a referral for DS to be assesed.
It could be one or two of many issues including ADHD or some form of sensory difficulty or both!
How is his language? Is he articulate?
There is an ace book called The Incredible Years by dr Caroline Stratton which I've found really helpful. I got given it on a parenting course run by our LA a few years ago but it's been really helpful. Am currently having some issues with my DD (5) and remembered this book and was able to get some good tips and a bit of emotional support from it. It's not cheap on Amazon but deffo worth it
How old is the brother, could it be partly a reaction to a new sibling?
A couple if ideas, the"I don't want to" problem could be him wanting more control or certainty, could you try say making a chart with a picture of the food you are going to have each day and then showing him oh look today's it's Monday so it's sausages?
And for activities, having the same routine every day, eg go out in the morning, play with toys after lunch?
I've seen a lot of recommendations for The Explosive Child. In fact I have bought it but have only just started to read it -key themes seem to be pick your battles and try to solve things collaboratively with your dc rather than imposing your will (this is prbably for slightly older dc).
My three year old displays many of these behaviours so they sound fairly standard to me for a challenging child. But maybe I'm delusional!
It sounds to me that he feels powerless or out of control, or possibly has too much power which he feels scared by, so is acting up to test boundaries.
its bloody hard work but a mix of playfulness, acknowledging and accepting feelings and not getting worked up when dealing with bad behaviour makes things a bit better with my son. I've found some of Janet Lansburys blogs to be extremely helpful.
Having similar issues here OP, and I'm really struggling with how to deal with the hitting. My DS only seems to hit and punch me and DH, and appears to be an angel for everyone else. It's hard not to take it personally!
Its mostly when he's being asked/told to do something he doesn't want to do (start tidying, calm down with the ninja moves, brush teeth, sit at the table...) despite giving him count downs and presenting it positively (eg once you've brushed your teeth, you can have 5 more minutes of playing Lego before bed)
He also doesn't like things that go fast (although runs about himself at the speed of light!) and often asked DH to slow down in the car. He is fixated with red things and Always has to have the red plate/cup/chair etc. Cue meltdowns if he doesn't get it.
Having trawled the Internet today, I think it's more of a control thing, together with an inability to control his rage. I'm not overly concerned in terms of a serious behavioural issue, but I feel totally out of my depth in dealing with it. I don't think I've done very well so far, as when the hitting continues whilst putting back him on the time out step, I have found myself shouting at him "how would you like it if I slapped you in the face!"
I've just ordered the explosive child this afternoon, after yet another half hour battle. I'd be interested to hear how others with a ragey 4 year old get on with strategies for dealing with this kind of behaviour.
It's bloody hard being a parent sometimes!
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