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3 year old boy being unkind to certain children

(11 Posts)
Kismet9 Wed 21-Dec-16 13:50:09


I have a three year old boy who has always been a handful. Very bright, lively/hyperactive, difficult to control generally and has epic tantrums occasionally. I do have concerns that he MAY have ADHD. I reported these to his pre-school - they don't have any concerns about him so I have been referred for a parenting course, which I am willing to try.
Recently I have noticed that he plays really nicely with certain children but with certain children play dates seem to go badly. His big thing is roaring in the face of other children (very embarrassing). Sometimes play dates start off badly but he will then snap out of his mood and be nice again. He generally seems to prefer the company of older boys though this isn't always the case.

Anyone recognise this behaviour and have any suggested strategies to deal with it? Sometimes I think I should just take him home when he roars or is unfriendly but I feel this would be rude when people have travelled and put themselves out to meet up with us. I always tell him off (say his behaviour is not acceptable and may withhold a treat when we get home) when he is unkind. Sometimes I think I would be better ignoring it as maybe he wants a reaction.

I worry about him being seen as a bully and other children not wanting to play with him anymore. Having said that, he is really lovely and plays really well with certain children.

Any advice would be most welcome. x

BarbarianMum Wed 21-Dec-16 16:45:29

He is very young. That's the first thing to remember. Playdates are often very difficult, or at least sometimes difficult, at this age.

Are the children he is roaring at upset. If they aren't, I'd ignore it. If they are, then what about a more immediate sanction? Take him away from the other child straight away and go to another room with him, tell him "no roaring", then make him wait 3 min with no interaction from you before being allowed to play again. If it happens again (on that day), then take him home. I think you'd have to do this very few times before he stopped - unless he does have ADHD that is, in which case impulse control may be really difficult for him, so different, ADHD-specific strategies may be needed.

Certainly, if you are going to punish him for this then it needs to be immediate.

Kismet9 Wed 21-Dec-16 18:33:44

Thank you Barbarian Mum. That sounds like a fair response/strategy.
I will have to think about the practicalities. For example if we're in a park, he is not the sort of child who sits still and waits if you tell him to, he may run away and I also have a ten month old to consider. I may have to sit next to him/stop him from running off, whilst trying not to get drawn into talking.
Will see how I get on anyway!
Thanks once again x

Msqueen33 Wed 21-Dec-16 18:47:01

Two of my daughter's have autism and ADHD. Youngest is nearly four. Our paediatrician said a lot of kids have ADHD like traits but they tend to drop away as they get older which is why a lot don't diagnose until 5/6.

My friend has a dd like this. No issues just lively and spirited plus a bit of a little shit (not saying yours is at all - her mother doesn't enforce boundaries even when she smacked my dd round the face as she got to the preschool door first). I'd keep telling him it's not nice (use a consistent phrase). He just sounds like a spririted little boy. Think is we expect our kids to get on with all kids but they won't gel with everyone. If it's ADHD I've found reasoning tends to come a lot later and I monitored the situation. My middle dd was highly unpredictable. Would bite, push etc so I watched her like a hawk. Sounds like you're doing all the right things. It'll pass.

Kismet9 Wed 21-Dec-16 19:29:04

Thanks v much for the reassurance msqueen. I do so hope he will settle down. I deviate between thinking I am too soft to too harsh on him! X

Msqueen33 Wed 21-Dec-16 20:29:57

The threes are a tricky age. It's awkward as it feels like all other kids are angels.

Kanga59 Wed 21-Dec-16 23:03:17

my son is 5.5 now and was very similar at age 3. example my son used to touch other children's faces all the time. He was being friendly and it was his way of saying hi and getting their attention but other children saw it as not nice and aggressive. I learnt to tell him that other children don't like having their faces touched so let's say hello with a high five or fist bump. and We would both go up to the child and id say hello Jake, or whatever they were called, and encourage my son to do the same. shall we have a hello high five or fist bump? right we have said hello now, shall we play?

sorry that was long winded. its really tiring. and you see other people's children not need of so much investment. its frustrating at times. stick with it. recognise what he is trying to do and offer him a suitable option for accomplishing his task nicely.

i wouldn't with old a treat at home. its too far removed. what about time out during the play date? Please sit here and think about what you did..

Kanga59 Wed 21-Dec-16 23:05:58

with the face roaring, id say, stop please. that is scary for other people. We don't roar at people it's scary. is he trying to get their attention so that they play with him?

wishparry Wed 21-Dec-16 23:13:41

He is young.don't friends dd normally always physically attacks my dd when we are together. (Hair pull or push)we are so vigalint now,but sometimes still's just the way some children are.I think that in time it won't happen,but all you can do for now is say "you mustnt do that dc"
I think that some children struggle to understand their emotions,and especially with my friends dd-she is just over curious about other people's emotions,so will pull hair or push to see what reaction she gets iyswim?x

100milesanhour Wed 21-Dec-16 23:24:32

My 5 year old does the roaring thing when he's being a dinosaur.

All his friends at school do it to each other. It's their way of greeting one another now.

Kismet9 Fri 23-Dec-16 06:34:33

Thanks everyone, you have all been so helpful. Xx

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