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DS 4 yrs does slightly odd things sometimes - nothing really really odd, just a wee bit odd...

(25 Posts)
Chooster Wed 21-Jan-09 21:52:11


DS1 is 4 yrs old and is a happy healthy little boy. Just recently though he has been developing slightly strange behaviour. The first one was stuttering but it wasn't like it was a medical problem, almost like he started doing it deliberately but then it became a habit. As an example when we asked him to stop he almost deliberately did it more. Then he would say 'what' almost every time we spoke to him even though we know he has heard as if we dont respond he answers the original question. Now, its lifting his arms / hands in the air, you know how you would do if your jumper sleeves were too long. He must do it several times a minute. I've been ignoring it up til now but today I thought I'd say something whenever I saw him do it and its been worse. The other 2 habits are still there but definately getting better I'd say.

Has anyone had experience of this kind of behaviour - is it normal 4 yr old boy oddities. I just have visions of him turning into a jittery mess!

duchesse Wed 21-Jan-09 21:56:43

Almost anything is normal at this age ime. I've had 3 and they were all completely different from each other at 4. It's as though they're trying everything out at once.

My son did the stuttering thing. Just don't rush him or finish his sentences for him, and he should grow out of it in a few months.

4 yr old are such fun- just sit back and enjoy him!

duchesse Wed 21-Jan-09 21:57:39

Oh, and strategic ignoring works wonders for undesirable behaviour at this age!

Sibh Wed 21-Jan-09 22:03:31

Or perversely, asking them to do it more. It worked on DS at that age and he tried out a whole range of quirks.

asteamedpoater Wed 21-Jan-09 22:33:27

Chooster, my son hasn't had the stuttering, but his done the arm raising. He also did a head turning thing for a while. Then there was the little bow he did whilst twisting his hands round as though to pull up his trousers and a little humming noise he did through his nose at the end of every sentence. And, of course, the funny facial grimaces... He's now nearly 5 and the more obvious ones stopped about a year ago - we are now left with the occasional grimace when he's particularly tired or stressed (eg when he first started in reception and through the whole of the Harvest Festival assembly...). Maybe your son's little mannerisms are the same thing??? If so, I think they are just motor/vocal tics and are very common in young children and normally only transient (albeit that some children go through quite a few transient tics over quite a number of years before they, generally, grow out of them altogether). In a class of 6 or 7 year olds, you'll see and hear quite a few funny tics going on.

If they are motor tics, then commenting on them is guaranteed to make them worse (or result in them morphing into an even more embarrassing tic), but impossible not to from time to time, for one's own sanity, even though not advised! Motor tics are not entirely voluntary, by the way - there is a sort of compulsion to do them, which is why the advice is to try not to make the child self conscious about them by commenting on them, because the stress of trying to stop them tends to exacerbate them.

I hope this helps!!! Anyway, you are not alone...

Chooster Thu 22-Jan-09 12:40:25

Thanks for the comments - that really helps. I'm not massively worried but I just wasn't sure how to handle it and didn't want to make it worse. What you've all said makes perfect sense and was proved by the fact that he did it more when I was highlighting it to him. I'll definately bite my tongue from now on (hard though sometimes when its driving you mad blush). DH has less patience than me so I'll need to reign him in too.

Thanks for the detail about your son astea - I must admit to a wry smile when I read about all the things he did. It all sounds quite funny when its written down but a worry when its your child smile.

skay Thu 22-Jan-09 12:43:25

Has he recently started school/New nursery?

Maybe there's someone he sees on a regular basis that does it.

Hopefully he should grow out of it.

Tidgypuds Thu 22-Jan-09 12:53:08

I wouldnt worry, he will most certainly grow out of these little tics.
My DS at this age did wuite a few different thing they lasted anything from a few weeks to 6 months and he would develop a new one.

We had the shrugging one shoulder constantly (like he was trying to keep a cardigan over his shoulder type of movement,)
then he would make a hum noise whilst eating and watching TV,
then little throat coughs (very irritating to say the least)
then smelling his hands all the time,
then, twisting his fingers around and waggling them.
I ignored them on the advice of my Mum as she said my DB's did this kind of thing when they were younger.
Now my DS is age 7 I can say that he isnt doing anything at all.

It is hard to ignore it but it makes it worse if you mention it.

DorisIsAPinkDragon Thu 22-Jan-09 13:08:04

DD 3.5 is currently blinking, (yes I know we all do it) but excessively came out of pre-school the other day and the leader was concerned she had hair in her eyes.... (she's not long had it cut!)

Not worried tho' as I remember dniece going through a similar phase, can't wait til she stops as it's driving me mad!!!!

2pt4kids Thu 22-Jan-09 13:10:53

DS is 3 and he had the blinking one, now he is on a loud throat clearing one. He does it all the time, at least every minute or so and has had this one a good couple of months now. I've got so good at ignoring it that I almost dont notice it now grin

piratecat Thu 22-Jan-09 13:14:34

on the other hand, my friend's boy started doing things like this and has now been diagnosed with an aspergers related type syndrome. It sterted when he was about 2, he would constantly be mesmerised by twirling things, or he would be looking upwards alot. He liked light patterns alot.
He started stuttering at age 4. He also flapped his hands alot when he got excited or watched tv. it's worth being open minded.

Chooster Thu 22-Jan-09 20:24:30

Thanks everyone again for the replies - it makes me feel like he's being perfectly normal smile. I think you are absolutely right piratecat and I'm definately keeping an open mind about it, but something tells me that this is stillquite harmless. He has no other indicators of a bigger problem apart from these tics. He's also done the throat clearing thing for a while (I'd forgotten that til I read about your DS tidgyouds smile) and he bites his nails constantly - well, when he's got a free moment between the arm thing. Glad to hear he should grow out of it smile

MrsMattie Thu 22-Jan-09 20:26:48

My son does the constant little throat clearing cough and the 'deliberate' stutter, too. He is 4 in a fortnight's time. Must be a phase?

NorbertDentressangle Thu 22-Jan-09 20:34:21

DS had a few of these recently (just before starting school in January).

The main one was brushing his hair away from his eyes (not that it was in his eyes to begin with) first with one hand and then the other.

Drove me mad. I had to bite my tongue many a time

asteamedpoater Thu 22-Jan-09 21:37:29

Hi, Chooster. My son also bit his nails for a while. I thought it would be a very long term habit, because I bit my nails for years, but he stopped when I told him he wouldn't be able to open his own satsumas if he didn't have fingernails to help him get into them! It is a neverending source of amazement to me what gets through to my child and what doesn't (that he was eating dirt from under his fingernails when he bit them and could end up making himself ill didn't put him off at all).

morningsun Thu 22-Jan-09 22:39:03

Hi chooster had to answer as recognised some of my ds habits/tics in the posts
at 4 looking upwards while watching tv
3/4 stutter[genuine]
blinking quite marked 3/4
humming while eating!
throat clearing with colds [i think]
repeating his sentence after speaking[under his breath]
he's so sweet it makes me laugh!!

Lazycow Thu 22-Jan-09 22:50:22

I amr eally pleased to see this thread. Ds (4.2) is frankly driving me mad with all his habits. I'm not as nice as you all and don;t really think it is cute tbh just mostly annoying, So far he

sniffs every couple of seconds (even when he has no cold and no sign of allergy )

Does a sort of throat clearing snort on the seconds he isn't sniffing.

Bites his nails

Sucks his thumb sometimes at the same time as biting his nails (actually don't mind this on - is quite cute)

Pulls at his belly button so that it stretches out and lets go so it pings back - He does this a lot (ewwww!)

Constantly twitches his legs

Sometimes when driving him in the car I have to have the music really loud to drown out his constant noises.

I paste a grin on my face to stop me yelling 'stop biting your nails/snorting/sniffing/pinging etc'

Chooster Thu 22-Jan-09 22:54:25

Aw, the repeating sentences under his breath - that must be quite sweet really! Its funny all the things they do isn't it? Wonder if its mainly boys? Astea, I'm using the same ploy about the nails but am saying he wont be able to play with his lego properly because he wont be able to get the bricks apart - hopefully that will start working soon. Like you I'm a long term nail biter so I hope he doesn't turn into me blush.

claw3 Fri 23-Jan-09 09:34:23

Stuttering is a normal phase of language development at his age. The throwing his arms up sounds like a nervous tick.

Try to be patience with him, give it time, if it doesnt improve then ask to see a SALT.

Chooster Fri 23-Jan-09 09:57:34

Crossed with you lazycow - Dont get me wrong soetimes it drives me mad and I know it drives DH mad. But I think as long as we know its should only be a phase and that ignoring it is the best policy then I think I'll find it easier to just turn a blind eye. KNowing he is not the only one is helping too smile

snackattack Fri 23-Jan-09 10:00:56

My dd had several of these whilst growing up - she's now 10 and they seemed to have stopped. At one point she kept sniffing, then it was blinking, then it was grimacing, then it was clearing her throat. It drove me mad to be honest but we made an effort not to say anything about it and gradually she just grew out of it....

babypup Wed 15-Jan-14 13:47:55

HI everybody,

I appreciate this thread is a good few years old, but I wondered if any of you were still around to talk about your kids habits and how things evolved over time?

My 4 (nearly 5) year old son developed a pretty harsh blinking habit shortly after his 4th birthday. It lasted 3 months solid then stopped. I was relieved thinking it was just one of those passing phases! But 4 months later it started again and has been on and off constantly since November.

I'm so keen to chat to Mum's who have experienced these episodes and come out the other end, as when I look up the internet I just find scary stories about Tourettes which is troubling. I guess it's the re-emergence of the habit that worries me.

If any of you lovely ladies are still around it would be great to hear how things have gone xx

PJ67 Fri 17-Jan-14 17:49:36

Hi. I'm also keen to hear any positive stories of children growing out of their tics. My oldest had them for a few yrs from age 2 to 7ish. Occasionally I notice something now he's 13 but very minor. My 7 yr old has had tics sice age 2 but they haven't been so bad for the past 6 months so I'm hoping they'll disappear. I also have a 4 yr old who I'm also worrying about as he has occasional tics, some noises, shoulder shrugging etc but also seems to like everything ' just so' which also makes me worry about OCD. Just want them all to grow out of them as I do find it quite stressful at times but I do think there is hope that they will be ok.

babypup Tue 04-Feb-14 16:40:37

Bumping to see if I can start this thread up again smile

AlwaysDancing1234 Thu 06-Feb-14 13:42:09

I asked similar questions when my DS was 3-4 years old and was told it's all a perfectly normal part of development.
Now that he is older he sometimes stutters occasionally but was able to explain to me that "my brain makes the words quicker than my mouth can say them"! I think sometimes they have so many thoughts and so much energy to get out it just comes out in the wrong way.

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