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Destructive and abnormal behaviour in a 4yr old...

(6 Posts)
JammyK Sun 21-Jun-09 13:16:24

My ds1 was 4 in April and is all set for big school in September. However, I am increasingly worried about his behaviour. Typical things that he does is: get in the cupboards in the kitchen and pour milk, juice, flour, sugar etc all over the floor, pulls all the sofa cushions onto the floor, breaks toys and hides pieces away so they can't be fixed, squeezes toothpastes out all over the place, messes with my make-up, draws all over the TV and walls with whatever he can find and about 2 or 3 times a week he wets his pants or pulls his pants down and wees all over the floor (he even did this at a soft play centre a few weeks ago!). I know his behaviour isn't normal but what can I do? I put him on the naughty step which upsets him but 2mins later he's up to something else or saying horrible things. I've started taking toys away from him for the day but it doesn't seem to have much affect. He's been potty trained for nearly 18months and is dry at night. He gets out to pre-school for 2.5hrs a day and we're usually out somewhere in the afternoon so it's not like he can be bored or anything. Any advice would be greatly appreciated cos I am at my wit's end with him!!

3littlefrogs Sun 21-Jun-09 13:22:31

- Can you think back to a point when this started? Did something happen that could be a trigger?

- How is everything else at home? Children react to whatever is going on, in particular WRT relationships in the family.

-It sounds like extreme attention seeking behaviour. Does he get attention for good behaviour?

-Does he enjoy pre-school?

-Do you praise him for good behaviour?

- Does he get enough sleep?

- Can you put away/lock up/ put out of reach some of the things he is damaging, to give you a breathing space to deal with this?

- What does his pre-school teacher/key worker say about him? How is his behaviour there?

JammyK Sun 21-Jun-09 14:49:02

His teacher says he's well behaved at school. A little over-excited at times but otherwise he's just a normal 4yr old boy.

He has other problems too. He was diagnosed with a sub-mucous cleft palate last August and had to have corrective surgery. He now sees a speech therpaist once a week and she has suspicions that it hasn't worked as he's not making much progress. We are waiting for an x-ray to find out.

He goes to bed around 7pm and usually gets up about 6.30-7am. And yes he gets lots of praise and attention for good behaviour. Perhaps this is all due to his frustration with not being understood some of the time. We usually understand what he says the first or second time he says it but others aren't so good at understanding his speech. I can't think when this all started to be honest. He's just got progressively worse over the last year I think.

bubblagirl Sun 21-Jun-09 15:05:07

could you maybe get some picture cards made up at all that could help him with his speech problems so he can show you the card of what he wants etc this helped my ds alot my ds has ASD but atypical speech so can be hard to understand the frustrations we got from this were awful; so we got some cards we found some down loadable from internet and also bought some from ebay he could choose his card of what he wanted and it eased so much frustration

could you put stair gate on kitchen to keep him out and move anything you dont want him to touch into a cupboard out of his reach it may be his way of just getting attention but in the wrong way

lots of praise maybe if he has something he loves to do this can be his treat for good behavior playing computer or watching a dvd and he doesn't get this if he misbehaves

could he be over tired or too much sensory issues have gone on with trying to be heard when out etc maybe its all too much and its a release when he gets in

maybe have a few days where you have relaxing afternoons straight home
maybe weeing gets him home when your out as his struggling to communicate and at home maybe its way again of being overly frustrated and acting out

we use choices alot for ds so its all kept short and to the point not too many words so he can communicate back but we found when his speech was being understood his behaviour calmed right down it could be he cant talk to other children and be understood his not understood by adults and this is obviously upsetting him

maybe finding other ways for him to communicate for now could be huge help

3littlefrogs Sun 21-Jun-09 16:07:21

Agree with bubblagirl.

Can you work with the speech therapist to sort out some strategies that can help with communication. If you, and she, can agree on these, you will achieve consistancy, which has to be a good thing.

It sounds like much of this may be due to frustration over communication difficulties.

WRT the stair gates, dog gates are higher and may be more effective. I know some people will say it isn't fair to restrict his freedom, but you need to put some physical barriers in place until you get things under control, for your own sanity.

bubblagirl Sun 21-Jun-09 17:08:27

we have a gate up which we will leave open on the good days but on bad days we have the option to keep him out with less stress

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