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5 year old only happy if doing what he wants to do and throws strops if world isn't revolving around him....

(6 Posts)
Broadwalkempire Wed 06-Jul-11 18:09:32

DS goes to school and is about to finish reception - he's only just 5.

He's an odd mix of nervous (new situations; being separated (still) from me) and then very confident - his school reports say that he's a confident and sociable member of class and quite cheery (still cries when I drop him off though so clearly turns that off once in the door )...

Anyway, also have a younger sibling who is happy to potter generally.

DS won't do anything on his own. If we're at home at the weekends he either wants the telly or the wii on and if I say it's time to turn them off then he asks what we're going to do. If it's nothing then he throws a strop, if it's something, it's "when are we going, when are we going", once we do what we do, it's wanting to move on to the next thing. When we get in from school it's "who is going to play football with me ?"....In his eyes, if I'm not busy doing chores then I must be available to play with him. Why not ? DH finds it hard too - he works long hours but comes home a couple of nights a week earlier so he can do bath /stories and
makes sure he does some things with DS at the weekends and also for himself but even then it's not quite enough for DS.

Another example...last week at school there was a book stall, I wasn't going to buy anything. I told him he could look but not buy. He threw a strop. A friend gave him something I said he could have when we got home (we walk and I have younger dc ) and he threw a strop. He wanted a snack - I didn't have one, he threw a strop....I told him he could cry all the way home if he liked but I wasn't giving in - eventually he gave in.

If he has a friend over, he'll be happy. I work part time and he goes to a childminder after school 2 days and dc2 is at nursery - he enjoys the childminder as she has other mindees from school. On my days off we walk to and from school together and after school occasionally do things with his friends (not that often as my days are limited in the week) or just do jobs (local) or simply come home and play. I do a mixture of stuff with them (for eg on Sat morning I got up and played games with the kids for an hour at 7am (!) and then took them to the park so they could ride their bikes) and then boring day to day things which they need to learn are part of life probably like the majority of us.

It's hard to explain really but unless we're occupying him, he will go on and on until he thinks he'll get what he wants. If anyone comes over (adult) he'll be such a pain that you can't talk to them - even if it's just someone like my mum who is in and out of our house regularly - it's just attention seeking behaviour most of the time.

Does this ring bells with anyone - will it get better ? Any coping mechanisms ? Today we had total meltdown and i sent him to his room to calm down.....thanks for reading this far anyway !

Thehusbandsatcricketagain Wed 06-Jul-11 20:15:07

I didn'twant to read & run but will answer properly as soon as I can as I too am having very similar problems with my youngest,please stay with me smile

Broadwalkempire Wed 06-Jul-11 21:10:04

Thank you !
See you later...

Carrotsandcelery Wed 06-Jul-11 21:22:25

This sounds very similar to my ds in a lot of ways.

He is 6 now and is having other problems as well but there are similarities here.

We have found that our ds's problems seem to be anxiety based and that he needs to learn to relax.

We have seen considerable improvements through the following:

We started him on a high dose of Omega 3 oils - this is not medically proven but we saw a big difference and the school commented on the change.

We removed as many "stimulants" from his diet as we could eg no sweetners, no caffeine (although he wasn't getting any anyway) fewer additives etc.

We absolutely never give in to his requests if he is tantruming - even when it makes you feel like the most awful mother ever.

We reward even the slightest bit of good behaviour lavishly, sometimes with small toys even, depending on the circumstances.

We agree on a length of time for acceptable behaviour to earn a big treat eg he wanted a wii game so he had to have no poor behaviour reports from school from Christmas to Easter and was rewarded with the game in the Easter hols.

Agreeing a specific time when we would spend time with him eg once Mummy has hung the washing, tidied the kitchen and had a 10 minute relax THEN we can play (I have even handed him the kitchen timer in the past so he can see how long he has to wait)

We got him a relaxation CD from Amazon for times when he is really excitable.

We have not remotely cracked it and I do feel your pain OP but these things have helped.

I will keep thinking about other things that we have done and will watch with interest for other people's suggestions.

Broadwalkempire Wed 06-Jul-11 22:35:20

That's interesting the correlation between learning to relax and anxiety. Oddly in a way school have said in his latest report that he listens at school and joins in discussions etc as I was worried he might have attention problems - so no reference to lack of concentration. He's also often eager to please and during his tantrums which I suspect scare him, wants a cuddle and re- assurance which is hard when you yourself have got so cross about something. I usually tell him he has to calm down before he can come down again and give him the clock so he knows how long it will be. Each time he screams and shouts from his room in protest the time is extended. As soon as the time is up, he has to apologise and then we all move on. I find something to talk about to change the subject completely and then usually give him a cuddle when the mood has lightened and we might discuss it when it's all calm later. We had a good day on Sunday and I told him what a lovely day we'd all had and why.

My brother was quite an anxious child too and also had quite a temper on him....my mum commented the other day that she sees elements of him in ds....I feel I'm hard on him a lot and always on his case..things might also get better in the summer when he's off school. He's only just five and coming to the end of his first year.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. it's always good to know how others are coping.

Carrotsandcelery Thu 07-Jul-11 18:35:10

We were also worried about our ds's concentration at school but it has not been an issue. They have noticed his anxiety though.

When ds has a tantrum he is scared by his own reactions too. He is the double of my dad and I am the more mellowed female version of it so there is definitely a genetic link for us.

If we catch a tantrum early we can try to distract and turn it into giggles but there is a point, so far in, where it just has to run its course. I try hard not to get angry myself but often do and have to work hard not to show it.

There is a good series of books - [[ http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_34?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=what+to+do+when+your+temper+flares&sprefix=what+to+do+when+your+temper+flares which work through the problems]] with gaps to fill in with your child, which discuss coping strategies. You would need to discuss it with him all the way along and do it a little bit at a time but the strategies are realistic.

We started with the temper one and the biggest revelation for ds was that he had a choice and could get in a rage or shrug his shoulders and just think, "Oh well!" Not that he manages each time but if I remind him, early in a flare up, it can bring him back so to speak.

Our ds is currently waiting for an appointment with clinical psychology with extreme anxiety issues and it does not sound like your ds is struggling as much but these books may still help.

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