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DS 3.5 hyperactive and aggressive - any advice on how to handle?

(6 Posts)
fromheretomaternity Mon 22-Aug-11 19:53:15

DS1 has always been a challenging child to look after. When he was younger he was extremely active and often aggressive, and we were told (by nursery staff etc) that it was something he would just 'grow out of'.

He's now 3.5 and shows no signs of growing out of anything. He is extremely active - hardly ever walks but is always running. He is also still aggressive, and will push over other children (usually younger ones) not for any reason, but seemingly just for 'fun'. He is a good talker, knows that pushing is wrong, is given consequences when he does it but doesn't seem to be able to (or want to) control himself. Some days he is fine and doesn't do it at all; others he just seems oblivious to the hurt he is causing. It's very tiring as I have to watch him non stop to check he is not pushing, chucking toys around, etc.

He does seem different to peers.... comments include 'Wow he's exhausting', 'does he ever slow down', 'where does his energy come from' etc, and I'm sure ruder comments behind our backs sad

He can sit down and concentrate for short periods, though he certainly finds this harder than other 3 yo's, eg he will do an art activity but only for ten minutes or so.

I've been reading some of the threads on ADHD... I have no wish to label him at his young age but desperately need some help and advice on how to handle him, and whether he needs any kind of special attention or whether just to soldier on and hope for some improvement. Any recommendations for good books would be especially welcome.

Ps I love him to bits too...

smugtandemfeeder Mon 22-Aug-11 20:25:31

Hello fromhere. You must be exhausted. My DS is just the same but has other issues as well. The advice we have had from professionals has been pretty minimal. The latest advice has been to concentrate on the hitting and ignore everything else. We have been told to use consequences each time he does this but this has never worked and still isn't. I either remove myself and DD every time he hits us or remove him if it gets too bad. We.are also trying to make a visual rules board with pictures such as no hitting, haven't done so yet though. We are still struggling with this and will watch with interest to see what other advice you get.

fromheretomaternity Mon 22-Aug-11 20:29:11

Thanks. Yes it really does wear you down. I am trying a big reward chart up on the wall with sweets at the end of the day depending on how many stickers he has (added for good behaviour, removed for bad)... but hard to make this work when he misbehaves out of the house. How old is your ds by the way?

Wondering too about diet though I find it hard to believe that would make much difference.

Hoping for some good advice here...

smugtandemfeeder Mon 22-Aug-11 20:33:54

My DS is 3.3 so very similar age. What does your son like most in the world? My DS doesn't give two hoots about sticker charts, sweets, has no particular attachment to any toys but gets upset if you take anything at all away from him, regardless of whether he was playing with it. Not sure where I'm going with that but if he has particular favourite activity or toy you could use that as a better reward for when he doesn't hit.

sunnymum44 Tue 23-Aug-11 08:11:50

Hi there, no expert here (yet) I'm afraid but just wanted to say my DS was exactly the same - everyone said "oh they all do it, it's just a phase" - well the hitting/shoving went on for about 3 and a half years - from age 1 to about 4.5 - I totally sympathise, it's exhausting & you feel you can't take him anywhere. I became a bit of a hermit at times - even Rhyme Time & Tumble Tots were such utterly stressful, exhausting experiences for me that I just gave up!!

So, DS is now 5.5 and has seen paed twice (we got referred when I mentioned problems to GP at age 4.3) & she is pretty sure he has ADHD. After much denial, we admit that now too... We are now being referred to CAMHS which I'm hoping will help with family life. Long story which I won't explain here but we're not going for official diagnosis as don't want school to know until it becomes necessary.

So my recommendations are a Sure Start Parenting course which we did at age 3.5 & was brilliant - really helped with understanding new techniques in dealing with the bad behaviour. And of course I'm not saying your DS necessarily has ADHD but Dr Christopher Green's book, "Understanding ADHD" is a really good starting one.

Lots of advice on these threads too. Good luck!!

fromheretomaternity Tue 23-Aug-11 23:05:47

Thanks sunnymum - have ordered that book from the library, and I think I am going to have a word with the GP too. I don't know if there are parenting classes near here but will try to find out.

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