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AIBU?

I can't cope with my 5yo anymore

132 replies

Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:15

He had always been high energy but since starting school he is something else. Huge tantrums, won't listen to anything I say, calls me stupid, tells me he never wants to see me again just because I have run him a bath and he doesn't want one. He punches me, kicks me, is vile. I'm a good mum, I have boundaries, he has good nutrition, but he's just awful to me. He has suspected adhd but as he's so young nobody will help. Everyone just says 'watch and wait' with no support at all. I just want to cry all the time and count down the minutes until he goes to school. I don't understand what had changed. It doesn't feel like a phase and I feel like he hates me. I don't know what to do.

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Scootboot · 12/02/2024 19:40

We've had a very difficult weekend with our 4 1/2 year old exactly like this. Hates me, air kicking and punching at me etc. sibling has ADHD so we are assuming he will follow suit. The only thing we've done is just be consistent, talking about being gentle and it being unkind, ignoring the I hate yous and making sure he is run like a husky outside.

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Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:42

FirstTimeMum887 · 12/02/2024 19:39

Wow that sounds really tough OP. Do you have to go through the school, can a doctor not prescribe medication?

I don't think jumping straight to medication at such a young age is a good idea to be honest.

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BigDogEnergy · 12/02/2024 19:42

FirstTimeMum887 · 12/02/2024 19:39

Wow that sounds really tough OP. Do you have to go through the school, can a doctor not prescribe medication?

In most areas the ADHD pathway is a referral (usually by school) with accompanying evidence from home and school, then a wait of about 2-3 years before being assessed. Medication will only be prescribed by a paediatrician or psychiatrist following a diagnosis. Once on a suitable dosing regime then the GP may take over care.

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NoCloudsAllowed · 12/02/2024 19:44

My 4yo is like that a lot, I think it's fairly typical of first year at school. They just hold a lot in. Ds will be fine most of the time but gets upset easily and comes out with a lot of 'i hate you' and trying to hit me.

I think the phase threw me with dc1 but honestly now I just get on with it. Stay calm, consequences for violence, return angry speech with calm speech. Maybe he's ADHD, maybe he's just going through a phase, either way you've got to weather it.

That's not meant to sound unsympathetic, it is hard but I wouldn't take it as a sign you're failing or he's massively going off the rails. Small children just find it hard to regulate their emotions.

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Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:46

NoCloudsAllowed · 12/02/2024 19:44

My 4yo is like that a lot, I think it's fairly typical of first year at school. They just hold a lot in. Ds will be fine most of the time but gets upset easily and comes out with a lot of 'i hate you' and trying to hit me.

I think the phase threw me with dc1 but honestly now I just get on with it. Stay calm, consequences for violence, return angry speech with calm speech. Maybe he's ADHD, maybe he's just going through a phase, either way you've got to weather it.

That's not meant to sound unsympathetic, it is hard but I wouldn't take it as a sign you're failing or he's massively going off the rails. Small children just find it hard to regulate their emotions.

It's beyond normal though. It's every day multiple times a day. Major meltdowns in public. Trying to smash things up when I give him a 10 minute warning for bath/bed/tv/anything basically. It feels extreme. I'm just so exhausted by it.

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SleepQuest33 · 12/02/2024 19:47

Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:21

The GP. He seemed really reluctant and actually said 'a lot of people think their child has adhd but actually it's just a phase'. I think there is some bias at play and maybe because I'm a lone parent he sees it as a parenting issue.

Well then if the GP thinks it’s a parenting issue why can’t he suggest parenting support? Are there any parenting worships available?
BTW I’m definitely not saying it is a parenting issue but as the mother of a son with specie needs, including ADHD, parenting workshops are very useful. Ask the GP for referral

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Teasie123 · 12/02/2024 19:49

@Dara99 , I think Ur doing everything within Ur power to do all that U can op. U know I love him and that any decisions U make will be done with his best interests... being a parent is genuinely the toughest thing I LL ever do. If U think something is not quite right then trust urself, and ask the school for some feedback on his behaviour, maybe they can help with a referral?🤗🤗🤗

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Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:50

SleepQuest33 · 12/02/2024 19:47

Well then if the GP thinks it’s a parenting issue why can’t he suggest parenting support? Are there any parenting worships available?
BTW I’m definitely not saying it is a parenting issue but as the mother of a son with specie needs, including ADHD, parenting workshops are very useful. Ask the GP for referral

I'll take anything I'm given! I am actually quite secure in the fact that I'm generally a good parent. He has routine, has good food, a lot of love, boundaries around screen time, a lovely home etc etc. It's like nothing I do works. There are probably things I don't even have a clue about and would love advice that isn't just me desperately googling.

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whatdidshedotogetahillnamedafterher · 12/02/2024 19:50

know its not much help but do you have parents or aunts and uncles,cousins anyone to give you a break for a few hours?

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Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:51

whatdidshedotogetahillnamedafterher · 12/02/2024 19:50

know its not much help but do you have parents or aunts and uncles,cousins anyone to give you a break for a few hours?

Sometimes but it is hard. My parents both work full time and find him really hard work. My friend is amazing and she would take him in a heartbeat. My brother has him overnight sometimes. I am lucky in this sense but it is very sporadic.

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Bananawotsit · 12/02/2024 20:01

As others have suggested, let him come home and relax/decompress. Reduce demands if you can. No after school clubs. A visual timetable of what needs to be done after school so that he knows there a set routine. What’s happened and what is next. You can have a smaller one on these eg Now: dinner Next: bath. When he calms down praise him/lots of positive reinforcement for managing to calm down. Later/at another time talk about hitting etc isn’t safe for him or you. Ask if he can describe how he feels at that time. When he hits you offer him different things cushions/beanbags etc to hit. (Hell likely what to keep hitting you but keep trying different things - don’t say anything just put them in between you and him). My boy has a trampette in his room and in the lounge which helps him to regulate - is there anything like this that he likes. Ask school for help if any local services/ed psych. We had an outreach worker support for a bit which was really helpful.

you could try to set timers/alarms so that the alarm is telling him to stop rather than you.
time it so it doesn’t stop in the middle of something eg wait till the end of a tv programme/video/game level.

we did a star chart app (I know- eye roll!) for a bit where he got rewards for doing everything so even if he has a meltdown before a bath he still gets the reward for having a bath. It worked on an app as we had it with us all of the time so could reward immediately.

all behaviour is communication so he needs support to try to figure out what he needs/wants which he may not even know himself.
we got a couple of angry storybooks for kids to try to teach/explain emotions etc

it’s really hard and it can feel very lonely. There may be community Sen parenting groups near where you live.

keep pushing school and GP. Keep a record of the behaviour and the triggers (ask him as well as the trigger may be something you don’t notice -although he may be too young to articulate this).

xxxx

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XanaXtra · 12/02/2024 20:07

Give him some autonomy “do you want a bath or a shower?” “Do you want Lego in the bath or dinosaurs”

Mine has ADHD and thrives on routine, we bath on X nights and I will remind him earlier in the day, there may be arguing but I state facts and walk away, 9/10 times he is fine doing the thing by the time we get to it.

Take the pressure off afterschool, screens are a great way for ND children to decompress. Give him food, a screen and back off for an hour. No afterschool clubs.

Its hard, really hard but it does improve by degree and when he’s older medication can help.

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Dara99 · 12/02/2024 20:10

The no after school clubs is an interesting one. I have my own hobby once a week, and he goes to after school club for an hour. I don't want to give this up as it is the only thing that keeps me sane at the moment and helps me to be a better parent. He does a club on Monday with his friends that he is always desperate to go to, another one a Thursday which again, he is always excited for and swimming on a weekend. Is this too much? I actually find things are so much easier when he has clubs and he's much calmer.

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jeaux90 · 12/02/2024 20:10

Mine has ADHD and would have massive meltdowns because she was exhausted with masking, the noise etc at school.

They need a lot of sleep and quiet decompression time after school IME.

Routine is absolutely key, mine has ASD as well so transitions were hard.

DD is 14 now and it got easier over time. Medication has been amazing for her but the biggest game changer was at secondary with small class sizes and school.

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whatdidshedotogetahillnamedafterher · 12/02/2024 20:13

My nephew had such issues surrounding bath times for some reason when he was about the same age as your little one. I remember my sister crying and being beyond lost at the time although it was many years ago, Her health visitor back then told her to forget the pressure and turn it into a huge game,I cannot remember exactly what they did but I do remember her buying a small paddling pool one of the ring ones that blow up and putting it down on the kitchen floor and he did get bathed in that for a while.She was kind of trying to kid him he wasnt bathing but her was!! It was such a faff and bloody hard work but they kept the pool up and shoved it behind the sofa when they had emptied it! He loved it ..might be worth a try? They only payed 3.99 for it back then. Or maybe you could try to take him to the pound shop so he could choose some bubbles to put in himself and some really cheap bath toys? Is he too big for sitting in the sink? My kids used to love a bath in the sink in the kitchen when they were small and too tired to go in the big bath! Those small bubbles in a tube with the wand stuck in the lid used to go down well and take their mind off what they were doing too! I know you will have probably thought of this and tried it but if you could turn it into a huge game for him to do himself (obviously under your supervision) and lots of good boy ,well done ,you are amazing...my ideas might seem stupid and I am not trying to teach you how to suck eggs but if you think its worth a try or another try it might give you some peace.Its only a tiny part of the big picture but any parent will take a tiny win at times. I do!!!

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EliflurtleAndTheInfiniteMadness · 12/02/2024 20:15

Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:20

Apparently his behaviour is good, no Aggression, huge lack of focus though. I think he just masks it very well and it all comes out at home. I have very little money.

That's what it will be. He's masking and overwhelmed by school and it's coming out at home. Even if he's sleeping well he can be exhausted mentally. What helps him regulate and get down time? It's not what works for everyone, but what we do is straight home after school and they go on screen's for 40 minutes. All my DC are Autistic. It helps them escape the world for a bit and regulate. For some kids it might be something like jumping, we have mimi exercise trampolines inside, or running or curling up under a heavy blanket or turning everything off and lying down in a quiet room to reduce sensory impact. If bath's are tough just do them on good nights or every second night or swap to mornings. It's okay for things to happen less because that's what he needs to cope. It's ok to use what works for him. Parenting an ND child rarely looks the same as parenting an NT child and following traditional parenting advice often makes the problem worse not better.

Observe and write down thing's that help and thing's that make him worse. Write it down because its a lot to remember especially when in a really stressful situation. Certain afternoons of the week might always be worse because he does something at school that day thar he finds it harder to cope with. My DD struggles with transitions and finds days with changes like moving rooms much harder. If he struggles with noise ear muffs when they're working quitely and don't need to hear the teacher might help. Crunchy foods might help, its a specific type of sensory input. There's all sorts of options. Besides pushing for referrals observation is the other thing Id been doing, write down what's hard, what helps, what triggers, what his behaviour is, noting things like physically hitting out. It may help you find ways to support and help him, it will be useful in pushing for referrals and getting a diagnosis. I know how hard this is and Im so sorry you're both going through this.

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girlfriend44 · 12/02/2024 20:16

Dara99 · 12/02/2024 19:26

I've just run him a bath and he said he hates me because he hates baths and kicked me in the face. I just walked away and now he's crying in his bed. I don't feel like I have the tools to deal with this. I'm on my own and love him so much but feel like I've just forgotten how to parent overnight. I just told him 'well I love you' and told him I'm giving him time to calm down and walked away. Punishing him or telling him off makes it worse. I feel so out of my depth.

I'm making him sound awful. He is also lovely. The first thing he says to me in the morning is 'I love you mummy'. He's kind and extremely empathetic, but just so angry sometimes.

Dosent his dad have him or any family members don't they want to see him? You can get a break too

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HousePlantNeglect · 12/02/2024 20:18

My DS was like this when he started school. He loved going, was well behaved and sociable at school, lacked a bit in concentration but otherwise a happy child. At home his behaviour was as you described, really extreme tantrums all of the time, massive difficulty in calming down, but also really upset at his own behaviour.

I really struggled with it, and there are two adults at home, so it must be really overwhelming if you're a single parent.

Mine did grow out of it eventually. But he's one of those kids who is still really sensitive to having too much on, being overtired, too much screen time etc.

I would defo follow up with the school again if you haven't heard back from Senco. Even just to explain that you are struggling with his behaviour and see if they have anything they can offer or sign post you somewhere.

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Hankunamatata · 12/02/2024 20:19

Hi op. I have 3 dc adhders and yep they nearly broke me before starting medication. I did so many parenting courses.
Latest course was the incredible years and found it brilliant. There's a book or you can get audio book. I did the course through a sure start.

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Noicant · 12/02/2024 20:24

I would say that DD is an utter nutter outside of school and had bouts of aggression at home as well (she’s a bit under 5) but similar to yours good at school (her focus in class is fine but she needs to move a lot at pre-school).

I wouldn’t assume ADHD just yet. We’ve just instituted a star chart (which I was very against but it has actually helped). She also struggled with transitions but thats not uncommon in the age range either.

I do think the advice on parenting like he has ADHD is a good idea. He may or may not be ND but you may find some of the strategies helpful regardless. The explosive child was also very good, helped us pinpoint where we were running into trouble.

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Helpmeout124 · 12/02/2024 20:29

do you have a shower OP? Would it be possible to give him the option so he feels like he's chosen it himself? Like maybe "okay it's time to have a wash now, would you prefer a bath or a shower, you can choose?" My son is 9 now he went through a time like this when he was a lot younger, he kicked me in the face once for trying to cut his toe nails. I know how much patience it takes to not lose your cool, you're doing amazing, just by being able to walk away and keep composure.

I find that calming down then going in an talking to my son with a cuddle always defuses the situation. "You have hurt mummy, we cannot kick people, do you understand that what you did is unacceptable?" But always finishing the conversation with cuddles and reassurance of love" this approach might not be for everyone but it got me through hard times and my son like I said is 9 now and it's all a thing of the past

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kaiadeluded · 12/02/2024 20:32

Hi OP, I don't want to worry you but your little boy sounds a bit like my friend's child who is 7 & in the process of an PDA autism diagnosis.
Her child goes to private school and they have been beyond useless at helping them & say he hasn't got a problem even though it's obvious to friends & other family.
She's had to pursue the diagnosis privately and then learn new parenting techniques.

But I think you can get more help from a state school... I do think also you should see a different GP. Keep pushing. Also look at parenting techniques for ND children as my friend has found these very useful.
Hope you get the help you & your child need in the end - I can see how hard it is just being a single parent without bringing neurodiversity into it.

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Vettrianofan · 12/02/2024 20:32

Enjoying the half term holiday too?🤪

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Zebrasinpyjamas · 12/02/2024 20:34

It sounds very tough. I really feel for you.

Can you plan a very consistent timetable for him. Maybe make a visual timetable so he knows what happens next and there are no surprises.

Eg home from school, have snack , do an activity (might be a quiet activity or sensory seeking activity -whichever he needs) , dinner, bath, book, bed.

Follow OT butterfly on Instagram for ideas of sensory seeking or sensory calming activities.

She has a tip to use during Extreme behaviour/tantrums-the parent holds up both hands and says point to this hand if you want a cuddle and point to this hand if you want to be left alone. Children mid tantrum don't have language skills but this helped my ds tell us what he needs/wants. She explains it better than me!

My reception child's behaviour has been quite challenging (not as significantly so as yours) since September. For us it's a combination of getting used to school and it's rules/routine, separation anxiety and tiredness.

You sounds like you are doing a good job despite a really difficult situation

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Vettrianofan · 12/02/2024 20:34

Seriously though, we had a meltdown this morning and one this afternoon involving spitting, hitting etc. this is daily for us. We have applied for child disability payment because of it. Strangely enough he doesn't behave like this at school 🤔

Hope you have better days OP. Have you tried parenting courses online? The Solihull Parenting Approach online course is brilliant.

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