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9 year old talking over others too excited to engage

8 replies

whatreallymatters45 · 07/07/2019 07:23

I have a 9-year-old boy who is an only child. He becomes overexcited to the point of being hyper when a friend comes over to play or various social situations that he is enthusiastic about. I have no problem with a child being enthusiastic but it is more than that. He seems unable to calm down, engage and communicate. We spent the day yesterday at Kew Gardens. He spent the day rushing from place to place and interrupting both me and his friend. We have been to Kew Gardens frequently so it was not a to new experience. I am afraid I handled it very badly and eventually lost my patience with him.
What I would like to do is help him appreciate the need to communicate effectively so that everyone is heard and listened too. At home, it is a problem too but less so. Fairly regularly a conversation is interrupted by him humming or rushing off to attend to something else.
We are going on holiday soon with another child and parent and I would like to preempt situations which result in him being frustrated and me losing my patience with him. I do make a big effort to listen to him when he is communicating and aim to be a reasonable role model.
I have been reading 'The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read' and found the advice helpful but there is not anything, in particular, to help with this sort of situation.

OP posts:
rosedream · 07/07/2019 07:42

How is he in school ? Do they have the same issues with him ?

The reason for asking this is if it's effecting him in all areas of his life or just with you.

If it only happens at home and not school it could mean that he can self regulate and is self aware of it.

TheVanguardSix · 07/07/2019 07:56

I'll go out on a limb and ask, have you ever wondered if he's on the spectrum or has ADHD?
A good trick with kids who have the tendencies you've explained is saying, 'Stop. Eyes to me'. get on his level and get him to look you in the eyes. The language needs to be calm but firm. Really work on helping him to stop, then look at you, take a deep breath and tell him to "Listen". I find that holding hands helps. Make sure he is fully engaged before you speak. You almost have to 'train' him to stop and listen. The 'eyes to me' will really help.
He gets himself into such a flurry of excitement and it's overwhelming for him, I'm sure. You have to temporarily pull the plug, bring him back down (as if he's a helium balloon in flight, tug on that string and pull him back down to earth), and help him to find his inner calm.
It will take all of your effort and patience, but you can do this.

It's vital for him to find a calm space every day after a long day at school. Not much discussion. just quiet time. Brain rest! That could be just drawing at the kitchen table with really nice music playing. Kids' meditation. Even a calm programme on the TV. Just a space where he stops and steadies his fast pace for a bit.
The humming sounds like 'stimming' which is what kids on the autism spectrum tend to do to self soothe.

You may not be able to totally change his habits but you can help him to find a calmer headspace by using the Stop-eyes-to me-listen type of language. My son is like yours.

How does he engage when it comes to tasks? Is he into using his hands? I find working with kinetic sand and things like play-doh really calming. I know he's 9 but my 9 year old has a 10 year old friend who is ADHD. When she comes over, she plays for ages with the kinetic sand (we have moulds and cookie cutters which they use). It's very addictive and calming! Making slime (messy but worth it) is a really great way of engaging in something, using concentration for a sustained period, but at the same time, it's very calming and therapeutic.

I don't wish to diagnose your son in the least. But sometimes, the strategies I use with my own ASD son and with the kids at the school I work at can totally be carried over to the mainstream children. Some kids just need more help in finding their calm place.

He may benefit from running or something like gymnastics (less team sports and more 'running' based sports). Martial arts is great for discipline and feeling more centred.

tutu112 · 07/07/2019 08:39

I'd agree with a lot that the previous poster said. My son is on the spectrum and a lot of the things you mention, OP ,are things that led us to looking into getting a diagnosis. May not be the case for you at all, but worth considering. The "eyes on me" idea though, and holding hands would def not work with my DS however, and would escalate the situation in our case. All kids are different of course, but I know quite a few kids on the spectrum for whom eye contact and at times, physical contact is very difficult unless they are relaxed and comfortable enough to initiate it. But as I say, everyone is different.

whatreallymatters45 · 07/07/2019 09:21

Thanks so much. I have been hard on myself constantly wondering what I am doing wrong. The suggestions given are practical and I will be trying them out.
At school, things have fluctuated, but this year he has had a gentle and fair teacher and has responded well. Academically he is on par but is held back by impetuousness and lack of focus. His work is often messy and not systematic. He can write imaginative, entertaining if disorganized narratives. His short term recall of tables is not good. The lack of focus oscillates between extremes of intense focus and the opposite depending on his interest in a given lesson. He gets frustrated quite easily when challenged. I have talked to him about the need to persevere and put effort into all lessons regardless of his initial interest but this has had little impact. He is the sort of child who constantly has his hand up without always having thought through his response.
He does play a team sport and this has been ongoing stress so perhaps a team sport is not the answer. I thought playing in a team might help him with giving and take.
He has enough friends and school and seems to be involved and social at playtimes.

OP posts:
Loftyswops988 · 07/07/2019 15:47

This sounds a lot like myself as a child - also an only child which is what my parents put it down to for years and then I was eventually diagnosed with ADHD. I still struggle with getting over excited but can talk myself out of it if i prepare myself before a situation and prepare for feeling overwhelmed. If you spoke to him calmy before going out or before a playdate would he be able to listen to you and understand what the issue is?

TheVanguardSix · 08/07/2019 11:34

Hi again OP. It sounds like you are dealing with some ADHD stuff, to be honest. I think, with all of our kids, you have to work with what you’ve got. Find what triggers stress and find the approaches that help reduce stress. One size doesn’t fit all. But try telling schools that. Everyone is expected to respond in a similar way. I work in a school and actually, kids are sooo different and their needs can be quite individual. So at home, try and almost study ways of helping your son reduce stress and its triggers. It’s intense and draining but it will help you find peace with being a parent to a somewhat higher needs child.
If it’s of any comfort, most kids have their issues. You’re not alone.

Bowling, running, trampolining are great stress relievers. Martial arts: calm combined with focus.

TheVanguardSix · 08/07/2019 11:41

And also, the end of the term is when kids typically show their more demanding side. So my ASD son is just incredibly hard work. He is just stimming and spinning like a top.

I took him, his, sister, a friend and the dog into the woods (and shot them. Grin I’m so sorry, I have insanely dark humour but as I typed that sentence I thought Hmm). No I took them to play hide and seek. They just ran and ran and hid and ran for an hour and a half. It shook off all the cobwebs.

Do you have a dog, OP? I find getting the dog and my ASD/ADHD DS outside totally therapeutic! Nothing like a ball chase with the dog!

whatreallymatters45 · 02/08/2019 08:10

TheVanguardSix: if you have a chance I have sent you an email. Please check your Mumsnet inbox?

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