Mommy 911- 4 Year Old Spirited Son Out of Control - Need Help!!!

Danielle - posted on 01/20/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

44

26

5

My 4 and a half year old is quite aggressive, hyper and even hits himself in the head asking for my attention. I give him one on one attention everyday (alot) and we even go out together without his siblings for errands and special dates. I am very involved with his pre-k class (volunteering, doing an art project with the kids, guest reading, field trips). I am at my wits end. My older son (who is 13 now) was never like this and I am wondering what to do with my spirited son before this becomes a serious behavior problem that may lead to problems outside the home! By the way, he is a PERFECT ANGEL at school and they do not see any of the behavior we describe at home. However, it is worth a mention that he has been living in his imagination at home and school to the point that we have all asked if it is in the normal realm. Has anyone had a spirited pre-school child like this and what worked for you?

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

16 Comments

View replies by

Brittany - posted on 03/28/2014

1

0

0

I know exactly you feel I also have a 4 year old boy who is very energetic and I have discipline problems with. He is constantly pushing and being mean to my 2 year old. I don't know what to so I am going through his head start and setting him up with a behavioral specialist. I have talked to his teachers and they look at me like im crazy cause he Is so good in school. I have tried everything possible to get him under control I've tried the corner I've tried taking his toys, and people look at me and say you need to correct him more. it really makes me mad when people say that cause they don't understand.

Danielle - posted on 01/24/2009

44

26

5

I agree that diet may be a factor for somethings- but my kids are on very healthy diets... prebiotic and probiotic yogurt (that is colorless), they don't eat cereal, they don't have mcuh sugar at all- even with breakfast (waffles, pancakes, eggs) they do not have syrup, they have sugar free applesauce to dip things into. As for routine, I think that has been part of the problem since their dad has been home and he is the easy one. I have noticed that things have gone downhill since shortly after he has been out of work and home 24/7. Now, he is working part time for a friend until something opens up in his field and there has been some normalcy coming around again... schedules and routines are returning. Zach goes to the afternoon session of pre-k so it makes it a little tough for outings because he leaves around 11:15 and gets home around 2:45. The twins nap while he is at school which gives me 2 hours to tackle my main chores. Going out in the morning is tough since he has school coming up and going out after school is tough because he gets home close to when places are closing and he is exhausted. We have noticed most meltdowns after school when we have attempted to go out somewhere for even an hour. So, I now try to avoid taking Zach out after school because he is tired- we see a tanturm at the store and then like clockwork, he passes out in the car within seconds on the way home.



I spend a lot of time outside with the kids in the warm weather- we have a fenced in backyard with tons of outside play things, massive jungle gym with a slide, sandbox, sand and water table, water table, pop up tents, blow up bouncy house, slip n slides, mini pools... then we play ball, drive trikes and bikes on the long driveway in the front, sidewalk chals, bubbles, long walks around the neighborhood, trips to the parks and spraygrounds, zoo, picnics, ect.... now- it is between 10- 25 degrees outside and they are all cooped up inside and literally climbing the walls. I do things inside with them, but the physical outside stimulation is lacking. Inside we do playdoh, painting, coloring, bubbles at bathtime, board games, puzzles, baking, we have a small slide in the playroom, ball pit, pop up tents, minihouse tents, but I think that the energy level vs. the physical stimulation is not the same. I think these activities are not as physical as the outdoor ones and they are lacking the fresh air. And because of Zach's school schedule smack in the middle of the day, it is tough to go to the rec centers away from home or library story times... plus managing 3 kids at story time at the library (zach being 4 and the twin girls being 20 months) is a bit much on me. I am chasing kids all over the room compared to being able to get them all to sit with me and do hand play and dancing in place... my kids are the ones who find every outlet on the walls of the room and the twins are shopping in other mommy's diaper bags! LOL It is a little chaotic to say the least.  I have had the pleasure of taking one at a time and it is amazing how much me and the kids get out of it one on one- but the 3 of them together... they feed off of each other.  Maybe I just need to move to a warmer state... lol.



So I think this is where my problem lies... energy levels are high and stimulation inside is too low- gotta figure this out. We are enrolling Zach in a mini martial arts class hoping that will get him out of the house and being physical to have some type of focus and release.

Jennifer - posted on 01/23/2009

6

21

0

A lot of people have mentioned diet and I know that helped me with my son. (I thought his downfall was high fructose corn syrup, but it's actually the dyes in foods (yogurts, cereals, etc...) This definitely controlled the meltdowns! But you also said that he is good at school so that doesn't necessarily mean it's the only problem. The only difference I can think of is that at school they probably stick to a schedule. Have you tried keeping a very strict schedule & routine with him? This way he knows what to expect and when to expect your attention again. I know it's hard, my son was an only child for almost 4 years when I had the baby... But he knows that the morning is when we do our outings, school, playgroups, library, etc. Then lunch and quiet time from 2:30-4:00 (quiet time is in his room, he can nap if he needs it or just play). Then at 4:00 it is his one-on-one time w/ mommy, we have a snack and work on something together, like a craft or play trains, whatever he wants. And I think it's great that you are doing special dates with him too!

Heidi - posted on 01/23/2009

19

5

2

hi i know exactly what you mean and my oldist is now nearly 11 i left it until 3 months ago when it got so bad and went to doc now we are told it may be adhd but whatever it is help is out there. Doesn't mean it is that but you can still get help with learning how is best for you and your child to deal with it.

Charity - posted on 01/23/2009

5

3

1

I see his doctor again next month so we're going to discuss using something else to him. I understand how it is to be without insurance. When I got divorced we lost ours. I ended up applying for medicade and got approve. My sister who makes more money than me got approved for CHIPS. If I had insurance sooner maybe I could have help him more. At least I'm able to get him the help he needs now.  When choosing your counseler look for someone who specializes in children and behavior. I found that these counslers are better for my situation.

Danielle - posted on 01/22/2009

44

26

5

Brian lost his job in august and this killed our insurance until just recently so we are actually discussing seeing a counselor now for us and Zachy to figure out how to handle this or to cut this off at the pass before it gets away from us.  I am so sorry to hear that your son is going through such a difficult time. Have they thought about mixing the Depakote with something else to assist him with the depression he is feeling?

Charity - posted on 01/22/2009

5

3

1

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. My son is now 9 yrs old. He is the middle child. He is a very smart boy. He likes to do things he own way when he wants to do them. I've learn to let him do things that way to an extent. We have a lot of tantrums. I took him to a doctor that specializes in ADD and such. They put him on Depakote. It helps him calm down a little but he still has many outbursts. We see his doctor again soon so hopefully they can maybe help him some other way. I also have him seeing a counsler. She has been teaching him ways to control himself without anger. My son Dominic has been like this almost from day 1. He was even angry when he was a baby. The school has him in speech. I'm trying to get a 504  as well so maybe that could take some stress from him. My newest worry is that he has been talking about  killing himself. This is scareing me. I just keep praying for him. Have you tried counsleing with him?

Danielle - posted on 01/21/2009

44

26

5

Tammy- We should definitely Chat!!!!! Is your son "Spirited" too? My Zachary is my snuggler, this is a child who sings his twin sisters a lullaby every night at their bedtime and helps them share! Today was interesting- I gave him crackers for snack and he said he didn't want it and I stayed strong- if you are hungry for a snack, crackers is it right now! I went down to switch over the laundry to return to the living room 7 minutes later and both of the twins had a Cookie (an not just any cookie- Mommy's secret stash which are hidden in the pantry one level down from where they were). Apparently, Zach decided to hunt for a different snack (after I said crackers or nothing) and decided to get a cookie for each of the twins too. Was I angry that he defied me? Absolutely!!!!! Was I proud of him for thinking of his little sisters too? Absolutely!!!! This is where parenting is bittersweet- he is not old enough at 4 to think that if he gets the twins cookies and they eat them too then he won't get into trouble alone, is he? I spoke firmly with him about the defiance but I also told him that it was thoughtful of him to include his sisters! Do you have bittersweet moments like this that give you a glimpse of your difficult child?

Danielle - posted on 01/21/2009

44

26

5

Thanks for the suggestion Leslie... read it - did it- is only useful when Dad is on board and he is not the consistent one and is horrible with the emotional parenting part. I have read so many books and have tried every system... I am the ROCK the IRON FIST the CONSISTENT DISCIPLINARIAN in the house and daddy is lax- like the grandparent instead of the parent! I believe this is part of the problem, though he is getting better. For any of these systems to work, both parents have to be on board! I do agree that Magic 123 is a wonderful concept, I also liked The Happiest Toddler on the Block!

Leslie - posted on 01/21/2009

8

1

0

Have you heard of or tried 1,2, 3 Magic. It is a great program and I've used it with kids at school and with my own daughter and it has made a difference! Follow it like it is spelled out. I heard of people saying it doesn't work but often they get lax in following it and change things that don't suit them. Follow the program! We love it and I've passed it on to 3 different people and they love it too.

Holly - posted on 01/21/2009

4

44

0

On the topic of food sensitivities, I found my boy's behavior and emotions to be out of control before I eliminated gluten from their diet. They are much happier, and more grounded now.

Tammy - posted on 01/21/2009

14

25

4

Hi Danielle, I too have an out of control 4 year old, so I know just how frustrated you can be. My son has speech issues and I put him in kindergarten a year early to get him help with this, and like yours, he is an angel at school. They don't see the same behaviour I do so it makes it even more frustrating. He is very aggresssive with his younger sister, but also with his older brothers. I know alot of his frustration was because he couldn't say the words he needed, but even now, with him using words he still continues. I have to give him the one on one because of the extra work we do with his speech, BUT, I have taken away some of the special one on one things, like going shopping, because of his behaviour. It is very embarassing when he throws a fit in the store. So I have started getting a sitter if my husband is not home. He can be very mean to his little sister, however he is extremely calm and gentle around small babies, it is like a switch that has been flipped.  I know exactly how you feel and maybe we can come up with some ideas together on how to get our boys through this. I too am very frustrated.

Danielle - posted on 01/20/2009

44

26

5

How old is your middle son now? How long have you seen this behavior go on for? Zach is the oldest of our 3 kids together... so he is the oldest sometimes and then my 13 year old son from my first marriage is here part time and Zach is the middle child... is it because he is a middle child and lost in the mix?

Danielle - posted on 01/20/2009

44

26

5

Its just so tough- like you said, one moment he is a darling and the next he is bouncing off the walls and tantrums are horrible. I have a 13 year old who is with me part time and with his dad part time and then my hubby and I have 20 month old twins... so I am sure you can picture me trying to carry my 4 year old out of a store in a tantrum while managing twin toddlers and people asking me if I need help and I am ready to crawl under the minivan and die!  Now my twin daughters are beginning to mimic some of the behavior (one twin more than the other) and I am ready to lose it! I use time out methods for him and his toys and things, I have punished him in his room, I have removed tv privileges (which is very limited now because I was afraid he may have been too impressional to stuff on tv)... after the twins were born, he became aggressive for a while (never toward the babies) towards me and playmates (to the point that he slammed my friends daughters fingers in a door several times in a row and almost broke her fingers and then hurt me so bad that he ripped my c-section incision open... I realized that he needed some one on one time and took him out for a few hours and started spending more attention to him (literally scheduling it). But now he is nonstop and I am scared. Is some of this because of the stress of having to fight for attention with 2 baby sisters instead of one? I have read so many books - I can see the attention thing but the whining comes... 

Dede - posted on 01/20/2009

4

0

0

May want to check into his diet, find out if there is anything that could be causing the hyperness. My oldest son was very hyper and we found out that although he is not allergic or anything, that citrus (mostly oranges or orange juice) gave him a very hyper reaction. You may also want to consider not giving him as much attention. Let him know that if he wants your attention, he isn't going to get it that way. Giving him the attention when he acts this way is only fueling him to keep doing it. I hope this helps :)

Charity - posted on 01/20/2009

5

3

1

My middle son started out the same exact way. One minute he was my sweet little angel and the he was spiraling out of control. I finally took him to a doctor and they diagnose him with ODD (optiosional defiante disorder). They are still testing him because they think he might be bi-polar. I found that the best thing to do for him is to send him to his room making sure he couldn't harm himself with anything and leave him alone until he calmed down. Once he was calm I would give him the attention he was looking for.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms