behavior wants attention every second of the day if you don't give him attention he starts kicking doors hitting you making messes slaming doors and throwing things. it is exhausting to take care of him

Debbie - posted on 11/01/2014 ( 16 moms have responded )

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He calls names will not do things your way and cries and throws up if you go to work or go out he pretty much wants to run the house

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Sarah - posted on 11/04/2014

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This may or may not be relevant to you . It has just occurred to me that if your grandson is suffering separation anxiety then his behavior of demanding your attention may be an attempt to self regulate the emotional distress that he is experiencing ie.having your constant attention reduces the anxiety.
Because this behavior is demanding, it is distressing for us and emotionally and mentally and physically exhausting. We instinctively react by trying to stop and the behavior itself. This may give the child the message that it is not okay to express his anxiety in the only way he can. It also often involves removing the very things that are providing comfort such as our love and attention or for example the teddy bear.
It may be an idea to spend some time with him at the beginning of his visit where you do something special together that he does not get to do at home. Something which is that allows you to relate to him at his level and is not stressful to him or achievement orientated and which he enjoys. Some examples may be reading a series of books by a special author ( I like Oliver Jeffers and Peter Reynolds), making Lego together - either showing him how to make a simple car from instructions or both making a simple car each and experimenting together to see how to make them go further using different slopes etc., or having a special place in the garden where you can work together to build a car track on the dirt for toy cars much like an obstacle course using ramps making hills and valleys using sticks for judder bars etc.
You could then eventually, over time work on letting him know (once his anxiety is reduced and he feels secure) that you have things you need to do or need to have a break. If you could do these things while maintaining a physical presence and emotional availability it may help.
Go back to doing this special activity together at various time throughout the day if it suits but about 1/2 hour before his parents are due back try resuming the activity with him until they arrive.
It would also be helpful to introduce these changes by sitting down with him and explain " We are going to do things differently today. " It would also probably be helpful to apologise for taking his teddy away and let him know that you won't do it again :)
Is it also possible for him to have his own special place when he is with you such as a corner of the living room where he can put special comforting things he brings from home such as his own pillow, blanket a couple of toys?
Again don't know if it's relevant but hope it helps.

Sarah - posted on 11/04/2014

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My opinion is that discipline targets behavior but it is more effective and beneficial to address the cause of behavior - the idea being that behavior is an end product rather than an entity in itself, whether it originates from lack of understanding, or other issues such as anxiety.

Sarah - posted on 11/03/2014

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If anxiety is the issue then my opinion is that the best way to deal with it is to identify the cause of the anxiety and develop strategies ( perhaps with professional help) of addressing it. For example is the anxiety due to being in a new unfamiliar environment, is it separation anxiety, changed family situation, could it be due to different expectations and the way in which these these are communicated to the child, or more than one of these?
If you seek professional help then again in my opinion make sure you find a professional who is qualified and experienced in dealing with intelligent children as their needs and way of seeing and experiencing the world are different.
In some children anxiety may be the result of having the ability to understand a situation but not having the experience to cope with it nor the ability to express verbally it's impact on them, or how it makes them feel.
One of the ways that people- adults and children may try to reduce anxiety is by maintaining some level of control. Children may demand that things be a certain way or be done in a certain way to make things familiar and predictable. That way they feel safe.
My understanding is that most four year olds would not have reached the stage of development of forming empathy. The comment about his little brother may be an attempt to communicate something to you from an egocentric point of view without knowing how to verbalise or express it.
It may mean something totally different to a four year old with limited experience of the world than to an adult with vast experience knowledge of the world and empathy.
Is it possible that he was trying to communicate that something made him feel upset whether it be a specific incident or more general or connected to something that someone else had said? It may have been related something at that particular time or on that day.

Sarah - posted on 11/02/2014

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Children respond in different ways to different approaches. "Children are People Too" by Dr Louise Porter may be helpful. This may or may not be relevant but anxiety can also present as unruly behaviour. Some highly intelligent children can be anxious. They perceive that the expectations of different adults may not be the same but don't know how to respond emotionally or behaviourally.

Chet - posted on 11/01/2014

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How old is the child and what kind of attention does he want?

Can you engage him by having help you with chores? By singing songs or playing games while you do other things?

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Sarah - posted on 11/09/2014

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Also I believe that there is evidence that food sensitivities and intolerance increase anxiety. The book Fed Up with Food by Sue Dengate discusses these issues. She also has a website. Additives such as flavouring, colorings, flavour enhancers, antioxidants can have an effect. In my opinion it's worth looking into.

Debbie - posted on 11/06/2014

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He will not play by himself. He has every kind of toy uou can think of. He's telling people to go home when they tell him to behave. It's like defiance, will not do what he is told.

Sarah - posted on 11/05/2014

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Another thought. Many intelligent children also need to keep busy and engaged. Lack of engagement may be another source of anxiety. An activity area separate from the comforting area where there are a number of activities may be an idea. Alphabet/ word blocks and books activities where there are a myriad of directions such as Lego Duplo, train tracks are good. These types of activities however may involves keeping created items intact either to take home or kept intact over a number of visits. Play at Home Moms site has some good ideas.
These sorts of things may only work after other overwhelming anxieties due to perhaps separation anxiety has been reduced to a coping level.

Debbie - posted on 11/03/2014

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everything you're saying makes sense it is very helpful. II somehow feel that consistent discipline would also benefit himwhat is your approach on that subject

Debbie - posted on 11/02/2014

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Anxiety could very well be one of the problems..he carried on so much crying when they went out one night he started throwing up with such force that he busted some blood vessels in his eye.. he told me one day "l hope my brother gets hurt".. hefour years old and wants some one to get hurt.

Debbie - posted on 11/01/2014

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He's very very smart. Inteligence wise. No he has not been evaluated. He is my grandson and it is exhausting to babysit for him. I told him I would bring the toy back again if he was good and he was not good so I didn't bring it back and when I told him it was because he wasn't being good he blocked his ears when I was talking. I feel I am not getting through to him with that either

Dove - posted on 11/01/2014

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How old is he? Has he been evaluated for behavioral/mental health issues?

Debbie - posted on 11/01/2014

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Aas long as you sit with him and focus only on him he seems okay he will not play by himself. Sometimes he will help with chores but it is very rare

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