Please help! It's regarding my 3 year old.

Rosie - posted on 09/26/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 years old and the only child. He's always been a very active child, running around, climbing, jumping, basically being a boy. it started at 2 and has been just going up, but I thought it was the regular terrible twos. He is most of the time fine at home, he listens and behaves. But when I take him out or had kids play with him, he does not listen and seems to not focus. I keep thinking its normal, kids just want to play and being the only child and not having a lot of interaction with other kids, I thought he just needs more time to learn certain stuff. He used to share and play, and loved playing with other kids. But he picked up not sharing and some other behaviours like throwing, pushing, kicking and stepping on feet. I've removed him from situations, given him time outs and spoke to him about his behaviours. When he gets home, he is totally fine, but again when he goes out, it's like I always have to be on the watch and have a hard time getting his attention and getting him to listen. I keep thinking it would get better with time. At home, he's great, he listens, behaves, very smart (knows all the rhymes, ABCs, 1-25, colours, shapes, months, days, a little bit of writing, and more), but that all changes when he goes out and gets hyped up.
In the Beginning of September I registered him for a full year preschool program. I thought this would give him a chance to build his social skills. First day the teacher pulled me to the side and told me he's not listening, not sitting down for circle time, running around. She also told me it was the first day, lets see how it goes. Second day, the teacher called me in near the end of class and told me your son is on a time out for hitting and throwing stuff. She told me this is not acceptable, how she and the 3 assistants can't look after him, and the other kids aren't safe. As much as I was upset, I did understand what she was saying too. She told me he couldn't continue with their program. So, I joined him for swimming and others sports instead. I got no complaints in that program. I felt he still needed to go to programs which involved him to interact with other kids more, play and learn, with circle times, crafts, etc. I joined him for a parents and tots program where I can go in with him. So when I went in with him, he played with the kids, however, he wasn't sharing at times too, but he showed no physical misbehaving. He also didn't sit for circle time, he wanted to play with toys or run around. I tried to hold him down during circle time but then he started falling down and crying. During craft time, he sat down and did the activity, then right away he wanted to play with the toys and ran around taking toys from other kids as well. I've stopped and told him to share, gave him time outs there. He would be fine for awhile then he would do it again. The teacher there told me, he was too active and has a lack of focus, to have him checked or join him in active programs. I felt really upset, frustrated and didn't know what to do. I withdrew from that program. I went to his doctor who is my family doctor as well. She told me how I can see a developmental pediatrician, just to check up if I'm concerned. I'm really hoping it's nothing, however I am so worried that it's making me breakdown. I'm trying to stay positive and if there is a problem I'm willing to make every effort to make him better and make things work for him. I haven't gotten an appointment with the pediatrician yet. In the meantime, a friend of mine told me about the early years centre and to check that out. Today I visited the place. The staff were very welcoming. My son was running around, playing and enjoying himself in the beginning. Then it all started again. A child came and took a toy from him, he threw something, not at her but just randomly. I told him not to do that someone could get hurt, he said sorry mommy and continued playing. I had my eye on him the whole time, I didn't want him hurting anyone there were a lot of younger kids there as well. Then another child came and took another toy from him, he ran after him and pushed him. The mother got very upset, and yelled at my little boy saying not to do that and to apologize. The whole centre just stopped and looked at us. I understand no mother likes to see her child being hurt. I apologized to her right away and had my son also apologize. He apologized and even patted him on his back. The mother calmed down after that, but I was still embarrassed and didn't know how to help my son change my his behaviour. I took him to the washroom and told him we are going home if he continues this and gave him a 2-3 mins time there. He came out and played nicely, but I was panicking that he was going to hurt another child and that someone else was going to yell at us. This time he went and tried to take a toy someone else was playing with, and the child turned around and pinched him. So my son pushed him back. I stopped him, and said you have to share, can you both share and play, but the mom of the child came and pulled out her son and said u are not going to play here. I think she already labeled him as the naughty kid there from the previous incident with the other child. I was getting frustrated with my child's behaviours as well as the other moms there. I totally understand parents would get upset if their child is being hurt. But I do not know what else to do. I have to take him out to programs and play areas so he can learn how to play, share and communicate. But it's difficult when others are lashing out as wel. And it's difficult for me to reinforce certain behaviours at home when he is totally fine at home. By the time I get home, I discuss what he had done today, I don't know if he forgot or not. He is also not communicating fluently, so I don't know how well he understands. I am at the point, I have no clue on what to do and very frustrated and anxious. I am also a single mom living with my parents. I'm not sure if it's because he doesn't have his father around, or he doesn't have other kids to play with, or if I'm doing something else wrong. But certainly no form of bad behaviour is exhibited at home, either by him, me or my parents. He is in a loving environment, lots of play and learning. There was one thing I forgot to mention, he used to watch tv/iPad often, just cartoons for his age group, but I have limited that as well after noticing his behaviours. Some people tell me it's normal, he's a boy, he will grow out of it, yet, some people tell me I should consult with a doctor. I want to be the best mom for him but I feel like Im doing something wrong by not being able to change his behavour. I want him to go to kindergarten next year and be able to properly behave.
Anyone have any advice/suggestion on what I can do, where I can go? Or has anyone else experienced this sort of thing? Thank you for your kind words in advance.

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Alyssa - posted on 09/27/2016

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I'm sorry. I know as a single parent that it is hard to carry the burden of worrying about your child's behavior alone. I can see that you are making efforts to teach him as well as correct him. You mentioned one of the ways you discipline like removing him from the situation. Are there any other forms of discipline that you are using? I have personally used this series of articles on discipline and found it helpful with my own daughter: http://bit.ly/2d4yG4n
Also, do you have friends with children his age or maybe a little older? I'm wondering if it would help to get together with people you know personally who would be more understanding of the situation and not make you feel so stressed when your son misbehaves. Also, that way he would interact with the same child instead of various children that he doesn't see regularly.

Dove - posted on 09/26/2016

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He's only 3. Keep doing what you are doing w/ him and give him time to mature and settle down. It sounds like other kids are doing the exact same things to him that he is doing to them... only it sounds like it is just your son being held accountable for his actions.

There may or may not be any issues to address w/ a professional, but 3 is honestly way too young to worry about it. Maybe you and your parents can 'role play' a bit w/ him at home. One of the adults can be the 'teacher' and your son and the other adults can be the kids and you can act out some of the scenarios he's been experiencing and help him learn better ways to handle the conflicts. Be patient and give him time. If he's 4/5 and you still aren't seeing any improvement it 'might' be worth looking deeper into an evaluation and getting a professional on board to help him... but keep in mind that that takes time (or at least it should) to sort out as well.

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Rosie - posted on 09/28/2016

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Thank you Alyssa for the your suggestions. The article you provided was great, especially since I am a Christian myself and have faith in God, it would be easy for me to relate.
Most of my friends don't have kids, and the ones that do, live far from me. I also thought it would be helpful if I could get together with friends or family with kids, but there is no one around his age to play with. That's why I started taking him to preschool programs and other programs so he can play with kids his age and same time learn. As I had mentioned to the other member, I am seeing some improvements and I will continue to do what I am doing to my very best. Thank you again!

Rosie - posted on 09/28/2016

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Thank you Dove for the suggestions/advice! I will definitely try doing the role playing. I do also believe it is just a stage and he will grow out of it. I will continue to do what I am doing now. I took him to a new preschool program, and I noticed he did much better at this new place. They had various of activities which kept him busy. There was a free play time where he was taking toys from other kids and kids were taking toys from him, and he was getting frustrated, however, I was by his side telling him he should share and play nice or he would have to go home. He did much better, and I bought him stickers at the end of the day just to reinforce his positive behaviours.

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