Any one having behavior issues with 2yr+ preemies??

Mandie - posted on 04/17/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

8

13

1

My son was a 29 weeker, he spent 61 days in NICU. For the first 22 months of his life he was pretty "normal" into everything, a big climber, testing limits nothing major. Over the last year he has become VERY difficult. He has tantrums that are off the scale, he's mean to his brothers & to other children. He really marches to his own drum - high activity level, can destroy the entire house in 10mins flat. unrolls all the toilet paper, pours drinks on the floor, just seems to do any & everything he shouldn't. lately he won't sleep, I was always very strict about nap & bed times, he just runs circles every time I put him to bed now, destroying the room & torturing his brother. I have three other boys none of them behave this, I am at a loss, totally mentally & physically drained.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jennifer - posted on 02/05/2011

622

12

86

There is something called "the preemie temperment" , most preemies with such have demonstrated it basically from day one. That being said, what I have learned is that once a preemie always a preemie and something always seems to be popping up. My son was born at 29wks and is now 4yrs 9m. At his 15m check up he was deemed caught up, prior to that he was delayed in meeting milestones by about 2ms. After that he seemed to have taken off! He is reasonably healthy, very active and coordinated, and smart, smart, smart! But he is also our highmatenance child. We love him and wouldn't trade him for the world but each new stage he hits is so much more intense in compairison to his peers. His tantrums are a force to be reckoned with and they go on for an hour sometimes. Once his eyes open in the morning he goes full steam the WHOLE day, hasn't napped since he was 22ms, even though we enforce a "rest" time. We call him solar powered because if there is light he is awake and going. Strongwilled and independant have been used to describe him by everyone since was at least 18ms! I taught kindergarten for 10yrs and advised many parents on how "if you can directed thier strong willed nature in positive direction then you wind up with great leaders!" And now I am feeling my words come back to haunt me! :-)
Going back to once a preemie always a preemie... We find with our son that we still have to allow for developmental delays, and sometimes even push the professionals to see them. For instance we realize our son has an emotional delay, educators want to call in imaturity, but when you work with him and address his "issues" with development in mind you see progression and growth. We were also being told that he wasn't focusing at school, wanted to play and not learn, etc. At home he was throwing tantrums over things like coloring, cutting, do puzzels. I pushed and sought and changed Drs until we found a specialized pediatric opthamologist who diagnosed a vision delay, he started therapy last week and he himself is excited over "his eyes working right". We are trying to find the cause so the effect can be positive rather then negative.
One book I recently read called, The Explosive Child, was helpful in the premis that children want to behave, they want to do the right thing, they for one reason or another just don't always know how. We certainly see that with our son. Sometimes we just have to take things for what they are. For instance he had to go to the Dr today (something that he is alway anxious about) and we had trouble getting him to do the blood pressure cuff. He's done it before and he's done it cooperatively before. Once it was on he was fine. But for whatever reason when his anxiety level is high his brain can't sort out what medical procedure hurts or doesn't hurt and he reacts in a fight or flight way, definately more fight! It doesn't matter how much we prep him, how many times he's done it, he is an in the moment kid!
It's exhausting! It's nerve racking! It's mentally brutal! And, it's not your imagination!!! Seek help and support where you can get it and perservere when you have "mom's intuition". Take time for your self when you can and ward of guilt. Don't let the preemie side of it be an excuse but it does help to have sort of an explination.

Bianca - posted on 11/15/2011

14

34

0

Whew! I thought I was the only one going thru this same problem with my 26 weeker. Going to the grocery store is so much him screaming and being loud. I just talk to him in a clam voice and tell him to be quiet but try to get out the store as soon as possible.

Brenda Henry - posted on 07/13/2015

1

0

0

My great granddaughter is almost 3 1/2 and lives with me. She was 1 lb 4 oz at birth and in the NICU 3 months. Recently she seems to have 2 completely different personalities. She can be sweet, loving and independent. She then throws herself on the floor and turns into a screaming/kicking/hitting child. She throws anything in site including tables/chairs/shoes/toys/books. This may last for 10 minutes or an hour. She refuses to nap but falls asleep about 5:00 if we are in the car. If she sleeps 10 minutes, she will not go to sleep until 12:00 or 1:00. She eats very little but has pediasure once a day. She is fearless and will climb anything or jump off anything. She will not sit still in a restaurant or a store. She twists the straps on her car seat tightly around her chest and pitches the same fits in the car. Sometimes after a tantrum, she will come to me and say she will be a good girl but that usually only lasts 5 minutes. She says Shut Up all the time even in her sleep or even if no one is talking to her or even looking at her. She has hurt me physically then asks if it is funny. She has had tubes put in her ears and is attending speech therapy. Her memory is amazing. I've tried putting every toy away if she throws it when she is angry. I want to help her but I'm exhausted and don't know what to do.

Angela - posted on 02/03/2011

44

14

7

This is truly a stage, it may seem like it will never end, but it will I have been through this with my son, and I made it through it, the screaming fits, kicking/hitting/biting. All of this started when he was about 2 and 1/2 and ended by the time he was 3. I'm not saying its like that for all children, they all need their own time to change and grow and realize things that are OK and things that arent ok. Staying consistent with your punishments and teachings is a big part of their learning. Trial and error. It really has nothing to do with being premature either because all kids go through this stage, no matter if they were born early or on time.

Jessica - posted on 02/01/2011

12

18

0

My son was born at 27 weeks and was in the hospital for 3 months. He headbutts anything and everything, destroys rooms, etc. I think it is just a toddler thing. His specialist he sees told me for the headbutting to just ignore him and he will learn. That is what I do he throws a tantrum of any kind, and i just ignore him or leave the room. They know that they were spoiled when they were younger, and us as moms probably gave them more attention since they were so little.

Honestly, I think the best thing is to punish when necessary and ignore the other things they do, and try to congratulate them on all of their good things!

16 Comments

View replies by

Elmo - posted on 07/23/2015

4

0

0

I think it is normal. I have 2yrs 4 month old twin boys born 28 weeks, 66 days in NICU, Have EXACTLY the same issues - just x2!!!. I want to run away. We are very present parents both my wife and I. No shortage of love or attention. Good food - by the book - no sweet or juices. Both had breast milk up to 21 months!
Pediatrician says all normal - they are boys!.
They are fearless- They will climb steps beyond even what a 10 year old will do. They onto high level slides before you can stop them!. They are brutal in a way. They one poked his finger into my eye and it was so bad I had to get specialist treatment as my injury became infected. They appear to be very very smart and find solutions to a practical problem like drag a chair to the wash basin in bathroom - climb onto it open the tap and drink water from the tap . If you try to stop him he returns a serious tantrum! I think it is way more than terrible two's.
I also need help !!

Robin - posted on 03/06/2012

1

0

0

Sorry, no advice, but I can relate. My 27 weeker, Emmaline will be three in May and you could easily be describing her. I also have a very well behaved 11 year old. Have you found anything to help?

Emily - posted on 11/16/2011

110

1

5

terrible 2's hon. Im going through them myself with my 27 weeker. Nothing really we can do to prevent it, just give them guidance and punish them when they do something wrong. Ours gets to sit in his rocking chair for 1 min without getting up. It seems to work, my guess is because his mind switches to i have to do this, to ohh, toys! lol. I too miss my little angel of a boy. but for right now, he only shows up at night time when hes asleep. The way i see it, is he is learning. As much of a pain it is, we all have done it to our parents and they got over it. One day our angels will be back...

Cristina - posted on 11/15/2011

46

65

4

they dont call it the terrible 2's for nothing--its a stage--every child goes thru it no matter preemie or full term.

Samantha - posted on 02/07/2011

38

30

6

i have twins 29 weekers there close to 3 now and there little nightmares , fighting , tantrums and being in to anything thats trouble , they dont listen , i keep saying they will start in time but saying that my 4 year old wasnt prem and nightmare omg aint the word for him .so your not alone in this 1 x

Jennifer - posted on 01/31/2011

100

3

5

My 21 month old acts the same exact way and I feel like I can only take so much. He threw my Ipod in to the toilet the other day, broke my head phones earlier today, has broke my laptop a few times, dumps drinks all the time, he bites his older brother, kicks him, hits him, he smacks mine and my brothers glasses off of our faces, he throws fits if he doesn't get his way, he broke my moms brand new lamp that she got for Christmas and he has an obsession with turning the t.v. off or unplugging it. I know it has nothing to do with him being premature and I tell myself that it's normal but he is so stressful. But look at it this way, they will grow out of it. My son is the biggest brat ever but he can be the biggest sweetheart as well. He's a major clean freak, he loves helping people even if they don't need help, and he loves kisses and hugs. My oldest son acted up some what but never over board. All kids are different

Monica - posted on 01/16/2011

19

32

5

I don't understand how this qualifies as "preemie behavior"...it sounds like toddler behavior. Our preemies have enough to overcome without classifying regular developmental issues as something pathological. To Mandie, are there any other issues around your little guy that may be contributing to his behavior shift? I'm sure he didn't Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde on you and change overnight; behaviors as extreme as the ones you've described have to build to that level of intensity. He may be just exhibiting some "I'm the baby" behavior.

If you really feel like he's acting like that as a long-term effect of his prematurity, then maybe your pediatrician can check him out and give you some ideas on what to do.

Carie - posted on 04/19/2010

166

38

31

My little girl was a 26 weeker and we were in the hospital 5 months and 1 week. She is now 25 months and she has a new side to her that was not there before. She is tossing herself to the floor and being a real grouch when we shop for weekly things. I keep telling my self that she does not understand that she can't do that. It is hard and people have said things to me about her screaming in the store. I try not to be rude but it is hard. People don't understand the premee behavior. I don't. I just try to make sure she knows that I love her. I think that she would be better off if I could understand everything she was saying but I can't. It will just take some time.

BELINDA - posted on 04/17/2010

14

25

2

MY SON WAS BORN AT 30 WKS AND HE WENT THROUGH A LOTS HE STAY AT HOSPITAL FOR 2 MONTHS AND NOW HE WILL BE 2 NEXT MONTH AND HE DOES NOT HAVE A BEHAVIOR ISSUE UNTIL WHEN HE WAS 20 MONTH OLD. I AM GOING THOUGH IT AND I LEARN FROM MY MOM THAT MOST PREMEE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND IT THEMSELVES SO MY BEST IS TO HELP THEM AND TEACH THEM THE RIGHT WAY WITH OUT YELLING AT THEM BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTINUE TO FEEL LIKE THEY R IN THEIR SHADOW AND THAT U DO NOT WANT AT ALL.

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