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Old 08-07-2007, 06:26 AM
 
158 posts, read 830,594 times
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I will tell you all a briefly about our family so maybe you could help give me some ideas on how to stop this behavior.

I have 5 children. 2 girls ages 9 1/2 & 11. 3 boys ages 5 1/2, 4 (just turned) and 2 yrs.

I am a stay at home mom and husband is pretty much never here. He work 8am to 8pm most days with Weds morn and SUndays off.

The problem is my 4 yr old boy. My other 4 did not scream (very loud and shrill) and throw tantrums like this 4 yr old. He also often trys to hurt his brothers either by hitting, slapping or hitting with a toy. Sometime when aggrevated and sometimes just out of the blue. He then throws a tantrum an all out loud one when I tell him he has to have a 4 minute time out.


He sometimes refuses and I will pop him on the rear with the "Naughty stick" ( a plastic cooking spatula) this is always last resort. It is now mainly used to chase him into his room so we do not have to see or listen to his screaming and see him throwing his tantrum I tell him he can come out when he is done.

The littlest things could set him off. Like when I tell him he can have a snack after lunch or can not have a toy the store.

He is the only one to flat out tell me "NO" or "I Hate YOu MOMMY" when I tell him something like no running in the store on hold my hand in the parking lot or that he can not have a real hammer when he is not working with daddy.


He pushes me to my limit every day. Bed time Sucks!!!! This one child causes complete and utter chaos in our house hold. Whether we are trying to play a family game or read a book he always seems to disrupt just about everything we do.

I do not know what to to to stop or disciplin this behaviour. I do have 4 other children and run a doggie daycare in of my home.

I thought by age 4 he would be past this.

Different things work for different kids. Anyone here been through this? What worked for you. If it is reasonable and I have not already tried it I would try about anything at this point.

A HUGE thank you to all who have read this far I know this is a bit long.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:02 AM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 1,019,718 times
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It may sound trite, but I really think you should find some professional help for the kid. At 4 years old, he could be showing the earliest signs of any number of disorders... adhd, bipolar, odd, and so forth. I feel particularly strong about it because you say that of your 5 children, you only have this problem with the one child. That suggests to me the problem lies not with the parent or the parenting style and so forth.

Also, if there is some mood disorder at work... the child may not be able to control this behavior. Then you're taking the naughty stick to a kid for behavior he cannot control himself. Not much good will come from that.

In a nutshell, the behavor problems may really be symptoms of other issues that need to be addressed. Too often, parents and even supposedly competent mental health professionals look at the behavior itself as the problem when the real problem is much more complex.

The unfortunate part for you is that there are precious few really competent child pschiatrists in the entire country who can handle these kinds of disorders in very young children. If you lived in the Boston area, or were inclined to travel to Boston for a really competent diagnosis, I could provide some names. Short of that... best wishes. Oh... I could also possibly provide the name of some Boston child psychiatrists who really do understand this stuff... they could possibly give you a competent referral... especially if you lived in or near a major metropolitan area.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:20 AM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 6,122,877 times
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You sound like you have your hands full. Especially since your husband is unavailable most of the time. Your 4 year old sounds like my husband's brother when he was a child. They ended up getting professional help in order to deal with his behavior - the family (the entire family) were instructed to ignore his behavior - no eye contact either. Apparently my husbands brother was doing this for attention whether it was negative or positive. I would have him checked out to make sure there's nothing physiologically off balanced.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:55 AM
 
6,578 posts, read 23,973,150 times
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Here's a great website for parents with difficult kids. They have a message board and one is specifically for kids under age 5. Go to their forums area.

Support for parents of difficult children

The book The Explosive Child is helpful also.

Is he in preschool? If not I would put him in preschool 5x a week and see how it goes. If he already attends, how is he doing there?
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:00 PM
 
158 posts, read 830,594 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuke View Post

In a nutshell, the behavor problems may really be symptoms of other issues that need to be addressed. Too often, parents and even supposedly competent mental health professionals look at the behavior itself as the problem when the real problem is much more complex.

The unfortunate part for you is that there are precious few really competent child pschiatrists in the entire country who can handle these kinds of disorders in very young children. If you lived in the Boston area, or were inclined to travel to Boston for a really competent diagnosis, you lived in or .
Hi, and thank you for your reply. Yeah really latley the only thing the naughty stick is good for is showing it so he will actually go to his room so no one has to put up with his loud obnoxious tantrums. Your right it does not good to swat him it is not helping anything

When he was three I went to a therapist and he basically said just keep up with the time outs and it was just a phase. Well my other children went throught "phases" and they were nothing like this.

I wish I could travel but that is not an option for me now. I have learned over the years that not all doctors are competent. Some are too quick to medicate and others wont at all. it is very frustrating. I live in IL. at the moment. Moving to Florida next spring.

Thanks for your good wishes. I need them. This is the only child that gets me so upset that during the day I actually have to sit and cry or at the end of the day have a good cry. NOt every day but quite often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarNorthDallas View Post
Here's a great website for parents with difficult kids. They have a message board and one is specifically for kids under age 5. Go to their forums area.

Support for parents of difficult children

The book The Explosive Child is helpful also.

Is he in preschool? If not I would put him in preschool 5x a week and see how it goes. If he already attends, how is he doing there?

I will definatley check out that site and look into that book. Thank You.

As for pre-school I am not even going to send him to kindergarten when he is supposed to go. He has a July 3rd b-day and plan to hold him back hoping he can get better self control before he starts.

Even though he says he hates me he does not like to be away from me.

You know when he is not in obnoxious tantrum mode he is just such a wonderful loving child almost perfection its is so strange the extreme opposite he turns into.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:49 PM
 
Location: coos bay oregon
2,096 posts, read 8,577,873 times
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Very good advice youre getting on this thread!! Isnt it wonderful to have such tools?
I agree, it sounds like you're doing as you should be. I have a "difficult" child too. When he was 3 and 4, I used to cry myself to sleep every night, convinced I was going to have the youngest kid in military school. Used to drag him to his room when there was a temper tantrum going, and than hold the door knob, pulling back w/all my weight as he was screaming, trying to rip the door down on his end. Time outs were a joke. Id have to sit on him to do it. And like your son, when not in tantrum mode, he was so loving and great. So very smart too. Anyhow, what worked for us, was to totally ignore him. We stopped draggin him to his room, we'd just walk around him, talk around/over him, go on w/whatever we were doing like he wasnt even there. Lemme tell ya, NOT EASY!! And the first few times, it was the worst ever. He got so bad, screamed so much he ended up hyperventalating, and got bloodshot eyes!!! His throat and jaw hurt too for a bit. But you know, after a couple of times, he stopped. He wasnt getting any attention at all anymore, so it wasnt worth his effort. We also made sure go got enough activity and mental stimulation. He does gymnastics now, and TAG at school, and as long as he is kept going, not getting bored, we have very very few problems with him. You might look into something like Martial arts for your boy too. I know (at least around here) they stress self control, and WHEN its okay to use what youve learned.
Best of luck to you, I hope it all works out for you soon.
Tiffany
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:06 PM
 
158 posts, read 830,594 times
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Thanks Tiffinay. I wish I could ignore him but I do not think I could. For a few reasons. 1. we have a doggie daycare busness I run out of the home and I think the dogs might get scared. 2. The are certain time when I could and have attemped to ignore him but he starts hitting me or the other kids and starts throwing things and getting pretty destructive. Well I am sure I could come up with maybe 3 4 and 5 but 1 and 2 pretty much is enough.

I wonder if he is actully thinking he is trying to get attention or if he really looses all self control? As I am sitting here thinking about it it really seams like he just has absolutley no self control.

I love the idea of Karate. I have my 9 yr old daughter and 5 yr old son in it. I see one boy in it always getting in trouble for not paying attention or wiggling around too much. I am afraid that my 4 yr old would be like that boy but start screaming when he got scolded.

The most annoying scream too. When he was a baby his cry greatly resembled the squeal of a baby pig. Usually with my others I used to put great effort into stoping the crying to comfort them. With this one I just remember wanting to do anything (rationally speaking of course) to comfort him just because I could not stand the sound of his cry. I feel bad to feel that way but it is true. My mother used to tell me to slap him in the face. UggggH I tell you my mom and her methods I dont take or ask advice from her

Last edited by FreezinIL; 08-07-2007 at 01:08 PM.. Reason: wrote now instead of no
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:41 PM
 
Location: New England
786 posts, read 1,019,718 times
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About the earliest I see most martial arts schools recommend starting kids at is age 6 or 7, so 4 might be a bit young for that. Plus, if he's like our kid - and what you have described sounds awfully familiar - when we did start him in martial arts when he turned 6, he quickly lost interest in it. Since that time, we have identified a pattern where he loses interest in ANY thing that requires practice to get good at it... even if it's something he really wants to do. The result can then be he gets really, really frustrated as he really wants to do the particular activity in question, on the one hand, but on the other hand, can never really settle down and focus or pay attention long enough to practice and get good at it. It's only after seeing one failure after another like this that we were able to really see a pattern.

fwiw, at present, we're really digging in trying to keep him in Pop Warner football (age 7 start). He wants to play, but is challenged by the training regimen and the need to do the drills, and so forth. We want him to succeed at this so badly, that I've rearranged my schedule just so I can personally take him to practice every day at 5:30pm (normally I would still be at work until 6:00pm) and provide whatever encouragement it takes to keep him doing what he's supposed to be doing. [read: I'm often doubling as his own personal drill instructor at football practice].

We're still discovering all the intricacies of what makes this kid different, too. And it has taken me a couple years longer than it took my wife to realize it, but I can now see that he really has some challenges that most other kids don't have. As a result, he's in special education in school, and we're jumping through hoops with the child psychiatrists at Mass. General Hospital to understand and treat him.

But it all started, once upon a time, with behavior problems very similar to what you described. Like... we had him enrolled in a nice Montessori preschool starting at age 3. Well, he got invited to leave after just 3 days. At 3 he was hitting other kids - including kids older than he was - and just couldn't settle down enough to be successful in that environment. The next preschool he went to handled him much better than the Montessori school, which was a help, during the summer between kindergarten and first grade, his behavior was so bad, so disruptive, and we so didn't understand what was going on, that my wife and I found ourselves pointing fingers at each other blaming each other for various problems. I could not understand why she couldn't handle thngs at home with that kid, and then she'd get mad at me because I wasn't sympathetic to what all she had to deal with. We were entirely too focused on the behavior itself and how to correct what we thought was a "behavior" problem, that we almost went to the Big D (and I don't mean Dallas) over it. And he had seen a number of supposedly very good child psychiatrists during this time, but it wasn't until we got him into Mass. General's child psychiatry unit that we started understanding what was really going on or having any success in dealing with him.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:10 PM
 
158 posts, read 830,594 times
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Shuke, it is great you and your wife have worked through things and word together understanding your child.

I guess I should have mentioned in my 1st post that my husband has ADD or ADHD or what ever it is called. 1st 3 children are not biologically his but the
2nd 2 are. My husband is not much help even when he is here. We have been married 5 yrs and he irritates the heck out of me with his "ADD" craziness. He did not behave this wierdly when I met him. So sometimes I wonder if he is just a jerk or if he really has ADD. Anyway he is wonderful with the kids all of them as long as everyone is happy and playing but when they are not he hides or handles things in a real bad nonesense way.

Anyway I feel as if I am alone on this. Right now we can not afford special schools or even a regular preschool. I see are financial situation changing for the better in the next yr or to though.

I think children have to be a certain age to be diagnosed with ADD? Also feel he is young to be trying anything to drastic as far as medications go.

I am about to take a look at the other forum someone previously posted and see if there are any other good ideas there. Thanks. Sounds like you are really doing all the right things with your son.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:12 PM
 
191 posts, read 683,215 times
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He sounds a lot like my second boy, who is now a beautiful, respectful, well-behaved eight year old.

As other posters have said, we ignored him when he threw tantrums. Just walked over him, around him, or past him as long as he wasn't hurting anyone else. If he hit, kicked, or bit someone he was punished. Our punishment was for him to sit in a little wooden chair that was in the corner away from the rest of the house. It was RIDICULOUS to make him sit in the chair. His time out was only for two or three minutes, and he would have to start over again if he got out of the chair.

Sometimes, it would take literally an hour to get him to stay in time out for two minutes. I would constantly have to walk him back to the chair and reset the timer. It was a lot of work, and I was in tears a lot of the time. My husband and I would have conversations about what we were going to do with him. At that time, it seemed like he would never behave!

He almost got kicked out of pre-school for biting. Luckily, we had a wonderful director who knew we were trying our hardest and she worked with us. It was awful. We were at our wit's end.

At bedtime, he would be put into bed and would immediately get up. We put two (two!) child-proof gates, one on top of the other, in the doorway so he couldn't get out. He would cry and destroy things in his room. One night, in sheer desperation, I ended up disassembling his bed, removing every toy, and turning his dresser so that all the drawers faced the wall. The only thing he had in his room was a mattress and a dresser. After a few days, he would just go to bed and actually sleep because there wasn't anything to do. We wouldn't come to him when he cried (that was hard!) and eventually he just quit.

The one thing we had going for us was that we were consistent. Guess what? After a couple of months, he was a different child. Looking at him now, it is hard to remember those very hard times.

My other child was nothing like this! It was so hard to comprehend. My pediatrician told me that it was important to remember that it is not uncommon for siblings to be nothing alike!

I guess what I am trying to say is that there is hope even though I know it seems impossible at times. I know how frustrating it can be. Hang in there and keep us all posted.
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