most of the time my son can be really sweet, loving, nice. sometimes (not too often) he is terible wont listen to anyone scream kicks hits bites and i dont know what to do with him. its worse than normal tantrums. he is like one of those terrible kids on some of those talk shows. today he messed up the whole house broke stuff pulled everything out of its place and then he wouldnt go to his room stay in bed or stand in the corner. what am i supposed to do? now he is being really good like it never happened. i dont understand. why is he acting like this?
well he will be 4 next month. usually it is just little things that set him off, like if i tell him he cant have something that he wants. he eats pretty healthy i had to stop almost all junk food because it made him too hyper. when he first starts this i usually just make him sit down with me until he calms down, sometime he doesnt calm down at all. sometimes i cant get him to sit down. or listen to me at all. he will say "mommy im mad at you" and run off and get into something else or break something of mine. i cant afford to take him to a therapist or anything. and i dont want the doctor to put him on medication or anything. so im lost. sorry for making you go back to this kind of stuff. i feel more comfortable talking to you than anyone else.
It does sound like it's worth watching his diet if it's made him hyperactive before.
I think time-outs work pretty well as long as they aren't made to be punitive. In other words, when I worked with parents and kids having this issue, I found explaining what a time out is for (not because they have been "bad" but because they're upset and likely to hurt themselves or someone else) really helped, in and of itself. Let him know that when you're at wits end, you take time-outs too -- you sit down and relax, have a cup of coffee, take a bath, whatever. It might also be worth talking about what things make him feel calm, and helping him to know when he needs to seek them out.
I have found you have to be really careful in what precedents you set by allowing certain behaviours. For instance, it isn't okay to trash a room under any circumstances. It's fine for him to be mad at you (and sometimes telling them it is fine it also great), but throwing things, trashing his room, etc. is not okay, and you need to tell him that.
I've found that in situations like that where it gets really vvolatile, you do actually have to physically stop the child from doing so, and there iis a way to do that that feels nurturing to them rather than hurtful: if you sit down on the floor, put them in your lap and gently lock your arms through their arms, you can control them and calm them down without making the situation any worse. Basically, it feels like a big backward hug. When I had hyperactive kids I had to do that with as a teacher, the situation went something like this:
John throws a block at Susie.
I take care of Susie first, then come to John and first tell him what he did was not okay at all and ask if he'd like to talk about why he did it. If he says yes, talk. After he talks, or if he says no, tell him he needs to sit out for a little while until he can pull himself together and remember the rules, which are...state the specific issue again, such as that we don't throw blocks at people because it hurts and it makes everyone scared.
If he starts throwing again, etc, tell him you'll help him sit out with you, and use that soft body posture which holds him, but isn't forceful or violent.
A lot of the time, with kids at that age, they're usually testing the parameters and your limits, so it's helpful to make sure you draw those limits and maintain them. If throwing a block isn't okay, it never is okay, even on the day you'd rather just ignore the block-throwing because you're too darn tired to deal with it (which is understandable). Truth be told, a lot of them are looking for you to enforce those limits by acting out that way -- a lot of kids come to see caring within structure. But it's important not to show any anger during stuff like this, even if you feel it, because it only makes the situation worse and gives the kiddo something to up the ante with.
Make any sense?
That's just a start but I hope it helps.
[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 12-11-2000).]
it does make a lot of sense. i have read articles that told me to do that, and that is what i do, i try holding him like that and talking to him and he tells me that he is sorry and wont do it again. ten minutes later he is doing the same thing again. that is the problem. he knows that what he is doing is wrong he apologizes for it, he knows why he is in trouble and still does it again. i dont know what else to do.
Just keep doing what you're doing, then: reinforcing what the rule is, reinforcing what the positive behavior is, and not letting him cross that line. It's also important to be sure and recognize when he has a great day (or even a great couple of hours) and mention it -- otherwise, if the only recognition he gets is when he does something negative, the attention alone is incentive to do it.
I know it's frustrating as heck -- I remember two kids I had specifically over the years who each went through a whole year like this, but they did get through it. You just have to stick with a method, be unbending and work through it.
Pardon me if I interject a comment but your story struck me. We knew someone whose child had similar symptoms. She would really become uncontrollable. Over time they discovered that the girl loved oysters and that they had a strange calming effect on her. When things got really bad, they'd take her to eat oysters and that always calmed her down.
They later found an nutritional doctor who diagnosed the child with an inborn metabolic error in zinc metabolism. (Oysters are high in zinc) Daily oral supplements solved the problem.
This is only one case and there are many other possible factors, I'm not saying this would be some sort of magic bullet for your son (thoough it sure was for that little girl) Food additives in junk food have been linked to hyperactive behavior so if he showed sensitivity I would definitely pursue the dietary or food allergy angle. See if there is a link between certain foods and his mood, etc. You might also read up about vitamin/mineral supplements.
Posts: 364 | From: San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico | Registered: Jul 2000
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I don't know if this is related at all - but as a child I had problems with rage. We're talking like 3 years old, here.
Strange thing was, I'd wake up in the middle of the night in seething anger, screaming, yelling, biting, just in a total rage.
My mom found that the only thing she could do to calm me down was to actually stick me in the bathtub. Don't as me why it worked - i was too young to actually remember any of this. I grew out of whatever it was, for the mostpart - I guess i "relapsed" in my mid teens, and haven't had a problem with it since.
I was also anemic as a child - so maybe there's a connection?
my daughter is anemic but not my son. if i put him in the bath tub he will hurt his self. i almost always have to either hold him down or let him go wild. that way he doesnt hurt himself or his sister. after a while of screaming and throwing things and us talking or me holding him down he will eventually calm down and be himself again
I always think it's a good idea to double check anything with your child's pediatrician.
But I also think you need to be aware that behavioral phases can sometimes last a LONG time, and modifying them can also take a long time. I know it's tough to be patient and hard to make changes, but do your best.
When he's a few years older, you'll remember this with a grin....a sardonic and bitter grin, perhaps, but a grin nonetheless.
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