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Taking your 3 year old to a psychologist

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, sorry to bombard the boards this week, but it seems like this is our week for bad behavior.


Has anyone taken their child to visit a psychologist?  I'm finding myself at a total loss with my son and the day care he's attending.  Quick recap: his sister was born and almost didn't make it, and he began to act out being aggressive; pushing, biting, etc.  We had numerous meetings with administration and were convinced that they were doing what they could to help him and they suggested we get him evaluated because they didn't know how to cope with his behavior.  I thought it was strange - a day care that has never seen this kind of behavior?  But i went ahead and tried to find someone to eval him.  The kicker was, nobody would!  I tried countless professionals and they all said this was typical for what he was going through, and it sounded like the environment was prompting it.


Turns out, these strangers were right.  We found out months later that not only was the day care not trying to help, but that their form of "dealing" with the situation was actually taunting him and triggering him to continue and accelerate the behavior.  We were furious.  We have since met with the upper management of the day care, divulged everything that's happened, and outlined a very clear plan as to how to help our son.


While they've been hesitant to cooperate, things started to get better, until last week.  Apparently my son bit another child, which we were lead to believe was a non-issue, but the parents have called and are waging war.  The day care has not been discrete and I've noticed a lot of parents giving me dirty looks and turning their back to me when I come into the room.  Funny, high school was a looong time ago for me. :)  Bottom line is even though this day care has gone south, my son still now has a problem when he's provoked and bites/shoves/etc. when someone approaches him for something (I want that toy, etc.)  Has anyone gone the psychologist route?  I feel like a terrible mother as I should have seen what these people were doing to my son, and now as a family we're ostracized in the community.  I can't believe I've raised a child so badly that he now needs psychological care at 3 years old!


Any advice would be helpful.

post #2 of 10

:Hug kellyanne77. I'm so sorry to hear how terribly you, your son, and your whole family were treated by the daycare and your community, in general and especially while your family was faced with almost losing your daughter after her birth. Have you found a new daycare? In terms of taking children to a psychologist, I don't have any personal experience to share, but I do have some friends that taken their children to therapists and found it helpful; with younger children, it sounds like the therapists often use "play therapy". One of my friends commented that the play therapy really helped her daughter develop skills for dealing with frustration and increase her social skills. Perhaps your pediatrician could recommend someone? Or you could post here in your area forum to see if someone has a recommendation? Last but not least, I just wanted to say that you don't sound like a terrible mom at all; you sound like a wonderful and caring mom and your son and daughter are fortunate to have you!

post #3 of 10

Yikes! I just wanted to say I'm very sorry that you're experiencing this; we enrolled my oldest in a preschool when he was 3 and that particular school was a horrible fit. They managed to make us feel like there was no other option than to pull him. Honestly, I'd look for a new daycare-if they're still employing the people who taunted and bullied your son that's pretty emotionally taxing for him. It doesn't sound like this place is a great fit.

post #4 of 10

Have you considered/tried a Naturopath?  I take my DD to an ND because our original pediatrician sucked and she's got food issues, BUT, the place that I go to doesn't see many "normal" kids like my daughter (as the doc always jokes with me) - they specialize in kids with behavioral issues.  They look for any underlying causes in the environment, diet, any triggers at all, and then work out a specialized program for each kid.  Some of them get one-on-one, some are involved in group play therapy, many of them have dietary changes and supplements to fix imbalances that traditional docs have all missed.  Even though you had a traumatic event that led to his behaviors, it doesn't mean there isn't an underlying deficiency that allowed things to snowball to where he is now.  I've lived my whole life with anxiety - until a month ago when I learned that I have a genetic mutation that doesn't allow me to absorb B12 and Folic acid, one of the side effects being anxiety.  I'd have NEVER in a million years made that connection on my own.  So if you have an ND nearby, might be worth a shot.


And I'd definitely find a new daycare even if just for peace of mind!

post #5 of 10
A good friend started her son with a psychologist at that age and it has really helped him and helped her develop as a parent. Go for it. I think we could ALL use professional mental health help at some point, especially having gone through what you have!
post #6 of 10

I'm not sure I understand why you would even consider taking your son to a psychologist at this point, when it's clear that this is the wrong daycare for him. Not only that but you were already told by psychologists that this was not a psychological problem but a daycare problem. Why can't you find another daycare? It sounds like an awful and perhaps even damaging situation for your son to be in. I'd take him out asap. I bet the behavior improves.


Also, aggressive behavior and general behavior problems are very normal for toddlers who get a new sibling. It's a lot for them to deal with and acting out is the only way they know how to communicate their intense feelings. I highly recommend Dr. Laura Markham's site.  Here is one article from that site that may be of help but browse around there for more tips. What your son needs now is support and care, not a psychological evaluation. What he's going through is very normal.


I'm sorry your daycare is so terrible. I hope you can find a better one soon. Best of luck to you.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks PJ, I'll take a look at the site. We found out this week that the day care hasn't been honest with us. Apparently they chose not to tell us how badly he's behaving because they didn't want to upset us! But of course all of the parents know through him hurting their kids and the messages trickling down. Now he gets taunts from other kids (ahh, it begins). He's on the waiting list for 2 others in the neighborhood, and we wait.
post #8 of 10
Is his sister in the same daycare?
If she is not in day care but with some other type of child care provider, a nanny or relative, is it possible that your son could also be cared for by the same person?
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
No she is there with him in the same day care. I have been scouring the area for anything - schools, home care, centers. We live a distance from family so we are on our own a lot. I have half a mind to start my own mommy co-op - I can take kids these days, when can you? Ha!
post #10 of 10
It's a good thought!
I am sorry that you and your son are going through this, I hope you find an alternative soon.
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