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post #81 of 135
Totally side-stepping all of the bickering and asking a couple of questions. Intensity, you sound at about the end of your rope supervising your very active child inside. Can you spend the majority of the day, or even 1/2 of it, outside? Is there a place where he can play in the water, run, jump, climb, make really loud noise, all of that, without driving you over the edge? I know that most parts of the country aren't blest with our So. CA "live outside all of the time" weather. But even if its cold/wet/windy, would it help? I realize it won't solve any of the long-term, underlying issues. But might it at least give you a break so you can regroup?

Along the same lines of finding some short-term solutions to help and keep everyone safe... Have you considered preschool? I know that not everyone thinks it is necessary or good or whatever. But a good part-time program might give you the time you need to take care of yourself and give you time with the baby. At the same time, it would give him time to run and play and be someone else's challenge for at least part of the day.

Having said that, I realize there are probably 100 reasons why this wouldn't help. I'm just trying to throw out suggestions without knowing all of the circumstances.
post #82 of 135

Dietary change?

I read about the Feingold diet, and some kids that the diet helped seemed to act like your child. Once they figured out that they were sensitive to certain foods, their behaviour immediately changed. I read about the diet in an older issue of Mothering. I don't know if it would help, but it sounds like it might be worthwhile to look into it.

Heather
http://www.zensicallife.com
post #83 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
But I realize that when I feel that way it's not just because of something my son has done, it's because of the way I'm reacting to him. It's an inner struggle that's triggered by what's inside me, not just by his actions. His actions might be the catalyst, but the feelings are of my making.
Dragonfly, can I have permission to write this on a sticky note and put it on my fridge??? This is SOOOOOO true!!! Often after disciplining my very spirited 22 month old I look back and realize that I overreacted to the situation, causing my DS to overreact, and it blows up... I need to read this every day!
post #84 of 135
"Okay, well, I just put out a fire that the 3 y/o started on the stove. I need to open some windows and get the smoke out. No, I am not a bad parent!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is just a quick, sly, smart little boy."


Regarding the stove...an easy way to childproof against this sort of thing (stove climbing 3 year olds) is to take all the knobs off of the stove (and put them somewhere accessible only to adults) and the kids simply cannot turn the stove burners or oven on.

Good luck!

Lisa, mom to 3 year old Gwen and a son on the way
post #85 of 135
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisydaze
"Okay, well, I just put out a fire that the 3 y/o started on the stove. I need to open some windows and get the smoke out. No, I am not a bad parent!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is just a quick, sly, smart little boy."


Regarding the stove...an easy way to childproof against this sort of thing (stove climbing 3 year olds) is to take all the knobs off of the stove (and put them somewhere accessible only to adults) and the kids simply cannot turn the stove burners or oven on.

Good luck!

Lisa, mom to 3 year old Gwen and a son on the way
Oh Lisa, I wished I could do this but my stove (we rent) is ancient. The controls are push button and they are right on the front of the oven . . . right above the oven door. We have yet to find a safety device that will work. Thanks for the idea though
post #86 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by intensity_too
Oh Lisa, I wished I could do this but my stove (we rent) is ancient. The controls are push button and they are right on the front of the oven . . . right above the oven door. We have yet to find a safety device that will work. Thanks for the idea though
Oh, that is too bad...I can see how that would be difficult to childproof! Too bad you can't reach the plug to the stove easily, (as it's most likely behind the stove)!

I used to have one of the push button stoves. I think I remember that when the "off" button is depressed all the others pop back up, right?

Too bad you couldn't just duck tape down the off button or something like that so he couldn't push the other buttons down, but that would be a pain in the butt for you and your hubby...you guys would have to peel up the duck tape everytime you wanted to turn on a burner.

Obviously the best thing would be to keep your 3 year old from doing it in the first place!! (And we all know how that goes!!! So difficult sometimes!!).

Good luck!

Lisa
post #87 of 135
Someone told me once that God never gives us more than we can handle. Oh, so true as I look around at my friends and the families I've met through teaching. There IS a reason God put you two together. You just gotta figure it out

I have to give you HUGE hugs b/c I think my mind would simply implode due to my lack of patience. I think, in your situation, my first stop would be at the Naturopathic dr's office to do elimination diets, etc etc. Our dr. is very thorough and addresses lifestyle issues--not simply the body as is.

Call the school district to see if they have special preschool programs; ie. it's in the best interest of the District to identify high needs kids early and get interventions in place before kindergarten. They'd likely do free testing, too.

I make my kids run. :LOL Seriously, they have SOOOO much energy! We're outside for hours everyday. My 3 y.o. can actually hike 4 miles w/o getting tired. And, this includes playing w/every rock and stick along the way AND climbing trees. I swear, they're like little puppies--running around chaotically burning energy while I plod along and chatter.

We also have hanging toys in the house for them; ie. rope ladders, monkey bars, etc.

GOOD LUCK
post #88 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by intensity_too
Oh Lisa, I wished I could do this but my stove (we rent) is ancient. The controls are push button and they are right on the front of the oven . . . right above the oven door. We have yet to find a safety device that will work. Thanks for the idea though

What about one of these? At least he wouldn't be able to get to the burners, if he did turn it on.

Stove Guard

Just trying to offer some practical suggestions.


Bec
post #89 of 135
Please, Please, Please check out the Feingold Program.....It has saved our family - and I don't exagerate. I was ready to medicate myself, or the child or both, or put him in daycare, because at the end of every day I felt like a shrivelled little raisin inside. I had absolutely no reserves - and a new baby too. Bedtime- after two hours of physically holding the child to calm him down - was the only quiet time I could take my eyes off the little guy. I looked at the Feingold information three times before I got desperate enough to try it. It looked hard - and we ate well - much like your description. Who would have thought my children really could be allergic to apples, oranges, brocolli for crying out loud! Two years into Feingold, I am homeschooling successfully, with the child who couldn't sit still, be quiet or controll his own impulses for more than two minutes. Recently, I had to take the oldest to the community health dentist to have some fillings....with a toddler in a backpack and a four year old plus the child who needed to see the dentist. In a tiny little open cubicle with barely room for us to stand, we all were quiet and still and cooperative with the dentist for twenty minutes, and then rode the public bus home. Never, never would have imagined it before.

Enough about us...hang in there mama, and don't ignore your instinct about your child's behaviour. And yes, I was beginning to not like my child most of the time before we made the change. The first six weeks of detoxing were the worst, and it has been so worth it ever since.

www.feingold.org is the website. Best of luck, and don't ever think you are alone in this.
post #90 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by DecemberSun
Dragonfly, can I have permission to write this on a sticky note and put it on my fridge??? This is SOOOOOO true!!! Often after disciplining my very spirited 22 month old I look back and realize that I overreacted to the situation, causing my DS to overreact, and it blows up... I need to read this every day!
Go right ahead - I think I will, too. :LOL It's definitely something I could stand to keep in the forefront of my mind.
post #91 of 135
I have a book "Super Immunity for Children". They addressed a similar situation. One aspect was diet. One really big factor in the diagnosis was a lack of Omega 3's EFA's. They suggested flax oil. I have the book and if you want, I will copy the pages and send it to you. Or, the book is likely in a health food store. It is a guide to immunity through diet for children through highschool. I have learned a lot from it. The author is an MD and a nutritionist etc. If you email me, I will get it out and look it up for you.
post #92 of 135
This is a great thread. I also have a little one who is extraordinarily intense. He just turned four. I didn't believe he was normal even as an infant. A lot of people told me he was just a normal kiddo, but they just didn't get it. Now I have two more children and the other two are "normal kids", so I know for sure I am not just nuts.

Just a little background on my son - he does not require sleep and he never ever slows down. As an infant he had one cry for everything and it was a wide open mouthed, red faced scream for many hours every day. Doctors could find nothing wrong with him and thought I was nuts. By age one, he still just cried for everything and hadn't even attempted to communicate in any other way, despite being smart as a whip in just about every other aspect of his activities. I taught him sign language and he began to communicate. Now he never stops communicating. The entire day is a running commentary. After lamenting about trying to get him to sleep, our pediatrician finally advised us to simply let him stay up until he fell asleep - that he would have to fall asleep eventually. Yea, right. We tried this approach after just about everything else when he was just over a year old. He stayed up for three days and two full nights with no signs of slowing down. By night three, we stayed up late and he was still going strong. I gave up - I needed sleep! This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface, but at least it gives you an idea of where I am coming from.

I don't think anything really "fixes" the intensity of a child like this, but here are some things that have helped us:

A lot of people have mentioned spending lots of time outside letting him run. This, however, backfires for us and just winds him up more. He needs a balance of activity and often does better with more quiet activity rather than active activity. For the better part of the day, my son is restricted to certain areas of the house by gates. The more control he shows, the more he is allowed into other areas. He has a specific area all his own with a desk and activities that require focus and is outside the gate. His desk is near my computer and in an area where he can be easily supervised while I can still keep an eye on my other kids, but he can feel that he is in his own space.

The importance of the desk is two-fold. Not only is it his own space where he can feel in control, but the activities that I have for him to do there require him to learn to focus. It's hard to find just the right things to have there for him, but when I hit on a right thing, it really makes a difference. I look for items that are "quietly active", such as building sets that are more advanced than simple legos. He has one of those Fisher Price reader books and a huge stack of puzzles, most need to be more advanced for him but not too advanced in order to keep his attention.

I find that I need to watch for his "windows". He doesn't learn or become interested in things at the same time as other kids. Sometimes he needs much more and sometimes less. I try to be more active in controling him when he needs it and know when to back off when he needs it, as well. Sometimes he needs my constant control, but then he aslo has times when he needs the leeway so that he can learn to be in control of himself. I don't know how to tell you to watch for these, I have just learned to feel for it with my guy.

We stick to a fairly strict routine, once we were finally able to find one that worked ok for us. He is very routine resistant, but after a lot of work, we made one work and now we are even able to do other things without such a a huge impact on his behavior.

Just about any focused activity is helpful, usually. It's trial and error trying to determine what will best keep his attention and it often changes quickly. Sometimes he needs a lot of stimulation and it's then when I need to take more time and provide more stimulating activities such as arts and crafts and new games. We are trying yoga to help him focus and balance and I would like to get him into a good karate program that teaches not only the physical karate but the philosophy and focus of it as well.

In our house, the bedroom and play area are completely separate and when his energy level gets so high that he is absolutely out of control, he has a "time-out to calm down" in his room. We close the blinds and turn the lights down so that the room is calm and non-stimulating. We talk things out and he is required to lay in his bed quietly for a certain period of time (long enough for him to regain his control). If he gets up or doesn't calm down he has to stay in there longer. This teaches him that he is in control and if he doesn't want to stay in the dark and quiet room, then he has to be in control of himself and be calm and quiet for a few minutes. This makes a huge difference for us. It is, however, easier said than done, but with intense perserverence, we make it work.

I guess for us, the key is finding ways to teach him how to be in control of himself. Giving him his own control while never letting up on the rules is our focus. The specific environments in our home take extra effort and sometimes a lot of frustration in trying to figure out what exactly they need to be to work, but they really have made all the difference for us.

As far as how you feel about him - it's natural. I have a very difficult time relating to my son and often just want to be away from him. He is just so very draining. It's those rare moments when our attempts to teach him control work well that I realize I really do love him, I just needed peace. It's hard to find peace with such an extreme child, and we all need peace. It's natural to feel some level of hostility towards whatever it is in our life that keeps us from much needed moments of peace.

Just remember, if you ever really feel like hurting him, do not hesitate to get help and take a break from him. Even moms of more "normal kids" need a vacation from them at times. You may also want to consider yoga or some form of meditation to give you ability and strength to find peace in just a few moments, since, I suspect, you aren't likely to have a lot of time to wind down from his winding up. Whatever can give you a moments peace in just a moment or two will be helpful for the both of you because if he winds you up too tight, he will just feed off of your energy in return and it will make matters worse for both of you. It's a vicious cycle!

Anyway, I hope that this is helpful for you. Best wishes! *hugs*
post #93 of 135
I remember reading a book called "How to Really Love your child", years ago which really helped me with feelings of hatred I was having for my spirited child. It talked about how sometimes when you begin to hate a child, you could begin to withdrawl eye contact, hugs, etc. I just looked on my bookshelf and its gone. Whaah. I could use a review now that he's a cranky teenager. Hugs to you mama!!
post #94 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingMotherCassie
This is a great thread. I also have a little one who is extraordinarily intense. He just turned four. I didn't believe he was normal even as an infant. A lot of people told me he was just a normal kiddo, but they just didn't get it. Now I have two more children and the other two are "normal kids", so I know for sure I am not just nuts.
Yes, yes, yes! Me, too. Ds was high needs from before birth! I recently read something that said "a newborn can stay awake for as long as 45 minutes after birth!" Ds was awake for over 6 hours.

Other's didn't get it. I had a friend (childless, of course) who actually called me lucky about a behavioral issue that I'd worked on every hr of every day for 4 long months w/ds on and he finally did it for the first time! There is NO luck about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingMotherCassie
Just a little background on my son - he does not require sleep and he never ever slows down.
Yes, again. My biggest struggle w/ds has always been over sleep. There were days when I would have little fantasies of throwing him against the wall. It was the only way to get my frustration out so that I didn't actually do it. I used to alternate between that image and trying to do an attitude adjustment like Heartmama is talking about. I realized that it was all in my perception of "the problem". That ds had no problem at all, I did. I saw his behavior as crying for help, just as he did when he didn't have the words. When he was 3 months old he didn't know what he needed, he just knew he needed something and did the only thing he could do to ask for it. Same thing as a 2 yr old. From the time he was a month old I made myself think of 1 thing he had done that day that made me smile. That helped me to calm down, focus, and help him regain control. Now I'm usually the most patient momma.

Another thing I did was try to hug and kiss him when I felt the least like doing so. Physical touch does something to us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingMotherCassie
A lot of people have mentioned spending lots of time outside letting him run. This, however, backfires for us and just winds him up more. He needs a balance of activity and often does better with more quiet activity rather than active activity.

In our house, the bedroom and play area are completely separate and when his energy level gets so high that he is absolutely out of control, he has a "time-out to calm down" in his room. We close the blinds and turn the lights down so that the room is calm and non-stimulating. We talk things out and he is required to lay in his bed quietly for a certain period of time (long enough for him to regain his control). If he gets up or doesn't calm down he has to stay in there longer. This teaches him that he is in control and if he doesn't want to stay in the dark and quiet room, then he has to be in control of himself and be calm and quiet for a few minutes. This makes a huge difference for us. It is, however, easier said than done, but with intense perserverence, we make it work.
Yes again! Were our boys separated at birth?

I read The Highly Sensitive Child, and the best part was I agreed with EVERYTHING, but not for ds, for me! I knew right from the beginning where ds got his sensitivity. I have a hard time with excitement and crowds and lots of light, and lots of noise, etc. I used to get physically sick every year at Christmas and spend the entire night on the bathroom floor until I was about 9, because I couldn't handle the change in routine and the crowd of the entire family together.

Some people would have labeled ds as having colic, but I knew better by instinct. I knew he had sensory integration problems; he couldn't handle the common advice of "teaching them to sleep through the noise by putting the bassinet in the living room." He would sceam bloody murder until the room was pitch black (we had to get 2 shades for his window) and the door was closed and the white noise of the air filter was on. Then he could nurse to sleep.

And that still goes now. My first thought as I read throught the replies was that nobody mentioned sleep. Julian's trigger is ALWAYS sleep.

He's an absolutely AWESOME kid now! He's the most cooperative guy. We fully explain things to him (NEVER a "Because I said so"! There was nothing more infuriating to me as a child.) and ask for his help with this and that. He goes to Montessori, because it integrates so well with our parenting. He cleans up his own messes, takes his plate to the kitchen, pushes in his chair, undresses and dresses himself (mostly), etc.

However, you can tell the time by his behavior. He no longer naps either, and you know it's 1:00 because he starts getting out of hand. He starts pushing dd, jumping on the couch, getting louder, the other day he was literally running in circles on the living room floor. Most people would say that means he needs to go outside, but that would backfire for us, too. It meant he needed to sleep. But he just won't go anymore. So now we have "rest time" it wasn't easy to work into our routine. He was very resistant. But now it's time for a rest. You can take your books or whatever, but you must lie down until the timer goes off (30 minutes). At first we had the timer in his room so he could see when his time was almost up, but then it started going off 2 minutes after he went in there! lol. The kid's too smart.

After rest he's better in the afternoon and you don't know what time it is again until about 6:30.

We do a loose routine, because he needs one as much as I do, but we keep it loose because he is able to deviate a little some days. My most useful tool is getting him involved in whatever I'm doing. If it's laundry, he loads the washer for me, or folds the towels. If it's cooking, he does all the stirring and cutting (supervised, of course. He LOVES being able to use the knife). If it's cleaning up he gets a specific task right by me.

And OP I don't know how old your younger ds is, but I just went through the absolute worst year of my entire life (best too, of course). It was dd's first yr. Ds was the worst, and I posted almost the exact same post as yours (including the word hate) on another forum. He sounds like a normal kid now, but that just started about 4 or 5 months ago. Prior he sounded EXACTLY like yours (except for the speech problems. We started signing with him at 4 months old and he's always had a HUGE vocabulary). Everyone told me that it would get better by the time dd was a yr old. I didn't believe it, but oh did it ever! We do our best to teach ds to treat her just as we would. It helps with the respecting her and her body, etc, but it also makes him feel as though he's one of her parents and can boss her around. So we're trying to work and that fine line.

And, I don't know if you're a yeller or not, but regardless this is a very powerful article that can help as a catalyst in whatever you might like to change in yourself. http://www.evalillian.com/YellingDiscipline.aspx

Anyway, written a book, so I'll sign off now. Hopefully you can glean at least one tiny jewel out of all of this.

Jessica
post #95 of 135
IT-- regarding the stove fire....

In july I noticed a funny smell inour house. I went to check it out and walked into the kitchen. I almost blacked out. I stumbled to the stove and turned off the burner T had turned on. I saw spots, opened all the windows and left the house for the day. My 2 year old could have killed us all.

I am another with a "quick, sly, smart little boy" and I can't forget resourceful....

Things happen and wecan't prevent it all. kwim?

I think our boys would be best friends... of course the rest of us would ram our heads into the wall until unconscious but they would have fun
post #96 of 135
I just remembered something that helped for my Joey. Its funny I hadn't thought of it earlier. Joey was horrible about sleep for the first 4 months. Then we did some really intense chiropractic work (colic reminded me because people said it was colic but he had it from day one so it couldn't be). I bless my chiropractor for fixing my kid. Honestly, I never think about sleep issues with Joe any more. Now that I am talking about it, I think I will get Zach in soon. He is teething, nursing all night long and I think that when I get seriously sleep deprived, I stop thinking solutions and just think sleep. The other thing I have heard is that Omega 3s are important for good sleep and emotional development. I took Omega3 through both pregnancies, and am now giving liquid oil to Joe. Should also order some more for me as if I am not taking it, Zach ain't getting enough either. Boy- don't know if any of this helped anyone else but it sure got me thinking about some things I need to take care of.
post #97 of 135
I should have thought about the chiro work! Weweregoing 3x a week for over a year. T's behavior startedgoing downhill in Sept. We stopped going in Aug.

If your ds has never beenit might be worth looking into.

That was a good suggestion
post #98 of 135
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by its_our_family
I think our boys would be best friends... of course the rest of us would ram our heads into the wall until unconscious but they would have fun

:LOL Oh so true!!
post #99 of 135
Thread Starter 
I have though of taking ds and I to the chiro. I think I'll make an appointment. Heck, at this point it can't make things any worse!
post #100 of 135
I am wondering if there are any other intense 3-4 y'o' who have to sleep in the total darkness and/or with a noise reducer or sound soothing machine for sleep?
My intense Newly 4 y.olds have always had sleep problems. I finally found a way tp help ensure they sleep longer an dmore peacefully. Th eroom has to be black. BLACK! So we have blackout blinds,then a heavy navy blue darkout curtain over top, and then we ducktape the edges because light peeks through the sides My dd's are very very light sleepers. HAve always been. The mere sound of a person walking down the hallway will wake them fully (yes they have sensory issues) So, in order to help tune out some sounds, we have a sound hterapy machine that I actually have to put on full blast on the white noise and now they sleep SOOOO much better! Anybody else out there?
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