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What happened to my 5yo?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My ds has always been "spirited" but in the last couple of weeks he's been losing it over absolutely everything. Yesterday, I asked him to help me set the table for dinner - something he regularly does and he fell to the floor screaming and pounding his feet and hands for about five minutes. He knows that he can tell me he's busy and he'll help when he's done whatever.
Then when he was getting ready for bed, he had another screaming fit because his favourite jammies were in the wash - that one lasted at least 10 mins.
He also seems to be having a really hard time showing empathy for other people - something he's always done well previously. Hurting people (unintentionally) and not stopping to apologise or show any concern for them.
I really have no idea what is going on, any ideas?
Blessings, Becca
post #2 of 11
I have found that these "breakdown periods" tend to occur when the child is going through either a major growth spurt or some other developmental milestone that seems to be tapping their energy and leaving them a bit off-kilter. All of my kids have gone through these periods, and though it may not seem like it, it passes. It is difficult (at least for me) to remain calm and patient with this behavior, but I do remain consistent and our expectations for kind and helpful behavior do not waiver. Just think of this as training for puberty!
post #3 of 11
It is sooo good to hear someone else having this experience. My ds just turned 6, and the post about melt downs described him completely!! I am having a hard time trying to be calm and theraputic when it seems he gets upset over every little thing these days. I too believe that it is a developmental kind of thing, but it is really difficult to deal with. He has always been a sensitive kid, but lately, he will cry over a look, much less a word. He is doing great in school, and seems to reserve all of his bad moods for home. If there is some advice out there from a mom who has survived this, please share!
post #4 of 11
Becca, first of all, how did my dd crawl into your ds?

Second of all, I completely understand and empathize! Dd had the mother of all tantrums today because her favorite song would not come on the radio in the car. I had to pull over because it was so nerve racking I couldn't drive!

When this has happened in the past, she's ended up having a really bad sinus infection within days of the behavior. Tonight, she's getting stuffed up and gookie eyed. I have a feeling a sinus infection is comming on.

Could ds be getting sick? Maybe a food alergy? These are the things that I've noticed in dd when she's acting out this way. She's naturally spirited (or as I call it passionate). But there are definately times when it escilates.

Sending you a hug and herbal tea while you figure it out.
post #5 of 11
Sorry to bring bad news but my ds is nearly 10 and still has these breakdowns occasionally. I really don't get it. He's gotten much better but it really seems hard to take sometimes. My dd is not so much like that. She's more whiney, I guess. DS does a lot of it when I ask him to do things or if I lose my temper with him. He requires a lot of warning when things are going to happen. For example I have to say "five minutes until you need to put the dishes away" and then I have to say three minutes and then he has to do it. Hurrying is no good with him.

I'm glad I'm not the only one with these problems! When he used to be in school they thought he had a disorder of some kind. I've noticed that they have really let up since we started homeschooling. That could be b/c he's older too.

Good luck!
post #6 of 11
Becca,

I can relate. My 6 yr old dd started doing this around the time she turned 5. She had been pretty mellow previously. She is now 6 and it's not getting much better, although it comes and goes.

Someone posted along these lines a couple months ago and there were some interesting suggestions mentioned. One was teething (5 yr. molars). My dd has been working on hers since last summer and they are taking forever to come through, still haven't. The other was being on the verge of a new development, such as reading. My dd just started reading in earnest over the last few months. I also think something changes in them at this age related to their independence and autonomy. My dd wants to be in control in every situation and that is not always possible, so it can lead to a lot of frustration for her, ie. tantrums.

I don't have any advice to offer, but I understand what you are all going through.

Alison
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies!

It is so good to know there are other mums with similar children
I think that it's probably developmental, he is doing so many new things lately, beginning to read and lots of new math skills, so maybe he's feeling a little out of kilter right now. Dh and I are trying to be sympathetic to this ball of fury, but sometimes the sheer volume is overwhelming - ds is very, very loud.
We homeschool too, ekblad, I can not imagine ds in school - it would be like putting a tornado in a classroom!
Mom at home, hmm, hadn't thought of molars, he hasn't complained of any tenderness but I'll keep it in mind.
Ms Mom, you bring the tea, I'll bake some cookies. We should all have tea sometime - and all our children can scream in unison:
Blessings, Becca
post #8 of 11
I posted a few weeks ago, because my almost 5 year old son was suddenly behaving like a 2 year old. Someone suggested a major developmental leap. I thought about it and realized that he was really trying to learn how to read. I spoke to him about it, asked if he was frustrated about not being able to read, and then promised him that we would do some work everyday to help him learn. I noticed an IMMEDIATE change in behaivor!! I think that he was so overwhelmed by trying to figure it out and not making progress. Just offering to help seemed to ease his little mind. He is still not reading, but we are working on it and he is coming close...

- Chelsea
post #9 of 11
Chelsea, How wonderfully in-tune you are with your ds! I do notice big jumps in my kids attitude when they're discovering something new.

Mmmmm, what kind of cookies? Chi Tea ok? Amy, could you bring the ear plugs?
post #10 of 11
Becca,

Ali (most mild mannered of all children) has been going through something strange lately too. When little things don't go the way she wants them too, she starts crying and shaking. It just started this week, but has happened 3 times. It is very unsettling because she is usually so calm and easy going, and now she sometimes seems like she has no center.

She is growing so fast right now that we can't believe it. (In a 2 week period, she outgrow all her clothes, even her underwear). She looks different, too. Not just bigger, but a lot older. She can also color in the lines (one day she couldn't, the next day she could) and can all of a sudden write all her numbers.
post #11 of 11
Tea and cookies sounds great to me! I will definately bring the ear plugs!
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