My only son will be 5 in one month. In the last 3-4 months he has been erupting with anger when I tell him no or deny him what he wants. He screams at me tells me I am a bad parent, that he hates me and curses. Sometimes it's first thing in the morning, sometimes before bed. He gets extremely angry extremely fast, then cries and gets emotional. He always apologizes after he calms down. He eats well. Some sugar, but not excesssive. A friend suggested he may have ADHD. Any suggestions? Resources?
I wish I had some great advice, but instead I just wanted to let you know that our only daughter also went through a very rough time going from 4.5-5yo. Sounds similar to what you describe-- she's always been an intense child, but her emotional reactions (and anger in particular) were much more extreme during that time. Things appear to be evening out a bit now as she approaches 5.5yo. One thing I noticed was that our initial reaction to her outbursts was to get more strict, which really only seemed to escalate the tension. I'm not sure if the improvement has been affected by any changes we've made, or if it's just her age- dealing with the confusing desires to grow up, be independent, and yet the concurrent anxiety about that separation. I, for one, am hoping that 5.5-6yo will be a bit easier for all of us!
nah i think its just prepuberty stuff. prepub. doesnt start at 10 or around there as we think. they start much earlier with mood swings just like your son is going through. my dd went thru this at 5 and by 6 had started BO.
my advice. just hang in there. it will get better eventually. dd is 8 now and those kind of extreme behaviours are pointers to me that she is going thru some spurt - emotional, intellectual or others. being an intense child her normal intensity doubles. sometimes she has such a hard time that she gets stomach aches from the anxiety. now at 8 i notice she gets headaches instead of tummy.
when i see her going thru such a phase i do two important things. one makes sure she is eating, resting and getting enough exercise and i make the best of trying to keep stress away fro me ,
plus 5 is a huge threshold year. more aware of stuff around him. i feel its also a realisation that life DOES NOT revolve around him.
Another vote for "sounds like age-typical behavior." My 5-year-old DD behaved the same way in the months leading up to her fifth birthday. She is just beginning to settle down after months of volatile behavior and outbursts. Having a consistent routine really helped lessen her tantrums and flip-outs.
My DS also went through the same phase in the months before turning five (and for some months thereafter). I had to be very consistent with his routine (bedtime, meal times, getting enough play and exercise) in order to reduce the number and severity of his outbursts. You are on the right track as far as your DS' diet-- avoiding sugar and food additives is a good idea. My DS' behavior really seemed to correlate with his diet-- junk food led to unstable moods. Even if your son's healthy diet doesn't seem to make much difference in his behavior, it can't hurt him, either.
Other than that, the only other advice I can give is to try to remain calm when your DS has an outburst. Take heart: his behavior almost certainly will improve in the coming months.