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#1 of 7 Old 04-04-2014, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a parent of a 20 year old son, and 15 year old twin daughters. I have loved kids all my life and have a high level of patience for all of them. Sadly, I have found myself discouraged, and out of creative ideas regarding incessant chatter, and repeat offending behavioral issues, nothing violent tho, in my 4 year old son. I have tried telling him my ears need a rest for 5 minutes... Only to have him ask every 10 seconds "is 5 minutes up?" I ask him to play, toys, Lego, read, blocks while I read my book and he does but his "play" is so loud he could wake the dead. There are other behaviors that accompany his incessant chatter and noise as well like: blurting, crying over silly things like losing a race to put your seatbelt on, (escaping, screaming and hitting walls has this far been curbed but not without much effort), whining, excessive clumsiness, forgetfulness (or blatant disregard to former instructions), and manipulation. Please people remember I am the parent of 3 grown children and am not simply talking about normal behaviors like this. I don't want to type forever explaining each time he threw toys in his room, hit doors, left the house to open, and enter, the closed doors of neighbor's houses, whom I don't know personally, or spent 3 and 4 hours to entire days doing one or all of the above listed behaviors. None of the behaviors in itself present any great problem to me but string hours of any combination together and I feel like putting him in the neighbors house myself. I have used bribery and punishment in equal parts but I am not trying to stunt his talking so much or his curiosity as teach him the time and place for it. Any and all specific possibilities that haven't been attempted will be considered... Creative punishments so far include mainly ones that for the crime... Fussy eating=not hungry/no food... Whining=tired/nap/bed... Loud with toys=toys lost... Acknowledging his own misbehavior is always done by him once his punishment is served... I am more concerned about the repeat offending. Time and time again telling him that his behavior is unacceptable to catch him doing it again. I am considering a bag of jellybeans to start the day... And each time he doesn't listen (accident or not) he loses 1, repeats an offense loses 1, back talks loses 1, etc. I'm talking about starting with probably over a 100 jelly beans each day, knowing full well he will lose them all the first 7-10 days. I am hoping it focuses him to pay attention to all the little things that gets him in trouble... With a potential huge payoff... Please let me know your thoughts!!!?!?!.....
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#2 of 7 Old 04-06-2014, 08:09 AM
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Hate to say it but he sounds like pretty much every 4-year old boy I've ever known... Try to focus more on the positives--praise him when he gets it right, shows signs of maturity, thoughtfulness, etc. I find punishment other than natural consequences does not seem to help motivate change that much.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-06-2014, 09:10 AM
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He sounds normal for a four year old, it's what I remember as the hardest part of four and what I experience at work with the three and four year old children in my class.

Even if it isn't normal chatter I suggest you take a long day to yourself before implementing any changes. I have found that this is usually more effective for our relationship because usually I am the one with the issue not dd. Even when it is dd it still helps me approach the issues more clearly.
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#4 of 7 Old 04-07-2014, 08:07 PM
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Your son sounds a lot like my 4yo. I feel that he requires too much attention (he is always talking and gets lívid if I stop paying attn) he also hates to be told what to do. Reading (watching, talking on the phone...) in his company, impossible.

But he is my first child so I've been assuming that its normal and if he really is too demanding or too obsessed with control and power, he must need it. He needs to feel powerful, he needs to feel he is in control (of his day, of his body, of his play) and he needs the attn. If I compare him with other children and conclude that he is too demanding, I assume that he must be more sensitive and have different needs. I try to assume the best. That he needs all that to grow well. This is out of an intuitive trust but I still question myself and sometimes wonder if I'm just raising a total brat.

For that, I like to observe his behavior in other social environments, his overal interpersonal relations. I use this to gage his behavior against my level of tolerance. He seems to be a fine kid all around (great in school, playground, extended family) even though he challenges ME and drives ME nuts.

Well, I work with him. I give all the attn, power and control that is possible to give and he is happier and better behaved when I give that much. Again, demanding.

But that is with me, his father engages in endless struggles with him and his behavior is the worst with his papa. He is extremely defiant and even provocative with DH. The more DH engages in struggle, the worst he behaves. On the days that DH is generally less stressed out and more loving and tolerant DS becomes a sweeter boy.

I am reading Alfie Kohn Unconditional Parenting. He is against punishments or rewards (claiming studies that point to negative psychological effects and for its inefficiency). I am too. I find them too removed from the real logic or motivation. He advises working with the child, trying to find the underlying need that leads to such and such behavior. One very practical advice is to speak less and listen (ask) more. It gives the child an outlet for expression (which may help with the behaviors) and will give the parent more understanding. In my boy's case, it gives him more power because HE is the one speaking through the conflict.

Chapter 7 is very pragmatic but still very thoughtful. Amazon has a kindle edition and it has free kindle app for smart phones. Practical.

I know you had easier children. But it could be personality. Some people are just more into control or more sensitive. It doesn't have to be a bad thing. From every personality come bad and good traits. I know how hard it is to be challenged by the lil one. Hope the best for you guys.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-07-2014, 09:36 PM
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My DD was a "high needs" baby/toddler. She started talking at 9 months old and HAS NOT STOPPED. She is ten now. She also exhibited the same or similar behaviors to what you mentioned about your DS. To others, especially in public, she mostly presents as precocious and maybe a little odd but not otherwise different. Not so at home.
We recently had her evaluated and found that she has ADHD as well as ASD and anxiety. Not saying your sone has any of those going on, but it may be worth talking to your pediatrician about.
One thing that saved my sanity when she was little was "quiet time." Even when she wasn't napping I made her stay in bed for an hour or two every afternoon, she had books and dolls/teddy bears to keep her entertained. She had to stay quiet, which meant that I couldn't hear her clearly from the next room, not that she actually wasn't making noise. We did that until she started school, and after that on weekends.
I hope you find something that works for you!

Me + DH = DD (1/2004) & DS (6/2013) & One on the way (11/2015)
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#6 of 7 Old 04-14-2014, 10:50 AM
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My boy has a really hard time controlling.himself.when he isn't tired enough. He needs, at 6 years old, a good 6-8 hours of hard outside play, on a near daily basis. If we are in too many days in a row, or he doesn't get physically impact (like boxing with daddy), he has a hard time.

I would...
...remove all screen time
...remove all sugars, including most fruit, and.follow.a.paleo/gaps diet for a.time
...start a daily exercise program. Ds has working out for years, quite happily.
...by nearly 5, dd runs a mile several days a week, total of 3-5 miles weekly
...take him to play in rough environments. Not a "sterile" playground, but hiking, boating, longer bike rides than seem possible, show him how.to flip a tire and race across the yard.
...provide him with daily.physical impact (think sensory disorders), wrap him in a blanket and tickle him through it, squishing him a bit at the same.time.
...use utube and teach basic gymnastics. Its the thump when he falls that my ds loves
...assign chores like taking the trash can to the road, or other heavy hard work.

Once he is in a state of perpetual physical tiredness, give.him intellectual stimulation. Give.him hard things to do, and have faith in him. Teach him to tie knots so he can accomplish a myriad of tasks. Read bunches of books on tomatoes, give.him a plot of dirt and a few plants. Pay him.for.his produce.

Basically, wear him out physically and mentally, and make it worth it for him. Have a great time, laugh a lot, but keep him busy productively all day. Soon, he will be too tired and happy to cause any trouble. Ds is happiest when he has a hard time staying awake thru dinner. :-)
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#7 of 7 Old 04-14-2014, 10:54 AM
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Wanted to add that I dont mean any of that in a mean way at all. I mean, simply, get the boy outside and play super hard all day. Boys do love challenge and control, so give him postive places to exercise those skills so that he isnt developing bad relational habits with you. Ds smiles and laughs all day when I give taxing things to do, but when I don't, he starts sister thumping, and gets emotional and grumpy.
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