5.5 YO son won't keep hands to himself - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 05-31-2013, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's always been "high needs" or "spirited", always been physical, but lately at preschool he's forgetting about how to interact with his friends. He wants to play rough, even when they don't. He doesn't seen to hear me, the teachers or the other kids asking him to stop. He often bops his baby brother (5mo) repeatedly, in spite of my constant reminders not to. Most of the time he's not actually angry, or doesn't seem it, but sometimes when the rough play escalates he will become very upset and belligerent. A few times lately when he's gotten upset with me for something (not allowing him to watch tv, for example) hell become furious and tell me he's so mad he wants to do bad things to me. He had told his dad he is going to kill him (when dad picked him up from a play date).

It seems like there's so much going on here that I don't even know what to ask. I want to know why he has all this anger. I want to know how to help him feel better inside. I want to know what i can do on any of these situations in terms of discipline. I want to know where I've gone wrong. Would a therapist help? Well he be ok? When he was a challenging, fussy baby everyone said he'd grow up to be the nicest kid, just you wait. But he's not. I love my child, and there are so many great things about him, but he's rough and disrespectful and explosively angry at times. I can forgive him, but his teachers and peers won't. What can i do?

Humbly parenting Abraham (1/08), learning to be gentle and creative.  At least I got a good man to hold my hand.  Married to Ben (8/06). 

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#2 of 10 Old 05-31-2013, 03:32 PM
 
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If you feel really, totally just at a loss for what to do, try talking to your pediatrician. Ask for input, a screening, a referral, something.

 

I have a fantastic pediatrician so that's where I start when I feel in over my head and he either calms my fears or finds me a specialist.

 

He will be ok.  Whatever it is, you will figure out how to handle it and he will be ok.
 

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#3 of 10 Old 06-01-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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I agree w/ talking to the ped and getting referrals/evals -- however many it takes to give you either answers or peace of mind.

 

And just so you know, my nephew was a horror when he was little. He'd BEG you to play cars with him and then have a meltdown if you dared to TOUCH any of them. Then another meltdown when you stopped playing, b/c after all, WTH are you supposed to do playing cars if you can't touch them??? It was always no-win with him. He is now 14 and AMAZING. Calm, mellow, smart kid with a dry sense of humor. I don't get to see him much since they moved, but he is a love. So it may take longer than a few years from babyhood to young childhood, but the journey isn't over yet. Hang in there.

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#4 of 10 Old 06-01-2013, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Any tips on how to cope so that we don't go down the road of him getting into trouble, losing self esteem, behaving worse, us withdrawing etc?

The amount of constant attention via interaction and redirection that he requires, even on good days, is so exhausting. Sometimes it feels like he's completely running our lives and we get pretty run down. We start to be less patient and less creative. I don't want to snap at him or make him feel bad about himself, but i do.

Any thoughts on how to change my own way of thinking about this so that i can get through it without dreading it so much. Clearly an unhappy parent is going to have a hard time raising a happy child.

Humbly parenting Abraham (1/08), learning to be gentle and creative.  At least I got a good man to hold my hand.  Married to Ben (8/06). 

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#5 of 10 Old 06-01-2013, 07:22 PM
 
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Things aren't as intense around here, but I do have one child who needs me to catch them BEFORE they escalate, otherwise it is not pretty.  I tend to pull out a book and have us read together, or have a snuggle, or even serve a snack, just to reset the day/how said child is behaving.

 

Warnings and talking don't work well with this child.  I have to be right there, in their face, and meaning what I said the first time.  

 

HTH

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#6 of 10 Old 06-02-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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I am struggling with the exact same thing right now with my 5 1/2 year old. I can see he's getting torn down and I am desperate to get us out of this cycle. He has always been such a great little kid, but has horrible impulse control. I have horrible impulse control too, so it's hard for me to know how to teach him, and I have NO patience whatsoever. So he gets yelled at, or sent to timeout, which of course doesn't work. I'm trying more time-ins, b/c I think that he really just needs more attention. I just have to find a way to give it to him without feeling like I'm having the life sucked out of me!

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#7 of 10 Old 06-02-2013, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update:
Knowing I'm not alone and hearing success stories helps so much. Thank you. Just feelingthatsupport helps me to not despair.

We thought of a few more things that might give a better picture and hopefully inspire more feedback and idea:
-DS does much better in smaller groups or one-on-one. When there are a lot of other kids, even his best friends, he can become really rambunctious and physical. He's also more likely to become upset over a minor offense/accident and cry/shout. Although he is not "shy" per se, i think he gets overwhelmed when there are lots of people, and this brings out the hands on stuff.

-We're working on sticking to a better routine at home, including earlier bed times. We realized that he'll behave better and we'll feel up for the challenge of parenting if everyone is well rested.

- He uses the word "mean" to describe some of the things he feels people do to deserve his wrath. I'm trying to think of a way to help him see that if someone does something he doesn't like, it doesn't make then "mean". And tips our tricks on how to get a boy this age to expand his vocabulary and better yet, rethink the intention behind the "offense"? I know the latter is pretty complicated, I'd just like to help him to open up to the possibility that not everything that someone else does which he find disagreeable is because they are purposely trying to hurt/bother him.

-do you think setting concrete rules on touching would work? Like, "

Humbly parenting Abraham (1/08), learning to be gentle and creative.  At least I got a good man to hold my hand.  Married to Ben (8/06). 

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#8 of 10 Old 06-03-2013, 01:01 PM
 
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Great topic! My son is 4.5 and very similar. I've had many recommendations for "raising your spirited child", and just got it from the library today. Hoping it will help us a bit.

I also checked out a book called "hands off, Harry!", which gave us some insight about respecting personal space. My son doesn't absorb that type of redirection directly from me, but really gets more out of children's books explaining it on his level (even if they say the same stuff that I do).

Lastly, we have been using pool noodles cut in half for some rough sword fighting without damage or pain. We also find things that we can destroy (like cardboard boxes to smash with sticks or a rubber mallet- also can hammer golf tee "nails" into them). Plastic tools and hammer toys are utterly useless against my son's strength and determination, but the battery operated plastic drills and screws are fun for him.

I feel like the secret is to meet the need for destruction AND learn about how to be a good friend/playmate. A kid with pent up energy and no outlet will not succeed happily in play with most other kids.
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#9 of 10 Old 06-03-2013, 01:10 PM
 
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One more thing... Is it possible that he needs help setting his own boundaries with playmates? My son has similar perceptions about others being "mean", and it turns out he didn't realize that initiating an aggressive game was an invitation for aggression toward him. He honestly, innocently hoped his friends would just sit there while he jumped on them, hit them, etc... It wasn't that he wanted to be mean or hurtful, but he (and they) didn't know how to set boundaries about what is acceptable to him in those games. After discussing it, he is getting better at talking to friends about rules of the game so everyone can play together without one feeling victimized or out of control.
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#10 of 10 Old 06-06-2013, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These are such great suggestions! Thank you so much!

Humbly parenting Abraham (1/08), learning to be gentle and creative.  At least I got a good man to hold my hand.  Married to Ben (8/06). 

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Children , Gentle Discipline , The Explosive Child A New Approach For Understanding And Parenting Easily Frustrated Chronically Inf

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