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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I have a very creative, energetic and sweet boy who'll be 3 in December. He's very verbal, and a complex thinker as well as being incredibly phsical. He responds very well my my instruction most of the time, and we generally have an excellent rapport. He does well with most other people as well (obedience) but I notice when he has more than 2 adults interacting with him he starts to get out of control, purposely disobeys and acts out, and seems to 'shut down' and be unable to process any instruction. He just goes a little more wild, not listening to anything, and getting more excitable and reactive and hyper. I give him a lot of freedom, only advise him when necessary, or I try to guide him, but when there are too many people around, it just gets too much for him. And these people aren't trying to get him to do things, they're just playing, and if he acts up, trying to be helpful, trying to get him to listen to them if he's not listening to me. Like, 'hey Axel, play with me at the train set' 'why don't you get a book' 'oh axel, don't throw that' 'why don't we pick up the blocks'. just normal things. I can recognize this happening, but as the mom, what do I do? I can't just ask people to stop talking to him, it's often my mom or a friend or sister or even my husband. How do I simplify, or get him to focus? Usually I just try to stop talking myself, so it's one less voice to be heard. It's usually in the company of at least 3 people usually more.
ps- i've partially read Unconditional parenting- but couldn't finish due to it being overdue- so this is where my thoughts are!
A
 

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mama!
I have had similar experience with my girls, and if I can I say something to the other adults; even just saying "It's okay, I've got it" is sometimes enough for them to realize I'd like them to stop telling them what to do.
Then I try to get close and down on the same level as my child, right up close so that their attention is on me, not on other people, and talk quietly and calmly, with very concise and clear sentences, for what needs to happen.
It helps if you can make it seem like you and your child are on the same team, if that makes sense.... More like, "here's what we are going to do" rather than "you need to..." KWIM?

HTH!
 

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I would recommend the books "The Highly Sensitive Child" and "Sensational Kids" - our kids are both highly sensitive, and ds has sensory processing disorder. When he's overstimulated he CAN'T process things. Luckily, my family understands (we've got highly sensitive/spd people on both sides) and so if I just say "he's overstimulated" they'll back off. Even if your son doesn't have SPD (most likely he doesn't), you might find some good ideas in Sensational Kids about how to help him when he gets overstimulated.

I wouldn't hesitate to take other adults to one side and say "Axel seems to get overexcited when too many people play with him at once."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's great advice, and I'll definately check out the books. He's so high energy, it just gets worse when he has too many people playing with him. Perhaps I notice more, but to other people it seems he just puts them on total 'ignore' and doesn't listen to a word they say, sometimes getting more active and distructive.
I was struggling with how to ask people to back off, especially when they're trying to be helpful, or distracting him. I think my parents understand that sometimes they just need to shut up for a bit if he's getting out of control. Is this something he'll grow out of-a short phase- or will he carry this into childhood?
A
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I wouldn't hesitate to take other adults to one side and say "Axel seems to get overexcited when too many people play with him at once."
Or perhaps I could get a hold of him and say to him closely, 'Axel, just listen to mommy for a moment....' and then the comment isn't directed to other people, but they get the idea, and he can focus on me.
I'm advising myself!
But your comment made me think about exactly what I could say, thanks!
A
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Queen of my Castle View Post
Is this something he'll grow out of-a short phase- or will he carry this into childhood?
A
I suspect it will carry over into adulthood, if my experiences are anything to go by! It's just that as he gets older, he'll be able to regulate himself a little better. If I know I'm going to be at a very busy/noisy place, then I need to plan in down time before hand or afterward. If I don't get it, I become very frazzled. I've also learned that I can't listen to the radio while making dinner. Pre-kids I could, but with kids, it sends me over the edge. I can't attend to dinner, have the radio on in the background and field questions from my kids without going nuts.

We took our son in for an evaluation for Sensory Processing Disorder when he got to age 5, and the sensitivities were getting worse, not better, and he wasn't able to regulate them that well. Occupational Therapy has helped a lot.
 

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My ds2 is like that, though he is getting better at controlling his impulses (due to a lot of practice and help from me as well as just time and gaining a bit more maturity). He is now 4. Often dh and I would just have to remove him from the situation. Not in a punitive way, but just in a redirection kind of way (though always positive). Even just asking him to come with one of us to see how long the grass had grown, or which of the xmas lights were burnt out since we last looked
We would NEVER call attention to his behaviour or mention why we were going out for a minute as that would have just made things worse.

Just getting away from the situation for a minute or two would calm him down and allow him to refocus. Plus, I think he learned that he felt better to get away from the stress or activity so he often retreats outside or to a different area if he is getting too worked up (the added benefit of not calling attention to it, he just figured it out on his own instead of resisting it like he would have if we said anything). And as an added bonus, people eventually just stopped interfering so much (well, most of them anyway). It was always meant positive, but it always made things worse.

I really feel like helping him discover how much better he felt by stepping out of an overstimulating situation has modeled a positive thing for him, something he can use throughout life. He is so....full of life (to keep it positive
) that he will likely encounter many situations that are just too much for him. Hopefully learning ways to manage these feelings will carry him through those times throughout his life.
 

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I'm highly sensitive, and have two kids that are both highly sensitive!

DD is 3, and when she's overstimulated she becomes moody, inconsolable, wildly energetic, the list goes on. In other words, unless you know exactly how to deal with her (like her father and I do), you wind up making matters worse (like my IL's do). And since they apparently don't take the hint ("Just listen to mommy right now for a second, ok?" or taking her out of the room to talk with her), we've just decided for now to limit visits with people to under 3 hours. Otherwise, she crashes.

I, myself, am highly sensitive. Same as a pp, certain things can send me over the edge. If there are too many things going on (for example, crowded grocery stores with 2 kids in tow), I find myself getting irritable, snappy, moody, and withdrawn. Otherwise, I find myself so highly excited and stimulated that I'm literally SHAKING... my hands start trembling and it continues until my entire body is shivering. Once I get to these points, I need to excuse myself to somewhere quiet, secluded, and relaxed so I can calm myself down. It's hard, but as an adult, it's easier to recognize the early signs of overstimulation and get yourself a break before it gets out of control than when you're a child.
 

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I have the book, the Highly Sensitive Child and would like to second the recommendation even though DD (2.5) isn't exactly sensitive. (She is in certain areas but not in others.) DD's biggest trigger is when people she doesn't know well enough get within 2 feet of her or touch her, she flips out. I tend to pick her up and remove her from the situation to a quiet area and calm her down by acting quiet and reassuring until she is ready to rejoin the group. Then I tell the adults or whoever is pushing her boundaries, "DD doesn't like people to come inside her personal space." That is all I say, no excuses or apologies because I think that she deserves to have her boundaries respected. In these situations I think of myself as DD's press secretary. I am there to enforce and inform of her boundaries and nothing less.

Hope that makes some sense and helps a little.
 
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