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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gosh, I don't know where to start. Just when I thought I had this parenting thing figured out my fifth child turned 2. Ever since then it's been a whirlwind. He's nearly 3 now and is just so hard to deal with. First of all, he calls me (and the other kids) stupid all of the time. Where he heard it I have no idea. We don't allow that kind of talk in our home. The kids are not allowed to talk to eachother like that nor do they do it. He doesn't watch TV that often or usually things that aren't PBS or a video (approved by me first). He also hits, bites, pulls hair, kicks, whatever he needs to do to get his way with the other kids. He gets up around 6 am and goes to bed around 9 pm. He sometimes naps but not always. He's a nightmare from morning til night. I have to lock things up that I never had to lock up with my other kids. He is into absolutely everything. He usually has three or four serious temper tantrums by lunchtime. I've tried to watch his diet, he gets lots of exercise and I make special effort to give him one on one time with me. In addition he gets lots of one on one time with his dad and his two oldest siblings. I am really at a loss here. My dh told me today that we may have to resort to spanking with him. I really don't think I can do that but I don't know what to do. I would love some advice, I'm losing it here!
 

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He sounds really really challenging. I don't have much advice, really, and you are probably light-years ahead of me since he's your fifth child and I am only on my first, but maybe it would help if we could get a better picture of what kinds of things set him off.<br><br>
Related to food:<br><br>
Does he have tantrums most often before meals, when his blood sugar might be low? Or after meals? Or neither, are they just spread out and don't seem food related?<br><br>
Does he get cow's milk/dairy, and if so, have you noticed any change in his behavior when he doesn't get it, or if he gets more than usual? Does he have the same foods for breakfast each day, if so, what does he have? Does anyone else in your biological family have any food allergies?<br><br>
Is there a particular time of day when he is more likely to be unable to control himself/ is cranky and irritable / is more likely to tantrum?<br><br>
Possibly related to low tolerance for frustration/sensitivity to sensory stimuli:<br><br>
Are there clothes he hates to wear? Does he pull at the tags on the back of his shirt?<br><br>
Does he need to rock or jump more than your other children did? Does he need to be in constant motion? Does he like roughhousing alot, rolling/swinging/wanting to be picked up and swung?<br><br>
Does he get hot or cold easily and complain about it? Is he especially picky about food?<br><br>
If the room is noisy, are the problem behaviors more likely to occur?<br><br>
Related to tantrums:<br><br>
Can you identify particular triggers that always set him off? Are there things people do that are especially distressing for him, like other children not playing "correctly" (e.g. not playing with the cars right, stacking the blocks wrong, etc).<br><br>
I found the book "The Explosive Child" helpful for some children who have low tolerance for feeling out of sorts or being unable to adapt easily to things in their environment that aren't "just so" (and the just so is sometimes hard to figure out and the child can't tell you). If it seems to you he may have more difficulty dealing with minor stresses than your other children did, this book might be helpful.<br><br>
Its hard to know what might help without knowing what his triggers are. You might consider keeping a log for a few days, noting what happened immediately before the tantrum, also noting what happened after, and maybe a food journal as well. If you can predict the tantrums then you can work on seeing if there are things you can do to make it easier for him to get through the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BellinghamCrunchie</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He sounds really really challenging. I don't have much advice, really, and you are probably light-years ahead of me since he's your fifth child and I am only on my first, but maybe it would help if we could get a better picture of what kinds of things set him off.<br><br>
Related to food:<br><br>
Does he have tantrums most often before meals, when his blood sugar might be low? Or after meals? Or neither, are they just spread out and don't seem food related? <b>Neither - they don't seem to be food related.</b><br><br>
Does he get cow's milk/dairy, and if so, have you noticed any change in his behavior when he doesn't get it, or if he gets more than usual? Does he have the same foods for breakfast each day, if so, what does he have? Does anyone else in your biological family have any food allergies? <b>He only has cows milk on his cereal and he doesn't eat cereal everyday.</b><br><br>
Is there a particular time of day when he is more likely to be unable to control himself/ is cranky and irritable / is more likely to tantrum? <b>The morning is usually the worst for him (between 6 am and noonish)</b><br><br>
Possibly related to low tolerance for frustration/sensitivity to sensory stimuli:<br><br>
Are there clothes he hates to wear? Does he pull at the tags on the back of his shirt? <b>I let him pick his own clothes and he doesn't complain about them, usually.</b><br><br>
Does he need to rock or jump more than your other children did? Does he need to be in constant motion? Does he like roughhousing alot, rolling/swinging/wanting to be picked up and swung? <b>Not particularly</b><br><br>
Does he get hot or cold easily and complain about it? Is he especially picky about food? <b>He's actually my best eater, LOL.</b><br><br>
If the room is noisy, are the problem behaviors more likely to occur? <b>No, I think quiet rooms set him off, though. (ie. church, when the baby is sleeping, etc.)</b><br><br>
Related to tantrums:<br><br>
Can you identify particular triggers that always set him off? Are there things people do that are especially distressing for him, like other children not playing "correctly" (e.g. not playing with the cars right, stacking the blocks wrong, etc). <b>He just wants everything to be his at all times.</b><br><br><br>
I found the book "The Explosive Child" helpful for some children who have low tolerance for feeling out of sorts or being unable to adapt easily to things in their environment that aren't "just so" (and the just so is sometimes hard to figure out and the child can't tell you). If it seems to you he may have more difficulty dealing with minor stresses than your other children did, this book might be helpful. <b>I am definately going to look into that book, thank you!</b><br><br>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He also hits, bites, pulls hair, kicks, whatever he needs to do to get his way with the other kids. He gets up around 6 am and goes to bed around 9 pm. He sometimes naps but not always. He's a nightmare from morning til night. I have to lock things up that I never had to lock up with my other kids. He is into absolutely everything. He usually has three or four serious temper tantrums by lunchtime. I've tried to watch his diet,</td>
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Hi, Amy. I think the questions above were excellent. When I was reading yoru post, I kept thinking dairy allergy. You answered he only gets milk on his cereal, but *dairy* is present in my other things; many of those things people don't even realize. A child sensitive to it will react to even miniscule amounts and hidden dairy. Does he have cheese? Yogurt? Butter? The energy profile, sensory seeking and sleep habits are classic dairy allergy signs. The rage and tantrums, too.<br><br>
One other idea that came to mind is to impose as much routine and schedule as possible on him and to make sure to include texture play. This will give him a predictable day and the texture play will give him a appopriate outlet for some of that energy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I have often wondered about a dairy allergy. He doesn't really eat cheese, yogurt, or have much butter but if even a little bit can do it then he probably has enough. I'll have to watch out for that and start him on an alternative to dairy.<br><br>
As far as routine in the day goes, we do have one but it's tough to stick to. Every day brings a different activity or class that the older kids attend. Unfortunately for him he's the fifth child, LOL.<br><br>
Thanks ladies!
 

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"He just wants everything to be his at all times."<br><br>
Sounds like he has a powerful "Wanter." When he sees something interesting, he MUST have it, or he risks a meltdown, is that right?<br><br>
And also probably has problems with delaying getting what he wants, when he wants something, he must have it NOW, or he risks a meltdown, does that seem right?<br><br>
If these seem right to you, you might consider working with him in several short sessions each day to target these issues. Maybe you could enlist the participation of your other children in helping him to learn. He can't help his "wanting" emotions and when he wants something, he can't help but want it so wholeheartedly it takes over his whole being.<br><br>
For dealing with wanting everything, you could try to teach "giving" instead of "getting." It won't completely eliminate the strong need to have everything that is interesting, but it will give him another way of relating to objects besides just possessing them. To do this, you would want to ask him to give the "X" (some desired object he has in his hand) to you or another child. When he does, immediately say thank you, hugs and kisses, and give the object back. Try to extend the time that he allows the object to be held by someone else. Over time, try giving him another object that he likes equally well or better instead of giving him the original toy back. This will help teach him to take his attention off that original toy. Being able to refocus his attention on something else is very helpful in learning to deal with frustration. Then eventually (quite a ways down the road) when there is something he can't have, he might be able to accept "You can't have X right now because Sally is playing with it, but you can have Y."<br><br>
Its important that you don't tell him what you are going to do in advance, such as "If you give me X, I'll give it right back" or "If you give me the truck, I'll give you this ice cream cone." That's because you would be teaching something else (exchange) rather than tolerating giving something up. It needs to be unexpected, that you give the toy back, or give another toy.<br><br>
For teaching him to delay getting something he wants, request that he demonstrate calmness before giving it to him. "You can have X, but first you need to show me you are calm and can ask for it nicely." If he escalates, you can offer empathy ("boy it sure is frustrating to not get this right now") or just wait it out. Once he can be calm for about five seconds, you could try extending the time, eventually to a fairly long period ("We can play with the crayons after dinner" etc).
 
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