5 yr old behavioral issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by val_0017, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. val_0017

    val_0017 New Member

    Hi, I’m new here and looking for some advice. I was so happy to run across this forum as I’m just at a loss for what to do. I have a 5 yr ds who is having some major behavioral issues. He has always been a “difficult” child but here recently it has got to be extremely worse. His teacher and I have been working closely together to try to find a solution but to no avail. We had an appointment with our family doctor on Tuesday who believes he may have ODD and now has referred us to a psychologist for further evaluations. I’ve done some research and believe my ds probably does have ODD…he has all of the symptoms. As of right now, when he is acting up he gets two choices…he can either choose the good behavior or choose to go to time out. What normally happens is he doesn’t choose the good behavior and ends up in time out. Time out is the only thing I’ve found that corrects the bad behavior. Time out is in his room in the corner. The problem is when he is in time out he becomes extremely violent with me…starching, kicking, pulling hair, spitting, throwing things at me, anything he can possibly do he does to me. I have marks up and down my arm and now have a lovely starch on my face because of him. So my question is…how do I get him to stop being so violent with me but yet keep him in time out? I have to physically keep picking him up and putting him back into the corner for time out. This goes on for anywhere from 30 mins – 2 hours…depending on how long it takes before he gives up being ugly. After he stops being ugly he has to stay in time out for 5 minutes and then we talk about the bad behavior that put him in time out in the first place and how to correct it next time. I’m honestly at my wits end with this violent behavior. I can’t keep allowing this to go on but at the same time time out seems to be the only thing to get him to calm down. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated as I’ve done everything I can think of.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi Val and welcome.

    Do you think it's the punishment itself that's working or do you think that something ihappening n the time out is contributing to calming?

    Check out the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. You can find a thread about at the top of this board which may help you.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I also think the book SRL mentioned would be helpful to you.

    I am wondering, you say Time Out is working yet he is violent when you try to place him into Time Out and you constantly have to return him to Time Out because he gets up.

    In my opinion, it doesn't seem to be working very well.

    Just because a punishment works for some kids doesn't mean it will work with all kids. Parents of difficult children have to be creative. At least I did. lol Usually it isn't the punishment so much as the consistancy of enforcing rules and praising/rewarding good behaviors. So if Time Out has become a major battle ground, is there a different approach you could take that would have the desired effect?

    With my son Travis most "normal" punishment simply did not work. Lucky for him I figured this out by the time he turned 3. Because most of his 2nd yr was spent on a time out chair. Now he'd sit and do time out just fine, but then get right back up and do the same thing that had gotten him there again, so would have to go right back. lol (I can laugh now, wasn't funny at the time)

    So I began to get creative. I had to find things that worked for him. Like if he got into trouble with a cetain toy, the toy itself was placed into time out for a certain amount of time. If he got into trouble over the tv, the tv was off limits for a certain amount of time, if he got in trouble outside he would have to stay inside for a certain amount of time. Usually I tried hard to keep the times age appropriate as the younger kids are, the quicker they are to forget what it was they did wrong.

    Then we went thru a stage at about age 6 or so that those things weren't really helping. So he got assigned time out to ME. Yup. Had to stay on my heels for a certain amount of time. This lasted longer than the others....and takes extreme patience and stubborness. But it worked.

  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My daughter always had trouble with time outs... she would behave a lot like your son. It was more effective for me to take a thing or activity. (no tv, a favorite toy, loose game time or story time at the library). The best thing we did was work to find out what was triggering her meltdowns and give up for awhile on giving her choices on behavior. She just couldn't transition if she was already getting upset or behaving poorly.
  5. Mayapple5

    Mayapple5 New Member

    I just finished reading a book called Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control. It's a Love-based approach to helping children with severe behaviors. Basically it suggests we look at the child instead of the behavior. most of their behavior is fear based. If we can somehow figure out what they are afraid of then we can understand their behavior and help them.

    I have been doing time-in instead of time out and that has made a world of difference. daughter is so afraid of being alone, so when she is with me, she feels safe and I feel better knowing where she is and what she is doing.

    She used to have melt downs in the store. We tried the suggestions in the book and took her to the store with the only intent of walking in, going down the othe end of Wal-Mart and back out. I held her hand, and before hand I explained to her what we were going to do and that we weren't going to buy her anything, that I wasn't going to buy anything and that neither one of us was going to touch anything! The next time I bought us both a little something. And each time she got better and better about staying with me and not touching and not being loud or throwing a tantrum. It is such a joy to be able to go into a store now and have a happy "normal" daughter along.

    I feel this approach works like a charm, look at where the behavior is coming from and alleviate the fear then you can focus on teaching them to trust you and stay more calm.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would get an evaluation. ODD isn't a particularly useful diagnosis...it's finding out what is causing the ODD that helps. He could have one of many disorders that cause him to act out violently and be unable to comply in a typical way. I recommend a neuropsychologist over a regular Psychologist. The book is a good start, but it won't tell you what's wrong. Something IS wrong. And ODD rarely stands alone. Good luck!