Increasingly explosive soon-to-be 5 year old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ktpf, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. ktpf

    ktpf New Member

    Hi there,

    My son has been having a number of meltdowns recently. I thought they began at the start of summer holidays, but when I think about it, he did have a few incidents before that, but few and far between, and often easily contained.

    I presumed that his tantrums over summer were due to frustration at being at home or bored, although we did go out a few times, swimming, or on a train, and out to theme parks on the weekends. His once weekly tantrum at the start of the summer holidays progressed to daily ones by the end of the summer and I hoped that when he went back to school, he would start behaving better but he has not. He is fine is school as far as I know (although he would not speak to his teachers - this is being addressed separately with a paediatrician), but he is still having strops with me after school.

    Different things would set him off. Most of the time it seems irrational to have such an extreme response. Examples:
    1. When he was going on a climbing frame, I put his sister ahead of him on an easier bit.
    2. When he was playing with a train set in a store, some kids came along and moved the pieces about.
    3. While playing with bubble mixture, he did not want to share the bubble dish with his sister (with other children is fine).
    4. When he accidentally knocked someone over, my friend gently asked him to apologised. He ignored her and started screaming for me.

    When it happens, he cries, yells, kicks and hits (me and his sister). When we are not at home, I usually find some place to sit and hold him tight, and during this time:
    1. Tell him to calm down. The response is always "No! I don't want to calm down!"
    2. He hits me repeatedly. Response to "Please do not hit me." is always "No!" If I am holding his arms down, he uses his hands to try and scratch or pinch me.
    3. Likes to scream "Stop it!" When i point out that i'm not doing anything, he says "You ARE doing anything!"

    After between 5 (if I'm lucky) to 30 minutes of this, he miraculously calms down and returns to a normal smiling playful self. Although if the meltdown was particularly brief, it results in another one shortly after.

    I live in the UK and don't know if diagnosis is as commonplace here, although I will be speaking to a health visitor soon and see what she says. But it has been too often and too explosive for me and I don't think I can take it much longer. It affects his sister who somehow adores him anyway, but gets very upset whenever he starts one of his tantrums.

    I just ordered "The explosive child" on Amazon and hope it can help. But meanwhile I wonder if any of his behaviour sounds familiar to anybody out there who can shed some light on what's going on, and maybe offer advice on how to (a) stop it from happening (b) contain it when it happens (c) cope with it when it can't be contained.

    me, 33, full time mom to 2
    husband, 32
    ds, 5 soon
    daughter, 3 soon
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to welcome you and say hi :D.

    Not sure how to help because I know zilch about how the UK system works. Here, I'd recommend a neuropsychologist and suggest that perhaps the child is on the autism spectrum, however I know that it's different in other countries.

    Maybe somebody will come along from the UK :)
  3. ktpf

    ktpf New Member

    Midwestmom - just wanted to say thanks for your reply. My books arrived today and I hope to get some help and answers from them. Wish me luck!