New and wondering if I need to be here!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Gincie, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. Gincie

    Gincie New Member

    Hello, my son is 3.5 years old. He is very, very sweet, and thoughtful most of the time. The major issues are hitting me when he is angry (not often) and hitting at preschool, chasing, scaring the dogs. When he gets in a "mood" he will just kind of flail on the ground and thrash out at whatever is close. His teacher hasn't felt that it is a big concern, she said he just gets a little wild with his body when he is playing and running around. He tells me when he has had an issue at school. My husband and I are trying to just be really calm with him. In the past we have gotten frustrated and acted angry with him, which obviously doesn't work! We do time outs for hitting, or being rough with the dogs. In the past we have picked him up when he wouldn't go for timeouts, but those were the times I got hit, so we don't do that anymore. But it is hard to inforce it once you say it. I guess I am concerned because I know when kids don't treat their animals kindly, it is a red flag. Maybe I'm in denial, or maybe he is just three, I'm not sure! Any help or ideas are welcome as well as suggested reading. I was wondering about the Explosive Child but got the idea that it was for older kids. Thanks!

    I'm not sure about the abreviations!
    Me: stay at home mom
    husband: Hardworking involved Dad
    DS: 3 Sweet, funny kid
    daughter: 9 months Sweet and sassy
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are there any psychiatric or neurological problems on either side of his famimly tree?
    I would have him evaluated. It's not too young. Talk to your pediatrician. Something's not right.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome-glad you found us. I agree with mwm about having him evaluated.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hello and welcome Gincie. It sounds like you and husband are doing all the right things. The fact that you are here and there are red flags going up pretty much tells me that you aren't in denial. I think you are seeing things that are outside the typical behavior for this age group.

    If I had .25 for everytime I heard "boys will be boys" or "he is just high spirited" or "he is just too smart for his little body" or "boys develop slower than girls" I would be a rich woman.

    If you are concerned then do your research, talk to an expert and follow through on your hunches. If you are wrong or over reacting- no problem. Everyone wins but if you are right, he gets redirected sooner and gets the supports he needs sooner.

    Now I have my normal new comer questions.

    1. Is this new behavior?
    2. How does he do socially?
    3. Does he have friends?
    4. Does he get along with siblings? dad?
    5. What sort of play does he enjoy?
    6. Anything unusual in his life? Illnesses, trauma, etc.?
    7. Did he pass the normal developmental milestones at the appropriate age? Crawling, turning over, walking, talking, potty training etc?
    8. Any parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents who had difficult behavior, substance abuse, difficulty functioning etc?
    9. Anything stick out in your mind as a big worry?

    More questions then answers but if we have an understanding of your little guy it will help.
    It's hard to not despair when you love someone and it's not enough to help them. Hopefully we can share what we have done and what was successful for us. If nothing else you can know you are not alone anymore.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    My son used to be mean to the dogs, and then he'd complain that they'd never come to him. Uh, yeah! :) I explained to him that he was being too rough, and while he disagreed (always in denial) I just showed him how I petted them, and used a tone of voice that wasn't loud, and eventually he caught on. It was a day-to-day training thing, in that respect.
    He didn't throw them across the room or anything, just pull at tails, etc. so it was very rough but not alarming. I'm not sure exactly what your son is doing that is over the top that way.
    The tantrums sound kind of normal to me ... At home, I would just make sure there is a safe place away from everyone where he can kick and flail. It would be interesting to see if it continues once no one is watching.
    That's one way we were able to tell that my son was over the top ... he's scream for hrs in his rm, with-o letting up. Totally beyond normal. It was like he had superhuman powers. Sigh.
    It sounds like his preschool teacher is calm and professional. I'd keep in touch with-her.
    Best of luck.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    At this young age it is tough to know if it is just the age or a real behavior that will stay with them. They are learning so much at this time.

    Sometimes that is just what it is. They are learning. If their learning is challenged in any way there is more frustration coming through than the average child.

    Has there been any sign of learning disability? Hearing problems? Speech problems? Any of the motor skills an issue?
  7. Gincie

    Gincie New Member

    Hi! Thanks for your imput. To answer some questions, I am adopted, so I have no medical history on my side, I (so far!) haven't had any issues with depression or ppd. On my husband's side, his mother was hospitalized when my husband was young and swings from highs to lows, although isn't in treatment. We are not in contact with his father's side of the family, so history is pretty sketchy at best. My son actually has been extremely verbal, stringing sentences since he was a year, no hearing issues. His pediatrician is great, so I will speak with him and see what he says. There is a boy at school that seems to be a cohort for being really physical. They won't be together at preschool next year, so maybe that will help. I'm setting up playdates with some of the calmer kids. Of course this is the friend that he wants to hang out with! He does calm down when I remove myself. I'm trying really hard to ignore more and disingage when he melts down. I do get angry though and have to take my own timeouts. He knows how to push my buttons. I have told him to ask for a hug if he needs it (from me) instead of hitting to get my attention. When I ask him why he hits his friends he says, " I just wanted them to play with me". I've explained why this doesn't work. Sorry, I'm rambling. I will work with him and the dogs. The dogs are a bit wild too, so that doesn't help! Now that the weather is better all of us can be outside so much more. Thanks again for all the imput!
  8. Gincie

    Gincie New Member

    I wanted to answer Fran's questions, I didn't respond to them in my last response. He has a great relationship with Dad. He is very kind to baby sister (9 months) minus usual sharing issues. She is never a target when she is angry. He does have friends that seem to want to have playdates with him. He was on or ahead on most fine motor milestones. Was a little late on crawling and walking (15 months). Potty training was easy. Loves dinosaurs, can remember long difficult names. Reads 3 letter words when he feels like it. Doesn't love drawing or coloring, I've been really trying to encourage that. He loves riding bikes, being outside in the garden with me. We live in the Pacific NW so weather is always a problem, but when it is nice, we are outside.
    It isn't a new behaviour, we have been working on it for a while. My husband and I both have quick tempers, and I'm wondering if when he was little I overreacted to him hitting me (ie picking him up, taking him to his room, harsh words, closing door). He is very reactive if we get visibly angry, so I'm wondering if it was us that taught him to act this way, although we never spank or hit. We are both trying really hard to be calm and walk away. He has been pretty healthy. I think that is the whole story! Thanks
  9. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Just curious, Are you a stay at home Mom considering you also have a 9 mo old? If so, Why is he in daycare? You have gotten some great advice so I will not add to it.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You asked in your first post whether "The Explosive Child" was just for older kids - there is a thread on this in Early Childhood, discussing how you can adapt it for younger kids.