Child Behavior Expert Forum
5 Year old behavior problems....
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding child behavior issues such: Child Discipline (behavior management), Normal Child Development, Parent-Child Communications, Social Development

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

5 Year old behavior problems....

Hi....My husband and I are having problems with our oldest son.  He will be 6 in Nov.  We also have a 2 1/2 year old son.  Our problem is this:

Our oldest son has terrible tantrums.  We can do anything and everything for him and he is still not happy.  We have taken toys away, grounded him, put him in his room, spanked, and we don't know where to turn to from here.  He is in Kindergarten and his teacher says he is great and she has no problems with him.  If it is my son and I alone he is GREAT, same with just him and my husband. We get the whole family together and it's a nightmare!  I have learned to ignore most of his behavior but my husband cannont.  When he gets uptight and starts yelling I get uptight and the whole family is a mess.  He is very mouthy, screams at us, hits his younger brother, throws himself on the floor and kicks.  The most frustrating thing is that he is acting as if he was 2 and not 5 1/2!  We don't know where we went wrong at.  We do everything we possibly can for our children and he still isn't happy.  I have called his doctor about his behavior and I can't get in for another 3 weeks but I would like to hear some advice first.  Thank you for any help!!!

Related Discussions
242606_tn?1243786248
Dear Valerie,

You are doing the right thing by seeking help. It will be important to ascertain the nature of your son's situation. He likely does not display a childhood mood disorder or disruptive behavior disorder. It is more likely that he displays a behavior problem along the normal spectrum. But this needs to be assessed.

One way or the other, you'll need a systematic plan to address his behavior. I would suggest you take a look at Lynn Clark's SOS:Help for Parents. It delineates a thorough, effective, systematic method of dealing with childhood behavior. I have recommended this book to thousands of parents over the years and consistently receive positive remarks about it. The book reflects a behavior management philosophy which I heartily endorse.
12 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Your life sounds like mine almost down to the age of your son - my son was 6 in July.  His problems started in August 1998 right after his MMR booster (yes, I am one of those).  After doing a couple of months research on the Internet here is what we did:

We eliminated artificial dyes, flavors and preservatives from his diet. NO Kool-Aid, Jello, and anything with artificial dyes.  I cook from scratch and use no preprocessed foods.  We limit sodas, juices (sugar and artificial dyes), corn syrup, and junk food. We eat raw veggies, popcorn, and fruit for snacks. Some kids react to the red dye, some to the blue, etc.  My son reacts to them all.  I have logs of his food and the resulting behaviors in Excel that I kept for months.  We also added essential fatty acids because he was a picky eater plus I read that a lot of ADHD boys are deficient in essential fatty acids.  We use Efalex (efamol.com) but it is kind of expensive.  After two weeks of eliminating artificial ingredients and adding the Efalex his behavior did a complete turnaround.  He obeyed, calmed down, became more compliant, and verbalized his anger instead of acting it out, and didn't get upset about everyting under the sun.  Try reading "The LCP Solution" by Jacuqeline Stordy and Malcolm Nicholl.  I have talked to Mr. Nicholl a few times and my son's story is in the last chapter of this book (among others).  

We also changed our parenting style a lot.  Yelling, punishing, spanking, and most discipline does not do much good because their behavior cannot be controlled.  I read 123 Magic, Power Parenting for Children with ADD/ADHD, Taking Charge of ADHD and these all are excellent books and they all helped.  The best thing you can do is give lots of specific praise for good behavior and do not react to the bad.  Detach and ignore.  I don't mean don't try to correct and teach but don't overreact and let your praise be much more than your corrections.  This is very hard to do but how you react controls how he is going to act.  If I escalate the behavior then it will stay at that level for a much longer time than if I remain calm and change the subject and talk about something else.  It seems to me like their brain gets in a loop of some sort and you need to get it off of the negative loop it is on.  

And definately get a good behavorial and educational assessment.  We are in the process now of getting a behavorial and educational assessment.  A lot of these disorders have the same symptoms and overlap so it is hard to know if you need medication, therapy or whatever.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My son is 5 1/2 and it sounds like I could have written both of your comments. He also has this problem where his brain just doesn't seem to be able to turn off...sometimes even HE wants it to and he can't. Being stuck in a negative loop is a good way to describe it.  Also, he is mostly great with me alone, or with my husband alone, but with all three of us it's a disaster.  Sometimes it seems like he's competing for attention and other times it seems like he gets appropriately excited about something but it quickly escalates into uncontrollable bad behavior that even he know is not appropriate. He will become aggressive and totally noncompliant.

We have also begun the process of limiting or eliminating dyes, preservatives,  processed foods, etc. and adding efa's.  We've seen limited improvement but we haven't gone to total elimination yet. Red dye, Fritos, and Pepperidge Farm goldfish have all caused lots of problems.  My son is an EXTREMELY pickly eater and forcing him to eat freshly cooked food when he wants something different often brings on the very problem we're trying to eliminate.

Question for bcollie: We are also wondering about getting some kind of assessment. What kind of doctor do you see to get a for a behavioral assessment? My pediatrician doesn't seem to be much help.  Also, do you have any particular tips for the elimination of all their favorite foods? It doesn't quite seem fair to tell a five year old that he cannot have a potato chip or piece of pizza.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
YOU TALK ABOUT A BEHAVIORAL AND EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT.  WHO DID YOU CONTACT TO HAVE THIS DONE.  I HAVE A 5 YEAR OLD WHO IS HAVING PROBLEMS IN DAYCARE AND KINDERGARTEN WITH HIS BEHAVIOR. BOTH THE DAYCARE AND KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS HAVE SPOKEN TO ME ABOUT HIS INABILITY TO SIT AND DO ONE THING, OR TO SIT AND DO AS THE REST OF THE CLASS IS (EX: WHEN THE TEACHER IS READING STORY, HE WANTS TO BE UP RUNNING AROUND OR INTO SOMETHING HE'S NOT
SUPPOSED TO BE).  HE IS A VERY INTELLIGENT CHILD AND HAS NO PROBLEM WITH THE LEARNING PROCESS, HIS PROBLEM IS STEMS FROM HIS RELUCTANCE TO DO AS TOLD.

I FEEL THAT MANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WILL WANT AUTOMATICALLY
TO "LABEL" HIM AS ADD OR ADHD AND AT 5 YEARS OLD I PRETTY MUCH
AM ADAMANT ABOUT NOT USING RITALIN OR OTHER DRUGS.  ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
YOU TALK ABOUT A BEHAVIORAL AND EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT.  WHO DID YOU CONTACT TO HAVE THIS DONE.  I HAVE A 5 YEAR OLD WHO IS HAVING PROBLEMS IN DAYCARE AND KINDERGARTEN WITH HIS BEHAVIOR. BOTH THE DAYCARE AND KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS HAVE SPOKEN TO ME ABOUT HIS INABILITY TO SIT AND DO ONE THING, OR TO SIT AND DO AS THE REST OF THE CLASS IS (EX: WHEN THE TEACHER IS READING STORY, HE WANTS TO BE UP RUNNING AROUND OR INTO SOMETHING HE'S NOT
SUPPOSED TO BE).  HE IS A VERY INTELLIGENT CHILD AND HAS NO PROBLEM WITH THE LEARNING PROCESS, HIS PROBLEM IS STEMS FROM HIS RELUCTANCE TO DO AS TOLD.

I FEEL THAT MANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WILL WANT AUTOMATICALLY
TO "LABEL" HIM AS ADD OR ADHD AND AT 5 YEARS OLD I PRETTY MUCH
AM ADAMANT ABOUT NOT USING RITALIN OR OTHER DRUGS.  ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
We had our PCP refer us to West Virginia University's Chestnut Ridge Behavorial Center for an educational and behavorial assessment.  If you do not have a psych that can do this, get a referral from your PCP.  We filled out an 8 page behavorial questionnaire and the teacher had one to fill out too.  We go back next week for 1/2 day behavorial testing and observation and the second day is the 1/2 day educational testing.  After the results are reviewed they make recommendations as to meds and/or therapy based on the diagnosis.  I want to know if he is ADHD - Impulsive/Aggressive Type or if he could have Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder or one of the others that have essentially the same symptoms as ADHD.  Kyle doesn't have an attention problem; his is more a distraction problem.  I know that sounds like splitting hairs but really it is quite different.  That is why I am suspecting a processing disorder.  Even though I feel diet problems, food sensitivities, digestion problems and allergies are a big part of Kyle's hyperactivity and behavior, I do think an accurate assessment is criticial.  What if a stimulant is not what he needs?  He does fine when we do work at home one-on-one, and takes no Ritalin outside of school.

A good website that has information on ADHD diagnosis criteria, medicatiions, alternative treatments plus results of clinical trials of each alternative treatment plus great links to other ADHD/behavior sites is healing-arts.org/children.  Some people have had problems getting to the site but if you use Dogpile as your search engine you can get it easily.

If you want to address hyperactivity, try limiting sugar, juices, sodas, and corn syrup.  Give 50 mg B-complex, 50 mg B-6 and 400 mg magnesium per day.  Cook from scratch and use no preprocessed foods.  No Jello or Kool-Aid, limit junk food and NOTHING with artificial dyes.  We have been doing this for a year and a half and it has made a world of difference.  


I had a problem getting Kyle to eat new things too as he has a problem with textures.  I started a sticker chart and for every new food he tried he got a sticker.  After 5 stickers (or how many you want) he got a treat (movie rental, etc.).  Cook one thing he likes and two new things.  We only had to do this two weeks and now he eats a lot more "normal" things rather than just chicken nuggets!!  He doesn't like some things but he will eat them.  He doesn't like beans at all but he will eat them.  This in and of itself is a miracle!

I found out that Kyle is picky becaue he had a Candidia yeast overgrowth and digestion problems and he got no enjoyment out of eating.  Plus he was not getting the nutrients his body needed from the foods he ate.  This is common in ADHD kids.  We have done at lot to help his "gut" problem and now he takes caprylic acid tablets and Zantac.  He has put on 10 lbs in the last year.

We have some good discussion on the WebMD ADHD board and on the Natural Treatments board at conductdisorders.com
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have a son he is five years old, a only child.  He entered kindergarten in September, on the fifth day he somehow managed to get out of the class room, exited the building run across the street through a car dealership.  When questioning my son, he express that kindergarten was to big and he was afraid, he stated that his teacher looks at him funny and all of the children laughed at him.  My son is a bright young boy, he is able to memorized a entire tape that my husband and I play in our vehicles.  He has a speech problem his words are not as clear as other children his age.  He was exspelled from the school system waiting an evaluation.  The child study team said that he was emotional distribed and he has a learning disability which is not say.  My five year son propblem is that he wants to do whatever it he wants to when he wants to and this school system that he is in will and is not going to except this.  He is more that capable of learning. My son does not focus on anything that does not interest him, he loves music, the computer and he is a drama king.  Drama he can perform.  I am in need of some serious input on how and what to do with my son, he has a behavioral problem, yelling, crying, falling out and he is very good at tuning you out.  At this point I can only pray, the school system does not want to help my child nor give him a fair chance.  Whatever you do, do not let the child study team evaluate your child.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have a son he is five years old, a only child.  He entered kindergarten in September, on the fifth day he somehow managed to get out of the class room, exited the building run across the street through a car dealership.  When questioning my son, he express that kindergarten was to big and he was afraid, he stated that his teacher looks at him funny and all of the children laughed at him.  My son is a bright young boy, he is able to memorized a entire tape that my husband and I play in our vehicles.  He has a speech problem his words are not as clear as other children his age.  He was exspelled from the school system waiting an evaluation.  The child study team said that he was emotional distribed and he has a learning disability which is not say.  My five year son propblem is that he wants to do whatever it he wants to when he wants to and this school system that he is in will and is not going to except this.  He is more that capable of learning. My son does not focus on anything that does not interest him, he loves music, the computer and he is a drama king.  Drama he can perform.  I am in need of some serious input on how and what to do with my son, he has a behavioral problem, yelling, crying, falling out and he is very good at tuning you out.  At this point I can only pray, the school system does not want to help my child nor give him a fair chance.  Whatever you do, do not let the child study team evaluate your child.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Gosh, Im not alone....Although my daughter is only 4 years old, I feel as if Im dealing with an out of control teen at times.....Her words, actons often scare me...I try so hard to be a good stay at home mom...I almost feel as though it would do the whole family a great favor if I returned to work and put her in daycare since she seems to be completely different in adult supervised situations outside the home.  I am exhausted from the constant batteling and have lost almost all patience with her...I too, have tried everything, time-outs, spankings, rewards, etc.   I also dread the fear of medicating my child.  She already has a nut allergy along with other allergies....which she takes meds for.  Any comments on this 4 year old behavior?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Try adding essential fatty acids to her diet.  We use Efalex, which has a balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids plus DHA, which seems to be the critical fatty acid that improves behavior.  Kyle improved after only two weeks but the literature with the Eflaex says it can take up to 12 weeks.

Have you tried the Feingold diet? We use as many Feingold approved foods as we canut it didn't seem to help Kyle much but it has helped a lot of kids.

We are getting the IgG food antibody test from greatplainslaboratory.com.  The test kit is free but having the test done is $200.  You may want to go there and check out the info on all the tests they offer.  If you had the skin ***** test done it is extremely unreliable.  Kyle tested negative for dairy, but I found out that it is one of his worst foods and he has a tantrum only two hours after eating yogurt.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
We have a boy who will turn five next month.  He has always been a handful and one who needs little sleep.  Just wheen we think things are going better, he will become absolutely difficult.  If he decides one thing, it is very difficult for him to accept another idea or direction, even if he knows he is wrong.  We all do best when he keeps a strict pattern of bedtimes and waking times and gets ample exercise.  He seems to need to blow off steam and be alone often.  My favorite book to let me know we are not alone, is "Raising your Spirited Child".  She recommends speaking firmly and calmly and not saying please or pleading.  Giving choices when there is one also works.  Be careful not to ask questions like, "are you ready to go to school?" or "Can you brush your teeth please?" when what you really are saying is "it is time to go to school" and "brush your teeth now".  

I don't thik diet matters, he was spirited and had a nasty diposition on breast milk too!  I am still trying to accept this as unchangeable and make the best of the good moments.  I try to encourage good behavior and praise him for accomplishments.  We are proud parents most of the time, just tired and frustrated.  Good luck to you all and try that book.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn

My son is almost four and I'm so glad I'm getting on top of all this now... I know that without it, he'd be getting in trouble by the time school comes around.   I am taking him to a naturopath, and we are doing Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique.   You can look it up on a search engine... it seems "weird", but it seems to be helping... along with treating the yeast overgrowth in his gut.   He is taking UltraFlora Plus, L-Glutamine, Pleo-pef drops, and Thymactiv drops.   He has had problems with his gut and absorption since birth-- he was born with a meconium plug, instead of the loose tarry stool... his nails were splitty and peely and still are.   He has allergies to milk-- among other environmental allergies.  A great book to look into is Is This Your Child by Doris Rapp.   It shows pictures of what to look for for hidden allergies-- chest/throat noises when drinking milk as an infant... red ring around anus... pimples on buttocks or flush red buttocks... flush red ears... flush red cheeks... digging at genitals (yeast is itchy)... dark/pink circles under the eyes... eye wrinkles... bedwetting (reg. or occassional)... lots of signs-- my son has had all of these.   We don't spank, because I know that it would only get him more wound up... we try to ignore a lot, but he can tell in my voice that I'm not happy, or frustrated.   Just being in the presence of allergens sets him off.   I am breastfeeding his younger sis, so just being near me (my milk) sets him off.  He's sensitive to plastics in new toys, his own body heat... at this point, we are healing his gut and immune system so he'll stop reacting to everything... it's world war III in his gut and body right now... he has asthma, too.   Just with the treatment we've had for two or three weeks now, he stopped reacting to dog saliva-- before, he would break out in hives.
He does weird noises, weird faces, says weird things... just acts bizarre, gets a glazed look in his eye... sometimes he shows the anger, the demonic look.   I just hope this treatment, and your other suggestions that I've just read, will help.  I want more of my little guy back!  
Just a word on the school evaluations-- some can be good, some not-- I work in a school setting, so I've been a part of them.  If you get a bad team, don't get down-- just keep looking.  They are just people, and they only practice what they know-- they don't know everything.   I certainly now look at kids with behaviors in a different light than I did ten years ago...  

Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, My five year old child & behavioral Problems was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank