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My 4 year old son is out of control what should I do?
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My 4 year old son is out of control what should I do?

My 4 year old son is getting way out of hand. He doesnt listen to anyone i tried many different approaches and none of them work.. He runs away, he inflicts pain on himself  and others, he never sits still, he climbs and jumps off things that he is not suppose to. He yells at adults and when he gets angry he bites himself, hits himself, or throws things. And he is really hard to get to sleep and when he does go to sleep he never sleeps long and he doesnt like to sleep by himself.. What should i do????
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973741 tn?1342346373
Hm.  Well, whoever said the terribles end at two was lying!  Three and four can be rough ages too, no doubt.

Now, I'm going to tell you what I think from your brief description.  First, sounds like you have a spirited and energetic little boy.  Is he in preschool or go to daycare?  How does he interact with peers----------  does he ever play nicely?  There is a book by Stanly Greenspan that is called something like "raising a difficult child" or something like that.  Go to your library index and look up Greenspan and check out the titles.  It should be there.  It was the first book I read that described my son.  It was really helpful both in understanding him better and giving ideas to deal with it.  

How much physical activity does this boy get?  He sounds like he needs a lot and I'd suggest several (yep, several----------  but at least 2) hours of physical play a day.  Go to the park and let him roll, jump, climb, run, skip, swing (very calming), slide for as long as possible.  This soothes the nervous system and has an after affect of calm.  Even if he is in daycare during the day--------------  do it in the early evening.  Swim lessons are great, soccer is good, tubling and jumping on a trampoline is great.  You can even put a mattress on the floor and let him jump on that.  Get him out on a scooter or bike with training wheels.  Take him hiking up some hills.  Etc.  He needs to get as much physical activity as possible to keep him calm.  It is proven in studies that this has a direct affect on behavior.  It will also improve his ability to sleep.  So remember--------  at least 2 hours but as much as possible a day.  

My son has sensory integration disorder and was diagnosed at 4.  Some of what you describe sounds like my boy at that age.  Google it and see what you think.  Basically it is an issue with the nervous system and how it processes things.  My son is a sensory seeker and his on button is always on.  He craves input into his nervous system and needs lots of activity to soothe it.  We had him evaluated by an occupational therapist and once diagnosed, he started occupational therapy.  He still does it once a week and it has made such a HUGE difference.  He functions really well in school and is a happy, adjusted kid.  We addressed the needs of his nervous system.

That is something for you to think about.

Until you look it up, it is important to remember to stay calm with a child like this.  You getting upset and yelling will only escalate the problems.  Give him choices whenever possible----------  you control the choices but he is more apt to comply as he had a say in the choice.  Check out a book called "Hands are not for Hitting" which has a good message that is easy for kids to understand.  Also check out books on emotions that give kid language for them.  Give him the words to use when he is mad, frustrated, angry or sad so that he can use his words vs. his fists. (by the way, how is his speech?).  Role play an appropriate way to deal with these emotions-------- using words, asking for help, counting to ten, going to a clam down spot, opening and closing the fists tightly/firmly and taking deep breaths.  All meant to help a child that can't self soothe slow down and soothe himself a little bit.  

Sleep is tricky for my boy at too sometimes.  We keep night time calm and routine.  It is the same every night.  Some kids really do well with deep pressure to calm them-------- lay him face down on the floor and take couch pillows and place them on him and gently press.  Hold him tight and rock.  Etc.  Warm baths also help.  

I don't more about specifically what is going on as I'd need more details.  What does he do at night that he doesn't sleep---------  play, have a tantrum, etc.  Does he go to sleep and then wake up, etc.  If you provide more details, I'll try to help
goodluck
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Avatar f tn
Thanks for the input... he does go to daycare and even there he is over active he dont listen to the teachers he can play nice but its only for a limited time. Yes i do have him do alot of activities. He plays soccer, basketball, t-ball, we swim almost everyday for at least 2 or three hours we play out in the yard for hours at a time at night we all go and take a walk around seven then we come home i give them baths and lay them down and then all he wants to do is play and if i tell him to stop he starts hitting himself. I tried reading to him  i tried putting stuff in his bath water to calm him i tried laying with him i tried letting him watch educational tv for a little bit before bed. None of it works its like his energy level never drops and neither does his attitude..Im at a loss i tried many different things and nothing works....
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973741 tn?1342346373
Please look up sensory integration disorder and see what you think.  After you do that, let me know.  Could you be doing too much at night so that he then can't calm down?   I  know when I do a work out or something, it takes me a while to settle back down so I have to do it earlier in the evening.  But google sensory and see what you think.
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Avatar f tn
No i dont think were doing to much plus he has at least and hour or so between all of us taking baths to calm down after the walk but i did google sensory integration disorder and some of the symptoms fit him but not all i also googled adhd and he fit more of those symptoms than the sensory integration.. But if it is the sensory integration disorder what do they do for it ?
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973741 tn?1342346373
Sensory is tricky in that each kid looks a little bit different and the symptoms switch.  It took me about a year to realize he really did have it.  It looks very much like adhd, to be honest.  

What you do for sensory integration disorder is occupational therapy.  This is helpful in two ways.  First, it is like play therapy but it directly affects the nervous system.  Everything they do is addressing issues with a child's nervous system. The other area that they work on are strategies for behavior.  We did things like a stress thermometer to head things off at the pass before my son escalated into a tantrum or temper fit.  We worked on things like how to be a good friend.  We've worked on impulse control.  They do things like fine motor help.  Right now, we're working on helping my son organize his thoughts for playing with friends-----------  telling him what he had in mind.  Then being flexible if his friends do not want to play that game.  

Kids generally love occupational therapy.  Medication does NOT work for sensory integration disorder.  

good luck
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Avatar f tn
Im glad that they dont treat it with medication I dont want him to get dependent of prescriptions Im going to have to ask his dctor about it  And thanks for your opinon and the advice i really appreciate it..
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Avatar f tn
my son is 4years old. i have no problems with him at school. at school he is a well mannered pleasant little boy who plays nicely, hes a very clever little boy. at home it is a whole different kettle of fish. if he can not get what he wants he kicks off lasting over an hour sometimes. he smacks me spits at me calls me names, tells me he hates me and smashes his bedroom up. i try talking to him nicely and when he doesnt listen i just leave him to have his paddy then try again when he has calmed down. then when i ask him whats the matter he comes out with the most silly things that hasnt been said. or says he can not remember. alot of the time he is a lovely little boy who does as he is told. ive tried everything and nothing seams to work. i recently found out i was pregnant and he seams very happy about this but i really need to get this sorted as it is really getting me down and it upsets me seeing him in such a state. please help cayleigh
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189897 tn?1441130118
    Sorry, I didn't notice your post tacked on to this older one.
     I am sure that at school he gets told "no" and apparently doesn't throw tantrums.  So, he does have the ability to control himself.  Unfortunately, he has kind of "learned" that his tantrums work for him.  This is not that unusual for smart kids.  Fortunately, they can usually pretty quickly figure out when things are not going there way - and try something else.  
  But mainly don't, "spend a large portion of my day saying "the way you are acting is why we aren't (insert whatever activity here)" and he doesn't seem to get that... "  Talking to him just will not work.  And talking to him when he is having a tantrum - won't work.
   The rule is that when he starts a tantrum - he gets a short timeout.  And the timeout does not start until the tantrum stops.  He will go nuts for a while.  Just keep repeating - "as soon as you choose to stop your tantrum, the timeout will start and 2 min later you can ..."   Do not try to reason with him or talk with him while he is yelling.  You are just playing into his hands.
  Essentially, the rules for behavior modification are that there must be immediate, short, consistent consequences.   Do not expect overnight miracles.  It has taken him awhile to get to this point and it will take a while to relearn control.  But he will.
   I would also look into buying "Cool down and work through anger" or "When I feel angry". This is part of a series of books aimed at 4 to 7 year olds and meant to be read to them at night (several times) and then practiced.  Kids do need to be taught how to deal with anger.  You do not try and use these techniques while he is screaming.  But once he stops or later on in the day - you can refer back to them or pull the books back out.
You can find them here -  http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Through-Anger-Learning-Along/dp/1575423464/ref=pd_sim_b_5
     Hope this helps!
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Avatar m tn
My 4 year old son is out of control one minute he is a sweet good natured little boy then it's like a switch and he is kicking me biting nipping generally a monster. I have tried time out 123, shouting at him hugging him and saying how much I love him but it doesn't make any difference,he is the same with his grandma and grandad too, they look after him when he isn't at nursery.
He will not entertain himself and needs some to play at all times.
When he is at nursery they have told me he is a lovely little boy and very good also he has lots of friends there.i just don't know what to do as he has tantrums that go on forever when he is very very angry!
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189897 tn?1441130118
        Please try this as a separate post.  Many times the helpful commentators don't see a question that is linked to another post,  They just think it is an answer, not a question.
        4 year olds are not known for entertaining themselves.  And when they have been at a nursery school all day with plenty of stimulation, it is kind of hard for them to switch off.
       Another thing to realize is that it takes time to change a behavior.  Experts say it takes about 3 weeks of immediate, consistent behavior modification to do so.   If both you and the grandparents are not on the same page - it makes it even tougher.
      Read my post above from 2013.  Kids need to learn how to express their anger and find ways to release it  Get the books I mentioned for both you and the grandparents.  It is not a fast easy answer, but it will give you and him tools that you can use to help with the tantrums.
     Also, what are his triggers?  What causes him to go off?
     I would also talk to other parents and teachers at the nursery school to see what they do to entertain/keep busy the kids once they get home.  It may be that doing something like sitting him in front of a tv isn't is cup of tea.  Do the grandparents take him out to a park and let him run around?  The more they can tire him out, the better it should be for you.
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