What to do for a 4 year old with out of control behavior?
My 4 year old nephew, his 5 year old brother and their mom live with me and my family. When my sister left the boys' dad and moved in with us, my - at the time- 2 year old nephew started showing extremely violent and out of control behavior and it has continued up 'til this day. He doesn't obey any of his mothers commands, he calls her stupid and tells her he hates her, he hits her, he is mean to my 2 year old daughter (she's actually scared of him and doesn't like playing with him) He goes to daycare and is in a Preschool type of program and today he got kicked out for a day. The calss was getting ready for "circle time" where they sit in a circle and listen to the teacher read a story to them and before they started, my nephew went to his cubby and found a fruit roll up in his bag. The teacher told him that he couldn't have the snack right then and he lost his temper. He hit his teacher, then sat on her, he got up and began knocking over shelves, flipping over tables and chairs, ripping up papers and just really going out of control. His mom and dad were called to come pick him up and told him he was suspended for the rest of the day and tomorrow as well. My sister is fed up, and so is the rest of my family and none of us know what to do with him.. We're all miserable at home. What can we do to help his behavior?
First, it is important that the adults maintain their composure and equanimity. Letting themselves become 'fed up' is not useful. This is a little boy who is in distress and if things are going to improve the adults have to take the high road.
Now, relative to his behavior, he is certainly showing signs of emotional disturbance and this invites evaluation. He should be evaluated by a pediatric mental health professional.
Re: managing the behavior at home, the techniques detailed in Lynn Clark's book SOS Help for Parents willbe very useful and I highly recommend this approach (see www.sosprograms.com).
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