I have a 5 year old twin boy who has been displaying some behavriol problems that concern me. Cody is the bigger of the twins but was born last. Cody will just make loud outburst about whatever. He will do things such as when he was eating some chocolate pudding he wiped it all over his face. He does stuff that he knows will get him in trouble. ie smarts off gets in my face just gets a bad attutitude. He calls me mother and i do not like that name i have asked him serveral times to call me mom or mommy and he still insits on calling me mother. he is also very dramatic when he gets hurt touched or bumped in a way he does not like. The other day he told me he wanted to die. (what havac this played on my mind as my skills as a mother) I tried explaing to him and what it would do to me me if he was gone. I had asked him not to say this and he just keep on and on till i was in tears. Cody has three other siblings and older brother that is 6 of course his twin brother then an younger sister who is 2. My first reaction to all this is cody is needing more attention therefore he is acting out to get our attention. I have tried to solve this by always listing to him giving hugs and kissing and reassuring i love him this is not working. He does not do this at school except when it come to playing with other children where he seems to be very over bearing does not allow the children space therefore they do not like to play with him. Please help iam not sure what route to take see in psy or just playing it out...
Part of what you are describing sounds like impulsive behavior, and other parts sound more like provocative actions (e.g., not calling you what you prefer, repeating his comment about wanting to die). It may be that identifying a couple of particular behaviors to focus on, and establishing a systematic plan for addressing those (including a period of time out when the behaviors are displayed, particularly after you've issued a direction to stop), will help. In this regard, it would be sensible to arrange an appointment with a child therapist who can guide you in the design of a plan. Also, take a look at Lynn Clark's book titled S.O.S. Help for Parents.
Not responding to the negative behavior helps, and also giving specific praise for good behavior is reinforcing the behavior that you want most. Yelling or disciplining gives the child attention for the negative behavior, and if there are self esteem problems then this just reinforces the negative behaviors. I have been doing this for two years and it has really improved my 7 yr old son's behavior. And when the behavior improves, make sure you tell him how proud you are of him that he is doing better, but make sure you tell him you love him a lot and give lots of hugs and kisses.
Some other parenting skills books that helped me a lot are "Power Parenting for Children with ADD/ADHD" by Grad Flick, PhD and "Taking Charge of ADHD" by Russell Barkely PhD. Normal parenting skills do not work with a child that is impulsive. The set of parenting skills that were fine with my 21 year old do not work with this one - they simply are not effective.
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