Ever since my partner was diagnosed with depression back in november my 4 yr old son has completly changed, he yell, he punches and jumps at us, he does not like being told what to do and he throws rubbish on the floor and chews and breaks his toys.
I have spoken to our local doctor and seen a conseller and they have said he might be hyper sensitve( whatever that means), we have tried time outs, toys taken away and just ignoring when he is being silly but nothing seem to work.
I also have a 7 month old and I have caught my son a few times covering her face with his hands and it has got me worried that I cant leave them in the same room.
He also plays up when we go shopping but behaves himself in school.
Am i making something out of nothing, am i not trying hard enough or is something up?
Kids are hard work, aren't they!!
I would first of all say, please do not leave your son in the room with the baby. I doubt he would intentionally cause her serious harm but could hurt her without meaning to. So you have to protect her---- extra work on your part but not worth the risk of his hurting her when you aren't in the room.
I'm glad he is fine in school----- that is a big battle. What do they do different there than at home? Is it calm, routine, etc. If so, then I would incorporate some of those same elements into your home life. They probably discipline with redirection a lot, which kids of 4 respond very well to. This means if he is getting fussy about something, direct him to something else to change the situation. Kind of like distraction---- gets his attention to something posative.
Make sure he is getting lots of physical activity---- run, jump (mattress on the floor), crashing into pillow walls, climbing, swinging. His little nervous system needs this kind of activity and it has a desirable effect on behavior. It is calming to the nervous system,. actually it would be important for your husband too. In my job before kids, all of my clients many of which suffered sever depression and anxiety---- I would work on getting exercise into their lives. It correlates directly with mood. Anyway, it is essential for a 4 year old active little boy.
Try to give your son some choices. Kids like to have a little power. And it is a great tool when you have a difficult child. Do you want to walk right beside me in the grocery store or do you want to ride in the cart?
Give him lots of praise and look for the times and things he does right and make a BIG deal out of it. Kids LOVE this and will try to do right more often to get this extra attention. Pick your battles for what you correct him for. (hurting sister or anyone else------ NEVER OKAY). Talk to him when he is calm about what the rules are. Talk about the consequences. And if there is a time when he has broken the rules, try not to yell. Model how you want him to act when he is mad and frustrated. They often learn from us in this regard.
Your depiction of no off button is funny---- I often say to my 4 year old and 5 year old to push their off button when they are getting wound up or doing something they shouldn't. Kids of 4 are not known for their impulse control, that is for sure. I'm wondering what the doctors meant by being overly sensative. Were they speaking emotionally? There is something called sensory in which kids can have issues with touch as well as other senses (some you've never even heard of most likely, like vestibular). My son has this developmental delay. He can be rough on toys because he crashes and bangs them trying to get input into his nervous system/ sensory system. Things that didn't work for his skin (washing his hands at preschool) would make him have a meltdown that would last several minutes (like he was in pain.) But lots of kids have trouble with tags,etc. The difference is that my son had issues at school (where he was out of his element) and not as much at home (sometimes, but not like at school). So, I don't think this is what the doctors meant.
Good luck. 4 year olds are hard, that is all there is to it.
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