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Avatar universal

My son's behavior - We don't know what to do!

My son just turned 5 a month ago.  We live in a tiny town with no opportunities for group activities.  Since birth, he's pretty much only played with his cousins who are 10 years older than he is.  They always played rough and we didn't think much about it until he got around kids his own age and wanted to play the same way.  We put a stop to the rough play, but it didn't seem to sink in for him.  He has a baby sister who is 2.  When she started walking, around age 1, he would push her down.  But, now, they get along pretty well besides the occassional sibling spat.

I can take them both shopping with me with no issues for the day.  My son is easy to reason with, easy to compromise with, and generally an easy going guy.  You could probably count on both hands how many tantrums he has had in his life.

He's always been handsy and invading of other's space.  He doesn't know a stranger and will talk to anyone, go up to anyone, and with kids his own age will get handsy.  He doesn't get handsy with older kids or adults.  But he will talk everyone's leg off!!

We enrolled him in preschool in August of 2007.  After just a few days, the teacher said that he had autsim, sensory integration, and other behavioral issues.  She said that he was hitting, pushing, shoving, tripping, leaning, rolling on, stepping on, grabbing, touching, etc the other kids.  So I observed in the classroom and the behavior stopped, according to the teacher.  I didn't shadow or hover over him, I just kept a ear open in his direction and if he got bored, I would simply redirect him.  The preschool was not structured at all... with 2 hours of free roam time.  (School was 3 hours long).  The teacher felt the kids should work out their own problems.  This was just not a good fit for my son, so we pulled him out.

We did have him evaluated for those concerns of the teacher, of which nothing was found.  He is above average academically.

We then enrolled him into taekwondo classes and he did great.  Even at game time with kids running everywhere and pretty much being "chaos", he would do fine.  Not one single issue or problem. Not handsy, not touching, hitting, etc.  He listened well, focused, caught on well, played the games nice, waited in line, was patient, took turns, made friends, etc.  GREAT experience for him.  He was earning his new belts and the instructor felt he was a star student.

This summer, at the end of May, we enrolled him in a summer kindergarten program.  As good as he was doing at taekwondo (and everywhere else that we went around kids), we thought this summer program would be good for him and he would have fun.  It was full days, 5 days a week.  His first day was awful.  It was preschool all over again with him pushing, grabbing, hitting, etc.  But this classroom is more structured than the preschool.  He spent a lot of time in time out and sitting out while the other's played.  He did have a few good days, but for the most part, he was a challenge for the teacher.  I went along on the field trip and he was great.  Again, I didn't follow him, but just redirected him a few times.  He had fun and did great with the kids.

Since starting the summer school program, he's behavior at his taekwondo class has suffered.  We have seen some big changes in his attitude, his behavior (everywhere) and just his over all personality.  He's pushing the kids there and we are all constantly correcting him, but it doesn't make a difference.  But it was only with the kids his size or smaller.

Summer school is almost over, ending on the 27th of June.  We do not plan to send him to kindergarten in the fall. We had found a preschool that is 3 hours a day, 3 days a week.

He does not have any problems with noise, clothing textures, food, allergies, etc.  

So my question is, what do we do?  Does he need professional help?  Why does he act this way just around kids his own size?  How can he do so well and then fall back?  He had some great days in summer school, so what is the trigger?  We thought maybe it was too much, but this behavior can start first thing of the morning at school.  Some days he can have a great day at school, great class of taekwondo, and even play a baseball game after all that and do perfect!  Other days, he can start off at school with bad behvior, and the afternoon can get better.  Other times, the whole day is awful.  There is just no rhyme or reason.  It's only with kids his own age and then not always.  Sometimes when I'm around, sometimes when I'm not.

We have tried different diets.  We have tried having him exercise first thing of the morning.  We have tried threats, rewards, etc.  He thinks his behavior is funny... like it's a game.

Any suggestions?  I hope I have given enough information.  

Thank you!

5 Responses
Avatar universal
I didn't know how to edit my post but I had a few more questions.

We were told back when he had trouble in preschool that we needed to surround him with other kids his age at every opportunity to help him learn how to handle social situations.  Are we doing the right thing?  It seems like it's not making a difference and is only making home life miserable.  But how else is he going to learn those skills?

He's about 1-2 years ahead academically, but very immature.  We have been told that he gets bored easily and then doesn't know how to handle himself in the classroom.  Out on the playground, the chaos seems to really be too much stimulus for him.  Down time is another difficult time for him, such as waiting in line for the bathroom, transitions between things in the classroom, etc.  But, this isn't every day.

He's easy for me to control. If he does start to act bad, I can redirect him or put a stop to it.  But I'm very firm with him, as is his taekwondo instructor.  But I don't know if his school teacher's are "AS" firm, although she is consistent.

I know they do offer him more freedom such as at recess the teacher's sit on a bench and watch.  They don't stay with him or watch closely until a problem has already happened and someone tattles on my son.  But I also know from personal experience, that kids will tattle on him or threaten him. He will admit to anything to try to keep peace with adults.

He seems to gravitate toward the excitement in the area.  He is VERY exciteable!  Easily exciteable!!  As long as there is some type of order or structure, he's fine.  But the minute things escalate with excitement, he gets wound up.

Avatar universal
I dont know where you are from, but in my country, when a child is ahead academically, the Ministry of Education assesses them, then suggest to the parent to send the child to a higher level. One of my friends had a daughter with the same problems as your son. As it turned out, she was just bored and frustrated in her class and then acted out with bad behaviour. After putting her in a class a year ahead, with older kids she socialized better and felt the work was more challenging for her. You should speak with your child's teacher or a guidance councellor or the relevant authorities in your country to see whether this applies to your son.
Avatar universal
Thank you amli

I'm in Missouri, USA.  I have talked with his teacher, counselors, special education teacher, and principal about this.  They all feel he is just immature and needs to learn social skills.

He's doing 1st and 2nd grade work here at home.  One on one with a teacher, he shows that.  But, in the classroom, you would think he doesn't even know his alphabet.
Avatar universal
Your son sounds much like my son. I have been getting quite frustrated at his inability to keep his hands to himself. My son is now 11 and within minutes of me turning my back he is in a full fledged wrestling match with my oldest son (12) or my daughter (7). It has caused problems with children at school, at church, and pretty much anywhere we go. I know he is very intelligent because he can spit information out about things I never even really knew that he would know, such as military equipment, birds, animals, the human body, all kinds of stuff. My son is also homeschooled, and yet, when he sits down to do school work, math and basic English concepts are a struggle. Another thing that my son loves is tickling, hugs and kisses. He loves to tickle and be tickled. He loves to hug and be hugged, and he definitely loves to kiss and be kissed. Sometimes it is at the most inconvenient times, such as when I have a mouth full of food. He will come and kiss me and put his face in front of my mouth and expect an immediate kiss in return, mouth full of food or not. At times it can be frustrating, but yet some of these things I don't want him to loose. He just wouldn't be the same child, and I don't want him to ever feel rejected because of a loving action. I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do! Any suggestions would be great.


M. Fitz
189897 tn?1441130118
      Well, you kind of need to figure out what is going on.  I am guessing that he had trouble with his behavior at school, and that is why he is being home schooled?  Yet, with all this personnel attention, he is still having problems?  So, possibly you need to examine other possibilities.  I am also the CL here - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175  ; and he does exhibit numerous ADHD symptoms.  You can check out ADHD symptoms here - http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK1
      And, he well may not have ADHD.  But if he does, the way he is treated is different then if he is just another kid who is active.  There are a lot of very specific actions that you can take that will help him.  And, medication ( if you were to also go that route) is just a small part of what could be done to help him.  The point being is that if he does have ADHD, then it is much more difficult for him to change his behavior - but it can be done.  If he does not have ADHD, then things like a proper time out form of behavior modification or the strategies in a book like "Love and Logic" by Cline and Fay will work.   Point being you need to figure out what is going on.  Let me know if I can help!  Best wishes.
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