Posted by: Single Mom | 2009-05-25

Concerned about Son

Good Morning

Pls can you assist me, I have a 5yr old son. There are 7 people who live on the premises my son gets alot of attention. For the last year his behaviour has changed his cheeky back chatting he yells and screams and just refuses to listen. he acts up when I get home from work and all hell breaks loose every night.
I don' t know what more to do I' ve tried everything and anything and nothing seems to work. He has started grade R this year and is a problem at school aswell the teachers complain about him daily. I despritely need help with him but don' t have the finances to take him to a child psycologist as I am supporting my parents. Can anyone suggest anything that will help me make a break through with my son something that will work I' m willing to try anything and do anything to help my son?
Is this a stage that children go through, do I have serious cause for concern?
The situation is getting from bad to worse pls can anyone help me?

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Our expert says:
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Can the school provide some acess, even one or two sessions, with an experienced child psych for assessment and adice ? Purple's response, as usual, is helpful and experienced. This is within the normal range of behaviour, but how you respond to it can make it worse and last longer, or better and over sooner. COnsistency, in your response and those of everyone else he inteacts with, is important

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Our users say:
Posted by: Single Mom | 2009-05-25

Thank you Purple I will get these books thanks a mill.

Reply to Single Mom
Posted by: Purple | 2009-05-25

All 5 year olds behave like this, but there are things that you and the teachers can do to get his behaviour back in line.

There are two books you might like to get out of the library - Raising Boys by someone by the name of Bidulph and Beyond Toddlerdom by Christopher Green. Both will give you lots of practical tips.

Something else that works nicely at this age is a star chart to praise the good behaviour. Get cardboard and koki' s and get him to help you make the chart (even take him shopping for the stuff to make it with). You can also use Ben10 or Spiderman stickers rather than stars - or give one of those when he reaches 5 stars.
When he does one of the desired behaviours without a fight he gets a star, and after 5 stars a sticker and after 10 stars you have an outing or some other such treat that is something he will love and is within your budget.

When he misbehaves, give him time out for 5 minutes. Use a kitchen timer, and if he runs out of the room, you extend the time. Don' t argue with him or engage with him if he does naughtier things to get your attention while in time out. And if he trashes his room like a rockstar, then afterwards, the two of your together clean it up once tempers have cooled. IF he won' t help - leave it like that until he will help.

Don' t worry about the small things. If he wont eat supper - leave it - but then there are no sweets and if he is hungry during the night it' s tough luck. He wont'  starve. Don' t insist he does things like finish what is on his plate - one big mouthful of each food group on the plate is sufficient. (just make sure you also give a multivitamin).

When he has tantrums, pick him up while he is screaming and shouting and put him in his room and close the door. Don' t let him out until he has calmed down and can tell you rationally what he wants. This behaviour will have a patch of getting worse before it gets better, so be prepared and stand firm.

Get others in your household to do things this way too and speak to his teachers about whether there are any education problems with him at school that might be causing him to act up there.

Above all - your rules must be consistent. They don' t have to be rigid - but if balls are allowed in the house today but not tomorrow but are again the next day - he will be confused about what he is and isn' t allowed to do - what he will be in trouble for one day is different to the next so he just never knows what the rules are. Have few rules (but broad " umbrella"  rules), and implement them consistently - and ignore the small things.

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