Posted by: Charlotte | 2009-07-30



Hi, my son is 5 years in a weeks time. He tends to be a very busy little person and it is with great difficulty you can get him to sit still. I just had to move him from school because of his agressive behavious where he hits, kicks, bites teaches and kids. He is now in a new school where the teacher only complains about the midday sleep period with him but at home he is still agressive, keeps throwing tantrums and gets into a snit about the smallest things, even if you do not answer him quick enough. Time out does not work as he just refuses to sit still. He does not play or watch anything long enough for me to be able to take away his favourate thing for a while. What can I do to help him get over his tantrums enforcing the fact that this is the wrong behaviour.

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert

Dear Charlotte,
Modifying behaviour will not happen overnight, and will require patience and consistency on your part. Reward charts work really well for children your son's age: giving him a star or sticker for good behaviours and none for negative behaviours. Once he has accumulated 10 or 15 stars/stickers/balls in a jar he is rewarded. Rewards can take the form of a small toy or favourite treat; however, I prefer to use your uninterrupted time as the ultimate reward. Whether this be playing in the garden with him (and only him), riding bicycles together or a trip to the zoo - anything that reinforces the close bond between you rather than the possibly tense one related to his undesirable behaviours. For a reward chart to work, he must know from the beginning what will earn him a star and what won't. Stars must be presented as close to the event happening as possible for it to have the most impact. The challenging part of this system is to ignore negative behaviours - children do not enjoy being ignored. It may be worthwhile having a 'portable' chart which can go to school with him as well; if he sees a united front between mom and teacher he'll know you mean business, and it provides more consistency for him - as long as the saem rules apply in both places.
Good luck .

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