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  1. #1
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    Default 5yo hyperactivity, discipline and how to get them settled by themselves

    Has any hubber here had a child that has been diagnosed with hyperactivity and how do you go about disciplining them on a daily basis? We are seeing a paed tomorrow to seek advice if DS (5 yo) has hyperactivity and I'm sure he'd give me lots of handful information (or medication, who knows?). I'm glad I booked in for a paed appt as I'm so fed up with his day-to-day behaviour! I'll update here after our paed appt tomorrow.

    To be honest I am well aware that DS is a hyperactive boy! He is always full on, never gets tired and whenever he is not using his brain (for e.g. when colouring, painting, writing or reading sounds/words - yep he can read a little bit) he'd go totally crazy he'd behave like a kid who has never been taught on manners, safety and not afraid of consequences! We've reminded him every time that he needs to listen, follow rules, observe things carefully and be aware of dangerous things etc. This needs to be repeated nearly every single day (which I get so tired too sometimes I think come on he's nearly 6 he can't be that bad)... and when I forget to remind him one day, he could be caught in a situation where he's branded as a trouble maker... so he indeed can be that bad! This happened at his vacation care today where he was so full on (i'm sure he was already bored!) and decided to keep running around and jumping up and down the sofa. To make it complete, his daycare teacher was already fed up with other kids' behaviour as well and she couldn't help it but to vent out her anger when she saw me! She was apologetic later on, but she said "I'm sorry, but rules are rules, he needs to listen and follow rules, they are simple rules i.e no jumping up and down the furnitures, no running around, because we are trying to ensure the safety of 30+ kids here". Uhm OK I GOT IT!

    now back to DS, I really wonder what a perfect package I have here, not only is he hyperactive, but he is lacking of consistency in discipline, and often unable to follow and obey rules (he is simply not listening!). Is this all the effect that appears from being a hyperactive kid?
    I've given warnings, done lots of talks, and told consequences to DS, but however he is still not listening!

    One good thing about DS is that he is a quick learner although his teacher claimed that he didn't seem to be able to focus well in class. To my surprise DS is able to recite all the things he's learned at school whether it's numbers, letters, sounds and words as well as simple addition (maths)! he loves singing the song and nursery rhymes he's learnt at school and remembers every single word of it. Actually his assistant principal (who's also in charge of Kindy learning) said she really wonder whether it's discipline problem or hyperactivity that he shows all of these inappropriate behaviours as he's actually bright boy with great memory (that he even knows her name and would come up to her and say hi!)

    But I just hate it that he never stops moving (jumping and running) which is considered inappropriate in school (and at after school care) environment! I've gotten angry a few times at him implying that he needs to follow rules and at least be quiet, but sometimes our days could end up worse if I had started becoming upset/angry towards him.

    Btw he loves school and his after school care so much! I've actually threatened him that he would not be welcomed there if he continued being a 'naughty' boy. But he didn't seem to care, he knew he'd be needing to go to school every day though.

  2. #2
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    It does sound a lot like ADHD based on what you have described. Fantastic that you are looking into this with a paed. As a teacher I have seen children with these behaviors not just struggle with school work (despite being clearly very bright) but also socially.

    Consistency is key with behaviour management. When giving instructions you may find holding his arm/shoulder when talking helps it to sink in. But I've found children like this often are listening when it looks like they aren't (as evident with his recall of school learning) so I would try calling him out on it if he says "but you didn't tell me".

    Unwanted behaviour needs a preferred behaviour to replace it. So when giving instructions make sure to say what they should be doing not just shouldn't. Eg. "Make sure you walk inside this shop, not run, walk. Ok? Walking." So they hear the desired behaviour said several times to lock it in. Yes, you will have to repeat yourself nearly every day!

    Don't rule out medication but do be open to trying a few different ones if the first one prescribed doesn't seem quite right. It breaks my heart when parents feel they need to defend a decision to medicate a child with ADHD as I have seen children have amazing turnarounds where they can then maintain friendships and feel successful at school and in other environments.

    I also always advise to look at diet also. Google Fed Up diet. My own daughter does things like the couch jumping you described if she has msg (600 numbers in food) and is unable to stop when asked. With no msg she's energetic and still struggles a little with distractability but falls into the range of "typical". I have a colleague whose child has the same reaction to salicylates and an apple would send them loopy! So even a "healthy" diet can cause issues for some.

    Well done though following this up, hopefully through exploring all avenues you will be able to offer great support for your child.

  3. #3
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    I hope your paed refers you on to an OT, because that is certainly where I would start. Rewind a few months and my daughter couldn't sit still to save her life, wouldn't participate at pre-K if it involved sitting on the mat and was really disruptive; OT assessments determined she has sensory issues and addressing those (via therapy at OT) has been absolutely amazing.

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    Random questions but worth throwing it out there.
    How often does he get out into nature? Long bush walks at weekends etc? Daily park visits?
    What's his diet like? Have you tried only whole foods with zero sugar for all meals?
    Does he have a strict routine at home?

  5. #5
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    Sorry for asking, but what is OT? Occupational Therapy? I hope this does not cost at lot as we do not have private health insurance anymore.

    He goes outdoors quite often these days. Apart from walking to and from school, in the past 3 weeks we've been going to the park nearly every single day including weekends which I found this has helped with his mood a little bit. Then he gets so tired from the park and goes to bed without a fuss. Well at 5 years old, he hardly has any tantrums, but he's a difficult boy to tell as he acts defiantly towards adults, especially after being told off or he knows he has done something wrong.

    There are times that his behaviour is lovely to see. I find that he is quite good among his friends and respectful towards them. He even told me stories how some of his friends can be quite silly to him such as daring him to eat a leaf or a girl in his class has repeatedly pinch him on his back, but DS understands that he needs to report to his teacher if there's a student who does silly thing to him. He would never aggressively do any 'revenge' stuff towards them. He knows how to appropriately say "stop, I don't like it". I must admit though, this kind of behaviour is the one I've been implying all the time since he was younger (to avoid playground nastiness lol)... and fast forward a couple of years later he's able to remember it all the time. Maybe this is what I should do with his 'hurricane' like behaviour to help him settle down in the next couple of years. I cannot expect instant results huh? Although I feel like i've been pushed and shoved here and there by many sides because of DS' behaviour. His school has kindly 'asked' me to see a paed... and his vacation care centre (soon to be his before and after school care) is also already not happy with his hurricane like behaviour (and it's only day 4 of school holidays!).

    I used to think he'd grow his unsettled-ness as he grows older. I just hate it that his bouncy-ness and hurricane like behaviour is really pushing me to the corner and the fact that he is 'forgetting', 'ignoring', and 'not listening' to all of the rules or instructions whilst these rules are not hard to follow. I agree with @Stretched that giving instructions what they should follow rather than what not to follow would be easier for him to understand. This morning as I walked him to the school's vacation care, I explained to him, that he needs to walk only (no running) and sofas are for sitting down (not for climbing up or jumping up and down). He said yes. Now I don't know how things are going over there. . Going to pick him up in a couple of hours to go to his paed appt.

  6. #6
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    Ooopsies... double post.
    Last edited by bunnymum; 14-04-2016 at 13:12.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnymum View Post
    Sorry for asking, but what is OT? Occupational Therapy? I hope this does not cost at lot as we do not have private health insurance anymore.

    He goes outdoors quite often these days. Apart from walking to and from school, in the past 3 weeks we've been going to the park nearly every single day including weekends which I found this has helped with his mood a little bit. Then he gets so tired from the park and goes to bed without a fuss. Well at 5 years old, he hardly has any tantrums, but he's a difficult boy to tell as he acts defiantly towards adults, especially after being told off or he knows he has done something wrong.

    There are times that his behaviour is lovely to see. I find that he is quite good among his friends and respectful towards them. He even told me stories how some of his friends can be quite silly to him such as daring him to eat a leaf or a girl in his class has repeatedly pinch him on his back, but DS understands that he needs to report to his teacher if there's a student who does silly thing to him. He would never aggressively do any 'revenge' stuff towards them. He knows how to appropriately say "stop, I don't like it". I must admit though, this kind of behaviour is the one I've been implying all the time since he was younger (to avoid playground nastiness lol)... and fast forward a couple of years later he's able to remember it all the time. Maybe this is what I should do with his 'hurricane' like behaviour to help him settle down in the next couple of years. I cannot expect instant results huh? Although I feel like i've been pushed and shoved here and there by many sides because of DS' behaviour. His school has kindly 'asked' me to see a paed... and his vacation care centre (soon to be his before and after school care) is also already not happy with his hurricane like behaviour (and it's only day 4 of school holidays!).

    I used to think he'd grow his unsettled-ness as he grows older. I just hate it that his bouncy-ness and hurricane like behaviour is really pushing me to the corner and the fact that he is 'forgetting', 'ignoring', and 'not listening' to all of the rules or instructions whilst these rules are not hard to follow. I agree with @Stretched that giving instructions what they should follow rather than what not to follow would be easier for him to understand. This morning as I walked him to the school's vacation care, I explained to him, that he needs to walk only (no running) and sofas are for sitting down (not for climbing up or jumping up and down). He said yes. Now I don't know how things are going over there. . Going to pick him up in a couple of hours to go to his paed appt.
    I'm sorry you're having such a stressful time.. It sounds really hard..
    Do you follow a strict routine at home? What sort of food does he eat? Is your partner supporting when disciplining him?

    Hugs for you.,

  8. #8
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    Hey everyone! We're back from the paed and after a hour of consultation with him, he said he needed more assessments to see if DS is actually hyperactive or has ADD and for this reason he asked me to go see a behavioural psychologist and get a school counselor at DS' school to do an assessment ( I think it's an IQ assessment?) on him too as he suspects maybe it's purely concentration problem. The school counseling assessment is not an education/learning assessment, but it will help in putting together all the missing puzzles and find a diagnosis.

    It seems that from his observation and (technical) questions he asked me he's still unsure whether it's ADD (I didn't have ADD, in fact I didn't come out of my shell till I was at uni! I was quite the introvert, and was afraid to embrace new things and neither was my husband to my knowledge) or just simply discipline or concentration problems. He also detects some ADD symptoms in DS although he says he is still really unsure because when he interacted with DS, he seemed to be appearing normal and was able to answer all questions and showed good behaviour! He understands that schools mostly have rules and expect kids to follow it to a 't' (ok not that strict, but I sense that his teachers don't like giving a leeway). So I'll make an appointment with the psychologist and see how things are going and the paed says it might take time around 2-3 months to get the diagnosis . So I didn't get any magic tips or instant tips yet... I'll probably have to live with it in the next couple of months until I get a clear diagnosis. So yeah, I came back home still feeling confused and scared.

    I'll probably still be feeling scared and confused until I get that diagnosis, in particular since yesterday's 'incident' at the vacation care where I saw my own child made some troubles there not because he was a naughty boy, but because he was unable (or refused) to follow instructions which was apparently a big no-no at the centre. He was having a time of his life jumping up and down the furnitures yesterday and drove the centre lady wild and having experienced such a bad day for her already she took it out on me really bad (I kid you not.. but I don't want to report her, because part of it is my son's fault anyway and she said her reasons were trying to keep things right and avoid accidents, but the way she screamed at me was not right.... well I will see people like this from time to time anyway.. that's life anyway).

    I asked DS this morning why did you jump from the couch yesterday, his answer was simple: "I was pretending I was a superman". Apparently it was a costume theme day yesterday and he was wearing a superman t-shirt! My reaction was .. why didn't I think about that yesterday and warned him before hand (see DS is the kind of kid who needs constant pre-warnings!) And the vacation care centre was also lacking on one-on-one interaction with kids (ok, who has the time for that anyway), and I assume DS thought they wouldnt care with whatever silly things he'd be doing. Now I don't know who was really at fault yesterday! But realising that DS has (undiagnosed) hyperactivity made me think it was my son's fault all along anyway.

    DS' diet isn't a particularly super healthy one. He has sweets from time to time. He loves flavoured milk (Moove, Oak, or Deveondale) and he'd also have cakes, donuts, nutella, etc... the sweets seem to be the culprit, but from my own observation (a bit subjective) that DS starts behaving silly or tries to annoy me when I have gotten upset with him and he thought I hadn't spend a LOT of one-on-one time with him (mind you, he's the boy that I breastfed for 3.5 years so deep inside my heart i felt like he's grown a big attachment to me).

    When it comes to parenting together with DH, i find that whenever someone needs to tell DS off after his mistakes, it would work better if there's only one person only warning him. Having me and DH together 'yelling' at him will make the situation worse and not to mention all the crying and screaming (he thinks two adults are punishing him). So if he makes mistake with DH then DH would handle him - I wouldn't want to butt in, but i'd occasionally mention it to DS after he calms down).
    Last edited by bunnymum; 14-04-2016 at 21:20.

  9. #9
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    Please don't let people label your kid as naughty and go overboard with 'punishment' until you know what's going on with him. If you focus on punish, punish, punish, then if your kid ends up having a sensory issue, ADD etc then 1) your efforts are going to be wasted (trying to fit a round peg in a square hole). 2) your kid is going to feel awful 3) you are going to feel awful.

    As for the vacation care lady - yelling at you is so unprofessional. I would have called her out on that, and spoken with a supervisor if there is one. I would also have asked her to put her money where her mouth is. Ask her point blank "what do you think could be triggering my son? What strategies do you have in place to manage his behavior?." If she stumbles, gets defensive and/or avoids the question I would seriously consider withdrawing my son from her care. Perhaps you could spend a few minutes swapping ideas - you could tell the lady what works (or doesn't work) for you. Communication with your DS's carers is a key.

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately the whole process dors take time. Any IQ testing must be carried out by a psych. They will often do this to look for disparities in a particular area such as working memory etc. rather than looking for an IQ 'score'. You may end up needing more than one appointment as this test on its own takes quite a while.

    In the meantime there is lots you can do, so please try not to let yourself feel overwhelmed with helplessness. Do some reading about behaviour management strategies for children with ADD/ADHD/attention issues, SPD and even ODD. Some you may see right away as being way off the mark for helping your child, but amongst them you will probably see some that you could get started right away.

    Similarly look into his diet. As I mentioned already, it's not necessarily "sweets" that can be the issue. For DD everything she reacts to is savoury. Others it's tomatoes, apple, foods with yellow dyes, gluten or a specific preservative. The list is long and as diverse as our kids! The "Failsafe" diet is extreme (at the start, before you start to reintroduce) but some parents need to use it to pin down if there is a specific food/additive causing a problem.


 

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