Please forgive me because this will be both long and garbled. I'm looking for any insights into DS's behaviour since Easter. He's just gone 3.5 and his behaviour has changed significantly. At the moment I'm trying to suss out which things are age-related, which are quirks of his personality, and which may be cause for concern and need monitoring. I'm also thinking maybe some behaviours are peer or diet related although I'm not sure how these could come on suddenly.
Also may be relevant - last weekend (ie not just gone but the one before) he stayed in Adelaide with his dad and nanna for a night. He's done this before but has always coped just fine, but it was at least a month since the last time. At handover he was extremely distressed when he left with his dad and also when he left with me to come home again.
The last two weeks of school were a little disruptive with parent teacher interviews etc as well.
I also recently have been reading that even when toddlers drop their day nap they still need one every now and then to 'catch up'. I'm really reluctant to do this because if he naps in the day he is awake until at least 10pm, so this shortens his overnight sleep considerably. But I'm wondering if some of this is general exhaustion. He has had a bad cold for about 10 days as well.
Ok. Here goes:
Sudden extreme separation anxiety ie clinging to me and crying at cc drop off, needing to 'look at me' when he's going to sleep.
Random waking episodes at night (2 hours plus) maybe twice a week.
Talking of dreaming about monsters and fear of monsters.
Violent and angry talk ie chopping my head off, hating people etc.
Extremely volatile during the day.
Gets distressed when his routine is disturbed. For example when he makes his bottle, if I take it out of the microwave he gets angry and makes me put it back in so that he can take it out himself.
Hitting me when he's angry.
Tantrums if things aren't exactly as he wants. Yesterday I took him to a playground but it was the 'wrong one'. I couldn't for the life of me work out where he actually wanted to go!
Whingeing and complaining/sulking and refusing to comply.
Being generally oppositional - saying his car his red when it's blue for example, and being quite insistent.
Throwing things when he's upset.
Pushing buttons/pushing boundaries. This seems hilarious to him until he receives a consequence. Then the anger starts.
Generally low resilience.
Now that I write this all down, it seems minor, but in combination I'm finding it very challenging. I can't physically give him more positive attention than I have been, and it's draining me.
My mum has visited for the weekend, and she thinks that he is very angry about something. I tend to agree but it's hard to tell what exactly. Is there such a thing as paediatric psychiatrist?
So, help me please! What am I missing?
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18-04-2016 09:44 #1
I need insights about DS
18-04-2016 09:55 #2
I would consider most of that behaviour within the realms of normal for a three year old boy. They can be SO extremely challenging. Lots of tantrums, throwing their weight around and being oppositional for no valid reason. It's a rough ride.
If you're concerned he's specifically angry about something, perhaps a referral to a child psych would be useful? It may also help in giving you some strategies to deal with his more challenging behaviours.
Do you know where the violent talk might be coming from? I'd find that pretty upsetting. Once my DS told me to crash the car, and to fall out of the car. It was pretty confronting
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18-04-2016 10:11 #3Senior Member
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- Mar 2015
My DS is about 6 months younger than yours but he does show some of the same behaviour like needing to do things his way (omg! The microwave/bottle example is what happens at our house) and he is wanting to be more independent so gets upset if things do not go his way.
He does hit us when he is tired and upset/overwhelmed.
And yes, does insist something is that name/colour etc even if it is wrong.
So I would consider normal.
We haven't had much monster talk etc yet but my DS has only just started more imaginative play so I assume this will begin soon.
Also if seeing his dad is not consistent that may be affecting him now (and from what I remember your ex has a few different... ideas on parenting) so it may be different with him and your DS is not coping with the changes?
There are child psych options. Do you have a good GP to discuss this with? It would not hurt maybe getting him to see someone and ask for a referral.
I cannot imagine how hard it is for you. I at least can hide away for a while and make DH deal with DS because it is just so full on all the time.
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18-04-2016 10:48 #4
Could this all be related to surges of testosterone? I'm told boys have a major surge around age three. Perhaps a good GP or pead could confirm. Or even a good CHN. Good luck. Xxx
18-04-2016 11:08 #5
Thanks for your replies and wisdom. Lots for me to think about, but I do feel better. It was actually @BettyV that got me thinking on another thread, when she said that she doesn't think of it as misbehaving but as struggling to cope with something. So I guess that's where my head is at. I could possibly be overthinking things.
@RedCreamingSoda I was thinking that too, but then I did some reading and apparently the testosterone thing is a myth. I'm not convinced though :-)
18-04-2016 11:17 #6
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18-04-2016 11:29 #7
I know when DD (just turned 4) has a few late nights or out of routine, she does most things your son is doing plus some. I usually get her to have some extra naps when we can fit it in or send her to bed an hour earlier for a few nights (thank you day light savings for making this easier).
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18-04-2016 11:31 #8
As a fellow overthinker... I think you are overthinking things. It is very easy to start joining lines from a to b about the anger being due to XH-you being split or you working late or whatever! However it all sounds pretty typical to me.
Around 3 was the worst for separation anxiety with DD. DS is 3 in June and we had our first bout of it during the holidays - combo of change in routine and him not being 100% well.
DD would have massive tantrums about who would sit where/drive when there was more than 1 adult. So it would be screaming that no, dad must drive, pop in passenger seat, mum next to her. Oh and lord forbids you did something she thought she could do by herself. I get less of this from DS as I just let him do things - DD proved to me that little ones are capable of more than I expected.
One big difference between my girl and boy though, and I loathe gender stereotypes but here it is, DS is much more angry, aggressive and an all round boof! He hits, throws, grunts and his tantums are more anger than over-emotion. His language isn't great but he talks a lot about falling, hitting your head etc. and latched on to the whole shooting concept just from watching a few episodes of his sister's shows like Teen Titans Go.
I don't know if it is good or bad, but a lot of DS's behavior gets directed to his sister (so love-hate, those 2 are!). If it was just me dealing with the lot of it I'd be as worn out as you.
My biggest advice for coping right now is that it is okay to just ignore him and walk away. Not every time, not to the point of neglect, but you would know as a teacher that sometimes intentional ignoring can have as much impact on behaviour as doing something, and certainly more than getting into a headbut conflict!
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18-04-2016 11:35 #9
@harvs my DS was 4 in January and this all sounds very familiar. He says himself "3 was hard". He was also angry all the time, the kid woke up
pi$$ed off erry day for months. He argued (still does) over every single thing! I found giving choices helped and ultimatums too. I also "front load" him a lot! Eg: at bedtime talking about waking up nicely and having a good day, a schedule has also helped so he knows what coming and choices such as bath or shower tonight. It has improved a lot but 3 was really tough!
18-04-2016 11:36 #10
And yes the separation anxiety kicked in big time! He still has it and that's one reason we just recently put him back to 3yo kinder so he'd start school later.
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