November 12, 2018 at 8:18 am #103586
My 4-year old son was diagnosed with ADHD in May. We have chosen not to medicate at this time since he is so young, and are seeking other ways to manage his behavior. He is impulsive, hyperactive and struggles with managing his emotions. It is affecting our entire family so much so that we don’t leave the house much (out to eat, other activities) for fear of his behavior. He has been known to scream, cry and run around in restaurants, pull books off library shelves and tries to “escape” from school. When something doesn’t go his way, or he is offended in some way, he will burst out in tears. This happens 30 – 40 times a day and it is becoming emotionally exhausting for our family. We have a “safe space” for him that contains different fidget-type toys he can use to calm down, but this doesn’t seem to work.
Does anyone have any suggestions for managing these behaviors in a child this young?
November 12, 2018 at 9:58 am #103593
Yeah accept him as he is and dont freak out over it.
Be consistent. Be calm no matter what he does.
Be consistent. Be clear with consequences. Be consistent.
Before you are going out… Take him to run around the block. Burn out some energy before asking him to sit.
ADHD isnt a free pass to behave anyway you wish. He still has to learn consequences for bad behavior and rewards for behaving appropriately.
Can i say be consistent enough? You will tell him the same thing 500 times. Maybe even in the same day. Accept thats the child you have and thats how his brain works.
He isnt incapable of learning he just wants more energy in his learning.
Welcome to parenthood.
November 12, 2018 at 4:24 pm #103673
Start to be a detective and discover what triggers his outbursts and why his brain might react in those ways. There are so many potential triggers but a few of the most common are poor emotional awareness and regulation, poor frustration tolerance, and sensory triggers.
Ross Greene’s approach is golden when it comes to behavior:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
November 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm #104710
My son is king of emotional outbursts. It is so hard and I am sorry you are having a tough time. When my son starts flipping out, we very calmly, without any kind of judgment in our voice, lead him to his room and say he can throw as big of a fit as he wants as long as ot is in his room. When he rejoins us, we ask if he is feeling better. If he has done something wrong, we discuss ways we can do better next time. I am no expert but that strategy has helped me keep my sanity. You might look into Love and Logic too. They have a lot of great advice that has worked for my son. I used to make him pay me in toys or chores for a ride to school when he was too late to walk. It’s hard to adjust discipline to an adhd child! I am trying to navigate that as well.
November 30, 2018 at 1:04 pm #104711
And btw, when my son was 4 (he is 7 now) we had to pull him out of a Qdoba because he wouldn’t quit screaming, kicking, and crying. He continued his tantrum for an hour even when we got home! That is when I first thought, what the heck?! Am I a horrible parent? How is he so out of control? I left him alone to throw his lengthy fit. According to my mom who teaches preschool and got trained in this sort of stuff, with a tantrum you will see the screaming and crying and then a moment of quiet. Do not say anything to them in that moment because it is a moment of self reflection. Then they will usually cry and scream some more before feeling some remorse and even sometimes coming to you to apologize. In that moment they come to you, you can discuss the bad behavior and console, but not before then (during the fit). Hope that helps.
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