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My 3 year old son's behaviour is over the top Lock Rss

Hi everyone, I have a few topics on this site. At the moment my son's behaviour is driving me and my husband mental. I have been seeing a physc student at community health for advice on my son. But I feel she is not overly helping. He has been assessed and doesn't have add/adhd/aspergers.

He just has complete meltdowns if he doesn't get his own way. He hits us, has started back up off and on biting. He doesn't really talk at all and has only just started speech therapy. I will put him in time out when he is really bad which is in his room and he will just either keep coming back out or try and destroy the room or kick the walls.

He screams no at us all the time on and off. He also just goes and tries to destory things around the unit. He gets real angry and will start throwing things across the room eg. his little plastic table. He simply doesn't listen to us. I am willing to say I smack him but this does nothing. He just doesn't seem to care. Sometimes he will cry.

He is the type of kid who needs 24hr attention. I just don't always have the time to give him attention as I have to wash/iron and run my 17 year old daughter around. I also suffer chronic daily migraines which is not helping the situation. He seems to really be at his worst when I am feeling my worst.

He has a trampoline and sandpit and scooter for outback. He has plenty of toys, books and activities eg. playdo and lots of DVD's. He seems to me to not concentrate on any one thing for too long. My speech therapist the other day though said he has great concentration. If we take him out or to another families house his behaviour is fine.

The worst is if he just gets too much for me and I end up screaming at him which doesn't help my migraine and he yells back at me and starts growling at me. I just cant seem to calm him down. Talking to him is obviously hard as he doesn't talk yet. I still talk to him though. His toilet training is putting us through more stress but that is on my other post. I would appreciate any advice. He also doesn't sleep that well. He has always rolled around all night and during the day he cut out his day sleep quite early but is tired and cranky all day and night. He just won't go to sleep to late say about 8.30pm or so.

Thanks guys, We did try once before to get him in bed by 7.30pm each night but it failed big time. Will talk to hubbie and look at trying again. I do hear him as I said previously rolling around all night long. He did this in his cot and now his bed. My daughter was the same at that age. Different fathers. Must be my gene. The pysc student is all community health would give us. They have too many kids to help. They are overloaded and this is what they do. As much as I would like a more experience person this is all they will give us.

Hi there,

Firstly I am sorry to hear that you live with chronic pain. I also have many serious chronic health issues and suffer from chronic pain daily. I am also a full-time SAHM to a DS 4 1/2 years old and DD 2 1/2 years old. I have been a member on here for years, but unfortunately don't get on very much due to my health and children's needs.

My son is also a 360 sleeper (he does 360 turns all night long) he has done ever since he could roll. Even now at 4 1/2 he has a full length bed rail on and he has even fallen out the end of his bed once. Though as he gets older he has gotten more settled, though I think he will always be a rough sleeper (his father is to).

Both my children have high IQ's. They both (especially my DS) need a lot of structure, otherwise they get bored and not very nice to be around. I completely agree with Little Miss's about the diet side of things to. We have a failsafe diet in this house, since my DS was very young. If the children have anything that has nasties in it trust me we know. This website has been a huge help in our household:

It must be very frustrating for him and you and unfortunately adding to the situation if he has poor language skills. Maybe you could talk to his speech therapist and see if it is a good idea to teach him some basic baby/toddler sign so he feels that he can communicate with the family on a higher level until his speech allows him to. We did this with my DD as she is very shy and doesn't like to talk in front of other people.

I don't know where about's in QLD you are. But if you are anywhere near UQ in Brisbane. They have a fantastic Psychology Support Centre for Parents. This link should take you to their contact details:

As someone who has experience in Pediatric Psychotherapy I would definately be trying to have your son assessed by someone else. If you are able to do so, a letter outlining his progress etc from his speech therapist would be valuable to take along with you also.

I do hope you are able to get some help for all of you concerned. It doesn't make family life very fun when you have drama's going on left, right and centre. I hope I have been of some help. If you need any other help trying to find resources please do not hesitate to PM me and I will try and at least point you in the right direction.

Good Luck!

Thanks Little miss again and 13 Elin. Sorry to hear 13 Elin that you suffer chronic pain as well. Nothing worse than being in so much pain day and night and raising young children. It is hard. I will certainly look at both your suggestions. I am at the point I will take any advice. Thanks again. xx

Hi, sorry to hear about what you are going through. Has his behaviour been allways like this or has graduallymade it worse? have you tried ignoring him completely? (if he doesnt get any reaction he may stop)

Maybe you could try to put him in some sort of sport program for kids his age (mine does soccer for tots , and swimming), maybe he is not burning enought stamina...

they are just suggestions, I really dont know what else can you do, it sounds to me like you are doing everything right, talking to a professional and everything.

By the way my child is 3 and 1/2 and I also struggling with potty training... I'll look your other post...
firstly i think you need to sort out the sleep thing. i don't know how old your son is but children under 5 need 12 years of sleep. so maybe start a bed time routine about 7pm. something that works for my kids when they are hyper at bed time is to do a meditation with them, i put on some relaxation music. they lay in bed on there back. i then-in a soft voice- tell then to breath deeply through there nose and out their mouth for a couple of minuets. then i tell them to relax every part of their body and i name the part ie/ relax your eyes, your tongue your head etc. you can then take them on a imaginagion journey. an example would be to imagine they are on a cloud and it's soft and warm and every breatgin the cloud goes higher and every breath out the cloud goes forward.then describe the sourandings.

with the speach thing i think that is a big part of his behavioural problems. my son had a speach delay due to a medical condition and he would hit and play up out of frustration. i started him in speech therapy and also taught him baby sign language which helped imensly with his communication and also his behaviour.

i also think maybe he is picking up on your pain and frustration which wouldn't be helping the situation.

does he go to daycare maybe that would be a good solution for you both, just for a couple of days.

good luck.

The day i broke up with normal was the first day of my magical life...

Its also the age, mine were all a bit "ratty" at 3 , that does not help you I know but its not uncommon

mum of 3 boys aged 11, 13 and 14

Thanks Eowing34. Sometimes I do try and ignore my son but it doesn't seem to really help things. Sports is a good idea but we don't have any money for that and my daily migraines unfortunately limit what I can do with him. I do try and take him out sometimes or take him for a walk.

Thanks SunMoonStars, You meditation routine sounds good. I am thinking of trying again to put him to bed earlier but we end up just sitting with him for another hour on top of that type of time we already spend with him trying to get him to sleep. I will definitely try I think. My pain and frustration I guess does have a big impact on him. I end a with a short fuse alot of the time because of the pain. He does go to kindy 2 days a week but has had alot of time off sick because he seems to catch every bug there known to man.

Thanks VKW. Wow 3 boys. How do you do it? I agree 2 & 3yr olds are definitely stressful.

I would look at starting a 'Supernanny' reward system.

I unfortunately don't have much experience with his age-group other than short stints overseas but I was previously a secondary school teacher and I employed HEAPS of supernanny strategies successfully to manage behaviour. You would not believe that a 'naughty spot' would work with 15 year old wayward boys!

If he is behaving differently at kindy, other people's houses and at home then theoretically he is aware that he can change his behaviour according to his surroundings. Take that one step further and if you can change your discipline 'environment' at home - then you should be able to see some positive changes in his behaviour.

Start with one new rule at a time as a 'focus' for the week so that the whole family can help with a certain negative behaviour. Add another behaviour each week to try and battle his issues one week at a time.
I have found that using 'focus' devices on the fridge (for example) is an excellent way for everyone to support someone to learn a new skill (whatever the age group). He should earn rewards (stickers on the chart - one step closer to something he wants to do as a family etc.) for employing the good behaviour.

Another teacher tip:
When telling children off your language should reinforce the positive behaviour so that the negative behaviour is not accidentally enforced.
eg: NO BITING (gives the kid the idea of 'biting')
'BE GENTLE' (reminds child of positive behaviour without accidentally giving them the idea of biting).

Hope that helps!

New stay-at-home-mum and owner of Outie - designing and making pregnancy tees and splat mats for minimising baby boo-boos.

Thanks Outie for all of your wonderful suggestions. I hadn't done charts at this stage because of his language delays. You do have some very valid points though. I will certainly consider some of your suggestions though. Take care. xx

Lol, this sounded like me 6 months ago! my son is 3 (nearly 4) and the same behaviours and delayed speech. I took him to a child development centre in Brissy and he was assessed by a paediatrician, speech therapist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist. he also had extensive blood tests. It turns out that he has low muscle tone in the top half of his body and that can mimic ADD/ADHD (he was a late crawler/walker). You could have knocked me over with a feather! Also, the delayed speech/language is a big part of it and your son is showing his frustration at not being understood, just like my son did. Fast forward to now and he is in weekly physio and OT sessions (a lot of this stuff can be done at home as well) and the speech is coming along really great (at his own pace). I seriously was expecting an ADD diagnosis, cos I can not take my son out to a lot of places, and when I do, it can't be for long periods of time - he just goes wild and is totally unmanageable. Interestingly, the pediatrician said that kids with ADD/ADHD concentrate really well when they are doing something they enjoy. but, ADD/ADHD can't be diagnosed until the age 6/7 and even then, they are a bit tentative to do it. They can however recognise strong tendencies in this direction with little ones our age - but thats only at the extreme end of the scale...Wow, i'd hate to know what their idea of 'extreme' is grin and, my heart goes out to parents in that situation sad

One thing that i am trying, and seems to be working a fair bit, is that when my son gets wild at home (will do 43 different tasks in the space of a minute) and i am at breaking point - i take him to the park or to the local swimming pool. He calms down heaaaaps and I actually can sit and watch him playing in the wading pool (feet in the pool of course so that he still has my undivided attention grin) Another thing is sensory touch - when my son is being super naughty and i can see that he just isn't 'switching off' - i grab him in a big bear hug, even if it means walking round with him in my arms, cos he still wants movement. i will also sing softly to him while i do this. Check out my post for some fantastic advice from Mum of 3 cuties!

Also, is your son in daycare? a big part of my sons life is structured routine - including 3 days a week at daycare (i'm at uni full-time). The daycare got my son a special one-on-one worker who works with him whilst he is there and the improvements are amazing. You can ask for this, and it is fully funded. I would have cracked up a long time ago without this extra support grin

The hardest thing I have found for my son, is that his delayed speech made his other senses a lot more advanced, and he can 'sense' peoples moods a lot quicker than I can. He reacts to bad moods, ill feelings, anger, frustration, sadness and stress really badly. It's hard, but when I am getting upset at something or getting stressed, my sons behaviour worsens. I have had to learn to deal with my emotions and if we are having a bad day - i have to make myself look at the funny side and change the tempo - by doing an activity with him or going for a drive or watching his favourite movie (Wallace & Gromit lol) I know it is also hard to integrate a lot of stuff when you have other kids - i have a teenager as well. The balance thing is doable, but the most important thing is that you get through this with sanity intact, and it gets better!
Thanks Lighter 345-85. Your post really hit the spot for me. I am gobsmacked at your positive attitude with everything you have on your plate. Wow. Well done. Your son sounds like a wonderful little boy. I am glad you had him assessed and found out what was happening. At least you now have techniques to try and deal with him better.

Some of the things you said will certainly help me. Because I suffer chronic daily migraines my son will most definitely be picking up on my moods and stress levels. My son wants one on one attention all day long. It is hard. I struggle so badly to do anything with him. I feel guilty for not being the type of mum he needs. I go out with him occassionally but not often (especially on my own with him) because of my migraines. I used to take him out in the pram for a walk when he was younger but my migraines have gotten alot worse and now I only take him out occassionally.

I will go and sit on him trampoline with him for about 1/2 hr to an 1hr. He likes that. I do his speech therapy homework as often as I can. On and off we do activities eg. playdo. I find his toilet training is taking up alot of my time throughout the day. I try and take him to my sisters house near where I live on and off so he can interact with her and her 3 teenagers there. I have a 17yr old daughter as well. Being that age we never see her and she only just got her first car and licence so now we NEVER see her. Social butterfly she is. So my son doesn't get to spend much time with her.

He is in childcare 2 days a week. Cant afford anymore being on one wage. He loves it. He does unfortunately get sick alot from childcare and ends up missing kindy alot. I have felt like I am the only one on this planet struggling with a young child and migraines. But in the end I love my little guy heaps and will never give up trying to be a good mum to him and help him. Thanks again for your very uplifting post. Take care. xx

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