Help me with my five year old.
November 21, 2005 7:20 PM Subscribe
Help me with my five-year old son. Please.
posted by anonymous to human relations (39 answers total)
[Apologies for all of this...]
He's bright, intelligent, articulate, learns quickly, inquisitive, has a good memory, caring and kind, and most of the time he's wonderful fun to be around. But he's also constantly fidgeting (biting nails, fiddling with his hair, wobbling his leg, etc); often runs around the house shouting nonsense; cannot be still for a moment; and gets into states where he just gets wild - will not listen if told off, or will stomp off, slam his bedroom door, throw things around and shout and scream. When he has friends around, he often gets even worse and very loud. And his friends don't - either at our house or at theirs, they may be lively and run around, but not shouting silly words all the time and in constant motion. It's like he has this well of energy and something inside him that has to be spouted and forced out. He's too far the wrong side of lively. Yet he can concentrate - he can sit and draw or write on his own at times; he can play with cars or trains. But then at some point, the craziness can well up again. Maybe four or five times a week or more.
He certainly loves to be active - running around outside, playing soccer or tennis, going swimming, bike rides. He gets to run around at school at playtime, plays sport outside of school a few days a week, gets plenty of activity at the weekend. He loves school and he's not bored there at all. It's a private school and we're very happy with it. He is a big kid - probably the size of someone 2 years older than him - which can make it all seem worse.
Is he just letting off steam? Is it something he'll grow out of? How should we handle it? Discipline? Time-outs? Punishment? Distractions? We've tried all of the above and haven't got anywhere with them. The problem isn't constant... some mornings (like today) he will be worse than others - unable to sit or stand still for a second. Others, he'll be rather calmer (though always fiddling with something). He gets a good amount of sleep and his television watching isn't anything out of the ordinary.
I've looked at common symptoms for things like hyperactivity, autism, tourettes, adhd, and so on, and he really doesn't fit in any of them. I really, really, really, really, really do not want him on medication unless it is for his own good. If it's just so his parents can have an easier life, forget it. I'm not giving a give year old who is still growing and developing medication unless I can be convinced it will help him.
Family details: two parents, both well educated. Standard kind of middle-class home, I guess. One two-year old brother, well behaved (apart from general 2 year old fits); they get on well. Mother takes him to and from school, and with him when he's not at school. Father helps out a lot - sensible working hours, always there at breakfast and dinner and baths, bedtimes, etc.
I will try and respond anonymously to any comments or questions. Thanks for any help. I really appreciate it.