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Help with out of control 3 year old


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DS3 (will be 4 next month) has been the most challenging of our four so far when it comes to behaving in general. He stands/walks/jumps on the coffee table. He sits on his head on the couch. His feet are always in the air rather than on the ground or sitting nicely. We tell him over and over and over to sit nice, keep his feet down, not climb on the table, etc. He's disciplined with talking, time outs in the corner, losing what he's playing with, being sent to his room, and even spanking.

 

His behavior has been escalating. When he does something and we ask him to "come here" or tell him to "go to the corner", he'll tell us no and run away. If you go after him, he starts running and yelling at us, leading us to have to literally run and chase him. If we get a hold of him and pick him up to carry him to time out, he squirms, kicks, hits, screams, etc. He's gotten to the point that he's started turning and hitting us while screaming at us.

 

When he's finally in control of himself again, he's repentant. He says he'll listen. He says he's sorry. He says he won't do that again. He says he'll be a good boy. But it happens all over again the next day. It's been happening, on average, about once a day.

 

He naps every day after lunch though he fights it. He's impossible otherwise. He goes to bed at 9pm and sleeps until he wakes up.

 

We realize that some of this might be coming from younger sister issues. She's very mommy-needy and very jealous. She lets no one, not even the cats, sit on my lap. Between her and schooling the older kids, my 3 year old gets the least of my attention. I'm trying to remedy that, but we're also seeing issues with my oldest son, we're trying to give him more one on one time too. There's only so much time to go around and four kids to all needing my time.

 

When I go somewhere, I take him more often than the other kids. I've been trying to play with him more. He's shown interest in "school" for the first time this week, so I've done a few worksheet pages with him each day, praising his efforts. Tonight, he helped me cook dinner. I had him dredging chicken in flour, adding cheese to the chicken, and making the salad. He's had a really good day...but it all went downhill when he chose to deliberately step on my foot and we asked him to come back so we can tell him that it wasn't nice. He ran upstairs yelling no and it went down hill from there.

 

He makes me feel powerless.

 

So, what would you do?

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I don't know that my nephew has ever listened to a story before his last b'day with his bottom on the cushion, or his legs not up in the air. I pretended/pretend I don't notice, and he seems to enjoy the story in his upside down stance. I don't sit next to him in case he falls on me. He usually gets the love seat all to himself. ;)

 

I am not saying it's easy...although it's not a battle I choose to pick, but it's not a problem. For *me* it would make us all miserable to worry about something like that. I've noticed that the more we make an issue of the small things, the bigger the thing becomes.

 

He's a sweet and super -smart boy. He never means to hurt anyone. He is a moving -sort- of guy who is just learning how to be the least bit graceful in his body --he is very tall, and will probably be around 6"2" if he follows in his Dad's footsteps. I can see he's not always sure where in the world he will land. Intent is everything. On the upside, he is getting more thoughtful and gracious as he is getting older.

 

My sister is not one to worry about this sort of thing-- we just don't want him to think he's a bad boy when he is a very nice little boy-- so it works out. He is a dear and loving little person, as I am sure your little one is as well. My nephew has always been very busy and active. We still make sure he get lots of activity. He loves to do chores, and is very good at making snacks, feeding the chickens, carrying heavy items to and from the car etc.

Edited by LibraryLover
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Developmentally have all issues--such as speech--been on target?

 

Yes, I'd guess he's on target or ahead for everything. His gross motor skills have always been advanced, though. He walked across two rooms when he was just 9 months old. He was climbing to the top of the back of the couch by the time he was 12 months old. He was vaulting off the table (hanging over the edge at the waist, swinging the legs, and projecting his body backwards while pushing off, and landing on his feet) sometime after the age of one but before he was two. He knew how to pedal a tricycle at the age of two without being shown and could pedal all the way around the block. He's doing well in swimming lessons now. We hope to start him in taekwondo when he's five.

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The issue with his activity level and sitting upside down etc. is that he does hurt people and/or break things. He's kicked us all many times. He's hurt his little sister by running over her, kicking her accidentally, laying on her and sitting on her, and trying to pick her up and carry her.

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My dn is the same. Exceeds targets, even. Some perfectly lovely and normal (if challenging) children are more active than others... or... should I say more gymnastically inclined? :D

 

 

Yes, I'd guess he's on target or ahead for everything. His gross motor skills have always been advanced, though. He walked across two rooms when he was just 9 months old. He was climbing to the top of the back of the couch by the time he was 12 months old. He was vaulting off the table (hanging over the edge at the waist, swinging the legs, and projecting his body backwards while pushing off, and landing on his feet) sometime after the age of one but before he was two. He knew how to pedal a tricycle at the age of two without being shown and could pedal all the way around the block. He's doing well in swimming lessons now. We hope to start him in taekwondo when he's five.
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That must be difficult.

 

I know that would have been a huge issue if I had a little baby or my sister had a younger child. We are able to give him space because we do not have to keep a tiny one safe. My dn does have that advantage. I know he wouldn't mean to hurt. It would be hard to always have to watch out that a little baby didn't get hurt. It would be a challenge to keep the baby safe, and let him move without getting into trouble even when he didn't mean to cause trouble. My youngest is small and he is large-- there is only about an 6-8 lb difference between them, but she is 11, & knows she can't be sitting with him on the sofa, or on the floor beneath him when he is flipping his 63 lb body upside down.

 

The issue with his activity level and sitting upside down etc. is that he does hurt people and/or break things. He's kicked us all many times. He's hurt his little sister by running over her, kicking her accidentally, laying on her and sitting on her, and trying to pick her up and carry her.
Edited by LibraryLover
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DS3 (will be 4 next month) has been the most challenging of our four so far when it comes to behaving in general. He stands/walks/jumps on the coffee table. He sits on his head on the couch. His feet are always in the air rather than on the ground or sitting nicely. We tell him over and over and over to sit nice, keep his feet down, not climb on the table, etc. He's disciplined with talking, time outs in the corner, losing what he's playing with, being sent to his room, and even spanking.

 

His behavior has been escalating. When he does something and we ask him to "come here" or tell him to "go to the corner", he'll tell us no and run away. If you go after him, he starts running and yelling at us, leading us to have to literally run and chase him. If we get a hold of him and pick him up to carry him to time out, he squirms, kicks, hits, screams, etc. He's gotten to the point that he's started turning and hitting us while screaming at us.

 

When he's finally in control of himself again, he's repentant. He says he'll listen. He says he's sorry. He says he won't do that again. He says he'll be a good boy. But it happens all over again the next day. It's been happening, on average, about once a day.

 

 

I think if the techniques you're using aren't working for him now, it's maybe time to try some other things. I'd back off the punishments, chasing, picking up, carrying, time outs, etc for now because 1) it's not working and 2) it sounds like he's developed a knee jerk reaction and it's escalating him. The two of you may have wound up in a cycle with you using a technique that for whatever reason is just not working for him now and leaves him overreacting or not responding. When that happens with a child instead of carrying on in frustration it can be helpful if the parent changes things up.

 

This usually goes against the grain of moms and dads, but for now instead of focusing on his compliance, focus on keeping the baby safe, keeping him safe, and the household in tact. Back off from the obedience/punishment aspect. Use more prevention techniques with the baby. Move the coffee table if it really is a safety hazard. Redirect him instead of punish like you would a younger child. Basically step back from the expectations you currently expect him to be meeting until the reactions settle down, and then make another go of it when you're (hopefully) out of the cycle. You'll probably both be a lot less frustrated.

 

We wound up making an area in our basement into a mini-gym and it really helped. We had a hammock swing, therapy ball, big foam cushions, mini-trampoline, etc. It really helped to have a safe place where they could be very active all year around without constant interference from parents.

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Ok, I can run with that idea. Help me figure out how that would work in some situations.

 

DH works from home. His only "office" is our garage which is currently in the 30-40 degree range for temps. It's so cold that the fluorescent lights don't work. He often works while sitting on the couch with his laptop on the side table. Sometimes he'll leave something running while he's doing something else (ie. dishes, bathroom, etc.). DS stands on his head on the couch and kicks the laptop. So far, he hasn't broken it, but that's our livelihood. He needs to respect the computer.

 

Today I was sitting on the couch with my legs crossed. He stepped on the foot of the top leg, putting all 40 lbs of his weight on that hanging foot. It hurt.

 

The 17 month old is laying on the floor playing or watching TV, and he's playing with or nearby her when he decides to sit or stand on her.

 

If we don't correct, what do we do? Situations like this are pretty important.

 

An indoor gym would be heavenly. I'm sure he'd love it. We live in a small house with very little space for active play.

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I love what Pippen wrote. He sounds like an active 3 y.o. Most of his behavior sounds pretty age-typical to me, even if it's not always desireable. :grouphug:

 

Today I was sitting on the couch with my legs crossed. He stepped on the foot of the top leg, putting all 40 lbs of his weight on that hanging foot. It hurt.

 

My boys did this all. the. time. Not-yet-four is a little young to think it through and logically predict the outcome: If I step on mom's leg like this it will hurt. From their perspective, it looks like a step, so they step on it! When my boys did that, I'd say, "Ouch! That hurt!" Eventually, they figured out that it hurt me. If you need to talk to him about this behavior, it might be easier to go to him instead of asking him to come to you. If he knows he's going to be corrected, asking him to follow an extra direction (Come here) is going to be particularly challenging.

 

The 17 month old is laying on the floor playing or watching TV, and he's playing with or nearby her when he decides to sit or stand on her.

 

If we don't correct, what do we do?

 

What if you try setting him up for success by making sure that if he's playing with the baby, you're right there to move the baby out of the way? Instead of him getting attention through correction, the little one gets lots of attention when he tries to stand on the her. Then offer the same amount of time and energy you've spent on correcting to giving him attention when he's playing nicely with baby. :)

 

I also like to offer alternatives. We sit on our bottoms when we sit on the couch. If you want to roll and kick, please sit on this blanket on the floor.

 

:) Hang in there. An active kid can be such a challenge, but that energy and passion are really a blessing when they get older and learn to use it for powers of good and not Utter Chaos. Most days. Sigh.... Soon it will be spring and you'll be able to get him out and run off some of that energy.

 

Cat

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Sounds like my 4yo. Sorry, it sucks to have a bruiser without the cognitive awareness of one's impact on others!

 

 

DD4 has been in OT and behavior therapy for 2years so part of this is coming from there. I can tell you what works for dd4.

 

DD4 needs HIGH IMPACT activities. She needs to really feel things around her and she especially craves it through her feet. Kicking, stomping, jumping, walking on Anything and Everything hard......how about your ds? She also loves the pressure/release of breaking things (not in meanness...just gets pleasure from the feel of it).

 

Some of her faves:

 

Trike/bike/plasma car/scooter are all used at will as much as we can. I know it is a bit colder where you are :0) but here, I really try to let her have time on her riding toys when I can. If it is sunny and dry enough that there isn't mud/water slinging off the wheels, I try to let her ride a bit each day. I really, really don't want to be out there in 30* weather....but even 15 minutes makes a difference for her. We just bundle up in gloves and warm boots before heading out.

 

She loves to attach a trailer to her riding toys. A wagon can be made with a rope (jump ropes work good), an old laundry basket and a scooter board. We then add HEAVY things to pull around. Bean bags, 2liters of colored water, stuffed animals that have had weight added to them..anything heavy. We play mail man, and have her deliver her packages.

 

A sensory box that she could stand it was great last year. SHe loved the feel of standing on peas/beans/rice or whatever the 'flavor of the month' was.

 

If groceries needed to be carried in from the car, I purposefully allowed her to carry as many as she was willing to. I would pack the bags in the trunk just so that she could make more trips. LOL She loves to carry groceries and now gets upset if I carry them all in without her.

 

We have a mini trampoline with a handle. When she uses it, it is a wonderful toy. BUt, honestly if I knew how little she would she would end up using it, vs. storing it all year long...I wouldn't have bought it.

 

We do 'pushes' where she stands and uses her hands to push against my hands. We do this for about 3-5 minutes, with her pushhhhhhing as hard as she can; changing her foot positions or body positions as she wants to push harder.

 

I lay things on the ground in a path that she can walk on. Then we play follow the leader walking both forward and backward. Soft things like pillows and hard things like phone books (taped together to make large blocks), step stools, shoes, books , old stuffed animals, whatever you can think of. ANYthing that gives odd feelings are usually loved like soup cans taped together side by side, or a sock filled with rice/beans.

 

We do lots of jumping. LOTS of jumping. She loves to jump off the stairs so we do it on purpose. The impact of landing is what she likes. To my own chagrin, I let her jump from the 4th and 5th stairs or jump off the step stool or piano bench.

 

She loves to be squished. Rolling her in a blanket or rug makes her so happy when she can fight her way out. Then she will ask me to roll her up again so she can burst out over and over. She also loves to get behind me when I sit on the couch so I can lean back and squish her. She loves to have pillow and stuffed toys piled high on her and then she can burst out.

 

She really enjoys climbing rock walls and playing in big ball pits.

 

Doing crab walks, wheelbarrow walks and skipping help to settle her on rainy days when we can't go outside.

 

We even bring physical, big muscle work into the bathroom by letting her play with shaving cream. I pile a bunch of shaving cream in the bottom of the shower and let her slip and slide around (on her tush).

 

Pushing golf tees into foam florist blocks (Dollar Tree) was a favorite when she was 3. She would use her wood hammer sometimes too. Then we would reverse the process and pull them out.

 

I will try to think of more things but really, we just look for anything that allows her to use her big muscles. She has to really 'feel' things much more that my other kids. She has to use her muscles and if I don't find her an approved way to do it....she will find another way. :001_huh:

 

 

 

I make up chores for her. I pull the chairs out from around the table and then ask her to push them back. I put cans from the pantry on the floor and ask her to put them away. She loves to take out the garbage...so I let her, even if it doesn't need to be done. I have her roll up the living room rug for me to vacuum. I have her help me push the living room furniture around when I vac. If I need help doing something.....I ask her to help.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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Sounds like he is a sensory seeker. Tap gave you a lot of good ideas. Another idea is the Sit N Spin. When you hug him, give him deep bear hugs. My son called them squeeze hugs. When he is fidgity, give him a blanket and tell him to roll himself up like a burrito.

 

My son and I are sensory seekers. I sat with my feet up in the air at home until my teens. I would still do it if I could get away with it. Now I just put my book on the floor and read half on and half off the bed. I am 42 years old and I sit here at my computer with my feet in my chair -kind of liked a perched bird. It's weird but it's who I am.

 

When he stepped on your toe, he may have been sensory seeking. My son liked a lot of impact on his feet at that age. He would jump off stairs just to feel the impact of the landing. At age 3, he may not grasp that it hurts when he steps on your foot.

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Could it just be excess energy that's coming out inappropriately?

 

My kids would probably be like that if they didn't have plenty of vigorous physical play every day. They usually have one to two hours of running around, trampolining, bike riding, digging, whatever, outside. Inside they can dance, play tag, do housework stuff like mopping the floor (they love to dry it afterward by zooming around on towels), setting up an obstacle course with pillows and furniture, etc.

 

I wouldn't expect most children of 3 or 4 to spend much time "sitting nicely", because long periods of comparative inactivity aren't normal or healthy for them. But what I would expect would be that boundaries are respected. My 2yo knows that we don't stand on the table, we don't jump on other people without their consent, etc.

 

So my suggestion would be to set and enforce appropriate boundaries for your family, but offer alternatives if possible. Eg "I won't allow you to hurt me. You can ask for my attention by...", or "We dont' stand on the coffee table. Let's come over here and set up something you can climb/stand on without hurting yourself or damaging things."

 

Maybe you and his dad could divide the problem behaviors into major and minor issues so that you're not using so much of your interaction time disciplining him? Eg you might decide that hurting his little sister is absolutely unacceptable, whereas sitting on his head on the couch is something you can put up with, at least for now.

 

With the sibling jealousy thing, we've found it sometimes helps to have little special things for that child. My eldest has a "secret signal" where he has to pull his ear if he needs attention and feels I'm giving all the attention to his sisters. If he stands there and shouts over the top of them, instead of reprimanding him for shouting, I have the option of saying "oops, you wanted attention but you forgot the signal", defusing the situation. You can also have special activities for a child. Even if you don't have spare time to do extra stuff, you could, for example, make Mr 3 your Special Salad Making Chef or whatever, so that every time he helps you do the salad he's reminded that you value his contribution.

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I agree with Tap -- look for ideas for sensory seekers.

 

Some quick ideas:

 

Get a mini-tramp.

 

Make a weighted vest or put rice bags, etc., in his pockets or sew a beanbag into a ball cap and have him wear it. (Be sure to look up the appropriate amounts of weight for these clothing items. It's less than you'd think!)

 

When he's expected to stay seated (at dinner, etc.), put a heavy blanket on his lap. (It doesn't need to be so heavy that he can't move -- just something that feels "there." It will help calm him and help him feel settled/safe in his chair.)

 

Give bear hugs. Deep muscle pressure helps sensory seekers feel "rooted."

 

As for dh, he's going to have to move his laptop to a safe location when he leaves the couch. It's a hassle, but it's reality -- for now.

 

HIH,

 

Lisa

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Ok, I can run with that idea. Help me figure out how that would work in some situations.

 

That idea is from Ross Greene's book The Explosive Child, btw.

 

DH works from home. His only "office" is our garage which is currently in the 30-40 degree range for temps. It's so cold that the fluorescent lights don't work. He often works while sitting on the couch with his laptop on the side table. Sometimes he'll leave something running while he's doing something else (ie. dishes, bathroom, etc.). DS stands on his head on the couch and kicks the laptop. So far, he hasn't broken it, but that's our livelihood. He needs to respect the computer.

 

All things considered, in this case I'd go with prevention for now and have DS close up the computer, take the compter with him, or call you to supervise. Yes, it will be a pain. You probably wouldn't leave a prized family heirloom (at least I wouldn't) on that table with Jr. at this point because he's not ready to handle it, so you probably shouldn't trust him with the equipment needed for the family livelihood either. I didn't say not ever, just not now.

 

Today I was sitting on the couch with my legs crossed. He stepped on the foot of the top leg, putting all 40 lbs of his weight on that hanging foot. It hurt.

 

I'd let him know it hurt with a pretty big pain reaction on my part and explain the cause-effect. I probably wouldn't punish unless he turned right around and did it again.

 

Personally the next time I saw it coming, I'd be moving that bottom leg out of the way fast so he lands himself hard on the floor. My kiddo never did it again. ;)

 

The 17 month old is laying on the floor playing or watching TV, and he's playing with or nearby her when he decides to sit or stand on her

 

Hmmmm, that's the hardest one because it's safety-related. If possible I'd step up the supervision (parent or older siblings) and be closer more and/or keep 17-month-old with me more. That's probably not feasible in all situations. I'd correct in a firm-but-not-excited-likely-to-escalate voice for sure, maybe follow up with a brief consequence like you would with a much younger child.

 

If we don't correct, what do we do? Situations like this are pretty important.

 

I agree they are very important. I wouldn't abandon correcting altogether, but I'd watch the tone and strive to do it so it was calm and without demands and threats that I'd feel I had to follow up on. I'd step up prevention and redirection and would keep correcting. I'd probably back down the punishment that might have been coming automatically due to a previous "we've told him before" reason or if he didn't respond immediately. Also, keep in mind that your goal here isn't to abandon all expectations and reactions. It's to adjust them to a point he can handle them right now and that your responses won't be fueling the out-of-control behavior. Often if both parents are on board you'll see some improvement within a week or so.

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We realize that some of this might be coming from younger sister issues. She's very mommy-needy and very jealous. She lets no one, not even the cats, sit on my lap. Between her and schooling the older kids, my 3 year old gets the least of my attention.

 

I think the 3 year old DOES need some time on your lap, and you should make sure he gets it every day! Even if DH has to take care of Jealous Younger Sister. JMO.

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I think the 3 year old DOES need some time on your lap, and you should make sure he gets it every day! Even if DH has to take care of Jealous Younger Sister. JMO.

 

We tried to work out our routine so I got time with each child alone at bedtime. We couldn't do it all the time, but it did help the behavior of the older kids when we could pull it off consistently.

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One of my sons is just like that. He came home from preschool one day when he was 3 and threw something at one of my twins and swatted the other one on the back...they were only a few weeks old! He's almost 6 now and it hasn't improved. I finally started implementing some ideas from "Transforming the Difficult Child" and I'm starting to see some improvement, especially when I take the time to notice him and make comments when he's doing something and trying to completely ignore him when he's misbehaving - which is hard with two younger sisters to protect! I just calmly tell him to sit down in time-out and time doesn't start until he's quiet & still.

My eldest son had ADHD and he was a handful as well, but he didn't have the rage issues that this one has. I guess we got stuck in a pattern of giving him attention for negative behavior and he continues to seek it. :glare:

Anyway, I would definitely recommend reading that book if you don't see any improvement.

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My oldest ds is a sensory seeker, and my middle ds has trouble fitting in. I have seen a lot of the same behavior between the two of them. What has created peace in our household is a combination of the following things:

 

(1) The boys, especially the oldest, need to move. They need to rough house. Jumping off of the stairs, chairs, couches, etc isn't the end of the world, particularly in the winter. Their bodies NEED to move, and I have to let them do it. This gets hard when I am overwhelmed by the noise and chaos, so I try to direct it when it gets to be too much. We turn the music up loud and dance, we play hide 'n seek, I tickle them, or I wrestle with them. Sometimes joining in is the only way to settle 'em down.

 

(2) The kids need to get outside every day for as long as I can make them stay out, but at least an hour. Preferrably an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.

 

(3) My 4yo can be very, very annoying. He doesn't fit in like the other kids, and he seems to know it. He needs more from me - more acceptance, more direction, more hands-on everything. This is very, very difficult with a newborn in the house. I fail at this EVERY day. When I'm failing, it shows up in his behavior. I am trying to catch him throughout the day and give him extra hugs, and my goal is to spend at least 15 min every day reading and snuggling with him.

 

(4) My 4yo's behavior is worse when he is tired. He still needs naps a couple times a week to catch up on his sleep.

 

As for your two examples.....if my 4yo stepped on me (which I would expect him to do if his body is anywhere near mine), I would say "Ouch!" and show him a better way to approach me so I don't get hurt. My 4yo used to always head-butt me when he gave me hugs. I would cringe when he came to me. After a few weeks of focused work redirecting him, he learned a better way to give hugs.

 

If the computer fell on the floor when he was near it (another scenario which would totally happen to us), I would be upset that I had forgotten to close it and slide it under the couch. Computers and eye glasses go under the couches when they aren't in use at our house.

 

My 4yo definitely struggles to fit into our family, but it is slowly getting better. I don't know that he will ever be a favorite sibling, but I hope the others get to a point where they don't groan when he's around.

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We got rid of our coffee table...

 

all it did was collect clutter anyway.

 

:D

 

Seriously:

1. Removes the place to jump/walk on,

2. Removes the place for baby/toddler to bump head on a sharp corner,

3. Removes the coffee table clutter

4. Removes the temptation to bring food/drinks into the living room (no place to put them down!)

5. Leaves more open floor space for play.

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I haven't read any of the other replies. For the record, all of my children (at one point or another) have made me feel powerless. I believe that is part of their purpose in my life.:001_smile:

 

If I were in your shoes, I would pour on the positive attention, reward with stickers, trinkets from the Dollar store, attention, etc. any of the behavior you want to see.

 

Don't major in the minors. Make one rule - no standing on the coffee table or jumping on the couch. That is for safety and to protect the furniture. Otherwise, if he sits on his head or with his feet in the air, no biggie, as long as he is not standing and jumping on the furniture. Don't expect him to sit still. He is most likely not developmentally capable of this.

 

I had a son much like him who is still much like him. He is 8 now. I have countless pictures of him standing on the kitchen table. He does his math while laying on the homeschool table with his feet in the air. He reads his books while curled up under the table with his feet above his head. He is an absolute joy to parent now, though he has been the most challenging to parent, behaviorally speaking. I realized years back that he was wired differently, was brilliantly smart and needed some time (more than most) to mature. I let go of anything that wasn't a safety or direct disobedience issue. He is the sweetest little boy now. He always was really - he just needed time to grow into the person that God created him to be. I mostly put up a wide fence (figuratively speaking) so he didn't hurt himself - and stayed out of the way.:001_smile:

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He often works while sitting on the couch with his laptop on the side table. Sometimes he'll leave something running while he's doing something else (ie. dishes, bathroom, etc.). DS stands on his head on the couch and kicks the laptop. So far, he hasn't broken it, but that's our livelihood. He needs to respect the computer.

 

The 17 month old is laying on the floor playing or watching TV, and he's playing with or nearby her when he decides to sit or stand on her.

 

For the first issue, my kids are all above the age of five years. I still do not leave my laptop unattended on the couch. I put it on the counter or somewhere safe while I go to the bathroom. I suggest that approach for your dh. I consider it my responsibility to keep the laptop safe. It doesn't sound like your son disrespects the computer on purpose - he is just being his very physical self. Since you know this, clear a path.:D

 

With standing on people, that is obviously a safety issue. I would remove him from the person immediately and sit him somewhere safe. Say a simple thing such as "You cannot stand on people. You will hurt them." If he goes right back and does it again, it can be a discipline issue. If he doesn't, I would wonder if he is just acting impulsively and not thinking through standing on a person and what it might do to the person. (as most 3 year olds don't)

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We got rid of our coffee table...

 

all it did was collect clutter anyway.

 

:D

 

Seriously:

1. Removes the place to jump/walk on,

2. Removes the place for baby/toddler to bump head on a sharp corner,

3. Removes the coffee table clutter

4. Removes the temptation to bring food/drinks into the living room (no place to put them down!)

5. Leaves more open floor space for play.

 

We actually did this, as well...about 9 years ago. It hasn't been back. I don't miss it.

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I often took my very active ds to the indoor fast food restaurant playground. I would order milk for him so at least I bought something. Would it be possible for you to use your garage as an indoor playspace if dh is working inside anyways? Tap,Tap, Tap had so many good ideas. I would also add that bagged sand is cheap and can help with many of these issues, wet sand squishes, sand feels great to jump on etc... You may also need to make a routine for him to follow, so that you have this built into your day. Do you use workboxes? It would be so simple for you to make 15 cards and have hand him one five times a day...like stomp like a monster outside for 10 minutes (i used to sprinkle bread crusts on the ground and instruct him to crush them to smithereens) or play at a rice table (just pour rice into a box) or ride his trike in the garage, or push a heavy cardboard box back and forth in the garage ten times, or jump in puddles (even if you have to make them yourself) or painting the walls with a big wet paintbrush, make a game with two laundry baskets put one downstairs and one upstairs and he needs to transfer all the contents from one to the other, or use suitcases, sit in the bathtub with a bucket of water and bath toys, play the game where you put a bunch of clothes in a bag and he has to run upstairs and put them all on (keep it simple like scarves, hats, big coat etc..) come down and show you then run back upstairs and take them off....

 

I actually took my ds on my five mile walk three times a week (he was the oldest and I didn't have others to homeschool, but it gives you an idea of how much activity he needs). The good news is that if he can learn to harness his energy he can achieve so much.

 

By the way my ds favorite gift this year was a squishy ball and a bean bag chair. He still is very physical and needs lots of exercise, of course now he can meet those needs on his on.

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OP, You've totally described my just turned 4 yo son right down to the running away during discipline and being repentant afterwards. I totally agree with all of the descriptions of "sensory seeking" and there are some great ideas here. My DS is very big for his age and very physical and I am worried about him hurting us or other kids someday. I think having healthy outlets for this is key. In addition to weekly hiking and biking and daily outdoor time we play "wheel barrow" where I pick him up by his feel and let him walk on his hands throughout the house. This is very physically challenging and really wears him out, but he's laughing at the same time. The sensory box, rolling him up in a burrito, bear hugs, etc. all work for him too. He loves it.

 

As for discipline I started taking a much more casual tone and using some of the techniques from Playful Parenting. The lecturing just wasn't working. Instead I'll talk to him more like I would a teen: "Hey dude, you know that's not cool. Find something else to do." Somehow he doesn't find this as patronizing as a more traditional mommy voice and he listens more closely and stopped running away. I don't use timeouts and the tone shift alone has dramatically improved his behavior. When he does act poorly, like yesterday pushing some kids on our hike, I use it as a clue that he needs to be supervised more closely "Ok, you have to stay close now until we get to the end." It's not a punishment - he's not really being bad, but he does get wound up and then has a hard time controlling himself so requires more help.

 

I also find that concentrated one-on-one time first thing in the morning, even if just 20-30 minutes, can really do wonders for the whole day.

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I actually took my ds on my five mile walk three times a week (he was the oldest and I didn't have others to homeschool, but it gives you an idea of how much activity he needs).

 

 

 

I agree with this! A few months ago my DS, who was still 3 at the time, completed a 20 mile bike ride on our attachment bike pedaling almost the whole way. It took half the day, and we had lots of breaks but he did it. He regularly does 5-10 mile rides. People really, really underestimate the amount of energy these kinds of kids need to expend.

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I would seriously look into gymnastics classes. I don't know if you have space for an indoor trampoline. I have my king sized mattress on the floor and send the kids to jump on the bed. I actually will encourage them to jump off the table. We also put up a pull up bar at a child sized height in the doorway to the living room. The adults have to duck to get in there, but it is very worth it.

 

As much outside play as you can get....walks, runs, bike rides, park. Sensory integration activities rocked for us.

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