hello everyone, I am creating this topic because I am having a hard time with my son. He is a great kid when he wants to be and I love him to pieces but I believe that he has a lot of behavioural issues. I gained custody of him last year and I'm really struggling to teach him what bad behaviour is. Some days he will be perfect and I will have no issues but most days its like I feel beat and i have no way to teach him how to be good, he's three year old and very out going which is very good and I like that but he can get violent sometimes and just does the exact opposite of what I ask him to do. I didn't have the chance to bond with him properly over the first 2 years of his life on account of his mother not been reasonable and then giving him up to Foster care. I only had a couple of hours a week contact with him to bond. Now that I have him I feel like I'm doing everything wrong and I just can't win he is constantly trying to get me to react with him and when I don't he try to push further. I don't hit him and I try my best not to shout at him the only consequence that is in place is the step, i would really appreciate anyone who could give me some tips on how to handle his behaviour better, i also believe he may have adhd so any pointers on that would help too. Thank you.
It is difficult, and we all go through it. The naughty step is usually a good method, any time he misbehaves sit him down on the naughty spot for three minutes. Once the time is up, ask him if he understands why he was told to sit on the naughty step.
Try not to get angry, if he is upset, get down to his level and ask him what it is that is bothering him. Bargain with him, if he wants your attention but you are busy with something. Sit him in front of the TV or get his favorite toy, explain that you are busy at this very moment, but why not play with this toy/watch this cartoon until you are free, then you will sit and play. Congratulate him for doing as he is told, even though he doesnt want to do it.
He is at the age where the will have tantrums, its natural in every child.
If you think he has adhd, then speak to your GP about how to get him assessed. A star chart has worked for me in the past - you concentrate on on particular aspect of his behaviour you want to improve, and each day he does well, he gets to stick a star on a chart - it the end of the week, if he gets, say, 6 stars (agreed at the start of the week), then he gets a treat. He will probably fail in the first week or two - which is good, as it shows there are consequences to failing, so hopefully, once he succeeds, he knows that it's worth behaving. It's important that you only concentrate on one aspect - so if he's awful in some other aspect of behaviour that week, but still succeeds with what you are concentrating on that week, he still gets the star, and however bad his behaviour is, you never take away a star.
How are things going with your three year old son? I have just read about your situation and wanted to encourage you to take things one day at a time. Three year olds can be very changeable anyway, and your son has had lots to deal with very early on his life and you've had hardly anytime to bond with him, so be a little kinder to yourself.
If you manage to feed, clothe, sleep, and play together during a day for example, then you have done great! Some days when mine were little it was all I could do to do the basics.
With regards to the behaviour issue, please encourage your son when he is behaving well, or when he does something kind, like sharing something with you or a friend, or has eaten his meal well or slept through the night. When praising your son, get down to his level and give eye contact and a smile. Children love receiving praise, but only when it is deserved, otherwise it loses its meaning. Also be specific, e.g. " Well done for tidying away your mega blocks," this states clearly what he has done well.
Spending 1 -1 time - specifically - setting aside 20 minutes of your day to play with what he wants to do, will hopefully encourage a sense of purpose and make him feel loved and special. This is His time - without any other distractions from TV, phones, etc.
Try and ignore his tantrums, make sure he is safe and walk away and do something else. Then when you are both calm you can say e.g."Daddy does not like it when you scream at me. Please talk to me quietly" or something else depending on your situation.
Its good that you have a time out area - make the area as calm as you can and then he will know this is where he goes when he misbehaves. It is suggested a minute of time out per year of age.
Think about the areas of behaviour you want to see an improvement on, and then make a reward chart, putting a star or sticker for each time your son behaves in your chosen area.
Be consistent, I appreciate it is hard not to give in, but behaviours can be changed for the better, so hang on in there.
Finally, if you have a daily/nightly routine, this will give security to your son, as he will learn what time of the day certain things happen like meal times, bed time, story time. This too will hopefully improve his overall behaviour.
There are some great online sites if you have access, Fegans and Care For The Family have lots of useful tips on parenting and they are for all kinds of families. Your health visitor maybe able offer you some advice too.
I wish you all the very best, one day at a time!
Kind Regards, Fegans Parent Support Volunteer
We've recently had a period where our 6yo son has at times been difficult, with some violence and melt downs. I'm pretty sure it's down to lockdown, not only how it has affected him, but also the knoch on from how it has affected us.
We, by we, I mean my wife and I, read a book called 1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan - It's improved things for us no end. I realise not all things work for everyone, so it's just a suggestion.
Hope things improve for you.