Pre-School

Normal, not normal?

My DS just turned 5 and things have been bad with him lately. He is constantly seeking negative attention. It has been like this for a couple months. We play and he gets tons of positive attention throughout the day, he has been excelling in pre-school. It seems no matter what we do or how happy he is he just wants to do something bad. I'm at a loss as to what to do for him. My in-laws have even mentioned that he seems to be seeking negative attention constantly.

Some of the things he has done recently are:

Pooping his pants on purpose, bullying his 17mo old brother (teasing, hitting, pushing, stealing his food/drink), peeing on the floors on purpose at home, he climbed the toilet to get my contact solution and some baby powder out of the cabinet to destroy the bathroom I just cleaned, and he has been extremely disrespectful with other minor actions I assume are normal actions for his age (continuing to do back and do something he been asked to stop multiple times even after time out, rolling eyes, back talk, lying, etc). 

My H and I don't believe in spanking. Time outs, talking, reward charts, behavior charts, taking away privileges are not working. Is there something we can do to help curb this behavior from happening multiple times a day? Is this normal 5 year old behavior?

 

ETA: He does these things and doesn't feel bad about them, he often thinks it is funny when he does something upsetting. He will laugh and smile when we talk about why he can't/shouldn't be doing these things and how it hurts my feelings when he is disrespectful. 

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Re: Normal, not normal?

  • What happened in his life right before he started doing these things?  Any major changes? 

    How he acts towards his brother, while annoying and upsetting, isn't too abnormal.  Does he do it all the time or only sometimes?

    The pooping his pants and peeing on the floors on purpose to upset you is concerning to me.   Is he doing it in response to something, like being told no or disciplined?  Could be a very dramatic "f you mom" to get your attention.  I'm assuming medical issues have been ruled out that would cause accidents.

    Sassing back and disrespect is sort of common at this age.  I'd say immediate consequences would be in order after his warning reminder.  Also, if he get disrespectful during normal conversation, remind him that you don't like mean people or people with poor manners, so he can finish the conversation once he's acting nicer.

    This age is so tough.  Hugs to you and hope he settles down soon.

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  • No major or minor changes... I honestly thought maybe something had happened at school. Apparently nothing major has happened. 

     

    His behavior toward his brother has been like this for quite some time, and happens probably 5+ times a day. 

     The pooping and peeing thing is just totally random. I will walk in his room and slip on it or the house will smell like poop. I asked him if he knew he needed to poop and he said yes. I asked him why he didn't use the potty like the big boy I know he is, and he said he didn't know. We've had to go back to the disposable training pants because he was just smushing it around in his pants... yuck. 

     

    Any suggestion on him laughing about his consequences? He tells me all the time how he knows what he did was wrong but he did it anyways... I'm praying he snaps out of this soon. 

     

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  • image Amanda88:

    No major or minor changes... I honestly thought maybe something had happened at school. Apparently nothing major has happened. 

     

    His behavior toward his brother has been like this for quite some time, and happens probably 5+ times a day. 

     The pooping and peeing thing is just totally random. I will walk in his room and slip on it or the house will smell like poop. I asked him if he knew he needed to poop and he said yes. I asked him why he didn't use the potty like the big boy I know he is, and he said he didn't know. We've had to go back to the disposable training pants because he was just smushing it around in his pants... yuck. 

     

    Any suggestion on him laughing about his consequences? He tells me all the time how he knows what he did was wrong but he did it anyways... I'm praying he snaps out of this soon. 

     

    Any way that he's feeling insecure or threatened about his younger brother getting a lot of help and attention?  My niece went from potty training to peeing on purpose, even when sitting on her mom's lap, after her brother was born.  I know his brother is older, but maybe he's having the same feelings about wanting to be a baby again?

    As far as the smiling and laughing, it's his way of getting your goat, in my opinion.  I mean, sometimes that's a very bad sign, but at this age, I think it's more him trying to get you upset.  Ds doesn't do it often and when he does, I admit I don't handle it the best (think yelling mom).  If I try to calmly explain it's wrong and give consquence he continues to smirk.  When I lose my cool, he suddenly sees it's serious.  Not suggesting that, but I wish I had a good suggestion.  I'd maybe try to see it as him trying to get attention and instead of trying to get the reaction you want (learning lesson, respectful replies), give him the lesson and then don't give him attention until he acts nicely. 

    Let's see what the other ladies say, they are always good with suggestions.

    Formerly Known as Echowysp (or Recipe of the Day Lady)
    Come find tonight's dinner www.thatsdamngood.blogspot.com

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  • MKDeeMKDee
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Comments Combo Breaker
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    My DS is a year younger than yours, so I'm not speaking from experience, but are you giving severe enough consequences, since the behavior is repetitive? We only use time out when DS1 is throwing a tantrum and needs a true "time out." For misbehavior, time out is much less effective than taking away a toy or other privilege, consistent with the offense. What's his absolute favorite toy? Activity? T.V. Show? He has a "currency," and whether you frame it as a reward: "you can watch your favorite TV show when you make it one day without breaking certain rules;" or as a punishment, "you can't have a play date with your best friend because you hit your brother," there has to be something that can motivate him. I would try different "currencies" for awhile.
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  • I agree with previous poster I'd figure out a punishment that he doesn't like. For my DD it is tv.
    I'd make a chart with two or three rules if he follows them he gets x, like 30 minutes tv. I'd focus on fixing a few things at a time.
    I'd also talk to his pedi

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  • I would focus on natural consequences for his actions. If he poops or pees on the floor, then he needs to clean it up. You may need to help him, but I'd make him do most of the work. Same thing with the bathroom. Being too rough with his brother is harder. The most natural consequence would be that his brother won't want to play with him anymore, but it doesn't quite work at their ages. I'd probably try a loss of some privilege for that, but make it consistent every time.
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  • mine are 1 and 3, but I have a 1 1/2 year old and almost 5 year old nephew.  Since turing 4 I've noticed the older boy is so much more mature, calmer, and well-mannered.  They are always on top of him with the bathroom, I think he does have some accidents, but I'm pretty sure he's good with his brother and he's very sweet to my DS.

    When I was potty training DD and she had an accident, I did make her empty poop from her underpants and wipe pee up off the floor, followed by a bath.  She did it once or twice and never and another accident.  I find discipline with siblings very hard because I don't want her to feel we favor her brother.  When we're outside and she's not sharing I always put her inside.  If she does knock him down or hurt him in some way, I quickly tell her to stop, then focus all my attention on him.  I figure that way if she was doing it for attention, she's still not getting any and the baby is getting more.

  • Maybe you want to discuss this with his pedi. This level of willful disobedience could be indicative of a behavioral health issue. What are his teachers seeing at school?

    Well developing kids don't want to be "bad"- destruction of property, soiling, being mean to his brother being consistently uncooperative are all red flags for ODD. If you're up against this, the sooner you get an expert team to help you devise a behavior plan the more effective it will be. Untreated, it will escalate. Behavior like this at school, could have him removed to a self contained classroom.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oppositional-defiant-disorder/DS00630/DSECTION=symptoms 

  • ditto Auntie, talk to your peditrician.

    The soiling behavior is the most concerning to me.

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  • I think the pooping, peeing thing is a control thing.  This is the one thing that he can control himself and if it gets a rise out of you then he got the attention that he is craving.  I work with a child that will HOLD his poop for days, I mean 5-8 days and no matter how much miralax that the mom adds to his drinks he will hold it in.  I feel so bad for the kid till I learned that the mom will either take him to McD's or buy him a new toy when he finally poops, he will come in the next day gloating about pooping on the potty and getting something out of the deal. He is 5 almost 6. Sad

    Personally I would make him clean up his own pants from now on.  He will cry that he doesnt want to, but just keep reminding him that he was the one that made the mess he is the one that should clean it up. 

    GL

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  • image -auntie-:

    Maybe you want to discuss this with his pedi. This level of willful disobedience could be indicative of a behavioral health issue. What are his teachers seeing at school?

    Well developing kids don't want to be "bad"- destruction of property, soiling, being mean to his brother being consistently uncooperative are all red flags for ODD. If you're up against this, the sooner you get an expert team to help you devise a behavior plan the more effective it will be. Untreated, it will escalate. Behavior like this at school, could have him removed to a self contained classroom.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oppositional-defiant-disorder/DS00630/DSECTION=symptoms 

     

    I just picked him up from school and his teacher was frazzled because he was so bad today. :( Apparently he spent almost all day going to time out.  I read over the link and it sounds a lot like him, and it fits his biological mother to a tee. Is this something that is genetic? I will be scheduling a pedi appt ASAP. 

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  • image Angela814:
    I would focus on natural consequences for his actions. If he poops or pees on the floor, then he needs to clean it up. You may need to help him, but I'd make him do most of the work. Same thing with the bathroom. Being too rough with his brother is harder. The most natural consequence would be that his brother won't want to play with him anymore, but it doesn't quite work at their ages. I'd probably try a loss of some privilege for that, but make it consistent every time.

    This.

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