High Needs Child? — The Bump

High Needs Child?

I'm not sure if this is the right board to ask this. I have a VERY difficult 3.5 year old. He has always been a tough child. From birth he was stubborn and demanding. He didn't have colic, but seemed to cry louder than other children. He was always awake a lot at night...every 2 hours until 22 months. We tried cry it out several times and he would cry for hours. He was and is a picky eater. Every meal is a battle. I have tried everything. I make him healthy meals, I offer them, and I leave it at that, but he will throw tantrums every.single.time.

When he is on, he's on. However, when he's off...watch out. He can be sweet and delightful to be around, but he'll go through these periods of being exhausting. He'll refuse to eat meals and fight me on everything. Just simple tasks of going to the bathroom before bed, brushing teeth, getting dressed, are all exhausting and met with tantrums and fighing every time. I am consistent and follow a schedule during the day and we still battle all the time over things. I do pick my battles, but I find I dread having to tell him to do something because I know it will mean an hour of confrontation.

I'm starting to wonder if this is typical child behavior, or something more. He brings me close to tears at least once a day many days.  I have a 4 month old DD and I'm starting to see how different a child can be. She is the complete opposite of him. She is easy going and happy.


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Re: High Needs Child?

  • How is he w/ other people?  Is he in a regular daycare/preschool setting? 

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  • I am a SAHM. I used to have a home daycare and he was my hardest child. I thought when I stopped the daycare things would get better, but they aren't. We started going to library story time once a week. It is like a preschool and they go in the "classroom" while the parents wait outside for an hour. They do line, story, art, etc. DS will not let me leave the room yet, but he is very well behaved in there. He can be the most lovely, mannered child. It's like he turns it on and off.

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  • imageanonsouthernbell:

    Thank you! I just ordered it on amazon!

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  • DS is high-spirited and acts CRAZY at home, but is very well-behaved in preschool and in public. 
  • Sorry you're having such a hard time.  I know how it feels, especially with the second kid in the picture.  DD is my high needs kid and DS is much more go-with-the-flow.  I try not to compare them too much because I feel like I end up being critical of DD that way, but it is hard not to see the contrast.

    Anyway, the Positive Discipline books (there is also an iPhone app for Positive Discipline) and Love and Logic have been working pretty well for us.  With DD, the main thing that helps is to refuse to engage in an argument or battle of wills.  When she is in one of those moods I will either just stop talking and do what needs to be done (like dress her, for example) and ignore the tantrum, or I will tell her I am leaving the room and she can come and talk to me when she calms down.  She hates it when I won't fight with her!  Drives her crazy.  But I am just done with telling her the same thing 856 times a day and having the same arguments over and over again.  Can't do it anymore.

    Good luck to you!  I hope you find something that works.

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