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How can you tell if your 3yr old is just normal active or Hyper Active!!!

My son is kinda out of control. He's all over the place into everything and constantly finding himself in time out. He won't listen and or do anything I ask him to do unless I yell at him (which I hate) but I don't know how else to get his attention. He runs off, he hits his sister, he hurts the dog, he does all the things he knows he not suppose to do intentionally. He won't sit still in church, class or anywhere he's suppose to, unless he's strapped down. He can concentrate on things and I sing a lot becuase I find it gets his attention but I'm just out of ideas. I'm so frustrated and I'm totally loosing it. I feel like I can't go anywhere and staying home cooped up I feel only makes it worse. I don't know what to do. Does anyone have some suggestions?


Asked by theaterlover at 12:36 AM on Jan. 15, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • I can say one of two things. The first (and you probably hear this a lot here) is that it could be normal and you just need to fine tune your parenting techniques. The second is that you could really be seeing signs of a child who is more "spirited" than other children his age. OR it could be a little bit of both one and two. I have worked with hundreds of children who's parents came to see me for assistance. What they usually would say is that they KNEW and could see it even when their child was an infant/toddler. All I can say is hind sight is the only 20/20 vision. So here is my suggestion: see a pediatric behaviorist. It is a special type of medical doctor who specializes in children AND developmental knowledge about behaviors AND how to help the parents and assist the children. Ask your doctor for a referral.


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:49 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • nyquil......just kidding. Maybe getting him some exercise to tire him out. Good luck. My DD 7mos I'm not there yet.

    Answer by Farrahann at 12:38 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Ha. I have the same problem. Mine is 2-1./2 and is driving me nuts and then gets his baby brother going too. The two of them are nothing but noise makers and then they run around like complete animals while roaring like lions and getting into everything. I knew I never wanted boys. But I got them now. I do love them but wish they would settle down. Hope yours calms down too. Wish I had some ideas for us.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:11 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Sounds somewhat like my 4 year old. When we end up with a solution (if), I'll let you know. Right now we're working with a pediatric psychologist to help him with his impulsive behavior. We have the second set of forms to fill out now....about "disruptive behavior".

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:33 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • cont...In the mean time - keep singing. You have now one 'trick" or as we call them in the professional world "techniques" that you know works most of the time. Now experiment. I also like whispering to get attention: pretend it is some secret. Kids love a secret. Make things a game, use funny voices, pretend you are animals...ect. I like the animal technique. You be a loud lion and walk around all like a lion. Then a quick animal, then a loud animal, and close with a quiet animal. This is a really good exercise I used with children who were living with ADHD. Oh, and I personally think 3 is too young to decide something like that. BUT like I said many parents say they KNEW their child was __________ when they were younger.


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:53 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • cont...Just swap out techniques and try different ways of operating. Don't like to yell? DON'T! Save that for when it is a safety issue.

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:54 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • In addition to what frogdawg says, a couple of other things - structure and routine are pretty important to children at this age (and I believe to ADHD children in general, but I could be mistaken). Make sure your son is on a routine where he knows what to expect next and prepare him for any changes that are coming up. Teach him songs to sing to help with his behavior (clean-up songs, angry songs, any songs you can think of and help him learn them). I was at my sons school once and there were 10 kids going crazy (the poor teacher was at the end of her day and this was their open "free" time and they were just edging over to excessive...I asked my son "What's the clean-up song?" and he and one other friend started singing it...and there was almost instant silence from all of his friends. Peace was restored in less than 30 seconds of starting that song..)

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:58 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • cont. Make sure you arrange your house to minimize those things you don't want him to touch - get locks on cabinet doors, put up breakables, in essence...lead them not into temptation! If it's out and he hasn't learned the self-control to not touch, then put it away until he does have that control. This way, you won't need to keep yelling at him to stop. When you talk to him, make sure you have eye contact and have him repeat back any requests you made. I give my son a 3 word trigger - Stop. Look. Listen. This is his trigger that I'm going to say something important. As for Church and sitting still, I have yet to see a 3 year old who can achieve this. Is there a place you can stay which allows your son to walk, crawl, or otherwise wriggle around? I try to always make sure that we're at an aisle and that we have enough area for him to crawl around, so long as it's quiet and does not disturb the other members.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:04 AM on Jan. 15, 2009