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How to teach your 3yr old self control?

My 3 yr old is very hyper, he's been that way from the day he was born. He gets excited too easly. and gets loud and distructive. I've always suspected of him having ADHD. I did ask his pre school teachers though - but they've denied it. I've seen him loosing his control even with a slightest change in the environment. i.e he gets too happy or too mad.But how do you basically teach a kid to handle their emotions in a civilized way.

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Asked by nidiya at 5:32 PM on Mar. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Try explaining his emotions to him. "wow johnny! you are laughing a lot! you must be very happy!". Giving him the right words to express himself may cut down on his "need" to express himself in other ways.
    Also, teach him coping skills. LIke deep/belly breathing. Counting to 10. Or other appropriate methods for a 3yo (some may disagree. to each their own) may be to teach him to stomp his feet or some other large motor action.
    My younger brother is 4yo and also feels emotions to extremes. and he LOVES yoga. the deep breathing along with the relaxing large motor movements calms him down.
    Good luck!!

    Answer by outstandingLove at 5:35 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • By being consistent with him and teaching him internal controls, not external. Labeling emotions when they happen, both the good and the bad. When he's calm and playing quietly, I compliment it. Then when he gets upset and has a tantrum and I tell him he needs to calm down, he knows that the goal is - he knows what "calm" is. I give him the time he needs to calm down and I've given him the freedom to discover what he needs to find control - for instance, I found it helps for him to have things to put in order, like puzzles, when he's upset. It gave him a focus, something to do, and while he ordered the pieces, his mind was getting in order too. Also, I give him lots of opportunities to practice self-control - he gets choices, and sometimes the choice is to have a tantrum. When given this choice, he rarely chooses it. Granted, it took years, but he's almost 4 and he really does have excellent self-control for his age.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 8:36 AM on Mar. 7, 2009

  • Well, what's he doing that is "uncivilized"? Licking you when he's happy? Flinging poop when he's angry?

    Answer by Liyoness at 1:43 AM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • Often, children will learn about ways to deal with their anger from hearing stories about feelings. You can find many books in stores or at the library about different feelings and how the characters dealt with their feelings. You can also teach him how to respond to his anger by telling him a story about a turtle who gets angry and pulls himself into his shell when he gets mad. Once in his shell he takes deep breathes and blows the mad feelings away. As your son does this, praise him in a calm voice,(That's good calming down, just like turtle, blow the mad away) When he does calm down in the appropriate way, praise him, hug him. If he is getting upset when things change then it may help to give him a warning about 2 minutes before the changes will occur. He can't tell time, so setting a timer for him to watch will help him see the time going away. To excited, just remind and praise for good inside voice and behavior.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 9:44 AM on Mar. 8, 2009

  • Thank you guys your ideas are very helpful. I'm trying all that to get through to him. I know it takes time and patience and consistency. Sometimes, i do wounder if my postpartum depression is the culprit. I read some where about it. Can it be true?                                                                                              


    Answer by nidiya at 7:12 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

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