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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

4.5 year old showing signs of impulsivity lately. warning sign??

Posted by on May. 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM
  • 12 Replies

I posted this on the preschoolers board too...

My 4.5 year old daughter (born in August) has always been an outgoing child. She has always been ahead with all her milestones--speech (diction is amazing and no one has ever had a problem understanding her), her vocabulary is extensive, picks up on new things quickly, very creative with arts and crafts, etc. She is in a montessori preschool now and will attend a montessori kindergarten next year. 

We've always been told she was bright and enthusiastic about school, enjoyed all her classes and activities and never have had a problem with behavior. Her school conference in the fall was fantastic--nothing bad to report at all. In fact her teacher recommended that we have her tested for giftedness because she seemed to be quickly outgrowing their curriculum. I did and she tested as high as she possibly could on the test administered.

Lately (with the exception of dance) we seem to be getting reports from a couple of teachers that she is exhibiting some impulsive behavior (getting in people's personal space like touching hair or hugging, not listening or deliberately doing something different from what the teacher explained), sometimes it's born out of excitement because she knows what's coming next and can't wait, most often it seems to be for attention seeking. I have seen similar behavior at home and when I see it it tends to be more mischevious, like "look at me and what I'm doing!!" kind of behavior---like she knows she probably shouldn't do it but is doing it anyway or it develops out of shear boredom. When I engage her in an activity or a game she is fine. She can sit still and can spend hours coloring or on an art project, playing with her barbies  or sitting on the couch but then can run around like crazy person on the playground. 

How much of this is normal development for this age and how much is indicative of a larger behavioral issue? I don't want to say she has ADD or anything but.... any insight you could offer would appreciated. thanks.

by on May. 8, 2012 at 12:14 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Precious333
by on May. 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM
my son can be very similar. He can get over stimulated, he can have a meltdown easly and is very sensitive. Im still trying to figure it out but I can tell he acts this way even more when he is tired or hungry or stressed or doesnt feel well. This are all things to consider I think. I also believe for our situation certain activities, like video games, have contributed to him needing tha stimulation.....so I have been putting a lot of restrictions on that and allowing a lot of free play. It is working well to stay home and allow him to deal with his boredom. I think that when kids are busy all the time it can breed behavoir problems as such....and this is something I am working on myself. Also we are giving him calms forte which is a homeopath for hyperactivity and poor concentration. Another thing you can do is look for the book "discovering your childs learning style". gl
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Cara5
by on May. 8, 2012 at 12:35 PM
1 mom liked this

She is showing signs of a very serious condition: "Age 4!" 

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with her.  All 4 year olds are impulsive, all 4 year olds do attention seeking things.  If she has not started already, be prepared, you are on the cusp of her asserting herself as "not a baby anymore". 

A child who can finish art projects or sit and play with their toys for hours on end, or finish a board game with mom does NOT have ADD or ADHD. 

At this stage in the game the worst thing you can do is try to find some 3 or 4 letter behavioral diagnosis that matches her behavior.  

Set reasonable, and firm, boundaries.  Make sure she knows the rules ahead of time, and when she makes a mistake, firmly and lovingly correct her and after she has done her time out, explain beater ways to get mommy's attention. 

MeggieLee22
by on May. 8, 2012 at 1:26 PM

This.

My daughter has ADHD and she can't finish anything without constant redirection.

Sounds like your daughter is showing far more signs of rebelliousness than impulsiveness.  There is a huge difference.

Sounds more like she has realized that acting this way will get her extra attention so she is continuing to do it on purpose.  ADHD kids cannot control their impulses.  They do not act up out of boredom, they really do not realize what they are doing until you tell them.  Symptoms have to be ongoing for at least 6 months and cause a serious detriment in two or more areas of their lives.

Your daughter is exhibiting completely normal 4 year old behavior.  They like to push their limits and see what they can get away with.  When she acts up tell her with no nonsense that it's not okay.  If she keeps doing it, give her time out.  Then after time out (no more than 4-5 minutes for a 4 yo) ask if she knows what she did wrong.  Ask her why she is acting up.  If she is looking for attention, talk about the difference between bad and good attention.  Talk about things she could do instead of acting up to get good attention.

Quoting Cara5:

She is showing signs of a very serious condition: "Age 4!" 

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with her.  All 4 year olds are impulsive, all 4 year olds do attention seeking things.  If she has not started already, be prepared, you are on the cusp of her asserting herself as "not a baby anymore". 

A child who can finish art projects or sit and play with their toys for hours on end, or finish a board game with mom does NOT have ADD or ADHD. 

At this stage in the game the worst thing you can do is try to find some 3 or 4 letter behavioral diagnosis that matches her behavior.  

Set reasonable, and firm, boundaries.  Make sure she knows the rules ahead of time, and when she makes a mistake, firmly and lovingly correct her and after she has done her time out, explain beater ways to get mommy's attention. 




Iluvjandkplus8
by on May. 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM
I too think it's just the age. She's only 4. The behavior you talk about are things kids in my son's 2nds grade class still do.
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Karen_S
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Even though this is normal for 4 year olds, if you are getting reports from multiple teachers, I wouldn't just dismiss it as normal 4yo stuff. If the teachers work with a lot of kids that age, then they know what is normal for that age, and they are telling you her behavior is outside of the average.  That does *not* mean that she has any kind of an issue (ADHD or anything like that) - it might just be a phase, but it's worth figuring out. It sounds to me like this might be attention-seeking.  You might want to ask for meetings with the teachers, and find out more about exacly why she's doing it and when - does it just happen at certain times of day? Is it during a particular activity. And ask if they have any insight into what might be triggering it. I'd be quite careful about assuming that she's bored because she's bright - even bright kids need to learn impulse control, and respect for authority, and things like that. 

I'd also talk to her some about the importance of good behaviour, ask her if she knows why she's not listening to the teacher. 

kLynch315
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:07 PM
My DD is ADHD also and you said it perfect. With your child, it seems like she is testing her limits and boundaries. Very normal behaviors at that age.

Quoting MeggieLee22:

This.

My daughter has ADHD and she can't finish anything without constant redirection.

Sounds like your daughter is showing far more signs of rebelliousness than impulsiveness.  There is a huge difference.

Sounds more like she has realized that acting this way will get her extra attention so she is continuing to do it on purpose.  ADHD kids cannot control their impulses.  They do not act up out of boredom, they really do not realize what they are doing until you tell them.  Symptoms have to be ongoing for at least 6 months and cause a serious detriment in two or more areas of their lives.

Your daughter is exhibiting completely normal 4 year old behavior.  They like to push their limits and see what they can get away with.  When she acts up tell her with no nonsense that it's not okay.  If she keeps doing it, give her time out.  Then after time out (no more than 4-5 minutes for a 4 yo) ask if she knows what she did wrong.  Ask her why she is acting up.  If she is looking for attention, talk about the difference between bad and good attention.  Talk about things she could do instead of acting up to get good attention.

Quoting Cara5:

She is showing signs of a very serious condition: "Age 4!" 

Seriously, there is nothing wrong with her.  All 4 year olds are impulsive, all 4 year olds do attention seeking things.  If she has not started already, be prepared, you are on the cusp of her asserting herself as "not a baby anymore". 

A child who can finish art projects or sit and play with their toys for hours on end, or finish a board game with mom does NOT have ADD or ADHD. 

At this stage in the game the worst thing you can do is try to find some 3 or 4 letter behavioral diagnosis that matches her behavior.  

Set reasonable, and firm, boundaries.  Make sure she knows the rules ahead of time, and when she makes a mistake, firmly and lovingly correct her and after she has done her time out, explain beater ways to get mommy's attention. 


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wakymom
by Ruby Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Sounds to me like a combination of normal 4 y/o behavior and boredom in school. If she's "outgrowing" what's being taught in school, she may be bored b/c she already knows the material, or has picked it up a lot faster than the others, and acting up for something to do. 

 

 

 

 

 

monkeypants6
by on May. 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Yeah I would never want to label her either. It's just that I felt like particularly with one class (not a school class but extracurricular) it was what the teacher and the aide WEREN'T saying to me that alarmed me. They didn't come out and say ADD but I felt like it was almost implied. Her preschool teacher hasn't given me that impression and is attributing it to boundary testing behavior.

Lydlou02
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM
Maybe the teachers are unconsciously expecting more mature behavior from her because of her high intelligence. So normal 4yo stuff that's overlooked in other kids gets commented on.
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maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 8, 2012 at 5:51 PM


Quoting Lydlou02:

Maybe the teachers are unconsciously expecting more mature behavior from her because of her high intelligence. So normal 4yo stuff that's overlooked in other kids gets commented on.

That could really be the case. 

She sounds four to me. My son is the same age. He's exhibiting some behaviours he didn't before because he's maturing and getting more bold. 

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