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An attitude problem at the age of 7

April 18, 2013

Our youngest son, Taj, turned 7 at the end of March of this year. Since then, he has developed a little bit of an attitude problem. So far, this attitude problem is mainly happening at home and not very often in the class room at school. I’m not too sure about when he is out in the playground but seeing as nothing has been mentioned by any of the teachers, I shall assume that things are going okay there.

We always knew that Taj would develop with an attitude due to his hyperactivity however I don’t think either myself or my partner were expecting to be dealing with this type of attitude until he was, say, 9 at least. Taj goes from good to bad in a heartbeat. One moment he is all calm and ‘normal’ and then the next he is extremely hyped up, doing whatever he wants do.

For poor Tyson, a rapid change in Taj’s attitude can mean that simple playing can suddenly turn into an absolute horror where he is getting wrestled down to the ground, being kicked and punched the whole way down. What’s worse is that Taj does not understand that he cannot treat his brother this way and that he shouldn’t be kicking and punching him. I’m sure that Taj knows this but just isn’t comprehending.

It’s the same for my partner, Steve. One moment, Taj is all cuddly and loving and then the next. BAM! Taj goes totally hyperactive and either headbutts Steve or kicks him. Same as with Tyson, Taj is failing to understand why he shouldn’t be acting that way.

Thankfully, Taj is a little less hyperactive and destructive when it comes to me, although it wasn’t always so. I had to endure getting hurt when Taj was younger and didn’t have proper control over himself and his hyperactivity. I have had to endure years of getting hurt by Taj, not purposely of course, but just due to him having PDD-NOS and being too hyperactive from an early age. He has always been better with me.

However, when it comes to talking back and making demands, that is where Taj has changed. Gone is my little baby boy who would do anything and everything that he was asked, except tidy his bedroom. He has been replaced by a child who doesn’t care about peeing all over the toilet seat or pooing his pants at home. A child who constantly tries to fight with his brother and try and wreck havoc on his father. At dinner time, Taj would constantly try and kick Tyson under the table so that Tyson would whinge and carry on.

During the night when he woke up, instead of staying quiet Taj started talking really loudly whilst playing with his toys, his room lit up by the LED nightlight plugged into his wall. While I didn’t wake up to the noise during the night (heavy sleeper), poor Steve and Tyson weren’t getting nearly enough sleep to be able to function properly throughout the day. Telling Taj during the day that he needed to keep the noise down during the night wasn’t enough to make him stop.

What did make him stop was Steve getting up, opening his door and telling him to get back into bed. I think it scared Taj more than anything because he didn’t hear him coming. This happened a few nights in a row. We started getting Taj up between 6am and 6:30am, even if he had been awake during the night, we still got him up. This has helped make Taj sleep most of the night.

As for the back chatting, well, we are still working on that. Excluding Taj from activities that he likes when he has been naughty seems to be helping. Unfortunately, Taj is the type of child who can keep himself amused with just about anything and, although upset to begin with, doesn’t seem to fazed at missing out.

So what we are doing at the moment to help combat this attitude problem is we have taken away his 3D DS and have restricted his use on the iPad. This has resulted in a slight change in attitude but not as much as we thought it would.

Hopefully, over time, this will change and Taj will start being nicer to his brother and father.

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