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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Background...My little boy is 3, 4 in April. He has been with

Customer Question

Background...My little boy is 3, 4 in April. He has been with me for 2 years, his adoption will be completed in next couple months. He is developmentally delayed primarily in speech and communication about 8 mo. He has a little brother 18 mo behind him in age but because he has been with us for more of his life he is in many ways more advanced then his older brother. I have 3 older children ages 16,13 and 9. All pretty normal. My question or problem is that my 3 year old is becoming increasingly bad. He is more violent, he refuses to do even the smallest of requests, he has increased his temper tantrums, he beats on his little brother, he breaks toys, he hits and or bites all of us. I am at a loss. Our home enviroment has changed slightly as we do all of the extras for his adoption, plus the holidays. I am having a hard time finding enough of a reason for his changes. (He was very difficult for the first year or so, because he had a hard time communicating his needs to us) He is good at school, bad at daycare. Any suggestions, thoughts opinions will be greatly appreciated. If I can come up with a cause, I may be able to find a solution, so I will take anything you can give.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting Just Answer. Has your 3 year old always been a difficult child to deal with? Does he disrespect all adult figures? Is he having the most trouble at school, daycare, or home? Do you know anything about his birth parents? Thank you!!!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

His first year was very difficult, nightmares, no communication skills, no personal boundaries, a lot of frustration on both sides. The last year has been much better, I would say most of his behaviors were those of a 3 year old boy.


Now it is almost like he is pushing boundaries, in a very dramatic way. Most of his anger is focused on his little brother, so it is worse at home and at daycare. I would not call most of his behaviors as disrespectful, it is almost like he is flashing back to survival mode, fight or flight. We still have times when he is very good.


I do not know anything about his dad, mom used meth and is now in jail.


Another thing not sure if it is related or not so I will throw it out there... he does not play by himself, or really play using toys and his imagination without others, he plays with others, plays with balls, play fights or sits quietly with his cat. So he can be calm and he plays but he has to have interaction with others while he is playing. Lots of mom watch this, Wyatt play with me... Dad look what I can do, look at my big muscles...

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for responding. Your son's behavior is somewhat typical for his age group with the tantrums and the sibling rivalry with his brother. However, the biting and pushing boundaries is toward the extreme end of the spectrum. Since your son does have periods of calmness and obedience, you must focus on those issues. Constantly explain to your son the rules and what you expect from him. When he is behaving and following the rules, REALLY praise him and make a BIG deal about his great behavior. Keep track of his good behavior on a sticker chart. For every day that he has a great day, he gets a sticker for that day. Use stickers of characters that he really likes and place the chart in a location that he regularly sees. After he receives 5 stickers, he receives a special treat or outing. Make sure that he knows what treat he is working toward beforehand. Then after several occurrences of receiving 5 stickers, change the number to 10 stickers. The goal is to focus on the positive behavior to eliminate the negative. The key is consistency. On days that your son misbehaves, he receives no stickers. See how this works for a while.

Another route would be to seek professional assistance from a child psychologist. You can seek a referral from your son's pediatrician. Your son may need a psychological evaluation. The psychologist would most likely utilize a technique called Play Therapy to assist your son with his problems and to learn coping and intervention strategies in dealing with his emotions.

Either route you select will have beneficial results. It will take time. Do not expect overnight results. Parenting can be frustrating at times when our children are not behaving as they should.

Have a great day!