April 19, 2008,
B.J. asks from Richland, WA on April 15, 2008
Growth Spurts and Behavior
Have any of you moms noticed behavior changes during growth spurts with your children? I've noticed a few times a year my 4.5 year old seems to go through about a 2 week weird phase. During this time it seems like his brain is out to lunch and he is quick to by hyper or aggressive (almost as if he is uncomfortable in his body and doesn't know how to deal with it). He is normally a very calm and shy child and he becomes incredibly difficult during these phases. I would appreciate your comments and thoughts.
K.N. answers from Spokane on April 15, 2008
My middle one (a boy) does this. I think it has to do with physical growth and emotional. I really think they go through phases were they test you and their boundaries. I always have to remind myself that I need to stay the course. As a parent being consistent through the phases, gives our kids a sense of security. Give him lots of love and encouragement, but don't use it as an excuse. I have three in the same time span as you, and girl - the phases just keep comin'...lol! Blessings
1 mom found this helpful
K.W. answers from Seattle on April 16, 2008
I have four children- Girls: 16.5, 14 & 9 and one boy 11. I have noticed behavior changes in each of them during growth spurts. The girls behavior changes were more noticable at pre-teen, and my son has had more obvious changes all along. He complains of his knees hurting the most. Each of them have been moody and more tired during those "episodes."
We have talked to their pediatrician on several occassions just to confirm or ease my mind that they were growing and developing on a normal scale. So far, all is healthy and growing appropriately. KW
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B.G. answers from Portland on April 16, 2008
Well, I hope that they are related, because that would explain a LOT about my son and a little boy I take care of who are the same age as your son!
M.W. answers from Portland on April 16, 2008
I have noticed this with my son (almost 5) as well. It seems to happen every 6 months or so. I've heard, (but have no data), that boys experience a hit of hormones and this causes them to be "out of sync". My challenge is to remember that growth is causing the strange behavior not disobedience!
L.O. answers from Seattle on April 16, 2008
B., You have just described the conversation I had with a great friend and mom yesterday. Through several parenting classes her instructor has talked about disequilibrium at the half ages especially 4.5.
My friend experienced the same behaviors with her first child and now her second is 4.5. He is demanding, unreasonable, tired and hungry all the time. He is hungry and tired because he is growing. I think you wrote it correctly when you wrote that it is a difficult phase. At least now you know why he is not himself, but ultimately it is exhausting. Just keep on keeping on and your calm and shy child will eventually return.
M.B. answers from Seattle on April 15, 2008
You know, I hadn't really put it together but yes my 4 1/2 year old does the same thing. The only warning that I get that he is about to be odd is that he eats everything in sight. He'll chunk out, then shoot up, and during this time his ability to function as a human goes out the window at warp speed. About all I can do is constantly remind him how to behave, to my incredibly frustration. These are usually the times that I'd like to punt him through a few concrete walls or plate glass windows.
Hope this helps,
C.P. answers from Seattle on April 16, 2008
I read a FABULOUS book when my first (also 4 now) was first born called "The Wonder Weeks." (I buy it for every pregnant person I know!) It addresses just what you are talking about for growth spurts in the first year of life. It specifically is talking about intellectual changes, but I've experienced and heard from others the same to be true for physical changes and growth (learning to walk, etc.). The basic premise is that when children are learning something new, it is very unfamiliar to them and you will see them behave differently. Some may withdraw, some may act out. Sleep patterns might change. And on and on. While this book was about the first year, I think it is 100% applicable at any stage of a child's development. Depending on what is changing, the period of strangeness may vary in length, but what you describes sounds like exactly what this book talks about. It's often very challenging for the parents, but watch to see what he is working hard on and what changes as those phases pass. It is so amazing to watch those little minds and bodies grow and change!
K.T. answers from Portland on April 19, 2008
Try a diet change, like extra veggies and fruits durring these times.-Washington