9 answers

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.

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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

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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

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!

Hi B.,
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!
Take care!

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.


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,

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!

Try a diet change, like extra veggies and fruits durring these times.-Washington

Hi B.,

I am also a stay at home mom (twins, 21 months)and i agree that the children go through a WIERD stage when growing. Ears become disconnected with brains and bodies. This is normal, and even gets worse as the teen years approach. This is due to the connections forming in the brain (from what I have read). As the mom, we are just to go with the flow and try to direct the activities of these little WIERDOS while this change is occuring.

Good luck.

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