Son Being Loud and Disruptive

Updated on April 26, 2008
P.R. asks from San Jose, CA
7 answers

My 5 year old son knows what is good and what is bad. He knows what to do to be nice and what to do to bug everyone around him. Most of the time, he chooses things that bother others. My biggest thing is that he is loud and he doesn't want to wait. Yesterday I got a call from the principal that he was sent to the office, because he was intrupting the teacher and didn't give his classmates a chance. It really bothers me that I can't help him choose the right stuff at the right places. He has an older brother (9) that they fight all the times and he knows not to do it with others, but still.... I don't know what to do anymore. This week I am keeping them home and have told them that we are not going anywhere until they learn.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi P. - My son is now 10 and still doing everything you described - and it's been making me crazy. One of the suggestions from my son's school (he's in a private school, public schools here are awful) is that he be evaluated for ADHD and OCD. We are treading carefully, but feel much more relaxed about his behavior since we discovered that much of it is outside of his control. Please note that I don't necessarily recommend drugs, but I do recommend an evaluation which should include his teacher, a mental health professional who specializes in this sort of thing, you and your husband, and his pediatrician. It's not quick, it can be expensive, but the bottom line is that you MAY discover solutions.

And hang in there - I totally understand how frustrated and upset you are.



answers from San Francisco on

Is he having other impulse control-related problems in class? If so, the teacher may suggest that he do kindergarten again cuz in 1st grade, he really needs to be able to control things of this nature. Like the other mom said, he may have started K before he was emotionally ready. Otherswise, I absolutely agree w/praising the positive....for both your boys. While it's easy to do, being negavitve & punitive don't always work. We have a 7 year old who is loud & likes to be the one to answer all the questions, too. It helpd for us & him that he started K at almost 6 & he matured a lot over the summer so he's is much bettter at not disrupting the class. I tend to be negative & punitive w/him & 90% of the time, it backfires on me. We try to be very positve w/him & reward him for it. Talk to the teachers at school about doing this & then continue it at home w/both your boys. I have to say, keeping them home all week & not leaving the house may just intensify their fighting & drive you & their dad nuts. As much as we don't like it, siblings fight. Praise them when they're playing & talking nicely to each other & getting along. We also have a 3 yr old that our older son isn't too pleased w/so we have to even praise him for sitting nicely w/his little brother. Sounds so dumb but it helps. Hope this helps & good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

Is your 5 yo an early kindergartner? Sometimes it is better to wait until the child is more socially developed to start kindergarten. However, it is nearly the end of the year, so a little late to be thinking of this. I would start talking strategies. For example, "I know you are really excited that you have the answer or something to tell your teacher, but it's not fair to the others that you are calling out. They need a chance to use their brains too. If you feel you are going to call out, cover your mouth with your own hand." I know this sounds weird, but I've done this with preschoolers and kindergartners, and it works with some of them.

Another idea is to instantly reward good behavior. If he sits at circle or whatever time period you decide upon (shorter at first is better), give a reward. A sticker or a skittle is a good instant reward (I don't know how you feel about candy). It is amazing what a child will do for the candy. With stickers, you can set an end of the day goal. If you recieve 5 stickers, at the end of the day you can have an extra 5 or 10 minutes of a favorite activity at home. After a while, these reward behavior modifiers can be phased out. If they don't work, I would say there is a bigger issue at hand and to ask for an SST at school. Good Luck.



answers from Modesto on

Children tend to model behavior that gets them the attention they crave and if they aren't getting attention and recognition for the good things they are doing then they act out negatively to get attention. My suggestion is to make it a point to find reasons to praise for a job well done, or anything positive the child does. Also, maybe set up some kind of simple reward program (maybe stickers or something small the children enjoy) for each day they go without fighting, or acting out in school. And for the negative behavior - maybe focus on "time out" time and don't give any more attention than is needed for the negative behavior. They will learn what behaviors will bring them the most reward. Is there something underlying - such as not having the attention from their father, or adequate one-on-one and quality time from you? The key would be to help get to the root of the anger/acting out and spend some quality one-on-one time and reward positive behavior and have predetermined consequences for the negative behavior. I don't know if keeping them out of school is the better solution. You're doing the right thing to seek advice. I hope you find the tools you're looking for and hope I was somewhat helpful and didn't ramble too much.
Thanks for being a mother who cares : )
Good Luck!



answers from Redding on

Dear P.,
It is so frustrating when our little cherubs act out. Especially when we know that they are aware of how to behave properly. Patience, sharing, waiting your turn, being still and quiet are some of the hardest ones to get them in the hang of. These are all things you can work on at home though. For instance, no interrupting while mom and dad are on the phone or adults are talking. My father taught us that while adults were conversing, if we needed to tell either him or my mother something, we were to quietly approach and gently tug, two times on their sleeve. They would gently pat us back to acknowledge us. If it was an okay time, they would ask right then what we wanted or needed. If it was not a good time, such as the life insurance agent being at the house to go over the family finances, we would go back out of the room, knowing full well that in just a little bit, one or the other of them would come to see what we needed. Of course if there was an emergency or someone was bleeding, that was different. We still did the tug first. P.S. Someone playing with your favorite Lego part does NOT constitute an emergency! That little thing my dad had us do taught us 3 things, 1. We could get their attention by not vocally interrupting 2. That we could trust we were not being ignored because they always acknowledged us and let us say what it was we had wanted to say when they were done 3. Patience
We tugged even if we had people over for a bbq and we just wanted to ask if we could play in the front yard instead of the backyard. When adults were talking, we just did not interrupt. That went for school, for anywhere.
As for taking turns, you can begin by doing something like, "Your brother is going to take a turn sitting in this chair with me and reading with me for 10 minutes. During your brother's turn, you can pick out a book to share with me when it's YOUR turn. For 10 minutes, you have to be quiet and patient and then it will be your brother's turn to be quiet and patient." If they interrupt or get unruly, take a minute away of their special time. "Every minute you take away from someone else's turn, you will lose a minute of your own turn. If you continue not to be patient, you will lose your turn all together. You will have to wait a whole nother day to get your turn." Do praise for patience, even if it's broken down or whittled into one minute increments. "You were really patient for 3 minutes, but we have 7 more to go. I won't let your brother upset your turn either, so you have to wait." Letting each one of them set a timer for the OTHER person's turn can get them to focus and anticipate the signal that they get to be next. One goes first the first day, the other goes first the next.
Since your little one loves being loud, take him somewhere at least once a week that he can be as loud as he wants. Find a river or a park or someplace he can get it all out. Tell him ahead of time that you will be there for x-amount of time and he can be as noisy as he wants. But, when it's time to go, it's time to GO and have "inside voices" in the car and at home and school until you go back to a place where he can let it all hang out. There are times to screech like a maniac and times to keep it in check.
The choices thing........My daughter NEVER failed to choose something that was not an option. If she was offered a hamburger or a hot dog, she would politely say that she wanted spaghetti. If she was offered chocolate or vanilla, she wanted strawberry. She would find a way to come up with something that was never on the list in the first place. There was nothing wrong with her saying what she would choose, if given a choice of anything in the world, but she had to will choose this or that. There are not 3 choices. There are 2 choices. So, I gave her two choices for things. You can wear the blue pants or the black pants. You can choose a banana or an apple.You can choose this movie or that movie. When it came to clothes, which she HAD to wear, I said that if she wouldn't choose between the two, I would choose for her. When it came to movies or treats and she got stubborn, she got neither. There was no fighting about it. She was given a choice. And the next day, her choices began again. I just kept at it. I think that giving kids two choices eventually lets them see that there really are only two choices when it comes to certain behave or not behave. To follow rules or not follow rules. You don't want your kid thinking they have limited choices, but I think that part of the problem is that we give them too many choices and then they can't make up their minds because they just aren't equipped. They will have to make a zillion choices in their lives. At this age...start with only giving them 2. If they say, I should have chosen the apple because that's what I really wanted, then say they can choose the apple tomorrow. Always let your kids know that every day can be a fresh new start as far as choices.

Take care!



answers from Salinas on

Have you had him checked for sensory issues? My son was very much like that and he has some sensory issues as well as an immature nervous system. I am sure he wants to do the right thing but with nervous system issues they really can't help themselves.

There is lots of info on the web and it takes some effort to find a child therapist who can help. It is worth the effort early before he gets labled as disruptive or a troublemaker.



answers from Sacramento on

Sound like they need more consequences to their actions, so that they learn. I recently had to ground my 15 year old for the way she talks to her little brother. I have started making the kids earn back their items they have
lost. They don't like it but it does work.

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