Saturday, November 17, 2012

My 4 year old is acting strange toward others

Dear Kay,

I am at a loss.  My son is turning 4 next week and he has issues with not being able to keep his hands of his peers or his 1 year old brother.  I am constantly telling him to stop touching his brother, stop putting his finger or objects in his face.  If my 1 year old is walking to another room, he will follow him as close as possible the entire way and won't leave him alone.  For an example tonight he had his first soccer practice.  I asked his little friend if her birthday party was tomorrow and she said she was having a princess party.  My son was excited and got right in her face and pointed his finger right in her face and said he was coming.  He nearly poked her eye.  Nonetheless, she didn't like that.  Then they were standing in a line to take turns kicking the ball into the net and a boy was standing behind him that he's never met.  He kept elbowing the other boy and pushing himself into him.  I don't know why he's doing this and I don't know how to stop it.  I can tell other children don't like it and look at him weird.  I can't even get him to leave his brother alone.

Please help!



Dear Laurie:

There are lots of children's books about appropriate behaviors. I highly recommend reading those on a daily basis. Spend one on one time with him in a positive regarding activity. Praise him when he behaves the way you want him to and try to ignore bad behavior as long as he is not hurting himself, someone else or destroying something. The more you praise the better the behavior gets.

Check his daily routines and make sure they are very consistent (not schedules) as this provide structure children need.Also check his immediate environment, does anyone who interacts with him behave this way too?

If none of these things work and you believe there is something really wrong then by all means have him assessed by a mental health specialist who specializes in children 0-5 years of age.

 Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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