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Old 03-26-2011, 07:32 PM   #1
zerzu Female
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Red face Hyperactive kid and at wits end

Hello, I know I just joined by reading the posts seem to activate my fingers and suddenly improve my typing skills. :-)

I have been trying to figure out what is the first - or rather most important - parenting topic I wanted to share and learn about. The answer is probably "hyperactivity". Every time my mother comes to town (not often) she comments on how my son is hyperactive, to which I respond "no, just active"... now I'm starting to think that he really IS hyperactive .... his teacher at Pre-K just sent me his monthly bulletin ; overall good but the same comment that stands out each time "can't channel his energy, very often distracted"... add to this that he won't play the same game for more than 5 minutes (Unless I am playing it with him, and partially because I insist). If it were up to him, he would change cartoon every 15 minutes, he is CONSTANTLY grabbing at things - ANY thing - moving, scuttling about, talking non stop.... it's like he's been charged with the best of the best life-long duracell batteries!!

There are two other things which stand out, and I am not sure if they are a result of his apparent hyperactivity, or part of the same thing :

- he never listens. I have to repeat something 5 times, and say "please, now listen" to get his attention so that he will, at that point listen. This includes bed time stories ; he insists on them, but then plays with other toys. I finally told him I would only read to him if he actively listened, so now he does, and we talk about his story and the pictures. But he is always fingering the toy that he has pre-chosen to play with next. Most times, if I want to explain something he immediately says "I know", before I even start my topic... needless to say, most often he has no idea what I am about to say.

- He is CONSTANTLY seeking attention and approval. This more than anything worries me - and drives me insane - because i can't imagine it is a healthy trait. He has always been like this, gets insanely upset if he is told he did a "no-no"... I have managed to make him understand (as was suggested to me a therapist) that "I love him no matter what", so the "Mommy, I'm nice? Mommy, I'm a good boy?" has been replaced with "Mommy, I love you" 700 times a day. It may seem cute, but it's actually going into serious overload. If I am at my computer, or on the phone, of have friends over etc. he interrupts constantly "Mommy, I want yoghurt/a banana/water/to play ball etc"), or asks me every for minutes to validate the two lines he scribbled on a piece of paper... He wants to know who called, what they said, who's car this is, where we are going, what is for lunch/dinner, what I am doing in the bathroom...

The odd thing though is that, although he is constantly seeking attention and intervenes in everything (and I mean, everything), he is not clingly. If i go out, and kiss him goodbye and reassure him that I will come back soon, he is fine. If I travel alone (which I do, and he stays with the nanny whom he's had since day 1), he's fine. If someone he likes comes over, even if he barely knows them, he has no qualms about taking off with them : he just goes where the fun is, forget Mommy.

Sometimes (lately, alot) I lose patience with him - especially about his excessive inquisitiveness. I know it's wrong, and it makes me feel awful and that he deserves a better parent. At the same time I am at my wit's end. I don't know if his behaviour is normal for his age, if there is something I am missing, what I can do to help him "relax" (his body is always very taught, it seems, yet he is a very cheery, happy go lucky child)...

now that the fingers have warmed up the thoughts are rolling, but I think you got the jist.

I don't know how significant this is, but I should mention that my son is adopted. I brought him home when he was 3,5 months old, and he has been with me ever since. Pretty soon we are moving to Italy and I will no longer have the luxury of a nanny, so it will be just him and I. Given my current level of anxiety and frustration and confusion, knowing that the nanny here allows me to "take time off", what will happen when it is just him and I?

Have any of you had a similar experience? I would so much appreciate your insight and experiences....

Thank you for letting me vent - it is the first time I have address this concern in words.

All the best,
Z.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hyperactive kid and at wits end

CIAO!! I must first ask where in Italy you are from? My relatives are based in Cassino, I've been twice and they've been here about the same. Can't wait to get my kids under control enough and have enough money to go back and visit!

I think the first course of action is work to get him evaluated. It may be nothing and simply his personality, but knowing what I've been through I'd say do this as early as possible and the worst case scenario is you come out knowing more about your son than you did when you went in.... Happy to see that he does listen attentively to books as I was thinking as you mentioned listening, "get the good old hearing check done" Honestly, I'd do that too, can't hurt to know the ears are ok! Often times, the process of elimination tells us and dr's more than trying to dx a specific item.

If he's in preschool, it may be a bit premature to say ADHD, Hyperactive, etc.... but you CAN knock off anything more serious and they can get good clues to what may be going on. Also, as we talk about during divorce and child custody proceedings, document. Write down concerns, write down conversations with teachers, add reports for teachers, anyting odd that happens, ordinary occurences, out of the ordinary occurrences, etc. Again, it won't hurt to have it and could help greatly!
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hyperactive kid and at wits end

Hi Re-Mom,

Thank you for your post. I grew up in Rome but will be living in Florence as of this upcoming summer. I love italy, despite all its contradictions! :=)
Re. my son, I was infact thinking about having him evaluated, but I don't honestly know how to go about it. In Europe things like ADHD, hyperactivity etc are not seen in the same way as in the US, and thus are not cared for in the same manner. Soon I will be in the US for a month and was wondering if that was enough time to do an evaluation, how to choose someone competent etc. etc. Physicallly, he can hear just fine...

In truth, what I wonder is how much of his attitude is his own persona, and how much of it is my misguided parenting. I have the sense that I have something to do with it, but don't know how to correct it. In my household, as children, we were taught where "our place" was, and from the start I didn't want my child growing up hindered in his speech or self expression. But it seems that the boundaries between "self expression" and outright "lack of boundaries" is a much thinner line than I thought...

Yesterday, I took him to the doctor for a check up. There were other children in the waiting room, and he and the others were playing in the designated children's play area. Except whereas the other children were just playing, he was playing and calling out to me every 5 seconds "mommy, the child doesn't want to play with me", "mommy, i love you", "mommy, what are you doing".... and he was the ONLY child doing this. It's maddening!!

If you have any tips about how to get him evaluated while I am in the US, assuming that One month is sufficient time, I'm be grateful for the information.

Thank you,
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hyperactive kid and at wits end

Do you or he have a dr. in the u.s.? If so, call them and find out who to go to. I've done most of the research here myself. Found different psychs who were recommended and work with kids, called to be sure they take my insurance and then made an appt. The appts have always been about a month out in general. Will you be able to have coverage in the u.s.? (not sure how ins. works over there or where his true citizenship is right now)

Have you spoken to his ped in Italy about it?

I hear what you are saying about not being sure where the line is. There may be absolutely nothing going on with your son, but I'll tell you I did the same thing for years. Figured it was part of the chaos of three girls so close together, divorce, my parenting, etc. I tried probably 10 different behavior programs I made upLOL I was sure that it was just the way M was (and D)....until it began sliding downhill further and getting in the way of simple activities, family life, etc. I definitely waited too long (around 7//8 yrs old) It has taken since then to truly get somewhere with getting her help.

I wish I had more knowledge of how the system works in Italy. I do have recollection of different parenting over there of the younger ones. There was much more freedom of expression, though still respect was required.

Does his teacher have any suggestions as to where to go for an eval, or next steps for him?
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hyperactive kid and at wits end

Hi Zerzu- and welcome to the group! Wow, he sounds like a more intense version of my daughter in so many ways, although she is now 8 and could very well have been just like your boy when she was the same age. Constantly needing outside input, is the best way to put it. Always having to interact with me (or somebody else when I wasn't handy), constantly fidgeting, daydreaming... probably the one thing she doesn't do/ didn't do was looking for approval all the time but she does have a hard time accepting consequences when she's done something wrong. It's toned down a little as she's grown, but still very present. I've thought off and on about having her evaluated for ADHD over the years. Earlier this year she went to a therapist for a few months and the therapist felt the behavior was more anxiety related than hyperactivity, and I do notice that when things are extra-stressful for her the silliness gets out of control.
That said, a book I read that really helped me is "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurchinka.
And you know what, we're all misguided as parents so much of the time, and our kids turn out okay. The most important thing is to keep trying and keep learning and do our best.
Wishing you the best!

---------- Post added at 09:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:10 AM ----------

Oh, and your son is adopted- what do you know about his family history, if anything? The answers could be somewhere in the family history....
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hyperactive kid and at wits end

My son is VERY hyperactive most of the time. It's exhausting (and I work full time so I only have him at night and on the weekends!) It's especially bad when he's somewhere new. At home he's not quite as bad, but get him out anywhere and he's a wild boy! I've often wondered if part of it is the rejection from his dad or if that's just the way he is. I accept him for who he is, but he is VERY frustrating!!
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