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4 1/2 year child starts hitting on forehead when frustrated and upset. How to control this behaviour?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 353 Questions
My 4 1/2 year old son starts punching himself in the forehead when he doesn't get his own way or when he is really frustrated and upset. He also gets into everything like I have never seen before with all my other kids. He is constantly trying to touch everything and being naughty by cracking eggs onto the floor tipping out the washing powder etc he is not interested in books or learning at all and whenever you go somewhere he always puts on a fight because he wants something. Even to the extreme of buying a new lounge he cries and shouts because he wants one also. I'm starting to become frustrated an worried myself for him and am wondering if there could be a underlying issue any advice or help would be much appreciated
Posted Thu, 9 Aug 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Neelam Ashish Vanjari 2 hours later

Thanks for writing in.
After going through the symptoms mentioned above, it can be likely to be case of Attention deficit Hyperactive disorder [ADHD] or can be simple case where lack of attention paid to kids make them hyperactive.

Differentiation between ADHD and normal hyperactive kid is difficult to make with history alone as it needs observation of kid also. You can consult psychologist to diagnose if your son has underlying ADHD.

In case of normal hyperactive child; it can happen that lack of attention paid to them will insist them to behave extraordinary to grab attention of parents.
You can observe over the period of time if you are doing same to him unconsciously compared to your other kids.

Follow simple steps before approaching psychologists, which can help him.

1] Try to pay attention to him, give extra care, be gentle while dealing with him.

2] Use free time to take a trip to the park, read a special book together, take a walk, or simply giggle and be silly with your child or children. These free time moments can be especially helpful in bonding with hyperactive kids.

3] Avoid overstimulation. Keep television watching to a minimum, and don’t allow TV watching at night. Hyperactive kids benefit by doing, not sitting. So offer lots of hands on activities, in preference to watching hours of TV.

4] Hyperactive kids frequently receive attention from their parents in negative ways, whether the parent yells, spanks or punishes. Changing to positive reinforcement techniques can retrain a child to desire your positive strokes rather than your negative responses.

5] Hyperactive kids are filled to the brim with energy, making focus very difficult. Parents of hyperactive kids often feel that one way to help with this extra energy is to give children lots of opportunities for exercise.

6] Most important, establishing regular routines can help him. Children of all types tend to have difficulty transitioning when routines are not clear and consistent. e.g going to bed at same time or having dinner at particular timings.

If above measures do not work, then consult psychologist to rule out ADHD.
I hope I have answered your query. In case of any doubt, I shall be happy to help you.
Best regards,
Dr. Neelam.
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