My little boy can't control his hyper-activeness or emotions. He's in nursery/preschool and he's fine there, but when he gets home he's bouncing off the walls. There's no telling him wrong from right, and when I put him on time out he thinks it's part of a game and that saying sorry gets him out of trouble or relieves him from being told off. Me or his mum never like telling him off but at the moment its constant. I'm looking for alternate discipline other than time out and telling him off?

  • Do you have a garden or any outside place for him to play? When my boys are too hyperactive to be inside, and basically just destroy things/run around like madmen, I tell them they have a choice: Show appropriate indoor behavior, or go outside and play. If they don't go outside and keep up the behavior, I will pick them up and put them outside. (with appropriate clothing for the weather). Sometimes that energy needs to get out, and even if you a busy might end up having to go outside with them.
    – Ida
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 19:31

2 Answers 2

  1. Take 20 uninterrupted, totally involved completely focused undistracted, minutes doing activities your child completely loves to do. Do this daily. Be present, so don't have food cooking, or laundry on, it's about him and you connecting. Follow his lead, have fun, let go. Do this every single day. Let him know how much you enjoyed it , how you can't wait to have one to one time everyday.
  2. Instead of yelling, use a calm voice when speaking with him.
  3. Stop the show. With no audience, there's really no point of having a show. You may want to child proof before doing this, but when he gets out of control you want to disconnect. You want to be neutral and matter of fact about it. Be quick about it and non reactive . Tell him you will be going to your time out spot and that he can come find you as soon as he is less excited. Nothing more. And leave. Now wait. When he comes, tell him you need a hug. Hug it out.
  4. Tell him that you're changing time out to make it a quiet place he can go to alone or with you when he feels really excited or angry. You can remind him of this when he needs it. He can go with you or alone. You will say something like I see you're really excited, do you want to take a break in your quiet spot or do you want mommy to come too. The spot can have books, music, favorite game or toy, no electronic devices like tablets or tv though. It can be decorated any way he wants. A huge box is a good thing to use. Make a little house of it. Or use a sheet to build a tent.

  5. Discuss with him what other things can HE CAN do when he feels this way... like take a walk, build Legos, paint/color, stomp on his pillows, big self hug, take a deep breath, count to ten, go to his quiet spot, read a book with Parent, use flashlight in the dark (not really dark not to scare him). Just some suggestions.
    Stop yelling, reprimanding, and time- outing. It is feeding into his needs for attention and power negatively. That all can be replaced with the Positive version as described above. Would like to follow up with you so let me know how things go. Best to you.


Our kids went through this also. Right now I'm going through this with our 3-year-old.

Maybe try lots of positive reinforcement for good behavior - whenever he is doing something good, we acknowledge it - for example

Jason, you're doing so well sitting there eating your food! You're such a big boy!

You can also try ignoring the bad behavior and supposedly he'll eventually stop once he notices it doesn't get your attention, but this never worked for us. Making sure the adults set good examples by not reacting badly to situations helps, I think.

But here is how time outs work for us - we keep all his toys in boxes so when it's time out, he goes to his room and stays - all toys removed. We also have installed a baby gate at his door he can't open. After he realizes we are not playing around, he screams and cries but we don't start the time out until he settles down and sits on his bed. I will give him a reminder every 5 minutes that he doesn't start his time until he sits down and stops screaming. We do 2-3 minutes time outs once he sits down. Afterwards, we talk about why he was in time out. Consistency is so much key for us because if we let him slide once, he uses that to his advantage.

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