I have a 3.5-year-old son. He's bright and energetic, but I'm worried about his behavior, since it seems out of control.

He was walking at 7 months. His language has always been good - he knew his alphabet in song by 1 or so, and all his animals - hundreds. He has great abilities to rationalize, comprehend a story, and a good imagination and level of intelligence.

The problem is that he can't sit still. He still has this urge to run, to shout, to disobey and to throw tantrums and cry and the most preposterous events. Every day is a struggle.

We put him in a Nursery at 11 months when I went back to work, and it was OK at first. But then the biting began. And he was always so busy, unlike other children who could be still, he was always on the move.

Going to restaurants was out of the question.

We took to the odd spanking when his behavior goes really out of control.

Recently, he got kicked out of his pre-kindergarten nursery at 3.5. Granted these people were humourless and failed to celebrate his character, but is it me? What can I do to make him listen, to focus, to behave? Will he grow out of it? I'm terrified he'll get kicked out of his next school.

Bottom line: is it too late for us to correct his out of control behavior? What's the best strategy to get started?

  • 3
    Welcome to our site, Alice! It sounds like you have some concerns to resolve, and plenty of questions to ask. I understand your need to "vent" -- but putting everything into a single post won't give you many useful directions. Please try to split up your situation into several separate question posts so that we can address each of them separately. Our guide on How to ask will help you with that. Dec 13, 2012 at 12:32
  • 3
    Can you also be more specific please? How old is he now? Describe what you mean by "he was really nuts". Getting expelled from Kindergarten is not an "incident"; it's a consequence -- so what was the incident? Maybe we can help you avoid similar behavior in the future. Let's try to address these things one by one. Dec 13, 2012 at 12:40
  • 2
    Hey Alice, I'm going to have to agree with Torben, but I would like to add an emphatic NO! to the general thrust of your question, "Have I missed Out on the Key Years of Relationship-Building and Discipline?" My parents take in troubled kids when they are in adolescence and still make a huge difference in their lives. Your child is barely four. Take Heart. Break your question up into some smaller ones. Read some of the questions already asked about discipline and their answers and Welcome to the Site I hope you'll find the reassurance and help you need here. Dec 13, 2012 at 15:59
  • @alice I've made some changes to your question, as the consensus is that it needed some additional focus. Please feel free to add in specific details (such as your son's age, the specific behavior you're worried about, etc.). It would also help if you could edit out anything that isn't directly related to what you want an answer on. For example, if the biting is your primary concern, get rid of anything not directly relevant to the biting. If you're more worried about him getting kicked out of another school, add why he got kicked out, and remove the parts that aren't related to that.
    – user420
    Dec 13, 2012 at 19:17
  • If you don't think my edits helped, you can roll back my edit to your original version, and have a go at making your own improvements. If you have any questions, want some advice, or just want to talk with someone, you can join us in Parenting Chat now that you have enough reputation.
    – user420
    Dec 13, 2012 at 19:19

3 Answers 3


First of all, I want to say that I have tremendous respect for what you are doing. My wife is experiencing the same thing, so I know how it is. The way I see this, is that your little one is passionate and curious. But he does not understand the world he lives in. My daughter also bites, scratches, and hits. When it comes to discipline, there is not much we can do now since she is only one year (except explaining and saying NO).

She goes nuts everyday, the same like in your case. Funny thing is, when we go outside with her, she can run and look around. It puts her in a different state. I would say this aggressive behavior is due to boredom. He seems an intelligent boy, so he might not be challenged in his activities. And please don't worry if he got kicked out of pre-school, I mean, to me it seems that they don't want to deal with him because he does not sit still. What I can recommend are the books from Dr. Karp; those helped us a lot. We read a lot about parenting since we do not have any family members that we can ask for help.

Remember, you are just providing guidance in his life, that does not mean that everything that happens is your fault; he has a strong personality and he wants to be independent. Even though my daughter makes us nuts, I know that she will get what she wants later on in life because of her strong personality.

I get worried sometimes too, but I notice that parents also got scared with all the garbage in the media about symptoms in kids about diseases. It happens so fast that kids get labeled with a medical term and are on a drug plan to make them socially more feasible. When it comes to parenting, listen to your heart and you will make the right decisions. You can be proud of yourself! I know this post is probably not what you have expected, but I felt related to your post, so I wanted to share my thoughts on that. Best of luck to you and your family.

  • + 1 for being bright, but not challenged!
    – NWS
    Dec 14, 2012 at 9:12

This is awesome actually! It's amassing how your son is developed in his age. And it's absolutely ok that he can't sit still. Can you imagine sitting still when it's so interesting around?

What I'd suggest you: find him something interesting to learn. I don't know, maybe logics, math, some other stuff... You need to find a challenge for him so your son can concentrate on overcoming the obstacles and reaching the goal instead of doing something that is not acceptable in this society. I remember that my mom made a lot of logic puzzles for me when I was small. But nowadays you should be able to find some interesting things in bookstores.

It's always easier to blame someone else because he is not like the other ones, but please, take some time to make your son even better.

To be honest - it's always an issue if your'e better then the others. Steve Jobs was considered a bad pupil as he was doing some pranks, just because he knew way more than a school level and so was bored…


I am willing to take here the opposite stand.

"Recently, he got kicked out of his pre-kindergarten nursery at 3.5"

This is a severe alarm sign. Its probably even beyond an alarm sign. You need to seek out professional help immediately. Minor adjustments wont do it any more, and only delay what has to be done.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .