Q: I am a mother of 2 children, 4 years old son and 2 years old daughter. The problem is my son is very hyper, doesnt listen to anything, keeps crying on every little thing, no matter how much I make him understand. For that very moment he will say that he will listen but next moment he does something or the other. Sometimes I tell him that if he continues doing the same thing I will leave him in the boarding, just to make him not do what he does. He again says he wont do but after sometime does it. If I take him out in a hotel or where ever he keeps jumping around, ask him to sit or dont do mischief but he wont listen and embarrasses us. In the house, he will break toys; tell him anything he will cry non stop. I have tried making him understand but he doesnt listen, he irritates me so much, at times, I spank him cause I really cannot tolerate what he does. At times I punish him also like I lock him in the bathroom for few minutes for sometime he is fine but again he repeats it. My daughter is absolutely fine. I am also worried that seeing my sons aggressive behaviour my daughter should not do the same. I have taken my son to a psychiatrist - he has given him a syrup - encorate 2 teaspoon twice a day. So please let me know how can I handle my child, or is there any medical help he needs.
A:Your child is quite normal. Children at age 4 do no like to sit quietly in one place. He is perhaps more energetic and restless than some other children, but your getting irritated with him will not help him. You should NOT SHUT HIM UP IN THE BATHROOM. That can be a very frightening experience for a child. When he is over active, you should be persuading him gently to do something else. Get him games to play with, which he enjoys. Teach him music; this may help him to become more disciplined. Plan his activities and warn him a little before it ends that he will have to stop, so that he can have dinner, or go to sleep, or whatever. Your daughter will not catch the tendency to be self willed and hyper-active, so stop worrying on that account. But PLEASE do not keep telling him that his sister is well behaved and he should be like her. Children do not like being compared or made to compete for parental approval. Your child also needs some quiet activities. Story reading and story telling might be good, but selecting the right stories at the childs level requires some skill. Ask the older people in your family or your neighbourhood for some help. Sometimes an old fashioned idea might work. BUT NOT PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT. It will only give the child an idea of how to behave when he cannot get what he wants. You need a great deal of patience, affection and tenderness. I cannot comment about medication, but I can guide you about parenting. Throwing and catching a large rubber ball may be enjoyable. Finding other children around to play with begins to become very important at this age, but closer to 5 years. I hope my suggestions are helpful. I think that in general we in India expect children to grow up and behave like adults too soon. Dont get embarrassed when he does something foolish -- just laugh with him and he might begin to see that his parents have a sense of humour!