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Why is my son exhibiting violent behaviour at night?

Q: My 2-year-old son is hyperactive. He can't sit still for a second and keeps doing something or the other. Since his attention span is very restricted, he often indulges in destructive activities like throwing things, banging, yelling etc. He is very violent with other children also. All efforts have been made to discipline him, which do have an effect at times but mostly go in vain. Of late, he has been getting up in the middle of the night and starts screaming, crying and howling for half an hour, during which he becomes very violent too. Nothing pacifies him. He becomes quiet on his own and goes back to sleep. We are unable to understand this behaviour. The paediatricians have given a clean chit as far as his physical health is concerned. What is the matter with him? A friend suggested that it is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He is our first child and hence gets all the attention. In fact more than what is required. I have noticed that his nocturnal behaviour is more pronounced when he has been too destructive during the day and has been severely reprimanded and also hit by me. How can I deal with the situation and what can be done to tackle this kind of behaviour?

A:Since the child's hyperactivity is not intentional, but due to some activity in the brain, it is not good to lose your temper or hit the child. You will have to learn to count ten and slow down before you treat the child as if he was willfully irritating you. I do not see how his doctors have said that there is no problem physically. Mind and body, biochemicals in the system and behaviour are all linked inextricably. I think you need to consult a doctor who can treat the child for the problems that he has. If you are in Bangalore, NIMHANS is a good institution to consult for treatment. Other metropolitan cities also have some facilities, so checking out personally will be the best procedure. In Chennai, there is Pranic healing available for children with disability or behaviour problems and I know of cases of moderate success in calming down children through Pranic healing. In the meanwhile, do not give the child cola drinks or tea or coffee. No TV watching, or not more than half an hour a day of it. Try playing gentle classical music on tape. There are many practitioners who swear by Mozart. Indian classical music, preferably instrumental, could also be tried. The good vibrations from classical music will help the whole family indirectly. But all this is only in addition to what the doctor prescribes.

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