Yes I’m back to talk about William again, what a hell of a weekend that was. Theoretically we should be used to his behaviour now (and that’s just my husband ha ha ha), but we’re still not. My husband and I sometimes just stare at each other dumbstruck wondering how the hell we ended up with such a hyperactive spoilt child. Yes I said spoilt, I’m going to put it out there because I think on some level he is spoilt. And this is not because my mother-in-law says so but because my mum also said it recently, but when I retaliated back and said, “he doesn’t get everything he wants!” She responded explaining that’s not what she had meant; she meant giving him my full attention for the last 4 and a half years, him getting new toys and clothes as he’s grown up (most of them are second hand to be fair, we’re not that well off!). However after thinking about it, I can see what she means now. He’s always had what he’s wanted, not necessarily what he’s needed.
He has eight kallax drawers full of toy vehicles, games, crafts, colouring books, duplo, train sets and cuddly toys in our dining room and still insists on not playing by himself that we have to play with him. I never thought about it before but when my mum asked me if I remembered what it was like when I was younger I tried to think back. Yes, I do and I had a whole play room to myself (being the youngest of 3 and them being 8 and 12 years older than me the toys were pretty much all mine anyway), so yeah I was spoilt and I look back now and realise that. So why has it taken me so long to realise that William is spoilt?
Going back a year…
Over lockdown his behaviour got significantly worse and we were both drained by it, I was in tears most nights and at my wits end. I was reading books and doing research into what was the best thing to do, I was asking my mum on a daily basis because I couldn’t cope with not being able to see her and reassure me that I can do this. Some days I couldn’t even talk to her in the day because William would interrupt or snatch the phone out of my hand, he really didn’t ever want me on the phone. He would hit me when he didn’t get what he wanted and sometimes he would pinch me too, and I couldn’t take much more of it.
We were close to wondering if he had ADHD, which we really were starting to believe that this was it. I joined parents of ADHD groups on Facebook and spent hours reading the internet with ideas how to help him, I was making charts and putting them up in our kitchen regularly in hope that it would help.
Because that hadn’t made any difference I felt like I was back to ‘square one’, asking friends with children and they had said that yes, their children had been the same at that age (pre lockdown). So going back to the drawing board and started doing more research, also visiting research sites in hope that something would be able just to be able to give me some sort of wisdom or an idea to help us get through this.
Then one day I was reading a medical journal written back in 1997 that looked into magnesium levels in children with hyperactivity, I wouldn’t have thought of reading this but since I’ve been working at the library it’s really opened my eyes to research and how much we can learn from it (obviously if it’s about a subject we understand!)
So after talking with my husband about it we did it, we got online and bought some magnesium supplements and thought we’ll try for a month and see how it goes.
He was a different child.
We had our happy William back, he was still hyperactive and tiring us out but the tantrums were different. He still had them but he was coping better with how to deal with what was bothering him which helped us. He still wouldn’t tidy his toys when we asked him too, he still wasn’t tired when we told it was bed time and he still had a meltdown when his toys don’t do what he wants them to do. However it’s on such a smaller scale than what it was.
Back then we were giving him one in the afternoon about 3pm because that was when his behaviour would get worse. Giving him one of these supplements a day was helping him because he was dealing with issues and having less tantrums and on much smaller scales.
I am NOT saying if your child is behaving badly then order these supplements.
The moral of this story (oh god here we go, but I do have to be impartial about this because every child is different), is to watch and learn your child. I am no way an expert, but I read so much (when I get time but that’s another story) and I do read some random sh*t. I mean did you know that in 2002 a Swedish academic did research into whether chickens preferring beautiful humans, I wonder if they also designed Ikea?
BUT after watching so many Super Nanny’s and trawling through various websites and reading books I realised that we cannot treat all children the same, what works for my child might not work for yours so you almost have to figure out what sparks their behaviour and how to calculate what he or she needs to do to process or deal with the things that triggers the tantrums or behaviours.
I’m only saying all this because today we forgot to give him a magnesium, it’s the first time we’ve forgotten on the weekend because in the week he’s at preschool and on those days he doesn’t need them. But TODAY, oh my gosh that devil child was back and it scarred the hell out of me, knowing that one little white supplement makes SUCH a difference.
I still think he’s a little bit spoilt, but we’re still working on that…..but THAT is another story!