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Old Aug 4th, 2013, 13:00 PM   1
poutie
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I can't stand my 4 year old lately


It may sound cruel.. But it's true. I love my son of course, the real him is sweet and wonderful. But ever since he's turned 4, he's out of control. I cannot stand him. I mean, I pretty much dread having him around. He's defiant, ANNOYING, sassy, runs a muck all day long, destroys everything (it takes me 2 hours to clean the house because he goes around and reverses all the work I've done) and he drives me insane. He's starting preschool in a month and I think that will help. I know he's only 4, and I'm sure this is pretty common behavior for a 4 year old, but lately I feel like I'm at my wits end. He never listens to me when I tell him not to do something - he looks at me, smiles, and does it anyway - even though he knows he'll go straight to time out. I feel like I need to take a different approach, but I don't know what to do. I hate spanking him; I feel like it teaches him to hit when he's angry, plus it doesn't do anything anyway. (I rarely spank him, for the record). I don't know what to do!



 
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Old Aug 4th, 2013, 13:28 PM   2
freckleonear
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4 is an awful age for boys as they have a huge testosterone surge. Loads of outdoor play, regular rough-and-tumble with a parent and one-to-one positive attention helps. Try to find ways for him to assert his independence (e.g. making his own breakfast) and take risks (e.g. climbing trees, using tools). Reward charts/systems can be effective if targeted towards one specific problem behaviour. It does get better after about 6-9 months!



 
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Old Aug 4th, 2013, 15:36 PM   3
poutie
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You have some excellent advice - thank you so much!!! Just what I needed. I knew I needed to change things up, but I've felt stumped and out of ideas! I had no idea boys has a testosterone surge at 4! That explains a lot... Lol thank you so much!



 
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Old Aug 5th, 2013, 00:01 AM   4
JASMAK
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Sounds like he needs clear rules with clear consequences that are followed through on. I agree with you on spanking....it doesnt teach anything but violence. But, consequences doesnt have to be a spank. It can simply be him having to clean up a mess, ect. I give time outs when absolutely necessary. It works for us. K threw a toy at me yesterday when I said it was time to wash up in the bath, so the toy was taken away for the night. She was very upset, and tonight she was very good in the bath.



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Old Aug 6th, 2013, 14:42 PM   5
littletobyj
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I am going through the exact same thing with my 4 year old, he drives me crazy! He calls me moody mummy if I try and tell him what to do and even tells me to calm down. Won't listen to a single thing I tell him-its exhausting, even more so because I'm pregnant. Then I get a major guilt attack when he tells me he loves me-its such a roller coaster and I thought I was over reacting with my hormones! Roll on September with school!



 
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Old Aug 6th, 2013, 20:54 PM   6
rjm09
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Never would have pegged my sons recent behaviors with the testosterone surge, but it makes sense. He never had sleep regressions, sttn since 9wks, ate early, never had a problem switching to bottles, then sippies then cups, so figured he wouldn't be typical older. Well he seems more sensitive at times, cries more at stupid things than he ever has, and then when he gets mad he talks back with the "no" , "i don't wanna" We're just firm with him when we need to, don't let your guard down, or they will be older and harder to deal with! As for the sensitive things, we deal with it, but don't make a big deal of it. Ex, he falls and hurts himself, but no marks, kiss it and say your ok, you're a big boy, and off he goes playing again.



 
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Old Aug 7th, 2013, 15:06 PM   7
Tacey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freckleonear View Post
4 is an awful age for boys as they have a huge testosterone surge. Loads of outdoor play, regular rough-and-tumble with a parent and one-to-one positive attention helps. Try to find ways for him to assert his independence (e.g. making his own breakfast) and take risks (e.g. climbing trees, using tools). Reward charts/systems can be effective if targeted towards one specific problem behaviour. It does get better after about 6-9 months!
Great advice here. Alice is 4 this month, and we're having similar issues in our house. I've found it essential for me to take some time away from her so I can have the energy to respond as I'd like to!

I would query the testosterone thing though. I've been trying to find where the evidence is for this, other than Steve Biddulph's writing. It's a 'fact' I've seen mentioned frequently, but I'd like to see what it's based on.



 
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Old Aug 7th, 2013, 17:01 PM   8
Mum2b_Claire
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Yeah Ruby drives me bonkers most days right now. She just does everything annoying, or wants to, then kicks off when I stop her. 'Mummy you are stupid' is her favourite thing to say when she is cross. I've got a book out of the library today about words being hurtful sometimes. It is very simple but she did engage with it.

Our triggers for the most difficult behaviour are all the usuals:
Tiredness
Activity in a few hours time (Not wanting to wait)
Going home from places
Transitions (too many things in one day without breaks in between)
Boredom, too much attention being directed at her sister, the day of the week has a 'y' in it!

Luckily her pre school is at a private nursery so I have been able to pay to send her there for part of the holidays, she and I would go crazy in each others pockets 24/7 for 6 weeks.

She is the most amazing, clever, funny and loving girl, but she is full on.



 
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 06:52 AM   9
SwissMiss
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Oh, I'm glad to read about mum's of girls too! Lindsey is REALLY full on at the moment too!
One minute she is like a baby, wanting cuddles and cuddling her blankies and the next she is telling me 'Go do *xyz* RIGHT NOW' or 'you are a SILLY mummy' or 'you HAVE to do *xyz*' and answering me back at EVERYTHING I tell her, which with my pregnancy hormones is just fuel for the flames I'm ashamed to admit... There is NOTHING that sets me off like getting talked back to by a FOUR YEAR OLD!!!

I know it's not the real her though and get the feeling she's testing again, like when she was between 2 and 3... She is otherwise just AMAZING! So clever and conscientious and loving and FUN!!! Yet another phase, I suppose
xx



 
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