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Moms of four-year olds...support thread

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
My son just turned four in August and I swear, it was like someone flipped a switch, because my normally sweet, never aggressive little boy started HITTING. I'm still stunned by it. He got frustrated a lot when he was three but he never took it out on us, he rarely grabbed things out of other kids' hands, and he never was overly physical with other kids at ALL. Now, he hits us, he kicked a little kid at the playground the other day, he grabs things away from other kids all the time, and he says mean things.

He's not like this ALL the time, but he never used to be like this so it's shocking to me. I'll admit I used to see other kids who behaved this way and be a little smug that MY precious baby wasn't like THOSE kids, and obviously they just weren't parented right. Uh, yeah.

Anyway, I just wanted to hear from other parents who might be going through this. I *know* it's probably just a phase (judging from other moms I've spoken to, especially those with boys) but as my DH just said, it's EMBARRASSING. And a little heartbreaking.
post #2 of 31
SO glad ds is no longer 4! That was the absolute worst age. Do lots of deep breathing. Make sure he is getting as much sleep as possible and having frequent snacks. Good luck!

Btw, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys is a good book for understanding the whole boy aspect.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post
SO glad ds is no longer 4! That was the absolute worst age. Do lots of deep breathing. Make sure he is getting as much sleep as possible and having frequent snacks. Good luck!

Btw, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys is a good book for understanding the whole boy aspect.
Thanks for the encouragement and the book recommendation! Of course today my DS was totally happy and fun and not aggressive, lol. Though he IS very demanding of our attention, always.

It's funny you should mention the snacks -- I realized that he hadn't eaten any lunch at one point and although he said he wasn't hungry, I made myself a snack knowing he'd probably want some of it. I was aware that if he were getting hungry we might be headed for trouble.
post #4 of 31
I used to have to do that, too, fix myself food he liked and then share it. Because it had to be his idea and if I asked him if he was hungry and he said no he'd get mad at me if I gave him food.

It does get better, I've lived to tell the tale.
post #5 of 31
I have a four year old DD. She'll be five in December, but the last six months have been the worst of our parenting experience. Oddly enough, DD is fabulous- she listens well, is generally helpful, doesn't lie or make messes, doesn't get into things that she shouldn't, is extremely verbal and can carry on a perfectly decent conversation.

The problem is THE DRAMA.

OMG THE DRAMA.

In too much of a hurry to let her choose her clothes this morning? Heart-wrenching sobs.

Doesn't get her exact preferred foods at dinner? Heart-wrenching sobs.

Daddy is exhausted after work and can't play with her immediately? You guessed it! Heart-wrenching sobs.

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Mama View Post
I'll admit I used to see other kids who behaved this way and be a little smug that MY precious baby wasn't like THOSE kids, and obviously they just weren't parented right. Uh, yeah.
This was me. Everyone talked about the "terrible twos" and I would shrug...they weren't that bad for us. My two year old could sit at a restaurant for an hour with good manners & walk out smiling.

Three wasn't that bad, either. My sweet little guy.

Four is kicking me to the ground and I am begging for mercy. It is such a time of extremes!



Because when Adam is having a good day, he is the most awesome kid in the whole wide world. He woke up this morning in a fantastic mood, got dressed by himself, happily ate breakfast, MADE HIS BED, brushed his teeth/washed his face, and got his backpack for school. I dropped him off & he gave me a hug: "I love you always, mom!" and trotted right in.

You wouldn't have known that yesterday, I was going to put the child on craigslist if he did not. stop. pushing. his. sister.

And the sassy pants? Wow. "Mom, I have already told you that I do not want to go inside. No. N. O." "Mom, I am not going. Nope." (and he runs away across the yard).

Oh, I could go on. But I won't. You probably all know what I'm talking about. NM, I can't thank you enough for this thread. I was thinking this weekend of reinventing our DDC, because I was at my wit's end.

I gave up coffee on Friday, and I am not sure I can parent without it....
post #7 of 31
[QUOTE=4evermom;14411582Make sure he is getting as much sleep as possible and having frequent snacks.[/QUOTE]

You are so right. I have been an at-home mom for the last few years with two littles, and bedtimes have always been sort of flexible for us. I have found that everyone is doing so much better (me, included) when the kids' heads hit the pillows by 8pm. They are actually sleeping better/longer when they go to bed earlier.

And snacks - wow. Serious eating going on over here. He ate more than I did for lunch yesterday.
post #8 of 31
OMG I AM WITH YOU!

M2B, my 4yo DD is also full of drama. AND she's got the pushy disease, NM speaks of, as well.

I want to sell her. I'm just afraid no one would buy. :
post #9 of 31
HA! I love this thread!

I have twin 4 yr old (or will be in Oct) DDs and the DRAMA.....UGGGHHHH!

One DD is super drama all.the.time. It would be funny if it did not drive me crazy. She is also very bright and does not stop talking. Ever. Even in her sleep.LOL.

Other DD is just emotionally sensitive and has some SNs.

It is good to know that my previously very good girls arent the only ones that have morphed into defiant,limit pushing kids!!!

KC
post #10 of 31
I'm finding 4 a little better than 3....but still rough! My ds has developed such an attitude. It's like he's 4 going on 14. He sighs and groans and rolls his eyes at me....and all manners have gone out the window. He asks for things by saying, loudly, "where's my apple?" or "get my apple right now!" I usually ask him to rephrase. The most frustrating thing for me right now is that he still won't dress himself or do other self-care tasks (like wiping himself after pottying). I know he's able to do it, but he just figures it's easier to make me do it.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama2Bug View Post
I have a four year old DD. She'll be five in December, but the last six months have been the worst of our parenting experience. Oddly enough, DD is fabulous- she listens well, is generally helpful, doesn't lie or make messes, doesn't get into things that she shouldn't, is extremely verbal and can carry on a perfectly decent conversation.

The problem is THE DRAMA.

OMG THE DRAMA.

In too much of a hurry to let her choose her clothes this morning? Heart-wrenching sobs.

Doesn't get her exact preferred foods at dinner? Heart-wrenching sobs.

Daddy is exhausted after work and can't play with her immediately? You guessed it! Heart-wrenching sobs.

You have described my dd who is 4 EXACTLY. She is a sweet wonderful child but the drama? It is maddening, yesterday we were supposed to go apple picking with friends and their 3 yo dd. Well at the last moment they has to cancel for a pretty good reason.

Oh my! The drama that ensued made me almost lose my mind, I knew she would be upset but we still went apple picking. Yet for over an hour it was drama, drama and more drama. If things are not exactly what she wants, its madness.
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hopefulfaith View Post
This was me. Everyone talked about the "terrible twos" and I would shrug...they weren't that bad for us. My two year old could sit at a restaurant for an hour with good manners & walk out smiling.

Three wasn't that bad, either. My sweet little guy.

Four is kicking me to the ground and I am begging for mercy. It is such a time of extremes!



Because when Adam is having a good day, he is the most awesome kid in the whole wide world. He woke up this morning in a fantastic mood, got dressed by himself, happily ate breakfast, MADE HIS BED, brushed his teeth/washed his face, and got his backpack for school. I dropped him off & he gave me a hug: "I love you always, mom!" and trotted right in.

You wouldn't have known that yesterday, I was going to put the child on craigslist if he did not. stop. pushing. his. sister.

And the sassy pants? Wow. "Mom, I have already told you that I do not want to go inside. No. N. O." "Mom, I am not going. Nope." (and he runs away across the yard).

Oh, I could go on. But I won't. You probably all know what I'm talking about. NM, I can't thank you enough for this thread. I was thinking this weekend of reinventing our DDC, because I was at my wit's end.

I gave up coffee on Friday, and I am not sure I can parent without it....
I am totally with you on Henry being perfect in restaurants and the "terrible twos" not being all that bad. And when he's having a good day, like Adam, he's SO delightful. But when things devolve into a power play -- watch out! I really try not to let it go there, but sometimes he's doing something like pulling my sweater out of my hands and stretching it out, or whatever, and I just feel like yanking it back and stomping off. Which of course is the opposite of what I want to be modeling for him. It's so hard to stay calm and be a good example sometimes, though.

We should reinvent our DDC -- except that most of us are on Facebook now!

And funny about the coffee -- this morning Henry woke up at 5:45 after a night of him tossing and turning and keeping me away, and he immediately wanted me to get up and play. I moaned and groaned about being tired, and he said, "You can make some coffee first." Lol!

To everyone else -- thanks for chiming in. I guess I'm not alone! That helps...a little.
post #13 of 31
Sha, it just figures I'd find you here I came on looking for bedtime help.

I also agree that two was a piece of cake
post #14 of 31
ah, newmama and hopefulfaith! hello! Jack is having quite the dramatic road since 4. Falling to his knees and then resting his head on the floor while sobbing because he didn't get to pour the milk, decided after he finished that he actually wanted to eat something else instead, his sock is twisted, he needs to check something on the computer and screens are off.

Four is rough - five is smoother and I'm finding 6 to be a love affair with mom. I have hope having come through this once that we will come through again, but my is it draining.

Good to see you ladies!
post #15 of 31
farmlife, yay!! It's good to see you!!

NM, I'm loving the fact that H told you you could make coffee first. My two went out to breakfast with dh at a local place on Saturday morning (their tradition) and the server asked where their mommy was (I never go). Adam helpfully told her that "Mom likes to drink coffee in her pajamas in the mornings."

You're so right about the power plays -- I realized the other day that a situation was turning into a "no turning back" power issue for both of us. It is SO hard not to want to throw a tiny fit myself sometimes, tbh. I try to remind myself, like you, that this isn't the behavior I want to model...but it is a struggle for me, too.



Is anyone else's 4 year old EATING like crazy? I tallied up what my son ate today. He ate more than me.
post #16 of 31
Funny, mine hardly eats anything. I don't know how he stays alive Really I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't nursing still. He gets a lot of nutrition from it, still.

Mine eats a good amount for breakfast, a small lunch, and not a lot for dinner, most days. I guess that is why he is hungry in the mornings...
post #17 of 31
These posts are scaring me. DS2 just turned four two days ago. I've been hanging on by my nails to get through three. Three was much harder than two with him. I was seriously looking for some relief with four.

With our first son, four was easier than three. Five was easier than four. Six has been easier than five. I hope our DS2 repeats the pattern of four being easier than three. Because three has been such a crazy ride with him, my nerves are ragged, I've developed an eye twitch, and I'm not sure I can deal with it getting harder instead of easier right now !!
post #18 of 31
Yeah, I am kinda loosing my mind . I can't believe what I walk in on sometimes. I mean, today my Ds cut open his feather pillow and was pulling the feathers out throwing them everywhere, and I mean everywhere!
Yesterday he had his little frog aquarium on the floor holding one (they are the size of a nickel) when he KNOWS VERY CLEARY that they are not to come out of their water. UUUUUGGGHHHHH! That is not the worst of it, it is when I try to ask why he did what he did, or I make it clear that it is not ok to do that and he acts like he doesn't hear me. I have to get VERY serious or issue time outs, take away toys, whatever, so I get a little response that he hears me. It is truely maddening. Had a rough day. Although, he was worn out from a busy weekend, when he doesn't get his sleep, it is even worse.
post #19 of 31
Back again to chat...

I am feeling like an awful mother because I am sick of the day-to-day hassles with my 4-year-old. I feel like I'm nagging him, he's not listening, I'm losing my patience, I don't know how to stop the cycle. Some examples:

Dressing himself. Ds goes to pre-k every day. He gets up around 7:30, and we have to leave for school at about 8:45. Ds likes to play a little before he gets dressed. I keep reminding him it's time to get dressed. He ignores me. I set the timer, so we have 5 minutes to get dressed. He keeps refusing to dress himself and he asks what happens if he's not dressed when the timer rings. Um, I don't know. I don't have any particular consequence to back it up. Ds tells me that I should dress him, because he doesn't like to do it. I get more and more annoyed, it gets later and later. I work on getting the baby dressed. Eventually either I do it for him, or I nag him into doing it himself. By then, we're both in a bad mood. I've tried a star chart, but ds lost interest after a couple days, and I'm tired of bribes (dh is a big believer in bribes).

Micromanaging play. It's not fun for me when ds tells me exactly what to do/say when we're playing, and then blows up at me if I fumble my line, or forget what I'm supposed to say. I'm often dividing my attention between ds and my one-year-old, and I'm distracted and can't remember exactly what ds wants me to do. And I'm just sick of playing hide and seek over and over. It's gotten so I don't really like playing with him, and I avoid it. This makes me feel awful.

Acting goofy. Sometimes ds will run around the house trashing everything and yelling and just being silly. He'll dump out all his toy boxes, take all the cushions off the couch and chairs, etc. etc. He refuses to help me clean it up. I plead, I joke, I try to make it a game to clean up. He says, you do it yourself. While he trashes the house, he yells in a loud voice, mostly to scare or amuse his little sister. Eventually I clean everything up, while feeling angry and resentful.

Shopping. Ds doesn't watch where he's going, and he's often jumping around or dancing, and I'm terrified someone's going to hit him with a cart, or step on him, or he's going to get hurt. Is it unrealistic to expect him to walk calmly through a store with me? And then he begs for me to buy him all sorts of things--toys, food, junk. Ugh.

Meanwhile, I feel like I'm favoring dd, because she's just a baby and more fun to spend time with. I hate seeing myself doing this, and I try to catch it and stop it, but it's really hard.

Thanks for listening, I'm just feeling so burned out right now. Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicaG View Post
Back again to chat...

I am feeling like an awful mother because I am sick of the day-to-day hassles with my 4-year-old. I feel like I'm nagging him, he's not listening, I'm losing my patience, I don't know how to stop the cycle. Some examples:

Dressing himself. Ds goes to pre-k every day. He gets up around 7:30, and we have to leave for school at about 8:45. Ds likes to play a little before he gets dressed. I keep reminding him it's time to get dressed. He ignores me. I set the timer, so we have 5 minutes to get dressed. He keeps refusing to dress himself and he asks what happens if he's not dressed when the timer rings. Um, I don't know. I don't have any particular consequence to back it up. Ds tells me that I should dress him, because he doesn't like to do it. I get more and more annoyed, it gets later and later. I work on getting the baby dressed. Eventually either I do it for him, or I nag him into doing it himself. By then, we're both in a bad mood. I've tried a star chart, but ds lost interest after a couple days, and I'm tired of bribes (dh is a big believer in bribes).
Oh MY ..this is my son too. OY! I have actually started having him sleep in the clothes he'll wear for the next day We don't have nearly the stress we had before. Sure he's a bit rumpled but I don't care.

Quote:
Acting goofy. Sometimes ds will run around the house trashing everything and yelling and just being silly. He'll dump out all his toy boxes, take all the cushions off the couch and chairs, etc. etc. He refuses to help me clean it up. I plead, I joke, I try to make it a game to clean up. He says, you do it yourself. While he trashes the house, he yells in a loud voice, mostly to scare or amuse his little sister. Eventually I clean everything up, while feeling angry and resentful.
I feel for you mama. DS will be 4 in a month & he is a hurricane. I finally downsized his toys & it has become so much more managable. He still has a hard time picking up so I help him A LOT.

Quote:
Shopping. Ds doesn't watch where he's going, and he's often jumping around or dancing, and I'm terrified someone's going to hit him with a cart, or step on him, or he's going to get hurt. Is it unrealistic to expect him to walk calmly through a store with me? And then he begs for me to buy him all sorts of things--toys, food, junk. Ugh.
For my DS, yes it is unrealistic to take him with me. It just is. I used to think I was such a great parent b/c DD NEVER asked/cried/begged for anything in a store...of course, that was due to my stellar parenting skills. Um NO! DS is banned from Target, Trader Joe's, Staples, basically anyplace that has anything.

I find with my DS I have stay aware of where is is at at any given moment. Most of his behavior issues have to do with still needing a nap, despite a 12 hour nightime sleep, & needing to eat frequently. He also has to be in bed by 7:30 & if I miss that by even a few minutes...we both pay badly. It's so tough.

When his behavior is this bad, I have a hard time remembering the sweet little boy I love so much. I am going to a talk thurs. night by this author

http://www.amazon.com/Way-Boys-Raisi...4249589&sr=1-1

I'm hoping to get some things out of it that will help me be more patient with DS.
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