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#1 of 6 Old 07-13-2011, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok so im going a bit crazy with my four year old specially this past week.

My current living conditions are we moved in with a man i have known since high school, we never dated until recently.

after a few months we decided with me not getting any child support from my daughters biological father, that combining incomes and moving in together would be a good decision.

He has a house and we all love it.

financially my boyfriend is stressed out, from work related things, and the economy is super bad still.

hard to make ends meet, so that is one stressor, the other is my daughter being 4 is bouncing off the walls, he comes home and ussually needs some down time, and she is always wanting his attention, constantly calling him daddy.(she calls him that we never encouraged it, but he says he is ok with that).

 She is in pullups and daily i am every 15 minutes asking her to go potty, sometimes she says NO and shouts, but we still go.

that too seems to make her more edgy and rude.

With all that i do here, cleaning the house, keeping her out of his things(which he has mentioned and said it was highly bothersome).

making sure she doesnt write on anything, so i take all pens and crayons away.

She watches tv, and likes reading. So i encourage her to do those things.

She should be starting school in a few weeks for preschool. I cant wait for that, because my stress level will decrease finally.

I am new to this whole living with someone else that isnt my daughters biological father.

ive tried to talk with my partner about how he is feeling, but at times my daughter keeps stressing him out, somewhat like if he is stressed from work, he comes home to find she has taken something from his bedside table, that i didnt see her do, so how can i put it back sort of thing.

i feel like im running like mad, trying to make sure she doesnt do this or that wrong, and potty training is failing.. im sitting here crying.

he loves children, or so he says and he is real good with her normally.

i just dont know how else to get her to calm down a bit, her attention goes from watching tv, to coming to me or him and wanting to know what were doing, to going back to the tv, or toy or book.

i try to get things done and she is constantly underfoot.

or perhaps am i just not knowing what to expect at four, and this is normal.?!

the other things mentioned that i didnt see were her grabbing things from his hand such as water, or anything that is hers he is putting away, and says gimme dat! really rude, and sometimes i just dont even see those things, im just worn out~!

i come off as a mom who doesnt care. and i really do!

any advice i would appreciate!

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#2 of 6 Old 07-14-2011, 08:07 AM
 
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Depending on how close she is to five, she's almost old enough to start showing respect for other peoples' feelings and belongings on a consistent basis. Four is a hard age. What she's doing is normal, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything to make things better. When she's rude, you can say "I need to hear polite words" or "Will you please ask me politely?" If she's almost five, she'll get it, and speak more politely when asked. If she's closer to three, all of the correcting you do is just to lay the groundwork. Make sure you ask her politely, to hand you things, or pick up her toys, and you can talk about how to be polite during low pressure moments, when there's no conflict going at the time. This is how I did it with my kids. I even explained to them that when they ask me nicely, it really makes me so excited to do what they ask! When they realized it would work as a strategy for them, they became a lot less rude.

 

When it comes to not getting into stuff at her age, you are dealing with normal, healthy curiosity. The best thing to do is to gather off limits things into a couple of high places. Your partner needs to accept the fact that his home needs to be babyproofed. Your daughter can be expected to stay out of a couple of areas, but not several, and not tabletop types of places. Most four year olds don't have the kind of impulse control to resist a bedside table full of interesting stuff!

 

I'm sure it would be hard to have a four year old as a new roommate, and that your partner needs time to adjust. There's nothing wrong with helping your daughter learn good behavior, but it takes time and patience. You can't be expected to make your daughter act like a model six year old right now. He did invite you to live in the house, which makes it her home too. It kind of sounds like he's making this your responsibility, but part of it sounds like his own stress level, which he can do something about.


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#3 of 6 Old 07-14-2011, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your reply, sometimes it gets so frusterating and stressful at times i cant see straight let alone make decisions that will make everything easier.

i certainly do not want to let things just "slide" then you get an out of control child in the end that is much harder to reverse.

I have now made it a rule she isnt allowed in our bedroom without us, she goes potty when i do so she cannot get into trouble at the nightstand. Far as potty training goes, she finds it easier to mess her pants then continue to just go on the potty itself.

i ask her she says no again, but she starts school soon, ive told her many times she cannot go to school with pullups, noone will be able to change her. She just looks at me, and says she wants to go to school, and i tell her sweetly you cannot go to school until you go on the potty all the time, then i get from her "no i cannnnttt".

so that didnt work. So were doing lollipops and stickers for potty time. so far its helping.. i hope real soon she is out of the pullups!

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#4 of 6 Old 07-14-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh she was born in april so she is closer to 3 then 5.

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#5 of 6 Old 07-18-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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There's lots going on here, but what I can relate to is having someone else's child "show up" in my home. It sounds so awful, but really that's what it seemed like at the time even though I voluntarily entered the living arrangement. I felt in a position where I couldn't discipline the child because our relationship (dad, child, me) wasn't well-enough defined to know where our boundaries and expectations were (he and I thought it was defined, but it so wasn't). Dad perceived he was doing everything he should be doing with regard to keeping the child out of my things, but I still felt invaded. He thought I was over-reacting to everything by having these feelings of invasion (maybe doesn't apply to you).

 

It made me crazy. I felt burdened by the financials. I felt like my stuff that I had worked so hard for was no longer my own. I felt like I didn't have a say in my own home. I'd been dating my now-husband for nearly 3 years at the time we moved in together, and looking back, it didn't seem to matter that I'd known his daughter the entire time. Thinking that I shouldn't feel that way probably multiplied my feelings of guilt by two.

 

So I think a reasonable contribution to the problem are the kind of feelings I describe. Ultimately, it's not "fair" to either of you. Being as your DD is your child, you are comfortable with the fact that kids are messy, color on the walls and important documents, drop your precious nick-knacks, invade your private drawer/room/whatever, and demand constant attention.Your new boyfriend is not to that level of comfortable (yet) even though he consciously knows that's what happens (I hope!). At the same time, you're going crazy trying to keep the peace, so to speak, trying to prevent the messes and accidents that just happen with a 4-year-old. Your frustrations seem normal too!

 

If he won't communicate about what he is feeling and what he thinks might help your relationship/home life, there's no good way of solving the problem. It's swell if he would be OK if you could provide an hour of "quiet time" 3 days a week when he gets home from work, but it's not reasonable to expect for you to keep poking at various solutions until you happen to stumble upon a fix. Let him know that you have a genuine interest in learning about and understanding what is going on from his perspective, and in finding a way to help everyone adjust and enjoy living together.

 

I do recall most dreading the days I would go home knowing that DH and DSD had been home for hours, fearing "what mess happened" or "what invasion of privacy occurred" or "what broke" that day. Being able to get home at the same time or before them made it so much easier (at least it felt that way). If you could make something like that happen, perhaps it would help him in the transition.

 

If you're home with your DD all day (can't tell from your post if that's the situation?) share your feelings with your SO and tell him that you are exhausted from the day, and ask if he can take care of your DD for 30 minutes so you can have a mommy time out! Don't forget to recharge your batteries when the opportunity could be available. And if he accepts, make the best use of those 30 minutes you possibly can. And then don't forget to offer the same (like taking some time out of the house so he can have an alone hour) or hiring a babysitter occasionally, even if only for an hour or two so the two of you can both recharge. Oh how I appreciate 48 hours when DSD is at her mom's so DH and I can "recover!" No matter how tired I am, though, I don't look forward to the school year when she won't be around very much. The passing of time can change a lot in how we feel about our unique family. :-)

 

 

As for your DD, I have lately been reading two books I am optimistic will help DH and I with my DSD, because she also quickly moves from activity to activity, asking for us to acknowledge every step of activities as normal as eating a cookie, sometimes bouncing off the walls, and edging toward rude communications as of late. Since I haven't finished the books yet, I can't say if they are amazing solutions to household peace and perfect children (if only) but the few things I've made a conscious effort to change so far seem to have made a difference. For example, when DSD says "look at me do something!" Instead of just acknowledging, I reflect what she is doing, like "You jumped higher than the chair!" or whatever the actual occasion calls for, and she absorbs the attention so much better than "wow! Good jumping!" type responses.

* Unconditional Parenting (Kohn)

* I Love You Rituals (Bailey)

I mention these, because the child "behaviors" you describe sound so much like what the books describe (in a good way!).

 

Starting preschool should also change things up for everyone.

Best of luck.

 

I almost forgot: during the potty training days, we used a "potty timer" (a.k.a. a dial kitchen timer just for her) instead of having one of us adults remind DSD to go try to use the bathroom. She was much more receptive to being independent and going to the bathroom when the timer dinged and resetting the timer than to our telling her to go.


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#6 of 6 Old 07-18-2011, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks so much autumn, i to before i had my daughter, lived with someone who had a child and i to felt violated its one thing i told him would happen and i would do everything in my power to make sure the transition would be as best as i could make it.

we have since then talked things out from the other day, my daughter isnt allowed to come into our bedroom less i am with her in here, and when we go potty she goes with me and even if i do have to, i have her go so i can watch her.

for the past few days now this has seemed to work, no news on her getting into anything she shouldnt so far, (KNOCK on wood!).

i totally hated having someone invade my belongings, and its not easy at all, because all you want to do is get out of the situation, and it creates a big mess for anyone receiving the complaints.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumngrey View Post

There's lots going on here, but what I can relate to is having someone else's child "show up" in my home. It sounds so awful, but really that's what it seemed like at the time even though I voluntarily entered the living arrangement. I felt in a position where I couldn't discipline the child because our relationship (dad, child, me) wasn't well-enough defined to know where our boundaries and expectations were (he and I thought it was defined, but it so wasn't). Dad perceived he was doing everything he should be doing with regard to keeping the child out of my things, but I still felt invaded. He thought I was over-reacting to everything by having these feelings of invasion (maybe doesn't apply to you).

 

It made me crazy. I felt burdened by the financials. I felt like my stuff that I had worked so hard for was no longer my own. I felt like I didn't have a say in my own home. I'd been dating my now-husband for nearly 3 years at the time we moved in together, and looking back, it didn't seem to matter that I'd known his daughter the entire time. Thinking that I shouldn't feel that way probably multiplied my feelings of guilt by two.

 

So I think a reasonable contribution to the problem are the kind of feelings I describe. Ultimately, it's not "fair" to either of you. Being as your DD is your child, you are comfortable with the fact that kids are messy, color on the walls and important documents, drop your precious nick-knacks, invade your private drawer/room/whatever, and demand constant attention.Your new boyfriend is not to that level of comfortable (yet) even though he consciously knows that's what happens (I hope!). At the same time, you're going crazy trying to keep the peace, so to speak, trying to prevent the messes and accidents that just happen with a 4-year-old. Your frustrations seem normal too!

 

If he won't communicate about what he is feeling and what he thinks might help your relationship/home life, there's no good way of solving the problem. It's swell if he would be OK if you could provide an hour of "quiet time" 3 days a week when he gets home from work, but it's not reasonable to expect for you to keep poking at various solutions until you happen to stumble upon a fix. Let him know that you have a genuine interest in learning about and understanding what is going on from his perspective, and in finding a way to help everyone adjust and enjoy living together.

 

I do recall most dreading the days I would go home knowing that DH and DSD had been home for hours, fearing "what mess happened" or "what invasion of privacy occurred" or "what broke" that day. Being able to get home at the same time or before them made it so much easier (at least it felt that way). If you could make something like that happen, perhaps it would help him in the transition.

 

If you're home with your DD all day (can't tell from your post if that's the situation?) share your feelings with your SO and tell him that you are exhausted from the day, and ask if he can take care of your DD for 30 minutes so you can have a mommy time out! Don't forget to recharge your batteries when the opportunity could be available. And if he accepts, make the best use of those 30 minutes you possibly can. And then don't forget to offer the same (like taking some time out of the house so he can have an alone hour) or hiring a babysitter occasionally, even if only for an hour or two so the two of you can both recharge. Oh how I appreciate 48 hours when DSD is at her mom's so DH and I can "recover!" No matter how tired I am, though, I don't look forward to the school year when she won't be around very much. The passing of time can change a lot in how we feel about our unique family. :-)

 

 

As for your DD, I have lately been reading two books I am optimistic will help DH and I with my DSD, because she also quickly moves from activity to activity, asking for us to acknowledge every step of activities as normal as eating a cookie, sometimes bouncing off the walls, and edging toward rude communications as of late. Since I haven't finished the books yet, I can't say if they are amazing solutions to household peace and perfect children (if only) but the few things I've made a conscious effort to change so far seem to have made a difference. For example, when DSD says "look at me do something!" Instead of just acknowledging, I reflect what she is doing, like "You jumped higher than the chair!" or whatever the actual occasion calls for, and she absorbs the attention so much better than "wow! Good jumping!" type responses.

* Unconditional Parenting (Kohn)

* I Love You Rituals (Bailey)

I mention these, because the child "behaviors" you describe sound so much like what the books describe (in a good way!).

 

Starting preschool should also change things up for everyone.

Best of luck.

 

I almost forgot: during the potty training days, we used a "potty timer" (a.k.a. a dial kitchen timer just for her) instead of having one of us adults remind DSD to go try to use the bathroom. She was much more receptive to being independent and going to the bathroom when the timer dinged and resetting the timer than to our telling her to go.



 

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