4 to 4.5 was really hard for my son, and for me. He was an emtional mess, yelled, fits....then we had a great few months and now he is acting up again. Almost every issue revolves around his sister who is 3. They fight a lot. He teases her all. day. long. If she hits him for whatever reason, he will whack her back..hard.
His sense of revenge is incredible. It is the same with friends he is playing with. If they are play fighting and he accidently gets hit, he will hit back hard.
I am not sure what I should do when they are fighting. I am trying the whole "if you hit, you sit" but it isn't working. I have tried talking to them about using their words, but they get so worked up so quickly.
The other thing i am really struggling with is his attitude. Just today the kids were outside playing and I was straightening up inside. I heard crying and when I went outside I found out that my daughter hit my son, so he hit her back really hard. I calmly explained that we had to come back inside and sit on the couch to calm down. My son started laughing, shrugging, saying things like "I don't care" "Sure" "Thats fine" with a smile on his face. It makes me so mad. I am also 7 months pregnant and emotional, but he is bringing me to the point of tears everyday. And the past few days he makes me so mad that I start yelling.
Today I lost it. I yelled. I took his favorite toys away and told him no tv for a week. WHich is funny because they only watch 2 hours of tv a week, and the next tv day is Monday. I have never done timeouts, taking toys away, and rarely yell. But I feel I have no consequences for the hitting, yelling, or attitude.
What do you when your 4.5 year old gives you attitude, is mean, bullies his sister and is hitting?
Its really good the way you tend to act calmly in fights...but having to sit on a couch as a consequence to hitting doesnt seem like a punishment at all. Why dont you like time outs? Or taking toys away(It isnt violent and there is an actual consequence)? In real life if you do something like hit somebody else there are major consequences, and i believe as a parent we are supposed to be teaching our children how to function in the real world, right?
There is a great book called Siblings Without Rivalry that would probably help you, the same authors also wrote How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk, another good read. First off I would not let them play outside alone since things seem to escalate quickly. Second do not take sides(although it doesn't sound like you did) b/c that creates rivalry even if one person does seem to be "at fault". Kids this age are still impulsive when angry and just need some time before the phase passes. You can help them communicate and help them identify their feelings with words b/c consequences are not going to change how they get along or change their personalities. Making sure everyone is well rested and fed when interacting helps greatly also, so does one on one time with mom and dad w/out the sibling:)
This is a way to work with fighting also http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/peacemeal/201010/3-steps-transform-sibling-conflict-sibling-camaraderie
Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS