DD is 4 1/2. She's always been outspoken but lately there's been so much surliness, refusal to listen, and talking back. It's exhausting me! Sometimes - usually - she's so cooperative, loving and helpful. But other times, if she doesn't get her own way, she stomps off and says, 'I'm never playing with you again.' Now she's learned how to grimace and does that while she's stomping.
I have her do 'do overs' (rephrasing what she said in a different way) every time, and also empathize and explain how her words can hurt other people (she does this with her friends sometimes, too).
My gut feeling is that she'll outgrow this, but in the meantime, if you went through this with your child, how did you handle it?
I'm all for responses here b/c my 6 yr old has suddenly become this way!! You'd think she was a teenager. I like the idea of do -overs but i have to threaten a time-out or she's not cooperative (and I dont' even really believe in time out in the normal sense). So she's just having to take a lot of time to calm down. The least little thing gets her angry.
On a sort of funny note, she announced to me tonight that she would NOT brush her teeth. Then, hands on hips, "I'm actually NEVER going to brush them again!" I calmly said "Ok, you can just get cavities and have them drilled and have your teeth rot and fall out". She ran right into the bathroom to brush them and was like "No!!"
I'm subbing for replies as well. Good gravy, someone please help us! (no, really: ) My dd is turning 4 next week and it's like she's already a teenager some days. She'll say "I don't like ____ and I never never will!" or she'll say no or disagree to absolutely everything that is said. By anyone! My dh is generally more good-humored about it than I am, but honestly -- I only have a finite amount of patience in any given day and then I. Am. Done. Here's an example: pizza. For the last year or so, she's loved my homemade pizza (basic garlic/herb dough, sliced tomato, olive oil, cheeses). About 2 months ago, she said she no longer likes sliced tomato. No problem, tastes change. So it's 1 pie with sliced tomato, 1 with tomato sauce, just like take-out pizza. That rotates through our menu and she refuses to eat it because she no longer likes tomatoes of any kind. She literally just wants cheese on her pizza. Again, no problem. Tonight? Refused that as well. I'm trying to be gracious here, but sheesh!
I'm sure it's a phase [and a hell of a long one so far!] and I've heard from other mamas who've btdt that the 3's & 4's are a kind of mini-pre-teenager-type-phase, and of course their little hormones are forever shifting around, but holy smokes...
J, partner-in-crime to D, mama to 4, including our brand new , missing my 7-wk-er
I went through this with my DS at this age. He was so danged snarky I was tempted to just walk away. The advice I got here then was really great.
It has to do with a hormone surge that is very similar, some say worse, than the teenage years. They are becoming big kids, and like teenager, this is both exhillerating, and terrifying at the same time. They are more capable than they have ever been and yet they need you more than ever. Part of it is testing boundaries, part of it is just a lack of impulse control, mood swings, and general lack of communicative skills. It's NOT personal, and I don't think there is much you can do to avoid it...some people might get lucky, but it's just luck.
One thing I did with my DS when he would say "ugh, just leave me alone, MOMMY!" was say "It sounds like you want some time alone. Try 'Mommy, I'd like some quiet time to myself please.'" and then wait until he repeated it. Then I'd say "no, problem pal. We all need that. I'll be here when you're ready."
Generally speaking people are aggressive because their needs are not being met. Helping them get to the root of their attitude gives them the skill to ask for a need to be met. I also found that increasing the protein intake at breakfast and steering clear of things with food coloring and corn syrup helped a lot in keeping DS more calm and capable of remembering his polite words.
I also used to say to the Nevers " Never, ever? Like forever? Wow...that's a long time. How about we just take a break and if you feel like changing your mind, I'll be here for you."
Then when things have calmed down have a talk about words and hurt feelings. It does pass! But then it might come back again later.
Other things that helped during this phase was to re-evaluate our house rules, for example we gave DS a small allowance in exchange for some chores which made him feel very grown up to be allowed to decide what to do with his money, and to contribute to the household in real ways.