What do 4 year olds act like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm always reading threads from fed up moms of 2 and 3 year olds, who say their kids run amok and make messes and get into everything, and I think, that's not misbhavior, that's toddlerhood. All you have to do at that phase is create a safe environment and just wait it out.

Now I need someone who has older kids to tell me if what my 4 year old is doing is normal. Because she is driving me crazy! I admit, I am 7 weeks pregnant, exhausted, and pukey, so my patience level is not what it should be.

Here is a general run down:

She is bossy! She constantly tells people what to do and how to do it. "You have to wrap the baby (doll). No mom! Do it like that! NO! Spread it this way first! No! Like this!"

She hates to be helped. If I buckle her carseat for her instead of letting her buckle it and then checking it, she has a conniption. "No! I was going to do that!" Yesterday she wanted to push the cart at the grocery store and she kept almost bumping into people and things, and when I put my hand on the cart to help her steer she would yell "NO! I am doing it!"

She is demanding. For example, "Scratch my back." So I do, for a minute and when I stop, she says, "No! More scratches!" and when I say no, mommy's done, she has a fit.

She is oversensitive. She is always loudly proclaiming "You hurt my feelings!" when somebody refuses to bow to her bossiness, or "OWWWW! You HURT me!" if someone gives her the slightest bump or jostle.

She is selfish. For example, we share a bed, and when I ask her politely to move over because mommy and daddy need more room she says, "No! You move over! You're squishing me!" As she lays sideways taking up half of the king sized bed.

And, of course, she lies. But I KNOW that's develpmental.

This is all either brand new, within the last few months behavior, or it has just recently escalated to the point where I am ready to throttle her. And no, she does not know I am pregnant yet. I'm waiting until the 12 week mark to tell her.

I am wondering if my dad is right, that by not using spankings or time outs, I have created a spoiled, demanding little monster. Somebody help me!
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#2 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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Sounds like my son...he turned 4 in April. He was worse at 3, though.
Just be patient, and stick it out. What she is doing is normal and not because you have an out of control child or are a bad parent.

I think what has been really hard for me about this age was that I had higher expectations of 4. I thought that 4 yo kids were more mature and over the toddler testing phase.

WRONGO!!

Once I lowered my expectations of Owen, it helped immensely. If I feel that my son is not acting age appropriate, then I start to blame my parenting. When I start to blame myself for his behavior I am more likely to lose my cool. I see kids who are soooooo well behaved, and I start comapring Owen with them in my mind. But most of those "Super Kids" are disciplined harshly and are too afraid to test boundaries etc

SO what I have been telling myself lately is that Owen knows he is safe, loved and accepted. We are practicing GD and respectful parenting with him. All of this has resulted in a child who is confident enough to test the limits, and knows that he will still have the love of his parents no matter what he does.

I would recommend reading Raising Your Spirited Child and How To Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk
Both books really help you understand what is motivating your child and it really helped me feel like it was normal and okay for Owen to be testing boundaries.

I am 14 weeks pregnant and it has been MUCH harder to be patient with Owen because of the hormones.
If we can survive Prego hormones and a 4 YO then we can do anything!
Good Luck, I hear 5 is the best age...Oh I hope it's true!!
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#3 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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Some of that sounds like typical three year old behavior. When did she turn four?

The bossieness is a classic four year old behavior, as are the lies and the hating to be helped. And to a degree, the selfishness, which is really more of a under seven sort of thing.

I can't give advice now....gotta run. But I'll get back to you when I can, and I'm sure someone else will have ideas in the mean time...
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#4 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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Your dd sounds JUST like mine (she turns four in July). The "You hurt my feelings" thing is huuuuuuuuge in our house right now. So's the lying. Did you know that imaginary friends could dare you to do things?

Five is a wonderful age, for the most part. Although as it nears six it's accompanied by some wicked temper tantrums and testing of boundaries. : Overall, though, my 5yo dd has been an absolute delight this past year.
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#5 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
Once I lowered my expectations of Owen, it helped immensely. If I feel that my son is not acting age appropriate, then I start to blame my parenting. When I start to blame myself for his behavior I am more likely to lose my cool. I see kids who are soooooo well behaved, and I start comapring Owen with them in my mind. But most of those "Super Kids" are disciplined harshly and are too afraid to test boundaries etc
That is so true. Thank you for your insight.
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#6 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Spanish Rose View Post
Some of that sounds like typical three year old behavior. When did she turn four?
Ummm.....last September. :
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#7 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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Sounds like my 4.5 year old.
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#8 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 09:17 PM
 
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Five is the best age indeed!!

Your DD sounds like Maria, she's turning 4 in August.
She's bossy, she's mean to the baby, she'll get in the you hurt my feelings thing but instead of it's like: "Well, I'm going to live somewhere else and you can't come!" or "Well, I'm mad at you then!"
She's mean to her older sister as well, but hey, Ilaria is older but they end up fighting, just becuase Ilaria didn't want to do what Maria told her to
She hates to be helped, DH takes a walk with her and Ilaria at noon, and DD2 will take her tricycle, she'll get tired and wants to walk, DH offers his help with the tricycle and she says "No, I can do it myself, I don't need your help" ina very rude way. She lies constantly, it's frustrating really, Ilaria was very bossy at this age but that's all, I'm having a hard time
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#9 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 09:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamma Mia View Post
Sounds like my 4.5 year old.
Yep, sounds like mine too.
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#10 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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wow, yep that's 4 for ya.
I have been at the end of my rope with my 4.5 year old. i just read off the list of things you said your 4yo does to my dh and he laughed in sympathy.
we have most of our problems when i need to help her sister age 1 and i can't help her. sounds like she'll be 5 by the time #2 is born? hopefully that will help.
it is so hard when you're pregnant too. make sure you do take some time to yourself, so you can have fresh energy with her.
i agree with 'raising your spirited child'
i have been looking at 'becoming the parent you want to be' and it has helped.
good luck, it's so hard.
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#11 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Sounds a lot like my 4.5 year old ds. We run into the shopping cart thing all the time. Drives me : . We also get the "owww...you hurt me" when he hurts himself and we're in the vicinity

The last month has been a rough one around here. I remember hearing that developmental and behavioural issues creep up on the birthdays and half birthdays. I'm going with that and hoping we only have a couple weeks to go

I think I've read Raising Your Spirited Child at least 3 times now. I pick it up whenever things get hairy.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#12 of 12 Old 06-03-2007, 10:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angie3096 View Post
I'm always reading threads from fed up moms of 2 and 3 year olds, who say their kids run amok and make messes and get into everything, and I think, that's not misbhavior, that's toddlerhood. All you have to do at that phase is create a safe environment and just wait it out.

Now I need someone who has older kids to tell me if what my 4 year old is doing is normal. Because she is driving me crazy! I admit, I am 7 weeks pregnant, exhausted, and pukey, so my patience level is not what it should be.

Here is a general run down:

She is bossy! She constantly tells people what to do and how to do it. "You have to wrap the baby (doll). No mom! Do it like that! NO! Spread it this way first! No! Like this!"

She hates to be helped. If I buckle her carseat for her instead of letting her buckle it and then checking it, she has a conniption. "No! I was going to do that!" Yesterday she wanted to push the cart at the grocery store and she kept almost bumping into people and things, and when I put my hand on the cart to help her steer she would yell "NO! I am doing it!"

She is demanding. For example, "Scratch my back." So I do, for a minute and when I stop, she says, "No! More scratches!" and when I say no, mommy's done, she has a fit.

She is oversensitive. She is always loudly proclaiming "You hurt my feelings!" when somebody refuses to bow to her bossiness, or "OWWWW! You HURT me!" if someone gives her the slightest bump or jostle.

She is selfish. For example, we share a bed, and when I ask her politely to move over because mommy and daddy need more room she says, "No! You move over! You're squishing me!" As she lays sideways taking up half of the king sized bed.

And, of course, she lies. But I KNOW that's develpmental.

This is all either brand new, within the last few months behavior, or it has just recently escalated to the point where I am ready to throttle her. And no, she does not know I am pregnant yet. I'm waiting until the 12 week mark to tell her.

I am wondering if my dad is right, that by not using spankings or time outs, I have created a spoiled, demanding little monster. Somebody help me!
I haven't read the rest of the thread, but all I have to say is: Do you live in my house? Seriously, you have just described, to a T, my own 4-year-old. So I think it's all normal. though, I remember having to deal with a toddler and be sick and pukey at the same time. Blech!

Melissa, a homeschooling, caffix.gif-guzzling, SAHM of two: reading.gif (11) and joy.gif(8)
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