Okay, I admit it - 4 is hard! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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4 is so challenging! I'm not someone who always knows what to say or what to do or how to react. i need time to think. This doesn't seem to work with a 4 year old! So, I'd love to hear if you think this in normal and if you happen to have an advice for me...

1. Getting dressed - all of a sudden, all of DD clothes are "bothering her." So, now she will only wear one outfit (it's the only one with the "right neck"). If that outfit isn't clean or for some reason she can't wear it, she freaks out and refuses to get dressed. she is stubborn and won't let up - she'll cry REALLY hard for a while. The only solution we could find was to wash the outfit while she cuddled on the couch under a blanket. This took hours! Needless to say, I've been doing laundry daily so that she has her outfit ready in the morning. But, I wonder if that is really what I should be doing - or should I try to convince her to wear somethign else? Honestly, it doesn't bother me...i don't care if she wears the same thing every day though it does require me to do laundry every night. And, if it gets dirty or wet when she is wearing it, the whole thing starts again (it would need to get unusually dirty or wet to set her off though).

2. Eating - she used to eat so well. She'd eat anything you put in front of her and never complain about it. Recently (the past month), she doesn't like to eat and refuses to eat much of anything. This freaks me out because she is on the small side. If she wasn't so small, this would be easier. I'm trying to offer more snacks and different foods etc. But, sometimes, even the foods she ate yesterday, she won't like today so it is a total guessing game. Sometimes I feel like she is manipulating me and that really gets me going. ugh. And, if she doesn't eat regularly, she totally crashes and it's a disaster trying to get her back on track again.

3. School. She goes to preschool for 2 hours per day. She loves school once she gets there and always talks about it positively. But, often in the morning of a school day, she'll start the day out crying about leaving me and going to school. She gets to anxious about being away from me. why? she likes it when she is there. this has been going on for years...i would never have imagined it would last this long.

4. Doctor/Dentist. She is TERRIFIED of the doctor and the dentist. Actually, she is okay with our primary care provider who is a naturopath but any other doctor...forget it! She gets truly anxious even thinking about going to a new doctor. Over the holiday, we were out of town and she cut her chin really bad (you could see the bone). She wasn't upset about the blood or the pain or the cut but was freaking out about going to a new doctor (we didn't even mention getting stitches). I swear, had we gone, she would have had to been put under in order to get stitches (turns out she didn't need them - we used steri strips and it's all healed with a teeny tiny scar - phew). Then, the dentist is even worse. She has cavities that we need to get filled somehow but she won't even sit in the dentist chair. We go about once per month - not for appointments but so that she can get used to the place and the people and just sit in the chairs (hopefully) and play. After the dentist saw her the first time, she recommended we come in monthly and get her more comfortable (she also told me she hasn't seen so much fear in a child in a long time). The crazy part is that it really is fear - not just the "i don't want to go" but serious anxiety and fear. it makes me so sad. she has not had any hospitalizations or any other intense doctor experiences.

5. Sassy. She is sassy lately. I have about a trillion examples of this but can't really think of one that really sums it all up besides to say she is sassy. I think this is normal...but sometimes I am not so great at dealing with it.

She is also hilariously funny, beautiful, adventurous, caring with her brother, sensitive to those around her, and tremendously loving.

Share your stories of your 4 year old challenges! That might help more than anything else ...and of course if you have any advice, i'd love to hear it. I just want to make sure I'm doing the right things...and sometimes taht is so hard.
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#2 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 09:35 AM
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Welcome to the 4 club! My son has the same "hot spots" but the Dr. (he loves going, don't know why?) I agree having to think on your toes more--they are smarter and more determined/stubborn. I think this is where having a "script" is a benefit; knowing before hand what your rules/boundaries are; and sticking consistently to them. Best luck!

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#3 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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: DD is turning 4 next monday. I'm already seeing some of this stuff... I've had a hard time dealing lately because I'm hormonal and uncomfortable from the pregnancy and my 2 year old hasn't been the easiest kid ever, either, lately. *sigh*

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#4 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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K turned four the beginning of December. I recently told DH that this is what the rest of our lives...okay the next 14 years are going to be like.

My FAVORITE is the contradictions. Gosh how I love to be contradicted on every single thing I say. And I don't know anything. My brother was in town a couple of weeks ago. K asked where Uncle Matthew was. I said I didn't know, but probably at Grandma's house. No he isn't. Well, he might not be, but I am pretty sure he is. No he isn't. Okay, YOU did ask ME where he was, right? So that means that YOU really don't know either. That conversation ended with me telling him we must have quite time now (we were in the car). Cause you know you get nowhere arguing with a four year old.

Then he'll say Mama blah blah blah. So I'll ask him what he said. I wasn't talking to you. But you said Mama? Nope.

Eating. Mac and cheese is what he would eat all the time. He has been sick for the past two to three weeks, so there has been some leeway because of that. Not anymore. There will be less asking and more just giving.

Asking a question and not listening to the answer. What? I didn't hear you. Answer again...could go on forever if I let it.

Telling to do one thing and doing something else and then lying about it. The little lying, but doesn't know what lying is (really doesn't). Story telling maybe is a better word.

Tantrums that involve hitting. This is brand new and not tolerated at all. Fortunately these are very rare.

Ugh. A lot of things have been making me crazy lately. We didn't plan to put him in school until VPK next fall, but I have really been considering otherwise as it has been so tough lately.

Now for the great things. His memory is there, really there. He told me how he was going to make an empty wrapping paper roll into a telescope (something he learned from How Things are Made). He is so smart. He really is a loving little bugger butt. He is wonderful and as much as he makes me crazy right now, I wouldn't change anything.

ETA~
Oh, and I do know a lot of what we are going through right now is 100% normal and actually a good thing. Learning he has a voice, can make decisions, be independent, etc. Doesn't it make it any easier though.

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#5 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Yes, DD started doing the contradictions/debating a couple months ago. Makes me And I'm not doing well handling it. I'm not even sure where to go with it, because everything I try gets contradicted. Not only that, but even when I'm trying to have a pleasant conversation about something (whatever it is - not an important thing or some sort of command) I get contradicted, too! I don't even want to talk to her

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#6 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Okay...if you are finding 4 hard - did you find 3 hard or no? (our of interest...because I am LOVING 4 but found 3 to be the challenge you are all talking about! lol)

Mummy me : > Thats Ann! and my beautiful SONS Duncanand Hamish 19/09/05 & 22/04/10!
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#7 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Oh my goodness, you mean the behaviour changes are here to stay?!

DD turns 4 next month and my (mostly) sweet girl has turned into a little girl who argues about EVERYTHING and has a major attitude most of the time.

She also asks crazy complex questions, gives me kisses, and tells really creative stories.

The continous contradictions as mentioned in a pp are really driving me crazy. We've been experiencing daily meltdowns for the past week now. I was really hoping it was just going to be a short-lived phase.

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#8 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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I am finding 4 hard. I loved 2. 3 had its challenges but at 4 I find myself not being the parent I wanted to be.

DD stuns me with her attitude and honestly it makes me feel like I have messed up hugely somewhere. She seems to have no respect for us. I am not authoritarian, and was raised by a mother who was staunchly anti-authoritarian, but lately I've been thinking like an authoritarian. DH and I keep trying to compare notes, we could be wrong but we seriously don't think we ever were like this when we were 4. Sure, we had tantrums and such but we sure knew who was boss in our house (and it wasn't us), even though (like I said) my mom was anti-authoritarian.

It's only been a few days, but DD has been having some really good days lately though. She has been more empathetic and sweet and even polite. I have at the same time been trying really hard to improve her nutrition, so I can't help but wonder if there is a correlation. Also we were stricter with her last week - still gentle, but a lot stricter. So maybe it was that. We honestly haven't HAD to be strict this week so far.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#9 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 02:14 PM
 
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The neighbor girl is 1 year older than DD, and last year, when she was 4, she was also really... I don't know what. Worse than DD, that's for sure. She treated adults (including me, her neighbor) like we were idiots. Openly. It was appalling.

But this year, the girl seems nice, helpful, sweet.

I can only hope that 4 is just a stage and 5 is a new start....

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#10 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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I am nearing the end of age 4 and approaching age 5! Yikes, I don't know yet if 5 will be much better.

I wanted to offer some suggestions that helped me and you can take them or leave them - but just to get ideas, etc. Overall, I wanted to say it's really important to try to remain confident no matter what. The kids push us and push us but if we act unsure or get frazzled and upset with them then they will feel that much more insecure. They need to know that we are the parent and we know how to take care of them. So if you are unsure how to react immediately, just say you need a minute to think about the issue or something. Or ask them what they think about the situation while you try to decide on your response. Or if she's really upset - you don't have to say anything - just get down on her level and offer some comfort while you think about what you want to do.
Also - try to remember your sense of humor!! My tired DD was really ramped up while I was trying to get their coats on so we could leave my mom's house. She was being really snotty and she threw the hood up on my coat over my face. I was just about to get mad when I stopped and thought for a second then when I lifted the hood off my face I made a funny face and then put the hood back up and then showed her another funny face. I did this a few times and she started laughing and laughing. I was so proud of myself for saving the situation. So I've been trying to remember to do that more often.

1) For the clothes my daughter rotates between two or three outfits. If you don't mind doing laundry I guess it's no big deal. I would suggest that you get her involved in doing the laundry though. Explain that if she wants her outfit cleaned then she needs to help you wash it. I walk my DD through turning on the washing machine then she throws in her clothes. Then she helps me move the clothes from washer to dryer and then gets her clothes out of the dryer and puts them away in her room. You could also take her to the consignment store to pick out a couple other shirts or something that she might like to wear.

2) I have trouble with the eating thing too. First I point out to her when she starts to get cranky that she doesn't feel good because she needs to eat. I explain that we need to eat to have energy and my kids know they need to eat some protein before they can have anything sweet. I insist that they take one bite of anything and if they don't like it they can have a back-up. They ate a lot of turkey dogs for a while but now they are back to eating dinner pretty well. We eat a lot of green beans too because that's their favorite vegetable and I know they will eat it. They go through phases but I try to always have a couple of choices of snacks that they like - usually yogurt, clementimes, and crackers. I bake a lot of mini-muffins and crackers and they love to help and then eat what we made.

3) My DD started Preschool in September and does the same thing though not everytime. When she cries about not wanting to go to preschool or ballet I tell her that I want her to go for 10 minutes and if she isn't having fun then have her teacher call me and I'll come get her. Of course, she's always happy once she gets there but she feels secure that it's her choice and I am not abandoning her there.

4) My DD hated the dentist. I went to a pediatric dentist that was on a list recommended by my pediatrician but they dentists were not really respectful in my opinion. I ended up taking her to my dentist who is really nice. She actually watched me get one of my molars sealed. So she met my dentist and the dentist got her up in the chair and counted her teeth. After that she was really comfortable with him. So maybe if you ease her into it gently and gets to know the dentist slowly she will be more comfortable.

5) I can't help you with the sassiness. I'm still dealing with this. I talk about how we need to speak respectfully to each other and I give her the chance to rephrase what she says to me and give her the words I would prefer to hear. The problem for me is that DD is at her worst when she is tired and is so rude! But when she is tired it's not a good time to lecture or ask her to be polite. Sometimes I have had to leave her room when I'm trying to put her to bed because she is just being too snotty and I tell her I will come back when she can speak nicely to me. That just makes her cry but I refuse to stand there and be dumped on like that. If you find anything that works - let me know!

well, I hope this is coherent. Good luck with the 4's and I'll let you know how 5 is!

Wife to French hubby (8/02), Mama to DD (3/05) and DS (02/07) and (3/10)
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#11 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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yeah, 4 is really hard here too. she is seeming to cling to me more, and definatly to her papa.

i have found that the book kids,parents, powers struggle has really helped me.
about the clothes- can you buy more of the same outfit? maybe have 2 or 3 so you don't have to do so much laundry and run the risk of a fit cause it gets wet?

the dentist/doctor is another issue here. we have an awesome dentist, we love her, but dd couldn't handle getting the work done that she needed, and we ended up having to get her sedated to do it. i didn't want to, but i also didn't want her to end up with absesses or root canals. i understand though, i don't like having my teeth worked on, but i can work my way through it.


food has becme an issue with us as well. i just keep tryng and have found that she will happily eat food that someone else gives her. also i do try to make stuff i know she will eat and that is healthy for her, or to prepare it the way she likes it. i'm not saying i make three different meals for dinner, but i know she likes rare meat, so i mae sure that some is cooked the way she likes it, or soup is always a hit-sometimes i will blend the soup so she doesn't see all the veggies that are in it.

i can't help you with the sassyness. unfortunaly for us, it is hand in hand with hunger and fatigue. we have totally revamped our nightime routine to make sure that she is gong to bed on time, and i have found that she is eating a largish meal every 2-3 hours. of course, though, since she doesn't like that many things it can be a struggle. also- don't worry so much about her day to day diet, take a long view and make sure her weekly diet is varied enough.
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#12 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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Not liking 4 here at all! DS is about 4 and 4 months. The past couple of weeks have been considerably better, so I hope it's here to stay!

Sassy--for a boy, this is loud and just nasty sometimes, especially towards his brother. Very bossy and wants HIS way with his brother all the time. Lots of name calling, which sounds perfectly harmless, except for the nasty tone, ie. You're a la-la-doodle! And things like, N, you are NOT my best friend anymore!!

With the clothes thing--I could not handle that. I guess if you're fine with it, I would insist that she be a part of doing the work that magically makes her outfit appear every morning.

Eating has gone up and down. My ds loves tomatoes, always has. But there was a period of about two months where he insisted he did not like tomatoes.

I have had to get alot more firm than I ever thought I would. I had to simply tell my son that I will not tolerate him speaking so harshly to me and his brother. If he gets in that grouchy mood, I ask him to go be in his room until he can speak kindly to us. I also do not honor his requests when they are barked at me, even if using the "right" words-- Mama-MAY I HAVE SOME MILK PLEASE?? Said like a grouchy T-Rex (with accompanying face and arms crossed) does not fly with me!!

Ugh...I hope 5 is better, but then I have another one following closely behind into the 4s.

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#13 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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So this is all normal! What a relief. I didn't really think my kid was abnormal but I thought maybe it was my failure as a parent.

My 4.5 yo dd is awesome most of the time - she's a GREAT big sister, a big helper most of the time, and so smart but she's also got a super 'tude. She gets stuck in this mad type attitude and then she's impossible - she argues, she's unhappy, she won't listen. This totally pushes my own buttons (my issue I know) and then I become a less than exemplary parent and end up yelling and/or sending her to her room. It's a bad cycle for us and I am looking for ideas to get out of it too.

One thing I know is that she doesn't always get my undivided attention. The little one takes a lot and is a big distraction even if I try to do something with older dd. She is also really good at playing by herself that sometimes I forget that I should make the effort to initiate "quality" time when I have the chance.

I have been trying to give her my attention while the lo sleeps for an hour or so most days. I think that helps us stay connected but she still has the attitude.

And yes, she also knows everything and will argue about the silliest things. You really can't argue with a four year old. Its pointless.
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#14 of 26 Old 01-04-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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So this is all normal! What a relief. I didn't really think my kid was abnormal but I thought maybe it was my failure as a parent.

My 4.5 yo dd is awesome most of the time - she's a GREAT big sister, a big helper most of the time, and so smart but she's also got a super 'tude. She gets stuck in this mad type attitude and then she's impossible - she argues, she's unhappy, she won't listen. This totally pushes my own buttons (my issue I know) and then I become a less than exemplary parent and end up yelling and/or sending her to her room. It's a bad cycle for us and I am looking for ideas to get out of it too.

One thing I know is that she doesn't always get my undivided attention. The little one takes a lot and is a big distraction even if I try to do something with older dd. She is also really good at playing by herself that sometimes I forget that I should make the effort to initiate "quality" time when I have the chance.

I have been trying to give her my attention while the lo sleeps for an hour or so most days. I think that helps us stay connected but she still has the attitude.

And yes, she also knows everything and will argue about the silliest things. You really can't argue with a four year old. Its pointless.

Ummm...my that sounds just like me and my household at the moment!!! 3 was a lot harder, but we still have our moments where ds4 gets in a mad mood and you just can't do anything about it until he lets go...but it does push my buttons big time, as does his constant loud talking and destroying my piles of folded laundry, and I'm working on breathing deeply before reacting because my reactions have not been so "exemplary". Whew. He has come out of a super duper rough patch at 3 though, it seems like things are getting a bit easier. We spend so much time together I think I need more of a break and just getting my cup filled.

Mary

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#15 of 26 Old 01-05-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Oh it's so good to see this thread! Dd1 does all the things described here (in addition to being fabulous, beautiful, intelligent, confident, sweet, understanding, caring, etc).

Lately she has taken to telling me that she hopes she forgets about me when she grows up. That is really hurtful. I try to remember that when she hurts me, it's because she feels hurt. So I try to address that and build her up and tell her I love her, I will never forget about her even if she forgets about me. She has been complaining lately that she wishes she was a baby so I'm indulging her for 5 minutes with a baby bottle of water, hugs, goo goo ga ga. I am the one she takes her Power Trips out on more than anyone. My mom always talks about what a sweet wonderful happy people-pleasing child dd1 is... and I'm like ... I guess they save up their toughest feelings for us because they feel safe.

But yeah. I feel like she's 4 going on 14. Help.

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#16 of 26 Old 01-05-2010, 09:55 PM
 
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So this is all normal! What a relief. I didn't really think my kid was abnormal but I thought maybe it was my failure as a parent.
.
This! I was afraid I had royally screwed something up that she's started behaving the way she is. It's nice to know that it's not just my (almost) four year old.

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#17 of 26 Old 01-06-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Yes, DD started doing the contradictions/debating a couple months ago. Makes me And I'm not doing well handling it. I'm not even sure where to go with it, because everything I try gets contradicted. Not only that, but even when I'm trying to have a pleasant conversation about something (whatever it is - not an important thing or some sort of command) I get contradicted, too! I don't even want to talk to her
I feel that way a lot. It's kind of like, why bother? I do believe that he has figured out a fun way for him to get on my nerves though. I really think he enjoys it.

Oh and one I forgot. This is brand new. The refusal to go somewhere. It started the day after Christmas. We were going shopping with my mother. Life would have been so easy if she had just let me drive, but now that she has a car seat she really wants to drive. He refused to get in her car. Temper tantrum, ran to the other side of the yard. I picked him up to put him in the seat and he would not let me get him in (never ever done that before). I took him inside for a time out. Talked to him, told him if he didn't get in the car he would be taking a nap (hasn't in over a year). Couldn't tell me why he wouldn't get in the car, crying, etc. So I said go to sleep, told my mother we weren't going (I was quite upset, a lot was going on and I was looking forward to going). He cried but did fall asleep. He did this one other time, with the same consequence of taking a nap if we didn't leave. Bad precedent to set and I won't do it again (he actually fell asleep before I could get him ready). Yesterday we got to a store and he refused to get out of the car. Ohmygosh ! But he quickly figured out I wasn't going to play around and did get out of the car. Ugh.

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#18 of 26 Old 01-06-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Okay...if you are finding 4 hard - did you find 3 hard or no? (our of interest...because I am LOVING 4 but found 3 to be the challenge you are all talking about! lol)

Nope, didn't find three hard. But DS does go through something generally a couple of months before he turns the next age, but it is gone by the time he turns it.

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#19 of 26 Old 01-06-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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Oh my goodness, you mean the behaviour changes are here to stay?!

DD turns 4 next month and my (mostly) sweet girl has turned into a little girl who argues about EVERYTHING and has a major attitude most of the time.

She also asks crazy complex questions, gives me kisses, and tells really creative stories.

The continous contradictions as mentioned in a pp are really driving me crazy. We've been experiencing daily meltdowns for the past week now. I was really hoping it was just going to be a short-lived phase.
I love the complicated questions, usually. It is great to see their little minds going. And hugs and kisses are the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post
I am finding 4 hard. I loved 2. 3 had its challenges but at 4 I find myself not being the parent I wanted to be.

DD stuns me with her attitude and honestly it makes me feel like I have messed up hugely somewhere. She seems to have no respect for us. I am not authoritarian, and was raised by a mother who was staunchly anti-authoritarian, but lately I've been thinking like an authoritarian. DH and I keep trying to compare notes, we could be wrong but we seriously don't think we ever were like this when we were 4. Sure, we had tantrums and such but we sure knew who was boss in our house (and it wasn't us), even though (like I said) my mom was anti-authoritarian.

It's only been a few days, but DD has been having some really good days lately though. She has been more empathetic and sweet and even polite. I have at the same time been trying really hard to improve her nutrition, so I can't help but wonder if there is a correlation. Also we were stricter with her last week - still gentle, but a lot stricter. So maybe it was that. We honestly haven't HAD to be strict this week so far.
I don't have a problem with K respecting me. But then I am his primary caregiver and have always let it be known that I will not tolerate disrespect. But...DH does have this problem. If I say no, that is more than likely going to stay the answer. If DH says no, that means nothing. It makes DH crazy because his Hispanic I am the man and you will respect me has come out. So he lets DS get away with whatever and then all of the sudden will break and have a freak out. Makes me crazy.

But yeah, I think we'll have to start being stricter. It is just so hard. You don't want to be that way, but then you also want to have some sort of control over what is going on. Ugh.

ETA~
Rachel~
K has also become a lot more clingy. I don't have to worry about loosing him in a store though, the second I move he is right there. While it can make me crazy, I actually like not having to argue about moving on. I just move.

Surface~
:bighug: I am so happy that K has never mentioned forgetting me. Right now he is big on living right next door to me when he gets a job. Makes me happy...but I know the teenage years will be another story in that aspect.

~*Heather*~
Wife to J 9/00 Mama to K 12/05
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#20 of 26 Old 01-06-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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We are going through the same stuff over here. The contradictions are my personal favorite to tip me right over the edge. My absolute favorite, even when my answer is yes, is, "Say SOMETHING ELSE!" Huh? "Ok." "You can't say 'ok'; SAY SOMETHING ELSE!" How about "Shut it up!"? That's what I'd really like to respond to that nonsense. Also, I'm enjoying, "Yes you do!!!" in response to my stating that I don't recall something. Apparently, I do, and just like to torture myself by initiating this line of conversation.

If I can gather myself to offer some cuddles, I can diffuse the situation.

Oh, and the underwear that bothers her. This started towards the end of 3. Tossed all the Hanes and bought from an Etsy mama. Only these can be worn under tights as they are close fitting. Then I bought 2 or 3 packages of Hannahs. Which she loved. Until recently. And now, the seam of her pants must be aligned with the natural "seam" in her behind. Really? Seriously? And you want my help? Um, no. That one, you're on your own with.

She had decided that she wasn't wearing many of her clothes. I did take her to the thrift store with me and it helped some. I also purchased some dresses like the other girls at preschool were wearing and that helped. But, getting warm clothes on this girl in the Chicago winter isn't always an easy task. Thankfully, she wears a balaclava I knit for her. Out of the most hideous colorway for this purpose (would have been beautiful for summertime shorties for the baby). But, woe to all around if it is not flat on her head! "IT'S PUFFY!!!!! MAKE.IT.FLAT!!!!" Oh, the whining!

This morning her Ruskovilla wool bothered her. It itched. Of course, she wore it ice skating the day after Christmas with little problem. Because we were going ice skating for the first time and it was something she really wanted to do.

Fortunately, we're ok with food. Except that now she wants chips, popcorn and chocolate before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

My mother says I was not like this, but, rather, a very easy child. Makes me wonder whether something environmentally is causing this type of behavior in our children? I mean, were kids always like this at this age?

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#21 of 26 Old 01-06-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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It really seems like you either deal with this in the 3's or 4's, depending on the kiddo. My oldest is 3.5 and is firmly entrenched in it all. There's a lot going on now though... she's dropping her nap, she's refusing to eat most days (once she went 6 days without eating, no joke) and if she doesn't eat, she's a total BEAR to deal with. Nonsense words, yelling and screaming, constant movement including pacing around, wanting me to play with her from the minute she gets up until the minute she goes to bed but yet won't play ANYTHING I suggest, nonstop arguing, etc.

But yet, every once in a while the stars align and she EATS, she NAPS, she's content and happy playing by herself, and will even do crafts with Mom. I know they're all related, and I assume they're related to the eating but who knows, chicken or egg.....

This is one of the bad days, and go figure, she hasn't eaten anything since lunch yesterday. They must be related. Wish I could find that magic food.

Oh, this is also the age of "What did you say?" All.Day.Long. I've told DH that I feel like I'm talking to an 80 year old with an ear horn. I've tried answering with "You heard me" but then she argues "I DIDN'T hear you Mom, say it again, I DIDN'T hear you" over and over again. Sigh.

Anyways, this has been going on for many months, I'm just counting down the days until she hits 4 and it magically goes away... ho ho ho.

Liz, mommy to DD1 (June 2006) and DD2 (August 2008) :
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#22 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by babsbob View Post
I am nearing the end of age 4 and approaching age 5! Yikes, I don't know yet if 5 will be much better.

I wanted to offer some suggestions that helped me and you can take them or leave them - but just to get ideas, etc.
Thanks for writing all of this...it's a mirror of my life, and makes things seems o doable when I read it here.

Single mom, raising a spirited boy (6yo) superhero.gifin the middle of the farms outside the city.
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#23 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybunmom View Post
My mother says I was not like this, but, rather, a very easy child. Makes me wonder whether something environmentally is causing this type of behavior in our children? I mean, were kids always like this at this age?
nak...
i just had my 4 yo dd's and myself tested for vit d levels on a hunch...they were very low. even low by mainstream med standards (below 30). as a kid, i was outside all the time. i hate to admit that i really didn't get dd outside during the warmer months as i should have. i was sleep-deprived and grumpy (and probably deficient then, too) and we'd go days w/o proper amount of sunlight.

we're supplementing now above rda levels, so we'll see if it makes a difference. check out vitamindfoundation.com or the vitamin d council's website (not quackery...real doctors/scientists). incredible video presentation by dr. vieth...worth viewing.

just a thought...especially for those whose kids have cavities and/or darker skin color and/or live in northern climates.
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#24 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Yeah, 4 is driving me a little nuts, though generally ds is a sweet kid. I think part of the problem is that he's an extrovert and I'm an introvert, so the constant questions all day start to drive me batty. Also, ds has a habit of badgering--asking the same question over and over, and not giving me a chance to respond. We've been working on it though. Sometimes I just tell him I need a few minutes of quiet, with no questions.

Food issues are driving me a little batty too. Ds has always been somewhat picky, but it's getting worse. For fruits and veggies, he'll pretty much only eat broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, cantaloupe, sometimes pears or apples, once in a while oranges. Seems like the list gets smaller every day.

Ds still has pants-wetting accidents fairly regularly. He just isn't that interested in staying dry--he'd rather be playing. I was hoping this would be over by now.

I do like watching his speech develop--all the sudden it seems like he can express a lot of really sophisticated ideas verbally, and it's fun to talk to him.

He likes to tell me that when he grows up, he's not going to move away, he wants to live in the same house with us forever, even when he's grown up.

And ds is very good with his little sister most days. Thank goodness they don't fight more!

Re: doctors and dentists....ds has a mortal fear of anyone (besides family) touching his head, face, etc. So he freaks out at the doctor, getting his hair cut, etc. We did manage to find a fabulous pediatric dentist, and they were really good at providing small "prizes" for each step in getting a cleaning. Ds actually loved it! So it's worth asking around, maybe there's something similar in your area.

For me, 3 was harder, because I couldn't reason with ds, and his verbal skills weren't as good....and we had a new baby in the house. 4 has been hard but manageable. Ds turns 5 in April!

lady.gif mama to H. 4/05 and A. 9/08 and baby C. 10/11

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#25 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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Today dd had a meltdown during drop-off at daycare, and then apparently took another childs muffin at breakfast and wouldn't give it up even after she was told it contained dairy. I only was notified of the muffin because it contains dairy and she reacts (luckily nothing life threatening).

She was sick on Tuesday and still very clingy yesterday (we stayed home these days together). It sounds like she still needs some hugs tonight, I was hoping we'd gotten past the worst of it.

wife of 8 years to DH geek.gif, mama to DD blahblah.gif (2006) & DS jog.gif (2011) angel1.gif (Dec. 2012) rainbow1284.gif due Nov. 2013 

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#26 of 26 Old 01-07-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkfum View Post
nak...
i just had my 4 yo dd's and myself tested for vit d levels on a hunch...they were very low. even low by mainstream med standards (below 30). as a kid, i was outside all the time. i hate to admit that i really didn't get dd outside during the warmer months as i should have. i was sleep-deprived and grumpy (and probably deficient then, too) and we'd go days w/o proper amount of sunlight.

we're supplementing now above rda levels, so we'll see if it makes a difference. check out vitamindfoundation.com or the vitamin d council's website (not quackery...real doctors/scientists). incredible video presentation by dr. vieth...worth viewing.

just a thought...especially for those whose kids have cavities and/or darker skin color and/or live in northern climates.
Getting outside definitely makes a difference for us. When I was home on maternity leave all summer, I definitely saw that. We went out pretty much every day for an hour at the very least, usually much longer. We do live in the land of gray - Chicago. However, barring totally inclement wewather, dd is outside at least an hour a day at school. She's in a Waldorf program. And, thanks to papi's genes, she's "peach", unlike me. We just bought a bounce house, which, hopefully will get set up this weekend. She is really quite and active, nature loving girl. I do think that being cooped up inside is tough on her. She seems to really need to work out/burn off some energy every day and I'm hoping this bounce house will get her off of my sofa and into a safe place to do that.

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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