4 yr old head strong son - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-30-2002, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi all...i am so greatful that this board exists...just reading other peoples 'horror' stories make me feel a little better...that i am not the only one gong crazy! ok, my 4 and 1/3rd year old son has been so mean lately..nursery school ended a few weeks back and i think he started this new phase(i hope) soon after. just before bedtime tonight he said he was not going to listen ever again..he was not going to behave...and he was going to be bad.he behaved well in school.he takes ninjutsu and is well behaved there but when he and i are together..forget it! he says he is not going to be my friend if i do not do what he asks...he has said he doesnt like me.....dont touch me....its heart breaking.....he usually says this when he has misbehaved and i am speaking to him about it...i have even resorted to lightly slapping his cheek because he has stuck his tongue and rasberried me!after the slapping he gets all angry and says that didnt hurt me.....and i dont like you! he expects me to buy him a toy every time we go into a store and i usually say...not today i dont have the $ for that....and try to teach him the value of $ as well as you dont get the toy if you act mean like that.he has so many junky toys that usually my hub will bye for him at the 99 cent store....hell play with it,it breaks,he wants a new one...or sometimes he will break it and expect a new one. what i am wondering is....is my child a problem child....or is this just a phase that headstrong 4 year old boys go thru? i am woried that when he is a teenager he will curse me out and punch me or knock me down! i am sosick of his not listening to me the first time around...like ok, get buckled up in your car seat we are going now.and he will refuse...until i have to threaten him or yell and scream! it is so exhuasting! i also worry what my lil 14 month old daughter is thinking about all of this craziness! sorry i have got off on tangents....there is just too many mis behaviors to list....thanks for any advice or similar stories!....patti
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#2 of 9 Old 06-30-2002, 12:56 AM
 
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He sounds normal to me!!
I can relate to alot of what you are going through with him.My son is very srongwilled and "spirited"
I think for you and your husband to be consistent together with the limits you set for him...ie,you break your toy you don't get it replaced.
Our problem is that i tend to be the one who does the discipline and my husband is the softie.Our son will often test limits and if my husband "rescues" him,he gets the message that it is ok to be mean to mummy,daddy will get me it!! This is something that i am working on with my husband.
I found with our son if i tell him before we go in the store what is expected of him(we are just getting a couple of things and i am not buying anything else)he seems to do ok with it.If you have to do alot of groceries my son likes to have the list and "read" it to me and we check it off together.Often i will buy a banana or somthing else healthy for him to munch on as we are shopping and i always bring him a drink.On the odd occasion when he has been pushing the limits in the store i give him two choices,either he calms down and we can get the groceries done quickly by working together(and we will have more time to play) or if he is still going to act up i will leave the cart where it is and we will go straight home with no fun stuff happening!!
I find sometimes if he is bored that he will act up too and we will go for a big walk or bike ride.
It somtimes helps aswell when they are doing the raspberries etc is to tell him you will not allow him to treat you like that and you can't be with him and go into the bathroom with the door closed for a few seconds.
It help when they are going through this to make sure you do acknowledge when they are doing nice things.
Just remember you are not alone and they do grow out of this
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#3 of 9 Old 07-11-2002, 03:00 AM
 
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You're definitely not alone.

I had posted a few months back about other children being mean to my DS#1(4yo), and in the last month he's doing it himself. Calling names is a biggie, hitting and grabbing from DD, really talking back.

Well, today we started a new tack. Don't know if it'll work or even makes sense, but we've got to try something ... anyway, we are making a chart, and breaking down every day into several-hour chunks. Then if he doesn't call names or do anything awful for that chunk of time, he gets a star. If he gets however-many stars a day, he gets to watch "Cyberchase" (his new favorite show, which btw has some mean characters which now that I think about it could be part of the problem ... : ) that evening. If not, no show.

Maybe it'll work. Maybe not. But hopefully this is all just a passing phase ...

I hope.

- Amy
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#4 of 9 Old 07-11-2002, 10:11 AM
 
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pattygirlny -- you sound very overwhelmed! If it is reassuring to you at all, yes, my ds has been through similar phases. I guess you could just try to "wait it out," but it sounds like maybe you want to hear more than that? There are things you could try, if you haven't already.

It sounds like there is a lot of tension between you and your ds, and when things are tense the energy levels can sky-rocket. He may need some "space" from you when he gets angry or mean. If you come right back with a reprimand, a slap, or an order, I can imagine him getting angrier and returning with something worse. And then the situation escalating into a full fledged fight. He sounds like a "fighter!" If it were me, I would try walking away, or at least keeping quiet when he pulled something disrespectful or mean. Then coming back after five minutes or after he has "cooled down" and addressing it in a very quiet, but firm, voice. The message you are sending is "we can deal with this when you are ready to talk reasonably about it."

Also, it might help your ds if he felt a sense of "control" over little things in his life. This has a lot to do with how you phrase things when you need him to obey. For instance -- give choices whenever you can. Ie: Instead of "put on your seat belt we have to go." Next time try "Shall I buckle your seatbelt today, or can you do it yourself?" Then he can choose who will do it, instead of needing to say "no" right off the bat.

About the shopping trips: I wonder if he is old enough for a small allowance? I don't give my kids allowances yet, but mine don't ask for things constantly either. If my older son really seemed to have trouble with understanding the "value of a dollar," then I might give him a certain allowance each week. Then when he wanted something, he could decide if it were really worth it to him or not. And when his money was gone, I could say "Oops. Sorry. Guess you'll have to wait until you have the $$ for it." Allowance or not, consistancy is probably the key here.

These are just ideas that are off the top of my head. Maybe they won't help. But maybe it is worth a try! Please, come here to vent anytime! Sounds like you REALLY have your hands full these days? A great book you could read through (library probably has it) is "Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles." It REALLY helped me deal with my ds better. Your dh might want to read it too.

BTW, what is "ninjutsu?" Is it a martial art? Do you think it helps him to channel his aggression?
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#5 of 9 Old 07-11-2002, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i just want to thank all of you nice moms who gave some great advice! i am going to try to remain calm....remember that i am the boss....dont let my lil 4 yr old intimidate me...pray that this phase is just a phase.... and know that i am not alone! i do try to praise him when he acts in a sweet, kind manner...i guess that i am just so overwhelmed that even the little things seem so huge...i wish he wasnt so tempermental....that is why i have him in ninjutsu(a martial art).....they teach self control....anyway...we will see what happens and i will be sure to be back to 'vent' if needed!thanks again! enjoy your summer!
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#6 of 9 Old 07-22-2002, 10:27 PM
 
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oh wow this stuff sounds so familiar. my son turned 4 two weeks ago, and he is DIFFICULT!!! we basically fight all day. he is being mean (kicking sand at the beach into other kids' faces), not listening to me, being aggressive and violent (to his frined: " i'm the bad guy and i'm going to kill you!"), and the most annoying: he is whining from morning till night. a lot of these behaviors came out of nowhere. the violence is especially surprising to me, since we have no TV and i always thought that's where kids got stuff like that from! i guess he's gotten ideas from watching other kids. it's all really overwhelming to me, since he is the oldest of three children, and he's supposed to be the "big boy"! he's actually the most work and extremely embarassing to me around other people.
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#7 of 9 Old 07-22-2002, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow!autumndawn...that is my son! he too kicks the sand at the beach..splashes the water in the peoples faces at the community pool..sometimes hits or kicks or pushes or even yells and screams at the kids on the playground....i am embarrassed to go anywhere as well! i make him apologize to the others..i then must threaten to leave if he does whatever it was he did again. and if it does happen again..and i do say 'well sorry, now we have to go' boy oh boy watch out! his little fit begins....he will scream at me..'mom,i dont like you anymore...i am never being your friend again!' he will try to swing his arm at me and he will raspberry me and stick his tongue out! i get so freakin' embarrassed and angry! after reading some of the posts here(thanks you,ladies)i now try to remain calm(i dont want to freak my lil 15 month dd out)and i try to speak calmly and tell him in a nice way the reason we are going is because we dont try to hurt people or act that way around people.....and i tell him when he says mean stuff to me...that is hurts my feelings when he says that or that it makes me sad..and when he throws things at me(usually clothes or pillows...thank goodness) i tell him that i dont want to be near him when he acts that way and i leave the room. but what really gets to me is when he tries to take out his frustrations on his baby sister...actually he never really hurts her...although just yesterday he punched her in her belly cause she sorta scratched his back...he was sent to his room for that...but he tries to get me angry by playing a little too rough with her or by putting his hands all over her face....anything to get her to scream or cry to stop! she is still too young to tell me what he did...but that annoys me so much and i am not sure how to handle that one yet...he tries to be a pain in the butt! i get worried sometimes about the future...will he have any friends if he acts this way to them? what if he stays mean and really tries hurting me? my hub and i are really trying so hard to get him through this....we ask him how he is feeling when he seems angry...we tell him to talk about his feelings...but usually he just huffs and puffs and doesnt want us near him...just tonight he got so angry because he didnt want to get ready for bed...and he was soo tired...no nap and up early...but he stayed angry and went to bed that way...usually he gets nice at bed time...i lay down with him...he says" oh mom, i really, really do love you"...and he acts like an angel! i just dont get it. i hope when school starts again in sept. he will change, because he didnt seem as so high strung and moody when he was in nursery school....oh well....i dont know what to say...i wish you all the best and i will keep posting(venting)! thanks again!
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#8 of 9 Old 07-22-2002, 11:25 PM
 
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Try this link to a disscussion we had in the gentle discipline thread. I wanted to repeat here what I shared there -- but feel too lazy to repeat it all tonight! Anyway, some of the stuff shared there might be helpful.

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=15551

Also -- I know you can't help feeling embarassed, and I would too. But remember that it is your child's feelings and behaviors that are the issue -- not your embarrassment. Don't be harder on him because you are embarrassed. Deal with the same way in public that you do in private. He is too little to take responsibility for your embarassment. That is for you to deal with.

Man -- this is such a hard topic, huh? My oldest son is almost 6 and has gotten so much easier, but we still have our moments. And the little one just turned 2 -- watch out!
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#9 of 9 Old 08-08-2002, 07:35 AM
 
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Try reading the Discipline Book (Dr. Sears) and Raising Boys (Steve Biddulph). They are both very good. We too have a 4 year and he can be trying too, but we have drawn an extremely firm line when it comes to being disrepectful to me. The 2 most violent and badly behaved children I know have extremely AP mums and no TV. They also have virtually no discipline bc they have interpreted AP to mean never saying NO to your child.
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