Help! I'm the Mommy of a 4yo! - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-29-2005, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, people, this is hard. What happened to my sweet little baby/toddler? Who is this tazmanian devil with attitude? :LOL


being the mommy of a 4yo is a humbling humbling experience...
HELP!!!!!! (at least commiserate..)
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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I know of what you speak. I used to think three was really hard.........then it hit. I've gone through this twice before, you would think I'd have seen it coming but no. Oh I can't wait for four--has to be easier than three If we both make it through the summer it will be a miracle. Of course the killer with four is they can fake it for a minute and your beautiful baby is back but just for a second. Never let 'em see you sweat
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:07 PM
 
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My ds is almost 4 and has been really challenging lately. He used to never go anywhere w/o me which was getting old, but now he is taking off I-dont-know-where to do I-dont-know-what! We have a big house full of hazards. It used to not be a problem because I could help him with anything he wanted to explore that wasn't safe. Now I have trouble finding him. He likes to hide. He loves matches, candles, lighters, fire in general. Both my mother and husband are pack-rats and we live in a house that a zillion people have moved out of, all leaving a little behind.

He'll knock the trash over. A couple of days ago, he threw a new bottle of laundry detergent down the basement steps while running away from dh. The lid broke and it spilled everywhere. I slipped going down to clean up. Fortunately, I was only bruised with a very minor ankle sprain. It is very hard to clean up concentrated detergent! At least the steps are clean now! Oh no, here he comes........

ETA I forgot to mention he has started having great fun peeing in strange places, like the couch, laundry baskets, etc.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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ds#! is 4 on sunday and he has started each day with an agenda about his 4th birthday party. :LOL

He does seem to have bit more attitude lately...I guess it is blowing in the wind with this birthday...all I can say is uh-oh!
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Old 06-29-2005, 11:34 PM
 
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Dd will be 4 soon, and a few months ago I got the Gessel book Your Four Year Old. They have a book for every year, and this was the first I read. I wish I'd read the others.

If I didn't know better I'd think Dd read the book and took it as instructions. Every night I'd read about some odd new thing to anticipate, and the next day, there it would be. The book says the various behaviours occur at the age in the book, give or take a year.

There is much more energy (than three, yikes!), a taste for violence (Dd went from escorting bugs out the door, to stepping on them, from caring for her precious baby dolls, to jumping on them), fascination with the garbage.

What I liked about the book was all kinds of things I'd have thought indicated some sort of posession, were just normal 4 year old things.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:28 AM
 
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Well I have to say I never knew a 4-year-old can pack so much attitude and also . When we are in the car here and there I actually feel myself cringe the questions and on and on. Now granted she turned 4 a few months ago, so it has been long enough to get on my nerves a bit if I am frazzled or tired.

Emotions too...... one minute over nothing...the next
it makes me...

Oddly enough though, when I see that dh gets a bit frustrated with it all I feel soo much better because he truly has "the patience of a saint" and then I know that I am not being totally unreasonable with being sometimes impatient ...

:energ y
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Old 06-30-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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We started giving a LOT more choices and encouraging her to come up with solutions to problems at this age. Like almost every little thing - come up with two choices you won't hate (or ask them for an idea). It seemed to drastically reduce our arguing and frustration levels, and she was much more willing to do things. I.e. would you like to leave the park now or in five minutes? You make a choice or I can choose for you, if you prefer.

Whattya know, the five minutes is always the winner. :LOL
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Old 07-01-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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Wow, is this great to hear! I thought mine (turning 4 tomorrow!) was the only one. Someone told me an interesting fact recently. She'd read a book about brain development and said that the things going on in a teenager's brain are the same as in a four year old. Teens turn to rebellion and 4's and 5's turn to snarky attitude, tantrums and challenging behaviour. I have now answer to this, but it does make me feel like at least there's a developmental reason for the recent challenges.
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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I'm the mommy to a Jeckyl and Hyde 4 year old as well. Amazing creatures. One minute he's my sweet baby love, kind and caring, happy to do as I ask. The next his angry, red faced, yelling and sobbing hysterically, telling me that I broke his heart. For asking him to pick up his toys. I'm starting to save for law school because he can't do anything without an arguement or debate.

It's been a fun 6 months
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:18 PM
 
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Come and play with us!

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=295086

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

The best,
Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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I sooooo feel your pain. In some ways, three was much harder for us but 4 has its own little pleasures!

We use Love and Logic and have found it incredibly helpful for our logical little man.
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davenport
She'd read a book about brain development and said that the things going on in a teenager's brain are the same as in a four year old. Teens turn to rebellion and 4's and 5's turn to snarky attitude, tantrums and challenging behaviour.
Certainly sounds like my dd! She'll be four in another month and boy. Tantrums and snarky attitude out of nowhere! The last week or two she's been screaming "I HATE YOU" at the top of her lungs every time I deny her anything. I asked her why she would say that and she said, "Mommy, you just make me SO MAD sometimes!"

Normally I just stay calm and have her go to her room and calm down, then we talk about what happened and all that and she apologizes and we hug and kiss and say I love you. I'm so stressed out right now, though. Dh is working 50-60 hours a week (third shift) so I'm all alone to handle everything, which on top of being ridiculously pregnant is just about too much sometimes. Gah. :

I'll have to see if they library has some of those books!
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:51 PM
 
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OK, PLEASE stop scaring me! : When my first DD was a baby, everyone warned me about the cliched "terrible twos" (hate that term, but that's another thread). I was sure my 3 year old would be easier. Then, she turned 3, and other moms started saying how difficult 3s are.

Now, you're telling me it's only going to get worse? She'll be 4 in September...I feel as if it's just going to continue this way until she's an adult, with each year harder than the last.
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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Four is definitely the hardest year! Why aren't we warned about this in advance? Two is a cake walk and three is a picnic compared to it!

Hold on, though, there is light at the end of the tunnel (or should I say tornado???) Five is a DREAM. You can make it!
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:43 PM
 
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I NEVER got frustrated with ds when he was 2 like I do now. It was so much easier to try and figure out what he wanted when he was upset than it is to stay calm through a series of screaming demands and complaints! At least then he was just frustrated at the situation, not able to express himself well. Now, he's pissed off at me and able to tell me exactly why :LOL
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:11 PM
 
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Apsu Zakar turned 4 today!!!! Yeah!!!!
Only everything today was, " I need a yes mommy, did you hear me? I said I need you to give me a yes on that!" :LOL
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamomma
"I need a yes mommy, did you hear me? I said I need you to give me a yes on that!"
:

I'm sorry, but this just totally cracked me up. I can't stop laughing! Not only are they VERY (as in EXTREMELY) articulate about what they NEED, they are also incredibly ahem, colorful in their delivery?

Indeed, my DS is very concerned as to whether I'm listening or not, "Mom, I need you to listen to me here. I need you to look in my eyes so that I know you hear me."

Hm...

Wonder where he got that line?

Indeed, all the things I wish I'd never said are coming back to haunt me. Those *VERY* few moments when I've lost patience and the ability to speak respectfully and kindly are the very moments that are foremost in DS's mind. It makes me realize just how well he WAS listening when I assumed he wasn't. DOH!

I'm learning. I'm learning...

The best,
Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:08 PM
 
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I don't know whether to feel better or worse after reading this! :LOL At least I know that it isn't just me and I didn't do something horribly wrong to create this 4 yo monster!!!!
Yesterday she said she hated me and told me she was running away. I told her to go pack her stuff and I'd help her get her shoes on so she could go. : She said "NO, you have to DROP ME OFF!!!" :LOL AS IF!!! I told her no, she could run away if that's what she wanted, but she had to get where she was going all by herself. A little bit later she asked me to help her with something. I told her no, because she was running away and didn't live here anymore. She looked at me for a minute and said "okay, I'm not running away" :LOL I'm scared to death that she'll actually do it one of these days.
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Old 07-04-2005, 09:50 AM
 
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My 4 yr old has been telling me lately he wants me to go away and that he doesn't like me. These last couple of months have been more difficult. I definately think 4 is a tough age. Glad to know I'm not alone.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son always says he going to take me to jail. He learned that from a neighbor kid.

Today has been a rough day. Raining all day, so we haven't gotten outside and just one day can produce serious cabin fever in all of us...
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Old 07-04-2005, 11:40 AM
 
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So my 4-year old told me the other day that sometimes she thinks her dad and I are witches who abducted her from her real mom and dad when she was little and she was going to run away so she could find THEM... all of this because I politely disagree that she should spend her day beating her 2.5 yo sister.... After reading this, it occurs to me that when dh and I discuss who is to blame for this, we could reach the conclusion that noone is and that "it will pass"
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:09 AM
 
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4 is the WORST age/ stage I have ever had to deal with. They really , really should warn you about this ahead of time.

He was a sweet mellow baby. he was a cheerful, snmart toddler. he was a funny little 3 year old. Then, he turned 4, and it all went to heck. I have felt at various times that someone switched my kid. Like, yeah, that LOOKS like my kid, that SOUNDS like my kid, hey, it even SMELLS like my kid, but he sure as heck does not act like mine. My son is sweet and thoughtful and articualte. He doesn't throw himself onto the floor and scream at me. He never spits in his siters face in the bathtub repeatedly for the fun of hearing her cry. He knows better than to open the doors of the car or hit the dogs..he is compassionate and sthoughtful and placid.




Har dee har har.

My son screams at me. he screams at his siter. He gets angry, cries, yells, you name it, at the drp of a hat.

Tears? We can have ters at elast once a day, if we are lucky ONLY once a day. The drama in my home over things like : wanting to be the one to feed the fish, wanting to be the one to open the door to go outside to play, not liking your socks, not liking breakfast,lunch or dinner, not getting to watch the water drain out of the tub, me going down the steps before him, his siter getting something that he did not want UNTIL she had it . Argueing things over with me, and his dad, until i want to go and get teh child a breifcase, a yellow olegal pad, a nice shapr pencil, and sign for a desk that says " Paul $ Attorney at law, and hire him out to local pre-schoolers to handle their unfair treatment cases against their folks as well. Having to pick him up and drag him, literally kicking and screaming , out of peoples homes or stores, after he has had a major falling apart moment. Being shocked at how this child, with whom I have been so gentle and placid and patient, cn look at meout of the corner of his eye right before he punches the dog, or knocks his sister over or spits in her face or snatches her toy.

I babysat a defiant little boy one day for roughly 3 hours, and he taught my son some new tricks, like talking back and saying things like" So?" and rolling his eyes and stomping off when placed in time out because he doesn't want to sit/stand/stay where I have placed him in tie out. Being fought over every move of my life and day.

Then onto the 'fun' new habits such as booger OR scab picking. Uck. Picking boogers and eating them. Sneaking off to eat them behind furniture even though we ALL know what he doing.


Oh..4 has been an incredible challenge, and I have been told 5 is better. God above, I sure hope so. Right now he is sleepingand peacefuil and beautiful ..but in about 8 hours he is going to wake up and we shall be on to soething new , I am sure.
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:03 AM
 
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Avonlea,
I think your post pretty much summed up 4 year old behavior and how frustrating it can be, but it was funny to read.
I have noticed too at this age, boy the things they pick up from others, though I am wondering if the rolling of eyes is a naturally occuring phenomenon, not sure where mine got that from. :LOL

:energ y
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Old 07-13-2005, 04:27 AM
 
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I hear you all so loudly!!! My new favorite way to discribe it is that 4 is 2x2....and sometimes I'd like to trade my 4 year old in for two 2 year olds because it would be such a peaceful, happy day! Only four months until 5, sigh.
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:10 AM
 
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Oh, I can't tell you how much I needed this thread today! My 3.5 yr old is already exhibiting the behaviors you're mentioning! One minute he's a screaming crying mess on the floor, (and always over some miniscule thing, it seems) and the next minute he's so totally sweet. For example, right now he's sitting in his rocking chair rocking his "baby", but 10 minutes ago he was screaming and crying and saying, "I'm mad at you mommy" because I wouldn't let him yank off his baby sister's head!

Boy, I"m glad to know my kid isn't the only one!!
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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Oh mamas you speak such truth!!!

I so needed to read this - I was starting to ponder on my parenting methods and thinking *I* am slowly creating a monster

And I never knew my memory was so short - I do have an older child.

Somebody mentioned that 5 will be a dream - your words to Gods ears! DD is turning 5 in less than a month - will she magically turn back into a sweet princess, not remain the cranky, demanding, back-talking drama-queen for the rest of her childhood? Please promise me that! I'll tough it out for another 2 weeks :LOL
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Old 07-14-2005, 12:31 AM
 
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Thanks for validating my feelings....Yeah, I was starting to wonder if it's just me, too.

DS actually has just started being compassionate to bugs--a month ago he squashed them, now he says "I don't want to take a bath, becaseu I want the chiggers to have a good life and food to eat," "I am feeding these mosquitoes," "Look, the ant is happy because I helped it get on the counter." So not everything is going downhill....though he certainly is eccentric. Wonder where he got THAT. :LOL

Today I called my neighbor and she took me and DS for a walk, because I was about to start hitting him. No, I wasn't going to hit him, but it was all I could think of to do, so I was stuck and scared. I get so tired without a nap (mine, his, doesn't matter), and we don't get them anymore.

People do keep telling me that 5 is much much easier. And no, they didn't tell me before that 4 was, or 3. These are the ones who say "yeah, my son was totally overwhelming fom 18 months until 5 years." So far we fit the pattern....

Recent quotes:
"It is unexpected for a 3 year old to know this many things." (Shortly before his birthday)

"No, mama, you are Wrong! I know MANY things that you do not know!"

"I am not listening to you. The only way you could get me to listen is to hurt me."

"I am ignoring you."

"You know what's amazing? In the very old days, they had jars that screwed on to the front of cars, and they would put fireflies in them, and that would be the headlights of the car. They would flash on and off."

I think a huge part of it all is my expectations. Like, that a kid who can explain how a catalytic converter works and debate the differences between orchard grass and fescue (not accurately ) should be able to grasp and respect "don't spit on me, I don't like it." This is obviously not what is happening in real life, but I keep expecting it. This trend in my mind started when he started making sentences, and is only getting worse.
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:31 AM
 
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ds just turned 4, and we're right there with y'all:

eyerolling (like so far up in his head it look like they're going to start spinning)

MAJOR angry tantrums - kicking, screaming, throwing things, grunting, etc

HUGE mood swings

AT-TI-TUDE!!! Me: "I need you to treat our belongings with more respect by not throwing them across the room." Him: "WELL I'M GOING TO WRECK EVERYTHING IN OUR HOUSE AND MOVE BACK TO OUR OLD HOUSE!!!"

And this one i just discovered: he appears to have found a special spot on the carpet to start peeing on. i caught him the other day, smelled the carpet, and realized there's no way that much stank came from one incident. i have no idea how long that's been going on. :

(sigh) i feel your pain. :LOL
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Denise K
I think a huge part of it all is my expectations. Like, that a kid who can explain how a catalytic converter works and debate the differences between orchard grass and fescue (not accurately ) should be able to grasp and respect "don't spit on me, I don't like it." This is obviously not what is happening in real life, but I keep expecting it. This trend in my mind started when he started making sentences, and is only getting worse.
That sounds like us, except throwing instead of spiting. :LOL

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommajubilee
And this one i just discovered: he appears to have found a special spot on the carpet to start peeing on. i caught him the other day, smelled the carpet, and realized there's no way that much stank came from one incident. i have no idea how long that's been going on. :

(sigh) i feel your pain. :LOL
We've been going through creative peeing, too, including a special spot on the rug. He doesn't put his pants back on so I know to go a sniffing.

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