anyone else have a grumpy/moody 4 year old? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 04-25-2003, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I've realized now that my dd is just plain MOODY!! She has been since about age 3--boy, was a that a testy year! It's settled a bit since she turned 4 (end of January) but has reared it's ugly head again, lately. For ex., we were at Music Together class today and her buddy wasn't there (she knew that going in today). She refused to join in for a good part of class today, just sitting away from me saying, "NO". I would attribute her behavior to her grandparents leaving recently (stayed a few days for Easter, up from Florida) and her friend being absent today but it seems that can't be the whole story. She get's grumpy when seemingly nothing is going on!! If she get's upset, that's it, she's going to keep it going for a while. She's not really hostile, just negative in attitude. I'm usually supportive, although not mushy about it. It's hard, though, because it seems as though hardly anyone else has this trouble and I feel like everyone looks at me thinking, "Gosh, she's got a grouchy one." My dd#2 is all smiles 90% of the time. Granted, my grouchy ladybug (dd#1) certainly can be a delight (often, actually) but when that black cloud comes, look out!! I feel like it's Preschooler PMS!

Any advice/empathy/similar experiences would be helpful.

~Melissa
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#2 of 14 Old 04-25-2003, 01:24 AM
 
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I notice too that my ds has been on the grumpy side also. I thought it might be due to many changes going on in our home, remolding our house to move, grandpa is here to help, so some stress. But, looking back, he has gotten a bit moodier since he turned four. I was talking with some moms of older kids and I think this is part of being four and having a wider range of emotions that they suddenly can express very well.

No advice or anything, just I hear what you are sayin'! I just roll my eyes to my self of course and try not to let it bug me.

Ds used to be so friendly to people we saw in stores, malls etc... Now if they talk to him, such as "Hi there" he says "Hey you leave me alone, go away." That is new. I just ask him if he has a nicer way of saying things and usually he tries again and says something more pleasant. I think it's okay for them to hear that there is a nice way to talk to people and a not nice way. But, he just seems much less approachable and sometimes downright rude. I hope this is just a phase. He used to be such a happy friendly kid. Much of the time now he is wonderful and loads of fun, but sometimes:

Edited to say: Make that remodeling, not remolding, ironically, we found some mold while remodeling, so it must be on my mind
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#3 of 14 Old 04-27-2003, 10:54 PM
 
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my mom was here for a few days and when she left my dd ( 4 1/2) seemed a bit "lost" an grumpy

she was bored and not certain what to do with herself as she lost her captive audience

my dd too seems quite hormonal in her reactions -- we've been in a bit of a rut and we're not in a playgroup so i think she gets bored/missing kids

not much help -- tons of commiseration
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#4 of 14 Old 04-28-2003, 12:21 AM
 
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childhood years very relative to this one
soo ((((((((HUGGGGGGS)) and empathy !
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#5 of 14 Old 04-29-2003, 02:46 PM
 
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Hi everyone - Just to let you know, my DD who is 4 1/2 is a very high maintance child. She is ALWAYS crying over something, throwing a tantrum, or having a hissy fit. She is mauls her little brother and talks back to me. She has been like this since she was born. I don't think my parenting habits have anything to do with it, since her little brother is the sweetest, easy going kid around. I have empathy for anyone with kids and behavioral problems. Don't get me wrong, she can be a really nice, sweet kid and I love her to death, but sometimes, I just want to kill her! Ok, no more ranting.
Melissa - I can understand and I am sending hugs your way.
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#6 of 14 Old 04-29-2003, 04:51 PM
 
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I too, have a grumpy kid. She has learned over the years to temper it a bit, but her first response is usually negative. Like her older sister accidently ate a rotten grape. She spit it into the sink and was going on about to puke, and my grumpy says, "HA HA!!!" My youngest hit her head hard last night and the grumpy one say, "that's what you get." I asked her to do her homework, and she moans and groans and messes around, then later says, "I love it when you are doing dishes and I am doing homework and it is just you and me out here." It was time to walk the dog and she says she hates the stupid dog, moans and groans about getting her rain boots and slicker on. Then they come back in and they had a blast splashing and running. Her eyes are all sparkly and she smells like outdoors and rain and kid and is grinning from ear to ear. (The dog smelled like a wet dog and went right into the tub.) She has always been like this. Sometimes when she is all soft and warm and snuggly I try to talk to her about how a person can choose to be happy or not so happy. She understands this, but many times feels helpless to choose to not be so grumpy. And she gets scared because her dad is mentally ill and she has seen him choose unhappiness again and again. Many days are better than yesterday. She needs high protein diet, lots of sleep, lots of routine and lots of love and snuggles and kisses and cuddles. If she is sad or hurt, her first response is to push the person who is trying to comfort/help her away. Often forcefully. Then she feels bad because she is sad and alone. Her older sister age 17, cannot let her just be pissed off for a minute, she has to try to talk her out of it. Or rather, yell her out of it. Like dd age 8 (the grump) is disappointed and says so very loudly and emotionally. DD age 17 will say, "Geez, mom said we could do it tomorrow, why is this such a big deal? Why do you have to get so mad about everything?" Then they are off and running. I have tried so hard to get big sister to see that if she can just let her blow a minute, then she comes around and usually gets a grip. If she does not get validated and is told frequently that she is making a big deal out of stuff, it is so much worse for her. I feel sad about her struggles. She is so smart and so loving and so interested and so many wonderful qualities. I feel sad that some people will only choose to see her grumpy's. I feel sad that she might be choosing a life of grumpiness by her little grumpy choices everyday. My other 2 dd's are both so easy going and good natured. IMO, life with dd#2 , grumpy and all, is so rich and full. She powers me to be a better mom. I know I would be paying less attention to our diet, our general health, our time together as a family and the time I devote to each child. Cause they all need me to pay attention to these things, but the other two function ok without me doing so.
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#7 of 14 Old 04-29-2003, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting. My dd gets upset when someone tries to comfort her, saying, "No!" and pushing them away, too. Her teacher at parent/child class (Waldorf) often tries to comfort her if she falls or has trouble with something. She (dd) refuses to look at her and acts upset. It's lessening now that she's 4 but still occurs and it bothers me. I think she's just self-conscious in these situations and us adding attention to the problem just makes her feel more so. Ho hum.:

~Melissa
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#8 of 14 Old 04-29-2003, 06:24 PM
 
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I have a difficult 4 1/2-year-old too, but she's always been this way, I don't think it's just being 4, although being 4 brings it's own issues.

Today she decided, while we were out, that she would have a quesadilla for lunch. I said yes, not realizing that my dh had had a cheese binge yesterday. When we got home and discovered there was no cheese to make a quesadilla, we had an hour long scream fest. We had plenty of other things to eat, and I told her we could get cheese to have quesadillas for dinner, but she wanted that quesadilla NOW!!!!

She always makes up her mind about things and expects things to work out in her way. We go through things like the quesadilla episode several times a day. In that way, she is extremely independent. But at the same time, she is very fearful. She clings to me the whole time we are around other children, she is afraid of the sound of a flushing toilet, she is nervous around dogs she's been around her whole life. It's like she's so independent in one direction that she has to balance herself with fear in the other direction.



It's certainly not just parenting though. My 6-year-old is laid back, easy-going, accomodating, etc. etc.
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#9 of 14 Old 04-29-2003, 08:55 PM
 
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moving this to The Childhood Years...

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#10 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 05:43 AM
 
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My four-year-old is super grumpy, too! He was not like this before. I have a friend with a newly-five-year-old and she's grumpy, too.

I think it's the age. They are old enough to see more that they'd like to do, but constricted by age and size.

At least, that's what I hope it is.
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#11 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 12:46 PM
 
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I think part of it is the age, as well as the child. My DH and I have spent endless hours trying to figure out how to deal with DD and just as we find something that works, her actions change and we have to go back to the drawing board. The smallest things upset her some days and other days she is fine. I've spoken to the parents at her day care and it seems that it is an age thing partly. My daughters teacher (that she has had for 3 years now) says that DD is just a high maintance kid who needs to have lots of attention, be first in everything, do everything herself, and always be right. That of course makes everyone elses life EXTREMELY difficult. She always has to get her own way also. I am so exhausted by the end of the day that I can't cope with anything else. At least G-d knew what he gave me the first time around and with my second child DS, he is so easy going and wonderful and doesn't cause any trouble.

I can only give hugs and empathy. I know what you are all going through. Just take it one day at a time and each situation as it's own. Pick and choose your battles wisely. Stay consistant also. Time frames work real well - not just do it now, but it needs to be done in the next 5 minutes and set a timer then stand your ground to the punishment! That seems to work best for us. Our timer gets A LOT of use. Also, going to school in her nightgown has happened often when she won't get dressed in the am.
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#12 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 04:47 PM
 
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For a couple of months my 4yo ds was unbelievable. He would throw tantrums about all sorts of things if he didn't get his way and he would stay angry about little things for ages afterwards. I didn't feel I could do anything about it, asking him to go to his room just meant that he would throw things around up there and if he didn't go to his room, I would get mad and lose it with him.

Then all of a sudden it stopped. Well, not stopped, but it seems like something I can handle now (it's definitely him and not me who's changed). But as soon as that gets easier, his little brother who just turned 3 suddenly gets even worse. I don't know if he picked up something from big brother, he doesn't even seem angry half the time, but throws things around a lot and then laughs at me if I try and stop him, or screams past what I can stand if I try and put him in his room, and is more determined than me about any other kind of punishment... that's one for another place I think, though...

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#13 of 14 Old 04-30-2003, 11:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hydrangea, it's funny your second child is easy-going--so's mine! Everyone comments on how "la-di-da" she is about life. And she just turned two!!

~Melissa
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#14 of 14 Old 05-04-2003, 01:19 AM
 
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Actually, it's my first child, my 6-year-old, who is laid back.

I have often wondered whether it has been easier on her or more difficult that she same before, and not after, my 4-year-old.
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