My four year old. . . - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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Will be back to read the entire thread. But just wanted to say I'm here!

The absolute worst is the fighting with her sister. I KNOW she's frustrated but dd2 (2 years old) is here to stay! I just feel like yelling GET OVER IT!
Last night she wanted her OUT OF HER ROOM NOW (I'm talking major yelling/screaming at like 10pm) though dd2 was just looking at something not even touching it. AND she wanted me to read her a book at the same time. :

I said "dd1, I cannot do both at the same time. If you want dd2 out of the room I have to go take her to bed and put her to sleep. That takes time. You can sit and look at your book while I do that" --insert full out crazy girl crying fit--I couldn't handle it because I was SO wanting to just SCREAM. So I just said "I'm going to put dd2 to bed.I'm sorry that you are upset" and left.

UGH.

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#122 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I remembered something I used to use when the other kids were younger that I've been trying with the twins and it seems to be helping a bit so I thought I'd share it.

When they start the whining, fussing, demanding, I use this:

Me: How many people am I?

Them: One

Me: How many hands do I have?

Them: Two

Me: Then what do you need to do?

Them: Be patient!

We do it in a sing song voice and it has almost always worked well. It was kind of funny the other day when my 17 yo dd heard the twins and I doing this. She laughed and said "Hey! I remember that!"

:
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#123 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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Can anyone tell me why my 4 yr old acts up MORE when I spend the whole day pining over him and lavishing him with attention?

I thought that was supposed to make it BETTER??????!?!?!?!?!!?
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#124 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Can anyone tell me why my 4 yr old acts up MORE when I spend the whole day pining over him and lavishing him with attention?

I thought that was supposed to make it BETTER??????!?!?!?!?!!?
:
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#125 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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Maybe it gets better before it gets worse? Perhaps he's testing the new waters.

My ds2 has had a fairly good week. Only one or two meltdowns a day and usually in the evening when he's tired. One thing that may have helped is that his older brother is done with soccer season so he's less tired, gets home earlier, and has been willing to play with ds2. Having some one on one time really seems to be taking the edge off. Here's hoping it ushers in a new phase of positive days!!
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#126 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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At some point, I inevitably crash though, because I spend my energy without having a chance to recharge...between the 4 yr old and the 2 yr old...and the baby belly. LOL.
And I just crash.

Mabye my kids will look back on this time and think "woah, thats what pregnancy does to a person! I think I'll wait a little while longer!" In case they need motivation not to have sex at age 12 or whatever. (Thats whats happening these days right? : )
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#127 of 152 Old 11-14-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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We actually do call time outs "time out" and they last 3-5 minutes. We can say "You need a time out because you are not listening" and he will stomp up the stairs to his room, where he will either whine and cry, stand around asking "has it been 4 minutes?" every 30 seconds, or try to persuade his brother to come play with him (which is allowed as long as he doesn't leave his room).
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#128 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We've had somewhat of a weird breakthrough. I decided to be very clear with ds about what he can do when he is angry. He cannot call me "stupid freaking girl" (I'm so embarrassed to type that) or spit on my face or scratch me. He can scream as loud as he wants and I promise not to say a thing. It seems to be working.

Today he was in a good mood and kept wispering to me, "You know what is really mean to say?" "What?" "Stupid freaking." "That's right, that is really mean to say. What can you do instead?" "Yell really loud." We've had this conversation many times in the last few days and I've seem him actually use some self-control when he is angry. He is just yelling and spitting on his own chin now . I think it is a good start.
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#129 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to add about our new clothes issue. Now all shirts have to "scary" (saber tooth cat, trex, spider, ect), but he doesn't have a ton of scary shirts. I try to keep up with the laundry, but some days, there just aren't any scary shirts left. Oh, and pants need pockets.
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#130 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 06:13 AM
 
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The only upside today is that he is apparently an angel at school. .
This is sooooo my dd1.
Angel at school, demon at home.
She is so polite and lovely with everyone but me and dh. Her preschool teacher actually said to me how she encourages dd to get angry and stamp her feet and yell, because she thinks she's too accomodating to other kids and adults. HA! Of course this resulted in her shouting and stomping her feet at home and still being an angel at school. Of course!

I guess it is good to know she feels safe at home, but some days . . .
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#131 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 06:15 AM
 
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Flor - yes, our clothing situation is becoming ridiculous as we have very few clothes that are soft enough and appropriate for winter.

Something that works well for us when we're trying to get out the door in the am that I wanted to share. DD frequently wants to play in her room before we need to go, so I tell her to quickly brush her teeth, get dressed so she can play while I get DS and myself ready, pack snacks, etc. She really seems to respond to this as shie gets that the faster she moves, the more time she can play. Then when I call her to go, all she needs to do is put her shoes on and she usually comes right down.

Something that is driving me crazy is sleep issues. She is waking a lot, with demands about the sheets, her baby etc (we all are in one happy family bed, lol!). Lately she wakes up, totally pissed if I'm facing her. She wants to be pressed up to my back ONLY. DS is on the other side, nursing on and off and of course also snuggled up. Naturally I have to move! I simply cannot stay in the same position all night. I've tried to tell her this is uncomfortable to mommmy, she can move away if she wants (or even go to her bed in her room, ha ha). Any ideas on this?
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#132 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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I've been reading all of these posts and feeling thankful that DS is a wonderful sleeper, then last night rolled around He woke up at around 2 screaming "mommy!" so I run in and he's sitting on the floor in his room with the lights on. He's covering his eyes and saying the light is too bright and he wants it off, so I shut it off and put him back to bed. He goes right to sleep so I leave. An hour later he comes running into the room saying "I heard a beep, my closet light beeped" I try not to laugh and go in to tell him everything is fine. I think he dreamed the beep. He's done this before, he's convinced his room is beeping. DH ended up getting up with him and DS was WIDE AWAKE. He was chatting and just hanging out, at 3 am. It made me laugh, luckily DH was already up because he was having trouble sleeping. Finally DS went back to sleep and slept til 7.

He also has night terrors about once a month, they are really scary. He kicks and screams and is completely out of it. He gets such a look of terror on his face. I hate night terrors. It takes a really long time to calm him down and get him to sleep after one.

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#133 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 12:00 PM
 
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anyone dealing with bedwetting? She has been using the potty/toilet since she was 2 1/2 and yet teh past few months she wakes up at least 2-3 times a night to pee, but almost EVERY night she pees the bed. I am at my wit's end.

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#134 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Soooo glad to have found this thread last night. It helped me restore my self esteem. :

My 4 year old has been a nightmare lately. She's rude (mainly to me) and seems to think she doesn't need to listen to me anymore. She complains a lot and it seems everything sets her off. We do special things just for her (the zoo, the amusement park) and she complains about everything while we're there. Half the time she's started throwing a fit before we even get home after school (a 7 min drive). She just wants her own way on everything. Period. And she's become very bossy. She has a super-low tolerance level. When something isn't working for her she'll throw it. That sucks when it is my laptop. :

For the past couple of months, she's been having full-on temper tantrums again (thought we were over that??). And often in front of company. Oh joy. She'll throw herself on the floor crying l.o.u.d.l.y and then run up to her room screaming and slam the door. And then cry for 20 minutes. Over almost nothing (in my eyes anyway).

Last night took the cake. My mom and dad were over for dinner. She threw one of her fits and I didn't handle it well I'm afraid (PMS). I felt judged somehow (probably my own insecurities) while they sat there watching this unfold. While she was screaming in her room, we sat trying to eat dinner and I felt like I was going to cry. I was angry honestly. I'm so sick of this behavior right now. I sort of ranted about how she's such a brat lately, etc. They already think I shouldn't TTC #2. Of course my dad offered such gems as: "well, you better not have anymore. You won't like it." and "I wonder how ____ manages with 3 kids?". I cried for an hour after they left. : Then I came here and now I feel better. Hugs.
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#135 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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I had a thought. Mabye its a no brainer....but lightbulb moment.

I probably saw this on Dr Phil so be forewarned.

Our kids are testing the boundrys of society through us. They feel safest with us (ecpecially mommy) and thats why they are acting up. They have to learn about the world through their family, its a safe place to test the waters.

Couldnt think it and not say it.

I think I could be better at handling the outbursts if I thought of them in that way.
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#136 of 152 Old 11-15-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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Yeah, so it's a good sign that they feel safe enough with us to let out all their ugly feelings and challenge the boundaries... somehow this morning that did not help me when ds2 was standing on his chair at the table screaming and blubbering about not wanting to eat his breakfast. I don't even care if he eats his breakfast, we weren't even in conflict about that. He wanted me to make another breakfast, I didn't have time.

Mommahhh, your dd runs to her room!! Wow I wish ds2 would do that. He seems to think rolling on the floor kicking at things to knock them over while he screams bloody murder is best reserved for the living room, no way he'd take it to his room and deprive us of the show!! When he needs a break we have to actually pick him up and carry him to a safer space, not fun, rather painful.
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#137 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Soooo glad to have found this thread last night. It helped me restore my self esteem. :

My 4 year old has been a nightmare lately. She's rude (mainly to me) and seems to think she doesn't need to listen to me anymore. She complains a lot and it seems everything sets her off. We do special things just for her (the zoo, the amusement park) and she complains about everything while we're there. Half the time she's started throwing a fit before we even get home after school (a 7 min drive). She just wants her own way on everything. Period. And she's become very bossy. She has a super-low tolerance level. When something isn't working for her she'll throw it. That sucks when it is my laptop. :

For the past couple of months, she's been having full-on temper tantrums again (thought we were over that??). And often in front of company. Oh joy. She'll throw herself on the floor crying l.o.u.d.l.y and then run up to her room screaming and slam the door. And then cry for 20 minutes. Over almost nothing (in my eyes anyway).

Last night took the cake. My mom and dad were over for dinner. She threw one of her fits and I didn't handle it well I'm afraid (PMS). I felt judged somehow (probably my own insecurities) while they sat there watching this unfold. While she was screaming in her room, we sat trying to eat dinner and I felt like I was going to cry. I was angry honestly. I'm so sick of this behavior right now. I sort of ranted about how she's such a brat lately, etc. They already think I shouldn't TTC #2. Of course my dad offered such gems as: "well, you better not have anymore. You won't like it." and "I wonder how ____ manages with 3 kids?". I cried for an hour after they left. : Then I came here and now I feel better. Hugs.

A line in your post that stood out to me was "She just wants her own way on everything. Period. "

This stage is starting to make sense to me, these last few days. Of course she wants her own way. I want my own way ALL THE TIME. We've just learned to take the dissappointments in life. They haven't. Every little thing is heartbreaking to them. I can shrug my shoulders and say, "Maybe next time" but ds can't do that yet. It seems like this is an important stage. They are starting to grow up and deal with life and, it isn't always happy. You don't always get what you want. It affects other people. I try to figure out, how much is it that ds is getting bossier/pickier/more stubborn, or am I tolerating less from him and expecting more? I think this age is a big transition from toddler to kid. I do feel like he is learning so much right now, both academically and socially.

I'm sorry your parents weren't supportive! Sometimes I think that my parents just dealt with me less than I deal with ds. I cry over him. I somehow imagine my mom sending me off to play with my siblings and pouring herself a martini. I don't know if they took parenting so personally. Maybe it is just perception. I am putting off TTC for at least a year. The years 5-8 were really easy with my dss so I think it might be a good time to give ds a sibling.
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#138 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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I'm sorry your parents weren't supportive! Sometimes I think that my parents just dealt with me less than I deal with ds. I cry over him. I somehow imagine my mom sending me off to play with my siblings and pouring herself a martini. I don't know if they took parenting so personally. Maybe it is just perception. I am putting off TTC for at least a year. The years 5-8 were really easy with my dss so I think it might be a good time to give ds a sibling.

I think this might be a generational thing. I don't know how old you are, but many of my peers and myself have this same perception of our parents. It seems that parenting was very different when I was a child....spanking was the norm, children were not engaged by adults very often, parents didn't take parenting as seriously, yada, yada.

I was just talking to a good girlfriend of mine and she was saying how she and her DH turned down an invitation from her mother to go out and eat because it meant her DC's would get home for bed too late. Her mom told her that that was not the way parenting was supposed to be, that the kids were supposed to adjust to the parents schedule, not the parents adjusting to the kids. I don't know, but IMO, going out to eat isn't worth messing up the whole bed time routine (unless of course you parents live hundreds of miles away and you don't see them often, which isn't the case, her mom and dad live less than a mile from her, so they see her daily).

Flor, you are right, alot of the meltdowns are because our LO's haven't figured out just yet that the world doesn't revolve around them, and it's a hard lesson to learn. And, it's tough for us because as adults we do understand that, and it's hard to put ourselves in their shoes when it seems so unreasonable for them to assume that everything should be their way all of the time.
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#139 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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In the years I have been on MDC this thread is the first I have ever subscribed to and I have only made it through the first page.
Ds (4 1/2) made me cry yesterday. He was so angry and pitching such a fit and I tried to tell him that I loved him and wanted to help him feel better and calmer like the gentle loving boy I know he is. Big mistake. Made him scream louder until he was choking and spitting and telling me that he isn't that boy. He is a different boy now. So then I start bawling. I felt like I had lost my son. I needed this thread SO badly.
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#140 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 09:04 AM
 
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In the years I have been on MDC this thread is the first I have ever subscribed to and I have only made it through the first page.
Ds (4 1/2) made me cry yesterday. He was so angry and pitching such a fit and I tried to tell him that I loved him and wanted to help him feel better and calmer like the gentle loving boy I know he is. Big mistake. Made him scream louder until he was choking and spitting and telling me that he isn't that boy. He is a different boy now. So then I start bawling. I felt like I had lost my son. I needed this thread SO badly.
Oh mama, I know how you feel. And it does sometimes feel like we've lost those sweet wonderful children that we once had. You know, in a way your son is right though, he is a different boy now. As Flor said, this age seems to be all about that giant leap from toddler to child.

As I've said to other mama's that have joined us, I don't have a lot of advice (we're right in the middle of this thing too), but I do have a lot of sympathy. Hang with us, this thread has helped me understand what's going on between DD and I and has made dealing with those days soo much easier, hopefully we can make it easier for you too.
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#141 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 10:16 AM
 
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Dd is exploring all sorts of different "personalities" too. She has always been a mellow and mature child but the last few months have been getting a bit interesting...... She seems to like to try out all of these new phrases, moods, and personalities on me only I have had a lot of luck with role playing. When she is in a good mood, we get out some animals and practice dialog. It sounds goofy but it really helps to give her more tools in communication. We also came up with a symbol that I use when we are in public to help remind her when she is edging towards rude or mean to others.

Also, after much discussion, dd and I agreed to have "quiet time" most afternoons. It is usually only about one hour, but dd ultimately decides the length and whether she takes one or not. It seems to recharge her a little, like naps used to WAY BACK in the olden days when she used to take them......

Dh has been on business travel a lot and I think that is really contributing. She seems to have a very hard time towards the end of the absence then REALLY melts when dh actually returns. It can take three days for her to return to anything resembling normal. Last night I made her favorite soup just to cheer her up and she refused to take even one bite. I honored her refusal but I was pretty shocked. This child has never been one to not try something....especially her favorite soup!

And then there are the days when I sneak into the kitchen to make a martini

My parents were also pretty hands off and I think I lean more that way myself. I am not playing on the floor all day. I do my thing, dd does hers, and we are both welcome to join the other at any time but do not necessarily do so on a frequent basis. I find that forcing myself to be more "involved" usually makes this go south pretty fast.
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#142 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 09:54 PM
 
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hugs to all the mamas out there struggling in fellowship together about our dear dear 4 year old treasures. here's how i described my son today in an email to my sister-in-law: "J is his usual wonderful, super smart, strong-willed, petulant, creative, mom-obsessed self and i love him desperately and am peretually frustrated by him all at the same time. i'm learning to be comfortable with paradox and contrast."

i'm feeling like i need to give myself a break and give him a break. neither one of us is going to figure out this whole parent-child relationship thing all at once. and we're both trying to navigate Life-with-a-capital-L while we are trying to love and be with each other. it's hard. and it's a journey. i am growing and learning every bit as much as my ds is. i'm glad we can do it together. that's my positive affirmation/hopeful thought for the day.

and by the way: my ds has definite clothing issues - he will ONLY wear "tie pants" (aka drawstring pants) - NOTHING with a zipper/buttons and so on. sometimes he will deign to wear sweatpants with an elastic waistband, but it has to be a really good day. and it must have a matching t-shirt and/or sweater. and now he's getting picky about how his socks should feel inside his shoes - heaven forbid there's a wrinkle somewhere in there - we'll have to take everything off and start over.

what an age! i wonder what we'll all be talking about in 10 years on the "teenager" thread?? at least we still know where are children ARE and who they talk to during the day...

Mama to my talkaholic DS (Oct 2003) and my climbaholic DD (May 2007).
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#143 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 10:08 PM
 
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We had such a good day today!

I dont remember if we had a conflict...probably....we usually have at least one. But I am not thinking about it thinking I screwed up.

I think ds fought with me about nap again. But he needs one so I stood my ground respectfully. (Which I am not always...I loose my cool fairly easily)

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!! (Even the 2 yr old.....except the parts where we had to buckle in the car. That is a war she isnt going to win....though she seems to keep trying. )
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#144 of 152 Old 11-16-2007, 11:44 PM
 
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I've been reading this thread and you all are really making me feel better about my four year old - I'm not the only one!

I thought you'd appreciate our bedtime struggle tonight. He didn't want to go to sleep because his bed was "too comfortable." Heh. That was after our dinner struggle because he wanted freshly squeezed orange juice to drink. I have no idea where he came up with that - he's never had that before in his life.
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#145 of 152 Old 11-17-2007, 11:07 PM
 
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Oh - I so belong on this thread. DS1 is 4 1/2 and I have a 10 month old DS as well. *Most* of the time DS1 is actually a great kid. But, this past couple months have been really challenging. Everything that other PP describe: fits, control issues, extreme irrationality, not listening, being oppositional, etc. etc. I find myself yelling, which I reallly don't like. There are days that it is a huge struggle to catch him doing the right thing. I feel like sometimes i nag, nag, nag, nag, nag. The OP post was right on the nail for happenings around here. I know it isn't just me because DS got in trouble at school twice this week for not listening and being highly disruptive (would not be redirected because he "couldn't help" acting up.)

I've started with time outs again this weekend. We haven't used them in a long time. My instinct is that DS1 requires additional structure right now, and that is one way that we provide it.
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#146 of 152 Old 11-18-2007, 11:37 AM
 
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time outs seem to be working over here. And I dont like them either. Sometimes I do "time in" where we snuggle on the couch for 5 minutes before he can go and play again.
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#147 of 152 Old 11-18-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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I've been doing the snuggle time instead of time outs too lately, it works better in the moment, instead of her screaming in the time out and kicking the wall I'm squeezing her in my arms kissing her head, its a constant learning journey out here in parenting world!

~Susan
widowed from Marc Nov. '09(love you more babe) mom to Sophia (9) Emma (8) Lily (5) :

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#148 of 152 Old 11-18-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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this morning was my fault...but I am not sure how I could have handled it...My ds woke up and made us a "feast" for breakfast. (He put cookies, soup, oatmeal, eggs, pancakes, yogurt, and cheese on the table for us. ) The problem was, he wanted me to make ALL of them. I hadn't had a moment to "pray" or meditate this morning because from 7 AM ON it was endless chatter from ds...I did lay in bed for an hour with him, but I tried to get in the right mindframe and I just couldnt, with all that stimulation. That is something that has been really helping me latley...spending like 5 minutes "getting my head right" for the day...feeling peaceful for a few minutes.

So breakfast didnt go that well because I wasnt making all that stuff! (And he had wanted it to be a special surprise....And I praised him for it, but my actions of putting it all away were enough to alienate him) So I chose pancakes....because I am an idiot. LOL. Sugar for breakfast! Not a good idea when we have the option of protein.

Then the whole family went for a $200 grocery shopping trip which I didnt plan well because I could not think of a single thing I wanted to eat this week...I have been trying to make a list since yesterday and have not been sucessful. Forgot to take my vitamen B yesterday-that could be why. So we finally needed food and if I wanted dh's help, it had to happen this morning. So I had to go and 'guess' what we could eat for a few days.

The grocery store was a nightmare...at one point, ds jumped out of the cart, RAN to the russel stover candy display, and shoved about 6 pieces of taffy in his mouth before I could get to him. : (Among a few other incidents...)

I'll leave it at that. LOL. At this point, its naptime in a few minutes and I am taking full advantage. If I can get a good nap, this afternoon is going to to better than this morning.

I am exausted.
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#149 of 152 Old 11-18-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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Well, ds has been a lot more friendly and eager to please lately, but Oh.My.God he talks nonstop all day long! lovely sweet stuff, but even if it's a beautiful story about a rainbow fairy, I can only listen for so long, kwim?
Getting my head together in the morning is definitely an ordeal, especially since he's decided mama's shower time is the best time to hear a story.
He used to watch some PBS Kids in the am, but I feel like TV definitely gets him into a more hyper, less creative state, so if he doesn't ask, I don't turn it on.... I am really, really trying not to curtail his creativity as much as possible, as long as he doesn't destroy anything. (i.e. no drawing on the walls.)
I just have to get him around friends and other people that he can jabber endlessly to. ( phone calls to Grandma are really, really cool)
He's also taken to being in character for days at a time... right now he's Peter Pan and he's "visiting" us for a while. It kind of helps with the helpfulness: he's a wonderful guest
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#150 of 152 Old 11-18-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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Boy, this thread sure hits home!! DH and I were just talking about how DS is getting so stubborn and whiny and were wondering when he would finally have a day where he wouldn't cry and throw a fit. It is very exhausting, but I have to say it is comforting to know that my kid isn't the only one!!! I am soooo tired of the power struggles and battles. Some days it seems like no matter what we are doing DS wants to do the opposite and purposely does things to get into trouble. But then there are times when he is just sooooo sweet and seems so grown-up.
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