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#1 of 152 Old 10-23-2007, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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is wearing me down. We've had three weeks of constant battles. I just don't know what to do. I feel terrible for him and for me. Typical example: Today daddy was taking a nap. Ds was being a dinosaur right out side the bedroom. I said, daddy's napping, we need to be quiet. He continued roaring. I said, Hey lets go outside and be dinosaurs. He hid under the table and continued roaring. Honey, if you don't stop you will get in trouble. Daddy is trying to sleep and you need to make noise away from the door. He continues. . . .I picked him up and took him to his room and which point he is kicking and scratching me. Later we make up, talk about it, he promises to listen. . . an hour later we are locked into a similar situation. All day long. Why? Why? Why? I don't like it. He doesn't like it.

I guess this could be a gentle discipline issue, but I'm wondering more about the brain of a 4 year old. What is he getting out of this?
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#2 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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I'm not going to be much for solutions but I wanted to offer . My DD ( 4.5ish) is continuously trying to run the roost or push boundaries these days. We've had a very stressful last few months and I'm sure part of it is an age thing too. It does seem that a big part is that she doesn't understand the reasons behind my requests or actions, she just sees them as mommy said no or mommy isn't making time for me.

I'm trying to work on my reactions and explanations to her and diverting her energy. It doesn't always work and sometimes it comes down to a sobbing, kicking mess like you describe. It's very exhausting ( especially while caring for an almost 6 month old - or any other children for that matter). I hope things ease up for you soon.

Sorry I can't be more help.

Myr: wife to John 8/98 and mommy to Willow 06/03, Rowan 04/07 and Linden 02/10
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#3 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. The only upside today is that he is apparently an angel at school. Always. I put him to bed at 6:30 today . I think it helps to know that other 4 yos are also dissovling into kicking screaming messes.
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#4 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:24 AM
 
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Well, behaving elsewhere is something
They do always seem to save the *best* for mommy.

I know it helps me to hear other kids act up sometimes. It always seems that my kid is the only one throwing a fit/ being obnoxious/ what have you. There also always seems to be at least one mother standing ready with a *tsk* or * I never* It doesn't help that people assume my DD is older based on her size.

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#5 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 05:02 AM
 
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With my DS it is whining and crying. He whines constantly and cries at the drop of a hat. Lately it has been centered around the TV. If he is watching TV, he's happy. If anyone else deigns to glance at the television in a purposeful manner, he throws a crying tantrum. He actually lost TV privleges because of this behavior this evening.
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#6 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 10:44 AM
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Oh goddess my 4yo DD is the exact same way as the OP. Right down to the "daddy's napping, please be quieter or daddy will be upset."

and the kicking, screaming mess.

and the whining. oh god, the whining.

I'm exhausted from the battles.
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#7 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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Hugs to you all......I was just coming here to post about this very thing. My DD (4.25 yrs) is a crying, whining, screaming mess lately, and it's wearing us all down. DH and I are at a loss as to where to go with her next. Most of our worst behavior seems to be an attempt to manipulate situations into getting things the way she wants them. I really think it's developmentally appropriate behavior, but it's leaving me exhausted and with very little time or energy for my 15 mo DD.

Just this morning we left for preschool with DD still in her pajamas. She spent her entire morning in a tantrum on the floor because I wouldn't scratch her back while she went to the potty :. Yes, I know it seems like a simple request and I should have complied, but it's not that easy. First, I was changing a poopy diaper from DD2, I was still trying to get things together for school, and most importantly, DD1 is the type that if I come in the bathroom and scratch her back this once, she will expect me to do so EVERY time she goes to the bathroom (which isn't practical). So, it was endure this tantrum this morning, or deal with it at a later time when she expects me to scratch her back while peeing. I chose this morning to deal with it because DH was still home. So, DD spent all of her time tantruming and didn't have time to dress so we went to school in our pajamas......she did manage to make it to the bathroom and get dressed once we got there, but still.

So, I guess I don't have a lot of ideas for you gals, just love and support. Maybe we can keep this thread going just to offer support for one another. Believe me, I need it more than once through any given day. Anybody up for coming here to share their daily woes and comiserate with us other worn down mamas??

I'm subbing to this thread!!!
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#8 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:17 PM
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I just wanted to say, "This too shall pass." Our DS is 4.5 and we just came out of a similar phase. As he emerged from it, he suddenly had all these new skills and maturity. He began getting really interested in poetry and rhymes and is making them up now all day long. He is wanting to practice writing numbers and letters constantly, wants to "make books" and "do homework" (Even though he is in preschool and doesn't really get any homework

So I think it's just like with the little ones. They emerge from a negative phase with all these new skills. I know it is hard when it's going on, but when they come out on the other side it is so wonderful to see how they have grown.

We handled the negative phase just by being consistent and calm. It wasn't easy, I won't lie to you! We made sure to give each other breaks from childcare and take time for ourselves. And there were nights we breathed a sigh of relief at bedtime.

But now things are back to normal, and it's much more fun!
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#9 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:28 PM
 
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; all I can say is I am right there with you mamas!!!

Heather: wife to Chris ; mama to Sophia (7/03) ; Juliana (8/07):; and Peter (3/12/10)
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#10 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Four was a very V E R Y trying age for DS1. Just as y'all describe, with the whining and not listening and giant tantrums over unreasonable issues. Like the OP, I can't fathom what they get out of it.

Yuk. It gets so hard to like them anymore, by the end of the day.

I made a little stash of cute pix of him, his art projects that I especially liked, a baby outfit he wore. I'd pull it out to remind myself why I put up with him.

He seems to be growing out of it lately. I hear 5 is a great, fun age for a lot of mom-and-kid duos. Sure looking forward to that!
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#11 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I guess this could be a gentle discipline issue, but I'm wondering more about the brain of a 4 year old. What is he getting out of this?
short answer -- control! he wants to be in control. you offered him alternatives, but he doesn't want your alternatives he wants to be the one who decides. he wants to be in charge of himself. if you can find a way to give a little of that back to him it might help. i know it's very very trying! .

one thing that is mentioned in "how to talk..." is doing a problem solving session (not sure if that's their terminology). you get a sheet of paper. (maybe not right in the heat of the moment, but later if he needs to cool down, but my girls will sometimes respond right then, too.) so you get this sheet of paper and it's very important that you WRITE DOWN ideas on the sheet of paper. the writing down helps the child feel like you are taking his ideas seriously. first at the top of the paper you write down the problem ("daddy's sleeping and you want to roar right at the door and that might wake him up.") be careful to write it in a way that is not slanted (i.e.: you're being way too noisy!). then you take turns thinking of all the solutions to the problem that you can each come up with. this is very important -- YOU HAVE TO WRITE DOWN ALL THE SOLUTIONS EVEN IF THEY'RE NOT WORKABLE! after you're done writing them down you can each go back and cross off the ones that won't work until you're left with a few you can try. this helps give the child some control of the situation and helps the child feel listened to (my words are important enough that mommy is writing them down).

here's an example:

Problem: daddy's sleeping and you want to roar right at the door and that might wake him up.

Solutions:
1. Keep roaring!
2. Roar outside
3. Roar Louder!
4. Play Chutes and Ladders instead
5. Turn into a crocodile and bite mommy!
6. draw a picture of a dinosaur
7. turn into a snake and hiss
8. help mommy do the dishes
9. play dinosaur downstairs

then you go back through and each veto the ones that don't work as solutions. it's very empowering for the child and can be silly, too.

another thing to try is the playful parenting techniques and just scoop him up and take him outside and be dinosaurs with him, etc, etc.

sometimes non of this works, though, and daddy just gets waked up and is grumpy. there's your natural consequence!

it'll pass and you'll be on to some other issue when they're 6.5!

hth


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#12 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Rainbowbird;9527885]

So I think it's just like with the little ones. They emerge from a negative phase with all these new skills. I know it is hard when it's going on, but when they come out on the other side it is so wonderful to see how they have grown.[QUOTE]

Thanks for this insight. It's good to keep this in mind.

Yes - my 4 yr old is also going through this, although her explosions are over things that are so out there. Last night she had a meltdown because she wanted to wear 2 pair of pants at the same time. No problem - I told her to put them both on. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She didn't want to wear 2 pair of pants, she just wanted to wear both of them. Ok, I say, put one leg in one pair and the other leg in the other pair and we'll tie the spare legs together in a bow. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At this point, I try to figure out what she wants, but really - I think she just wanted the 2 pair of pants to be one. And so the night went on and on - irrational request after irratiional request (why can't I just make the rain stop in that one spot in the backyard? and no, an umbrella or covering will not suffice.). It didn't take long for this mama to figure out we needed to get her in bed early.

I think she is really starting to realize how big the world is and how little control she has over so much, and then she just picks something she wants control over. Unfortunately, a lot of her choices lately just aren't possible . . .
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#13 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! Thank you! The thing with the pants is totally something ds would do. Last night, in the middle of dinner, he wanted someone to brush his teeth. I was eating, so I said, you can wait for me to be done eating, or you can go brush your teeth right now by yourself. Aw, the melt down. . . which is why he went to bed at 6;30. This morning he was a pleasant little guy. I don hope this phase is teaching him something!
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#14 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by croleRN View Post
; all I can say is I am right there with you mamas!!!


OMG, I am so glad I'm not alone. The whining is the worst!
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#15 of 152 Old 10-24-2007, 06:14 PM
 
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Well, I'm joining you all

DS's behavior has been ATROCIOUS!! ATROCIOUS!!

Briefly, I felt like I wanted to run away from it all. I don't like that feeling 1 bit. I would never do that of course but just getting out of the house for a few hours have saved my sanity. There are times when it's hard for me to be around DS.

Challening issues we've been dealing with:

Interrupting DH and I when we talk. If I say in a minute he will yell "Mommmiiieee!!!" until I snappishly ask "What IS IT DS???" and he will say "Nothing" :

When I quietly say it's time for his bath, he screams and yells and starts running all over the house. I have to catch him. By the time I DO catch him, I'm exhausted with sweat pouring down my face and trying to catch my breath.

He NEVER does anything I ask him to do. It's like his natural reaction is to do the opposite.

I'm rambling but Parenting my 4 year old is wearing me down as well. Sometimes, I feel like a failure as a Mom.

It makes me feel worse when we go out in public and I see Kids DS's age and they are quietly walking next to their parents holding their hand.

DS???? HA! He not only snatches away from me, he's still running away from me when I try to give him a little lee way. So, I have to hold his hand again, and then if we are crossing a street he will stop directly in front of an oncoming car and WON'T MOVE unless I pick him up and carry him the rest of the way.

Also, DS is an Extrovert Extrovert Extrovert. He has to be engaged in conversation at all times. I am an Introvert so sometimes meeting his need can be a challenge.

He won't let me out of his sight. He even goes to the bathroom with me. Even if I have to BM. You'd think he couldn't stand the smell but he CAN.

Sleep- Sleep is an annoyance in life to DS. He truly does not like to sleep. He doesn't nap and will still fight to stay awake if he's been up all day.

With a nap, he goest to bed between 11:00pm-11:30pm.

WithOUT a nap, he goes to bed between 9:30-10pm!

Ugh! It's hard.
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#16 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 11:59 AM
 
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OMG, thank you for this thread. You've all described my DS1 exactly. He loves to interrupt when DH and I are talking. He'll keep saying "mommy, mommy, MOMMY" over and over. If I tell him to stop he'll start singing loudly or banging his toys together so loudly that I cannot hear DH at all. Of course when I ask him what he needs to say he sits there and thinks for a few mins then makes something up like "I like cheese" :

He also does the noise thing, if DS2 is sleeping he suddenly needs to be yelling outside the door. If DH is sleeping he needs to go into the room or bang on the door, no matter how many times I ask him not to.

If I offer him X and Y he wants Z. He has an intense need to call the shots and it is a battle of the wills each day. I struggle between choosing my battles and reminding him that I am the adult and I make the choices. Ughhh, it can be so exhausting. Some days I count down the hours until bedtime.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#17 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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Well, I'm joining you all

DS's behavior has been ATROCIOUS!! ATROCIOUS!!

Briefly, I felt like I wanted to run away from it all. I don't like that feeling 1 bit. I would never do that of course but just getting out of the house for a few hours have saved my sanity. There are times when it's hard for me to be around DS.

Challening issues we've been dealing with:

Interrupting DH and I when we talk. If I say in a minute he will yell "Mommmiiieee!!!" until I snappishly ask "What IS IT DS???" and he will say "Nothing" :

When I quietly say it's time for his bath, he screams and yells and starts running all over the house. I have to catch him. By the time I DO catch him, I'm exhausted with sweat pouring down my face and trying to catch my breath.

He NEVER does anything I ask him to do. It's like his natural reaction is to do the opposite.

I'm rambling but Parenting my 4 year old is wearing me down as well. Sometimes, I feel like a failure as a Mom.

It makes me feel worse when we go out in public and I see Kids DS's age and they are quietly walking next to their parents holding their hand.

DS???? HA! He not only snatches away from me, he's still running away from me when I try to give him a little lee way. So, I have to hold his hand again, and then if we are crossing a street he will stop directly in front of an oncoming car and WON'T MOVE unless I pick him up and carry him the rest of the way.

Also, DS is an Extrovert Extrovert Extrovert. He has to be engaged in conversation at all times. I am an Introvert so sometimes meeting his need can be a challenge.

He won't let me out of his sight. He even goes to the bathroom with me. Even if I have to BM. You'd think he couldn't stand the smell but he CAN.

Sleep- Sleep is an annoyance in life to DS. He truly does not like to sleep. He doesn't nap and will still fight to stay awake if he's been up all day.

With a nap, he goest to bed between 11:00pm-11:30pm.

WithOUT a nap, he goes to bed between 9:30-10pm!

Ugh! It's hard.
OMG...We have the same child....except mine is 3.5yo....the only difference is when we are out, she is the child happily holding hands and such....other than that, pretty much the same.....right down to sleep....

Our PED is pretty progressive and I have talked to him about the sleep stuff and he told me that some children are just wired that way and don't need the sleep that is recommended until they start school or reach a certain age...Said he had 1 like ours and 1 who slept like clockwork..DD gave up naps shortly after her second birthday. Every now and then she'll conk out here and there but it's rare and when she does, it's a hard sleep and she's grouchier afterwards....BUT BOY DO I MISS NAPS....esp now that her new sister is here, who is sitting here next to me kicking and cooing.....so sweet...

But it's driving me crazy....

Lots of ppl have told me....

Terrible Twos, Trying Threes, Fantastic Fours.....was sooo looking forward to the Fantastic Fours but from what I am reading, it's more of the same....

Two was FANTASTIC for us.......3 certainly is VERY TRYING (more so for me bc Daddy isn't very helpful....going through a selfish phase which needs to stop but that's a different post for a different time)......

I'm just tired from the new baby who has decided the time to cluster nurse is btwn 1 and 4 am, my mom is seriously ill in the hospital, and the battle of wills is just on my last fringed nerve........

They'll outgrow it right??????????

to all.......
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#18 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 02:45 PM
 
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If I offer him X and Y he wants Z.
In our case, if I get him Z, then he really wanted X or Y. It goes back and forth! It is very draining.
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#19 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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We never experienced what some people call the Terrible Twos with our son. We did, however, have what my husband and I call the F*n Fours.

I'm sorry you're having a rough time. It will get better, I promise!

~Scout
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#20 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We never experienced what some people call the Terrible Twos with our son. We did, however, have what my husband and I call the F*n Fours.

I'm sorry you're having a rough time. It will get better, I promise!

~Scout
That is the exact term we came up with last night!!!



and when I suggested that maybe he is learning something,

Dh said, Well, he better be a freakin' genius after this phase!


I also get the noisy just to interrupt. It is sooooo hard to deal with in the moment. You can try to ignore it ( and the person you are talking to thinks you are a nut, and they can't hear you) or you can try to deal with it, but how do you deal with a child who is ignoring you? He's trying to get my attention, and yet, ignoring me at the same time! I bend down and look him in the eye and he is still singing/making noise to get my attention. :
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#21 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 04:33 PM
 
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the F*n Fours.
:rofl
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#22 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 05:07 PM
 
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I'm with you guys. My twin boys are 4y4m. They're wearing me down. Every single day. I feel terrible because sometimes I don't even enjoy being around them and I feel like our day is just "getting through" with no time or energy left for fun and silliness. My oldest just turned 6 and I remember 3.75 until 4.5 was tough. I need to remember that. I feel like I barely survived that though and now we have TWO of them acting like that.

My good friend has twin boys that turned 4 a couple weeks ago. She sent me an email today with a list of normal development for 4 year olds and what types of behaviors are normal. One was "oppositional behavior". Yeah, we've got that.

I told dh the other night that I'm having a really hard time with 4. No matter how hard I try not to, I end up yelling every day. Multiple times. I told dh that I feel like I'm just getting torn down a little bit each day and the cumulative damage is not good. I'm not at all the mom I want to be to them and I worry every day that I'm causing lasting damage and we're not going to get out of the phase.

My friend suggested anti-depressants (I have a 5 month old baby too and she thought they could help if it's PPD) to get through. I really don't think it's me though. My husband is one of the most patient and easy going people I've ever known and he's having a hard time too.

I go to bed every night feeling sad for how the day went and wanting to change but as soon as my buttons are pushed repeatedly, I go into my default mode of yelling. I feel like I'm a terrible mom to four year olds.
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#23 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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OMG...I can't tell you how HAPPY I am to see you all here!! I swear to you, I thought I was the only one going through this, and the only one who didn't know how to handle it.

I just kept thinking that my mom had 5 kids under the age of 7 by the time she was 23 years old. I was the oldest, so I remember it, and every one of us was generally being well behaved. I'm 26 and I only have one child, so I wondered WTF I'm doing that's so backwards that it's causing my son to behave like this. Now I realize, my mom was probably a drill seargent in a past life.

WARNING: The comments and opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of the community in which I reside; or those of the internet parenting network.
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#24 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 06:12 PM
 
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This is exactly how my DD (4.5) is. Wild, whiny and out of control at home, but well behaved in preschool. Doesn't share toys at home but freely shares them in school. Why can't I have that behavior at home? Just once? It seems all I ever do is yell like a maniac after trying all day to be patient. We all have meltdowns here. My oldest is 16. Such a nice age compared!! I don't know how mothers of yore did it and kept sane at the same time. I just know that this too will pass....
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#25 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Wow, it's not just us!! My ds2 will be five in a couple of months and he's been just horrible lately. Add to that a new baby sister, and omg, the irrational reasons for tantrums, the screaming and yelling, eek. Taking an hour to stop shrieking after scraping his elbow... Making noise to get my attention so I can't talk to dh then not stopping once I do respond... doing exactly what I ask him not to, deliberately...

it's good to hear it's a typical four year old thing. My ds1 was a lot more mellow at this age (always, actually) so I was really wondering if there was a problem going on.
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#26 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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Unfortunately DS1 shows his glorious 4 yr old atitude at school too. He's a serious limit tester and likes to see what he can get away with at school. I yell too : I'll admit it. I start out the day cheery and vowing to keep cool but by 5 pm its on. I can only ask him to do something so many times before I want to scream. I've been trying really hard to lead by example lately and identify emotions to help him ex- "Mommy feels angry so mommy is gonna sit down and take some deep breaths so I don't yell". I think it helps a little. Whispering when I want to scream helps too.

Zen doula-mama to my spirited DS1 (2/03), my CHD (TAPVR) warrior DS2 (6/07) & a gentle baby girl (8/09)
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#27 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by lovemyfamily6 View Post
I'm with you guys. My twin boys are 4y4m. They're wearing me down. Every single day. I feel terrible because sometimes I don't even enjoy being around them and I feel like our day is just "getting through" with no time or energy left for fun and silliness. My oldest just turned 6 and I remember 3.75 until 4.5 was tough. I need to remember that. I feel like I barely survived that though and now we have TWO of them acting like that.

My good friend has twin boys that turned 4 a couple weeks ago. She sent me an email today with a list of normal development for 4 year olds and what types of behaviors are normal. One was "oppositional behavior". Yeah, we've got that.

I told dh the other night that I'm having a really hard time with 4. No matter how hard I try not to, I end up yelling every day. Multiple times. I told dh that I feel like I'm just getting torn down a little bit each day and the cumulative damage is not good. I'm not at all the mom I want to be to them and I worry every day that I'm causing lasting damage and we're not going to get out of the phase.

My friend suggested anti-depressants (I have a 5 month old baby too and she thought they could help if it's PPD) to get through. I really don't think it's me though. My husband is one of the most patient and easy going people I've ever known and he's having a hard time too.

I go to bed every night feeling sad for how the day went and wanting to change but as soon as my buttons are pushed repeatedly, I go into my default mode of yelling. I feel like I'm a terrible mom to four year olds.
I totatly hear you. It is hard, when you are in the middle of it, to figure out what is real. Am I being a bad mom to him? Or, is he being especially hard? Does he have a mental disorder? Do I? Or, is four just REALLY difficult?? Is it a phase, or the first signs of something bigger? That's why this thread has been really good for me. I read the whole thing to dh.

Did I mention that I'm a teacher? I can handle 35 14-year-olds, no problem, but give me one four-year old and I'm a freakin' mess!!!
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#28 of 152 Old 10-25-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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from what I understand, there are rebellions at 2, 5ish and teens. (Great, I have a 2 and a 4....at the same time right now. )

And in 2 years, my 2 will be 4-5 and my newborn will be 2.

I am in for quite a next 3 years.
No advice, just
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#29 of 152 Old 10-29-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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We seemed to have made some progress this weekend, as we had such a lovely time together as a family for the entire weekend. There was no whining, no crying, no refusing to do anything, no back talk, no selective hearing, etc. It was the nicest weekend we've had for quite some time.

Unfortunately, it must have been a fluke, as Monday morning rolled around, and here we are right back in 4 year old hell. At this very moment DD is lying on the bathroom floor having a fit because I won't keep her company while she poops :. Again, as I said last week, I know it seems like an easy request to comply with, but DD is of the personality that once I start it I'll have to keep her company everytime she uses the bathroom (and I'm not exaggerating here, you wouldn't believe the number of ridiculous rituals our family goes through because we complied to the silly requests one too many times).

Dealing with this is totally draining me. I start my day fresh, awake and feeling good. By the time afternoon rolls around I'm wiped out. My head is in a fog, my nerves are shot, and my attitude stinks. By the time DH gets home I feel like I'm just hanging on by a thread.

DH is sending me on a yoga/meditation retreat this weekend for my birthday and I CAN.NOT.WAIT. I've never ever been more excited to go away from my family and be alone. Imagine, almost 3 full days of peace and quite, and NO WHINING!!!!
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#30 of 152 Old 10-29-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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OH geez... I'm going through something similar with my almost 3 year old!!! Is he going to do this at 4 too? Aughghghgh! I can't take it!!
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