Does your 4 to 5 year old complain incessantly? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-25-2008, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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DS seems to complain all the time. Even when we take him to do something fun he just complains that it's not enough--he wants to do it longer or more times or something else fun after. It's bugging me. I'd like an occasional thank you instead of non-stop complaints when I've gone out of my way to do something nice for him.

So does anyone else's 4-5 year old do this? What do you do about it?

Thanks,
Catherine
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#2 of 10 Old 03-25-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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Yes. Incessantly. That is all.

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#3 of 10 Old 03-25-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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Um....YES! Never enough. I feel like I am paying a penence or something cause that's how my mom said I always was. Bleh..

Jennie: Working mother to 3 and loving wife to my hubby for over 12 years
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#4 of 10 Old 03-25-2008, 10:21 PM
 
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no she doesnt but my ds does, he is 6. He is getting better, but he has ADD and a little sensory and my friend and I think its bc of unpredictability when we go places, even if is a really great, fun place!! I think it just causes him anxiety sometimes to not know exactly what is coming next.. he can get very emotional. I am trying to just accept that this is who he is. For what its worth, age and maturity does seem to be helping.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-25-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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Can I tell you how relieved I am to see this post? I thought something had to be wrong with my son! My gosh it's never enough! Overall he's generally pretty easy going, but the whining, the complaining, it never ends. Add in the laziness of him wanting us to do everything for him and it can get old pretty fast. He's about halfway through 5 and it seems to be easing up some thank goodness!
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#6 of 10 Old 03-26-2008, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I guess I'm not alone anyway. No one has a magic solution for me? Darn.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-26-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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YES!!!! My 4.5 yo has a very "poor me" mentality. Nothing is ever good enough, she never gets to do anything long enough, this or that is not big enough, she even complains that she's not good enough at what ever she's doing.

I've stopped buying into it. I think she's looking for attention and being negative is her way to get me to give in and let her stay longer, or to give her more or to give over the top compliments ie.... she says she's not a good artist to get me to say "Oh no, you're the best artist in the whole wide world etc....

I've stopped giving her attention when she makes negative statements. I simply say "I'm sorry you're frustrated but it's time to go". or "I'm sorry you don't feel like your piece of pizza is big enough" or I'm sorry you don't like the way your picture turned out" or "I'm sorry you don't think you're good at cartwheels" etc...

I've stopped giving the negativity any value at all. I just say I'm sorry about that and move on.
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#8 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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We get it here too. DH and I have had conversations especially about the "we just did something fun for/with you and now you're whining", and about our frustrations regarding that.

In that situation though, we try to not get annoyed. Acknowledging the dissapointment ds feels when it's time to go, etc is important. But for us, it is equally important to acknowledge our own issue....are we annoyed with DS b/c of our motivation for wanting to do nice things with him? ie: did we do it b/c we thought he would enjoy it or b/c we wanted him to be grateful? If the first reason, then his enjoyment should be enough thanks in and of itself. If the second, then we should probably not be doing the thing in the first place.

KWIM?

BUT, that said, it is awfully irritating.
We really try to just stick to the emotions being expressed under the emotions being expressed...."That sure was fun, wouldn't it be great if we could have stayed longer? It's hard when we have to leave something we really love to do." etc etc etc.
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#9 of 10 Old 03-30-2008, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, we're not exactly doing nice things just to get gratitude. On the other hand, when he complains incessantly, it makes us feel like he didn't even have fun in the first place, so why bother? We've pointed this out to him and it sometimes seems to make a small amount of sense to him, but hasn't really changed the overall behavior pattern. Empathizing only causes him to intensify the complaints. I guess being heard isn't really what he's going for.

Sounds like it isn't out of the ordinary for this age group. I suppose I'll just have to make sure we only do fun stuff on days I have the mental energy to deal with the complaints by ignoring as much as possible. . . . .
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#10 of 10 Old 03-31-2008, 06:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amcal View Post
YES!!!!
I've stopped giving her attention when she makes negative statements. I simply say "I'm sorry you're frustrated but it's time to go". or "I'm sorry you don't feel like your piece of pizza is big enough" or I'm sorry you don't like the way your picture turned out" or "I'm sorry you don't think you're good at cartwheels" etc...

I've stopped giving the negativity any value at all. I just say I'm sorry about that and move on.
Hey that is great advice. I'm going to try it. Neutralizing the negatives and encouraging the positives makes sense to me. DS is 3.5 but has just started this complaining in the last few months. I know what you mean crl about him making the whole thing seem like no fun at all, so why even bother? Ugh! But I also think my DS can't yet grasp that concept.

We like to offer choices a lot "you can play with Legos OR GeoMags after lunch" but that doesn't always stop the whining and complaining. With whining, we just keep saying "I can't understand you when you whine. I will be happy to listen to what you say when you talk normally." Repeat until he talks normally. Ending the whining also tends to cool down the complaints, or at least make them calm enough to discuss rationally.

If it is a small complaint, I try to offer an alternative. If there is no "good" alternative, I just explain why it is that way to help him accept the decision. If he is totally out of hand, and I can not calm him, I get tough frankly. I think consequences are a good way to show that he can decide his behaviour, but it has consequences. For example, if he is hysterical about XYZ, I get his attention and give a warning, "If you can not share xyz, then you can not have any at all." If he continues, then that is it - there is no XYZ.... and I take it away. He then gets more upset and I get his attention and explain that I told him if he didn't share then he can't have any, and he didn't and that is why. When he calms down and asks for XYZ, I say very gently that no, not any more today, but we can do ABC or DEF ....instead, and start something fresh.
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