To not like my 4 year old very much?

(61 Posts)
PivotPIVOT Thu 26-Jun-14 19:33:50

She's just so irritating. She screams all the time. She acts like she's just had a leg sliced off with no anaesthetic when she's barely even bumped into anything. She's whiny, entitled, stroppy and has a bad attitude. She waits until I am seething with rage before she will do as I've asked. Then when she gets consequences (which I always stick to btw) she screams and screams and screams like it's sone totally unfair surprise.

I just don't like her at all. It's making me depressed. I should be enjoying this time with her. Instead I am counting the days until she goes to full time school in Sept.

Don't get me wrong, I read her a story every single night, we have cuddles and 1-to-1 time, I praise her when she's being good and let her have a treat if we have no screaming fits that day. I just don't know where I'm going wrong. She's fine at school apparently. Teachers aren't any help. She can be lovely sometimes but if she's around other people or people she doesn't know very well she shows off and starts making ridiculous baby noises and not talking properly. By the end of the day just the sound of her voice grates on me.

Help. I'm a terrible mother.

MyFirstMyLastMyEverythingBagel Thu 26-Jun-14 19:39:09

Nah, you're not! I have felt like this with my dd, we got through it, she's okay now wink she was a lovely toddler but I really didn't like her around that age.

I'm going through it again with DS, only as a hideous toddler ... I really mean it when I say some days I would quite happily give him away. I'm assuming it it will get better.

Also expecting it to happen at some point with the baby.

Doesn't mean you don't love 'em, I really think it's quite normal to experience this at times, but not many people will admit it smile

LEMmingaround Thu 26-Jun-14 19:39:22

She sounds pretty much normal to me. You are most definitely not a bad mother.

I sometimes feel this way about my dd and I love her more than life. I do find that when she plays up I get very short with her and it becomes a vicious circle. I try to respond nicely but it is difficult. But it does make a difference. X

Billygoats Thu 26-Jun-14 19:40:28

I don't have much help now but I do know when my nephew started full time school he changed completely. He went to nursery but it didn't help his mood at home but was an angel there apparently. However school seems to have really brought out his good side at home, So fingers crossed for you.

Lookrightnow Thu 26-Jun-14 19:40:42

I have a thread on here about my 4yo (2yrs ago). She was VILE.

I just got through it and things just got better with time.

I just told myself she wouldn't be like this in 5/10 years time.

londonrach Thu 26-Jun-14 19:42:11

Sounds normal. Ready for school I'd say...

pod3030 Thu 26-Jun-14 19:42:15

yeah- if she's being well behaved at school then she probably needs to release with you- you are her reassurance that the boundaries are still there, being consistent, still loving her even when she's a pain. literally testing times! I totally hear you, i have been on the verge of leaving my dd on someone's doorstep with a note!

BertieBotts Thu 26-Jun-14 19:42:17

Four year olds are assholes. DS is five now and he's much better smile

Like every horrible phase you just have to love them through it.

Eliza22 Thu 26-Jun-14 19:43:31

My son was the same. I have no idea (he's an only child) what a happy, smiley, contented child is like! He has Aspergers. He's 13 now and very, very emotional and loving smile

You sound like a lovely mum. This too, will pass. Have a wine

kitchensinkmum Thu 26-Jun-14 19:43:56

I actually know some adults who behave exactly like this, but thankfully most four year olds grow out of it

AmberLav Thu 26-Jun-14 19:45:09

Toddlers are very good at being perfect when in company, and saving all their naughty (being polite!) behaviour for mum and dad.

But I hate to say that the seething with rage response is exactly what she is after, it's the best attention as far as children are concerned. As hard as it is, the best thing to do is try to work on your response, as you should never rely on changing other people, including children.

But I have had days like this, my saving grace sometimes is going to work...

Spottybra Thu 26-Jun-14 19:46:05

Have you tried practising descriptive praise? I used to use it but fell out of the habit. However annoyed as fuck with myself for the last 4 months for giving into anger and pmt once a month I'm taking evening primrose oil (completely irrelevant to your post I know) and have gone back to using descriptive praise. The change is amazing. I haven't shouted for a week and the dc (16, 4, & 3) are behaving.

Berryglitter Thu 26-Jun-14 19:47:17

You're definitely not a bad mother. I found 4 a very difficult age, yet 5 has been wonderful! Keep at it, I'm sure you're doing brilliant. She will grow and change.

Sorry I can't be of more help x

PivotPIVOT Thu 26-Jun-14 19:47:51

Oh good, I'm glad I'm not alone! It just seems like everyone else's kids are these lovely, polite, funny little people and my DD is just a screeching little witch. We were at a birthday party and the bloke was foing roubd with the microphone asking everyone's names. All the other kids said it fine. Normal. DD? Nope. She does some weird heavy breathing type noise down the mic and refuses to tell the guy her name. Pain in the arse! Is it awful to say I'm not really proud of her? I mean of course when she comes home with a painting or shows me a letter she's learned then I'm bursting with it but in a group of other kids she just acts the fool and it's embarrassing when the rest if them are so well behaved in her class.

It feels so good to get all this off my chest.

Xcountry Thu 26-Jun-14 19:50:14

Nah, you're not a terrible mother, she is at a 'terrible' age. Its ok to get pissed off with them from time to time, you love them unconditionally because they are your children but you don't have to like the shitty attitude they take on any particular day.

Wait till she hits teenage - The sound of her voice wont grate on you because you get one word answers "where are you going" is answered with "out", everything else with "dunno" until it becomes a shrieking match.

Xcountry Thu 26-Jun-14 19:50:18

Nah, you're not a terrible mother, she is at a 'terrible' age. Its ok to get pissed off with them from time to time, you love them unconditionally because they are your children but you don't have to like the shitty attitude they take on any particular day.

Wait till she hits teenage - The sound of her voice wont grate on you because you get one word answers "where are you going" is answered with "out", everything else with "dunno" until it becomes a shrieking match.

Sounds like the Farking 'Orrible Fours to me, DS was just the same.

I remember worrying when he was 3.5 that I would miss him so much when he was at school full time, then flip forward to the summer before he went and I couldn't wait to get rid of him. He was foul, screaming, shouting, I'd never seen him like that. Even my DM, who has a life-time of working with the under-5s under her belt described him as "challenging".

It passes, my thoughtful caring boy came back (he's nearly 8 now).

You're doing all the right things, hang in there smile

PivotPIVOT Thu 26-Jun-14 19:52:14

*going round. Bloody phone

PivotPIVOT Thu 26-Jun-14 19:54:47

What's descriptive praise? Is it telling them exactly what it is they're doing right? E.g. "I'm really pleased that you got uour shoes on without arguing with me" rather than"good girl, let's go"?

PivotPIVOT Thu 26-Jun-14 19:58:09

This is why I bought a puppy instead of having another baby. I love the puppy. He's doing really well with his training. Maybe I'll try the same technique on DD wink

NewtRipley Thu 26-Jun-14 20:01:50

Try reading Playful Parenting. It might piss you off a bit but it might give you ideas.

Just try and remember she's the child and you are the adult. Disengage. She isn't doing any of it to upset or humiliate you. I have been there.

NewtRipley Thu 26-Jun-14 20:04:21

And don't compare her. Some of those apparently lovely children will have their moments, now or in the future. I used to wish DS1was more like other children. He's nearly 14 now and I am so proud.

CrohnicallyExhausted Thu 26-Jun-14 20:06:10

Sounds just like my niece who is also 4 and off to school in September (are you my SIL?)

So I'm really glad to hear it's normal and they'll grow out of it!

Spottybra Thu 26-Jun-14 20:06:12

Yep, you've pretty much got descriptive praise down. Telling them EXACTLY what they've done right in order to try and get that behaviour embedded. Honestly 3yr old dd held my hand the entire time we walked in town today without being asked. We chatted about things and I praised her every now and again when I'd normally be chasing after her. 4yr old had a bit of a meltdown after school (tired and hungry) so instead of screaming at him for kicking his sister and dumping him somewhere quiet to calm down I held him and told him how much it made me happy when he was nice to his sister and i loved him. How it was ok to be hungry and upset and exhausted but we use words in this house not feet or fists, he calmed down so much more quickly because my anger wasn't fuelling his.

BoffinMum Thu 26-Jun-14 20:07:22

Very normal.

Can you get her a place in a day nursery a few mornings/afternoons a week over the summer holidays? Give each other a break? Lots of people go on holiday in July and August and there might be some space.

Also the book 1-2-3 Magic might help make things less confrontational.

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