My ds1 went through a stage like this. Apparently they show their true colours to us as they trust us to take it. They can be themselves around us. The thought was comforting and got me through that stage
Oh I feel your pain, I went through this with my DS. I remember getting so annoyed one day I said 'if I say white, you say black, it's driving me mad' to which he hollered 'no mummy, I say white and you say black!'.
Unfortunately I have no magic answer, it is a phase probably linked to him starting to gain some independence and trying to assert control. The best thing imho you can do is ignore it (easier said than done I know but stick with it), negotiate if appropriate, try and maintain some form of consistent boundaries and cross your fingers they grow out of it soon. Also think of other ways he can have a choice, e.g. well these are the presents and I can't change them, maybe we can get some swimming trunks next year, but how would you like to choose the wrapping paper?
My DS is 5 in a couple of months and the good times are much more frequent now than the annoying pointless conflict. I make a big deal out of praising and occasionally rewarding good behaviour and use time out when it feels like things have got out of control, but this doesn't work for everyone.
I wonder if it is specific to us then? Because mine also is reasonably well behaved at nursery and with others but with me she'll blow up. Flash points include brushing her hair and asking her to put on her own socks. Is it just because they feel they can behave like that with mum?
I absolutely adore him but just wish that he wouldn't cry so much about EVERYTHING.
It is not tantrums as such - just whinging and crying. He is not like this at nursery at all (or they have never mentioned it to me) - as far as I know, he is the perfect child there as the odd time they have seen it when I pick him up and his shoes are in the wrong place or I am too early or whatever is wrong that day, the staff always look shocked that he is behaving like that.
He is 4.2 and nothing is ever right with him. I can almost guarantee that any conversation (no matter how 'light' the topic is) will end in him crying because something wasn't right/it was not what he wanted etc.
Example today...I picked him up from nursery and was chatting in the car about getting home to wrap up DH's presents for tomorrow. DS2 asked me what I had bought for DH so I told him. He started crying because I hadn't got DH any swimming trunks (wtf??) and cried and whinged all the way home.
It is really getting me down - he is such a lovely, imaginative, funny boy when he is in a good mood but they are very few and far between and I almost daren't open my mouth around him as it just ends up with him getting upset.
Any tips on what to do? I try and ignore/place him in another room until he stops with the whinging and crying but it doesn't seem to be working.