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To not be enjoying the company of my nearly 4 year old?

(14 Posts)
Idbeloveandsweetness Wed 01-May-13 12:11:18

It makes me feel awful. Ds is 3.11, he will be off to school in September and I can't have any more children so once he's gone in September that's it. The magical years gone.

So I should be really trying to enjoy these last few precious months shouldn't I? But the last couple if months he's become so bolshy and rude that I'm really really struggling. He's also become really sulky and demanding. Dare I say spoilt? (My fault if so) today we've had a fifteen minute tantrum because a child at his preschool was having a lolly on the way home and he didn't have one. Never mind that we are off for a picnic and an ice cream at the park in half an hour. Nope, howling over the blasted lolly pop.

Despite being very verbal and chatty he's also started with a lot of nonsense words so having a conversation is often difficult. Sometimes I do wonder if there is actually something 'wrong' for want of a better word.

He's also quite aggressive. Not really nastily just aggressive type play that sometimes crosses the boundaries. I know it's all probably in the realm of normal behaviour but I'm finding it so hard to enjoy him at the moment. I've spent ages feeling sad about him going to school but am now starting to look forward to it! That also makes me sad, but in a guilty failing as a parent type way.

Justforlaughs Wed 01-May-13 12:31:42

If it makes you feel any better, looking forward to your child starting school does NOT make you a bad parent. Children grow past the stage of being satisfied with pre-school and nursery and need more of a challenge anyway. Howling over a "blasted lolly pop" isn't anything abnormal, and you didn't give in so a point for you there. Assuming that you didn't lose the plot and start screaming about what a spoilt brat he is (which somehow I doubt you did) then you did the right thing. He's not necessarily spoilt at all, if he was you would have bought him one.
The talking nonsense words can be any of a multitude of things, depending on what they are. If it seems to be "toilet" humour then that will be something he has picked up from another child. Often happens and try to ignore it. If it is more "babytalk" then it might be that he has realised that he will be going to "Big school" soon and is scared of the idea. Reassure him that he will have great fun, that his friends will be there and that there will be lots of time for you to spend with afterschool and on weekends doing the things that he enjoys. Tell him that you will use the time that he is school doing the "boring" stuff, like washing and ironing and shopping.

aldiwhore Wed 01-May-13 12:32:59

It could be that you're simply both either so similar you wind each other up or so different that you find getting along a struggle.

I happily spent every waking hour with my eldest, we rubbed along really well.

I adore my youngest too, but we don't half lock horns on a regular basis, he's 5. An angel at school, utterly charming and wonderful, he just seems to think I talk rubbish, am a pain in the backside and if I ask him not to do something, he looks at me as if he's thinking I have no clue. It's stressful. Things have got better since he started school properly. He's very affectionate, constantly wanting cuddles and tickles but when it comes to me as parent, I think he'd rather I was just the cuddle person.

The love I have for them both is fierce, equal and without limit, it's just that our personality mix is different.

You are not a bad mother.

leeloo1 Wed 01-May-13 13:16:04

Is he at pre-school every morning? If so, tiredness may be responsible for a lot of his behaviour. My DS (4.5) goes full days Mon and Tues and often on Weds he is just horrendous - tears, stropping and pushing the boundaries. Then Thursday he is usually back to normal. smile

Making up nonsense words is actually a good sign in children's verbal development - what works with my DS is to laugh and say "flob-ul-di-bop whats a flob-ul-di-bop? Are you talking gobbledigook!" - then tickle him! Which makes him laugh too and takes any stress out of the nonsense words. DS now also tells me he is talking or writing gobbledigook when he is, so 'naming' the behaviour can be helpful I think.

Re the stropping, try to be calm. Go down to his level and say 'I know its sad that Billy has a lollipop and you don't, but we're going to have ice cream in the park - we could have strawberry/choc/vanilla...'. If he carries on, I usually say 'well I'm sorry but I just don't have a lolly for you today. Would you like one tomorrow/on Friday/for your next treat?' If he says yes then you can ask what colour/type/flavour he wants and it'll hopefully distract him.

Or if all else fails, focus on the positive:
- then do a sticker chart to reward the good behaviour.
- at bedtime each of you think of your 3 fave things about the day.
- give specific praise every bit of good behaviour that you notice in your DS - 'you're so kind for giving...' 'I'm so proud of you for taking turns on the slide...' 'I think we should tell Daddy how polite you've been today as I've heard you say please and thank you after your lunch and snack'.

Tailtwister Wed 01-May-13 13:21:06

I have to say that almost every parent I've spoken to in DS1's pre-school has said they're looking forward to their child starting school, as they're most definitely 'ready'. I take that as code for, they are sometimes a PITA, bolshy, rude etc Nearly every pre-schooler I've met has had their moments, as well as being adorable of course.

DS1 has just turned 5 and has shown the same types of behaviour you describe. It's down to a mixture of boredom, sometimes tiredness, boundary pushing etc. All normal.

leeloo1 Wed 01-May-13 13:21:46

4- to 5-Year-Old Development: Language and Cognitive MilestonesYour curious and inquisitive child is better able to carry on a conversation. In addition, your child's vocabulary is growing -- as is his or her thought process. Not only is your child able to answer simple questions easily and logically, but he or she should be able to express feelings better. Most children at this age enjoy singing, rhyming, and making up words. They are energetic, silly, and, at times, rowdy and obnoxious.

CandidaDoyle Wed 01-May-13 13:40:20

I could have written your post a couple of years ago.

I found my DTD's to be really trying at this age. To me age 4 was far worse than the "terrible twos".

I'm ashamed to admit that I inwardly wept as I collected them from pre-school at the end of the summer term, I just didn't know how I was going to get through the 6 week holiday with the constant tantrums & stroppiness.

However, they are now almost 6 and now mostly great fun. eg If I tell them they can't have an ice cream at the park because I've forgotten my purse, there's no outburst.

I now really look forward to the school holidays and the weekends feel too short.

Twiceover Wed 01-May-13 13:56:14

I feel this way about my girls too - they are 3.10. They have been really demanding recently, tantrumy, argumentative, whiney. I keep reminding myself it's just a phase and I felt the same way this time last year when they were in the middle of the terrible twos. Then they turned 3 and were lovely for ages. In fact, now they are much like they were during the terrible twos except with added articulacy and staying power - aarrgh! Only 4 months to school...

NicknameTaken Wed 01-May-13 14:00:20

DD was quite wound up and anxious about starting school, and it definitely affected her behaviour. For a child who'd never really had a tantrum, she had the most hideously prolonged and public tantrum I have ever witnessed the day we were out buying school shoes.

valiumredhead Wed 01-May-13 14:05:53

Magical years gone? The good stuff hasn't even started yet!

Justaoneoff Wed 01-May-13 14:17:00

Good, good. Always nice to know you are not alone! My DD is being an absolute nightmare at the moment, knows all the buttons to push, is being really rude (demanding instead of asking, please and thank you has gone out of the window, stamping her feet, crossing her arms and putting on a sulky face), and cannot be reasoned with. If we did everything to her timescale we'd never get anything done, so unfortunately, while we do have lovely occasions, these are increasingly punctuated by disgraceful behaviour and tears (hers not mine, but sometimes it's a close run thing!). It is wonderful to find this thread, and know that other people have perfectly lovely children who turn into complete monsters for weeks at a time. A phase - or that's what I keep telling myself. As you can probably tell, I have no advice. So far, nothing works for me. I am just trying to weather the storm....

nokidshere Wed 01-May-13 14:34:13

Totally normal behaviour for children of this age - and totally exhausting!!!

WilsonFrickett Wed 01-May-13 14:51:07

Every single one of my DS peers' mums and me said exactly the same thing at this point. It's just that he's ready for school/anxious about the change - and sometimes both at once. Its a really trying stage, and of course we put a lot into 'the summer before you went to big school' thinking it should be all lovely skipping in the park and stuff.

It won't last, I promise.

greenformica Wed 01-May-13 17:58:01

sounds like he is attention seeking. Do you have much fun/play with him?

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