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AIBU to think that 4yo DD is a pain in the arse??

(72 Posts)
BusyHomemaker Wed 17-Feb-16 21:26:19

I love her to bits, that goes without saying but recently DP and I feel like we are constantly telling her off. She's full-time at nursery and we're out of the house between 7:40am and 5:50pm and it's so infuriating that she's so naughty at home... And an angel at nursery! She's so kind and polite at nursery and with her grandparents but at home she's disrespectful, laughs when we try to discipline her and is insincere when she says sorry.

Neither of us want to fill what little time we spend together by constantly telling off DD and I just don't think it's normal for a child to be so naughty sad It's almost like she just can't help herself... She knows the rules!

Her behaviour has become annoying, frustrating and tedious. She can also be quite manipulatuve, for example, crying as soon as she's asked to do something or pretending she's hurt herself when she's being told off. Are all children like this??

Of course, DD has some absolutely lovely traits and can be incredibly loving. She's intelligent, creative, has a fabulous imagination, takes a keen interest in the world around her and plays nicely with other children. She can be incredibly conscientious and used to hate being told off, avoiding it as much as possible.

Can somebody wise please suggest some tips for how to discipline a bright, witty four year old... Who may have been slightly spoilt at times in the past?!

DisappointedOne Wed 17-Feb-16 21:29:51

Completely normal. Hang on and I'll find you a brilliant article about it.

ridemesideways Wed 17-Feb-16 21:31:32

Perhaps she's run out of energy and patience by then... Keeping up good behaviour 10 hrs a day is fantastic at 4yrs. She's probably blowing off steam.

Not sure what I'd do in your situation apart from positive reinforcement & love bombing.

DisappointedOne Wed 17-Feb-16 21:31:41

In short - take it as a compliment. Not necessarily a need for discipline/punishment!

RubbleBubble00 Wed 17-Feb-16 21:32:59

Firm boundaries, constantly kept rules - that have been explained with known consequences for breaking them. I use 1,2,3 magic but any warning followed by immediate consequence works well

Perhaps rewards for good behaviour? I have a pebble jar, they get a pebble for eating tea nicely, getting dressed when asked, brushing tea first time ect. When jars full it's a special treat like an afternoon doing chosen activity or 1:1 time with parent ect.

Also id any specific flashpoint times where she played up -like coming in from daycare. Does she need 1:1 contact, could she help make the dinner (my middle ds loves this)?

CaptainCrunch Wed 17-Feb-16 21:33:31

She barely sees you and wants your attention, regardless if it's positive or negative. Spend more time with her and stop referring to her as a PITA. Any child with a modicum of intelligence will pick up on it. No wonder the poor wee thing plays up with that horrible attitude.

RubbleBubble00 Wed 17-Feb-16 21:34:38

don't sweat the small stuff. Ignore minor unwanted behaviour

Helpful captain, maybe OP should just give up her job eh?

Sidalee7 Wed 17-Feb-16 21:36:02

Is she really tired? 7.40 to 5.50 is a long day for a 4yo and like you say, you don't have that much free time with her.
I found 4 quite hard with my DC's, they are at that tricky stage - not quite out of toddlerhood but not a big kid yet either.

Supportingeachother1983 Wed 17-Feb-16 21:36:18

She's probably tired, that's a long day for a 4 year old,

Lurkedforever1 Wed 17-Feb-16 21:40:34

Does she get exactly the same attention when she's not misbehaving? If not, there's your answer, she needs attention.

Catsize Wed 17-Feb-16 21:40:45

Many adults have a shorter working day than that. And PITA? Nope, she is a child who sees you for about two and a half days a week. Sorry, I agree with Captain.

caravanista Wed 17-Feb-16 21:42:03

Poor little scrap. She's on her best behaviour for such a long day - no wonder she has to let go at home. She needs you to give her some lee way and understand her frustrations.

CaptainCrunch Wed 17-Feb-16 21:42:28

No maybe she should stop saying a 4 year old is a pain in the arse for being tired, fractious and wanting attention from her parents because she hasn't seen them for 11 hours. Nothing to do with the OP leaving her job, but goad away love

Muskateersmummy Wed 17-Feb-16 21:44:33

In a less harsh way, I also agree with captain. Try some positive parenting techniques. She's wanting your time and attention.

We both work full time and didn't want to spend out little bit of family time battling so we choose our battles and practise positive parenting techniques to discipline. It helps us keep things calm, peaceful and happy. She feels secure and we don't get to feel like she's a PITA.

SoozeyHoozey Wed 17-Feb-16 21:45:14

Nice to see all the digs at the OP for using full time child care.

Not goading at all, it's fairly clear that the OP is just letting off steam with her choice of words. How do you suggest she goes about spending more time with her unless you're suggesting she leaves her job?

BusyHomemaker Wed 17-Feb-16 21:49:51

Thanks so much for your responses, I really do value them all but I just wanted to make it clear that saying DD is a PITA was tongue-in-cheek. I honestly thought that was the point of posting on this board!? And yes, I do have to work... Following a 3.5 year career break, devoted to DD. She attended nursery on a part-time basis during that time so is comfortable there and has developed some lovely friendships. It's obviously a long day for a child and I have explained to her why mummy now has to work. Of course I experience guilt, like many working mothers but I believe the pros out way the cons and on a selfish level it feels absolutely amazing to be able to pick up my career again. I went back to work in the summer but I know of many families where both parents have continued to work full-time throughout their child's life (with the exception of maternity leave) and make it work.

Muskateersmummy Wed 17-Feb-16 21:52:32

Could it be the change of having you there to you going back causing her to act out a little and she needs some additional reassurance?

shutupandshop Wed 17-Feb-16 21:54:05

Thing is she won't get why mummy has to work. Thats a lot of hours to be in childcare. Does mummy really need to work so much? Or daddy of course runs

Supportingeachother1983 Wed 17-Feb-16 21:58:49

Maybe at home childcare like a nanny would be better for her?

abbsismyhero Wed 17-Feb-16 22:02:02

she will get used to it try not to stress it too much

you're doing your best

APlaceOnTheCouch Wed 17-Feb-16 22:02:12

To answer the points in your op:
YY all children are like it. She's probably tired. It will get better.

As for how to deal with it, do some love bombing and make sure she eats and sleeps enough. Also maybe gently check with her that everything is ok at nursery.

If DS was being a PITA it usually was one of three causes: hunger, tiredness, upset about something that had happened earlier. Except for the times, when there wasn't a reason and he was just being 4 grin

leccybill Wed 17-Feb-16 22:02:28

Nursery is very full-on and active and noisy all day. She's not getting much down time, sofa with a blanket and telly on type time, kids need to unwind too. I'm guessing it's dinner, bath and bed once she gets home as she's up so early.
Cut her a bit of slack and keep it positive.

nutbrownhare15 Wed 17-Feb-16 22:02:56

Second other posters suggesting she is probably seeking your attention and feels that she can let off steam or be her true self with you. She knows you love her unconditionally so feels able to play up in a way she doesn't elsewhere. I would recommend for lots of ideas on how to reconnect with children.

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