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4 yr old has attitude

(20 Posts)
FurloughOrNo Thu 21-Jan-21 16:32:09

I posted this in behaviour yesterday but no response and I need help before I smash my head against a wall.
I’m not sure if this is lockdown related or not but DD is seriously frustrating me lately. She has stopped listening/responding to me (even with consequences) until I eventually shout, will not tidy up her messes without help or more shouting (apparently “nanny never made me tidy up” 🙄 when she provided childcare pre-Covid), will talk back to me when I tell her off (e.g. if I say behave or time out, she’ll say “you behave or you’re going in time out”. She has also started saying “you’re ugly” or “you’re fat” in response to us when she is angry/upset. We are certain she learnt these words from her DGF (my FIL) because it’s how he speaks to MIL in a jokey way. They say to each other “oh shut up” in a lighthearted way too but we managed to get DD out of saying that one somehow. Anyway, I don’t feel like I’m being the best mum in this situation because I don’t know what to do and I can feel the situation getting away from me. By the afternoon I want to scream and have to stop myself from shouting FFS, which is obviously not going to help one bit. I appreciate I am mum so need to take responsibility. How can I get her to stop this behaviour?
YABU - this is normal behaviour
YANBU - you need to sort DD out (please give suggestions 🙏🏻)

OP’s posts: |
Indecisive12 Thu 21-Jan-21 16:39:27

When did your in laws last look after her? If it was pre Covid she should have forgotten the way they speak to each other. It’s not acceptable For her to speak to anyone like that. You fix it by putting boundaries in place and being consistant. She doesn’t do something at grandmas house, fair enough but she will at home.

SamSam1234 Thu 21-Jan-21 16:40:22

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BrumBoo Thu 21-Jan-21 16:40:36

Do you show her you're frustrated? She's not the only one, I find my eldest is far more reactive with similar answering back with his dad, who is far more likely to tell off or shout than I am. I prefer the ignore and carry on method ' 'I dont like this behaviour, it's rude to say x, y, z and I wont be doing anything else with you until you apologise and calm down', then find a task to do and zone darling terror out. They usually use 'troll tactics', cry, do something silly, be rude, but unless they're in danger of hurting themselves then just don't engage until they tire themselves out. When they calm down, explain why calling people ugly isn't a nice thing, how it makes you feel and how she would feel if others used mean words with her.

Of course some days none of it works. Especially during lockdown where it's just so much easier to get overstimulated. Deep breaths, it can be so frustrating not being able to get through them once they discover how to push buttons.

Indecisive12 Thu 21-Jan-21 16:40:37

Should add it’s normal for 4 year old to push boundaries but what she wants is the boundaries to be enforced and consistent. Consistency is the key

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Thu 21-Jan-21 16:43:52

Well.ot os normal for them to push boundaries but obviously that behaviour is not ok. How do you react when she does it? Do you follow through with the threat of time out, do you tale toys off of her, do you tell her it's not OK? Xx

FurloughOrNo Thu 21-Jan-21 17:12:20

In laws had her weekdays from when she was 1 up to Feb or March last year, then 1 day childcare bubble from then until DD started school in Sep.

For those asking, I always tell DD what she is doing is rude/not kind etc and follow through with which ever consequence I said. The threaten of it used to be enough and we would both remain calm but slowly slowly it’s stopped working and I’ve been showing my frustration more and more.

OP’s posts: |
Buttercup54321 Thu 21-Jan-21 18:12:34

Carry through the consequences. Every single time. And never laugh when shes acting up.

Boopeedoop Thu 21-Jan-21 18:59:16

Parenting. The 18 year power struggle!

Ireolu Thu 21-Jan-21 19:08:20

Keep her as busy as possible. As long as my 4 ye old is engaged she is better behaved. Puzzles, drawing writing baking cooking games walk. Strict bedtime so you have time for yourself. Doesn't always work out but it's what I found best.

Ireolu Thu 21-Jan-21 19:09:54

I work part time and not from home though so can do these things. I understand it is hard if you are working from home.

Angeldust747 Thu 21-Jan-21 19:30:33

My DD is exactly the same... Recently she said "I'm not very happy with you"... That makes 2 of us darling 😂

AccidentallyOnPurpose Thu 21-Jan-21 19:41:07

Are there nice,calm moments during the day or are you both stressed out all the time and on each other's case?

Do you give her plenty of praise when she is good/showing the behaviour you want?

Are you picking your battles and giving her choices?

Iminaglasscaseofemotion Thu 21-Jan-21 19:44:44

Ireolu

Keep her as busy as possible. As long as my 4 ye old is engaged she is better behaved. Puzzles, drawing writing baking cooking games walk. Strict bedtime so you have time for yourself. Doesn't always work out but it's what I found best.

Keeping her busy isn't dealing with the problem, it's just distracting from it which might work for a while but in the long term its useless.

Ireolu Thu 21-Jan-21 20:16:51

We do all of the above too. Praise, consequences options so she gets to chose. Warnings for when an activity is about to be over to avoid a tantru m etc, etc.

You may find keeping them busy in the long term useless but I find that the activities mean she learns and I bond with her. So not useless to me but thanks for your thoughts.

FurloughOrNo Thu 21-Jan-21 21:12:49

Angeldust747

My DD is exactly the same... Recently she said "I'm not very happy with you"... That makes 2 of us darling 😂

OMG 😆 sounds like my life

OP’s posts: |
FurloughOrNo Thu 21-Jan-21 21:17:14

AccidentallyOnPurpose

Are there nice,calm moments during the day or are you both stressed out all the time and on each other's case?

Do you give her plenty of praise when she is good/showing the behaviour you want?

Are you picking your battles and giving her choices?

We do have calm moments during the day but thinking about it now, if she’s already been told off about something I do think I have less fuse as the day wears on. So by 3rd or 4th time I might just go straight to shouting.
Maybe it isn’t her at all and it’s my behaviour that’s changed...

OP’s posts: |
AccidentallyOnPurpose Thu 21-Jan-21 21:41:13

* We do have calm moments during the day but thinking about it now, if she’s already been told off about something I do think I have less fuse as the day wears on. So by 3rd or 4th time I might just go straight to shouting.
Maybe it isn’t her at all and it’s my behaviour that’s changed...*

I wasn't blaming you, I hope it didn't come out that way. It's just it can be a very vicious circle, start the day angry, she feels she can't do right for wrong, you are exhausted and feel like you're always on her case , and why can't we just have a nice day, waiting for the other shoe to drop, exasperated at each other.

Shouting over small things, especially when you haven't before , or even ignored or laughed at can be confusing.

I'd say first of all make a list of non negotiable rules, things she must do as and when you tell her. Then reassess everything else you argue about, is it really necessary? Will any harm come to her if she's doing something or not doing as you asked ?

Then ignore obvious attempts to rile you up. You can't clap with one hand, you also can't argue by yourself. Don't discuss or correct the behaviour in the heat of the moment, nothing will go in and you might regret how you act. Revisit it when you're both calm,having a cuddle.

Have clear consequences, with one warning in place.

Give lots and lots of praise even for things that might seem silly and be very specific. "You're sitting nicely well done", "that is very good colouring ", "thank you for listening to me", " you got dressed very quickly" rather than just "good girl or well done.

A little trick that sometimes works, follow your request with a thank you, rather than please. So "put your shoes on,thank you". Some children feel "bound" to do the action as they already received the thank you.

Make the boring or unpleasant things a game. Who can tidy up faster? I'll fold the socks, you throw them up the stairs. Takes ages, but it also makes things more fun and takes out the confrontation out of it.

Whenever possible give her two(three at most ) choices that you are comfortable with. Green top or yellow top? She has to put a top on,but can choose which one.

Reward charts for behaviours you really want to see if she would be motivated by that. Either just stickers or a small reward when she achieves a target.

When she calls you names just be calm,uninterested and say "ok, we'll talk when you've settled down". Then talk about being unkind ,hurtful etc later when she's not in a rage and wanting to get back at you.

DD did that a few times. I actually am fat, so just replied with "yeah I know. So what?" That completely took the wind out of her sails.grin As she grew she never used insults like that towards me or others because now she fully understands they are hurtful and not nice.

There's loads of things you can do, none of them an instant magic wand. This really is a marathon and not a race.

junebirthdaygirl Thu 21-Jan-21 22:56:26

How to talk so your children will listen and listen so your children will talk is a good book ..though maybe for a bit older child but you would pick up tips.
Sometimes we can get into a pattern..parents and kids and it's hard to break out of it. Try doing something completely different. Leave off for a day or two asking her to do stuff eg tidy up toys and just concentrate on having some fun. You can train her into stuff later but now be very conscious of not getting locked into a battle.
Being at home all day won't be helping anyone.

FurloughOrNo Fri 22-Jan-21 08:22:57

Oh no, I didn’t think you were blaming me at all. It was just my own thought process as I was thinking back. Your post has been really helpful

Thank you everyone for the advice. Lots to put into practice today

OP’s posts: |

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