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Am I expecting too much of him?

(15 Posts)
GreenTeapot Sun 12-Jun-11 08:55:49

DS was awake at 4.30am when DP was leaving for work, so he was told to go back to bed but if he couldn't sleep he was to play quietly in his room. Noise woke me up at 5.30am because he'd taken the bathroom scales and step and piled them against my bedroom door along with some other random crap. His room was destroyed and he'd torn a page out of a library book, apparently accidentally.

So far this morning he's damaged another library book, repeatedly used a toy which frightens the dog when he knows the rule is that it must be used in a different room, been rough with his little sister and made a racket playing on the stairs when playing on the stairs is forbidden and he'd been asked to be quiet. As well as the usual fannying about instead of getting dressed.

Everyone tells me how good he is. Everyone says I'm too hard on him. But surely I'm not being unreasonable to expect a nearly-4 year old to behave a bit better than this?

Please help. Some days I feel like I am constantly negative towards him. I know I am too controlling. But he doesn't seem to give a shit about anything I say.

Georgimama Sun 12-Jun-11 08:57:46

No you're not expecting too much of him. When you say his room was "destroyed" what do you mean - toys all over the place or actual destruction of stuff?

GreenTeapot Sun 12-Jun-11 09:08:06

Just toys and clothes everywhere. He'd emptied drawers.

Georgimama Sun 12-Jun-11 09:12:56

How do you usually deal with incidents like this?

GreenTeapot Sun 12-Jun-11 09:21:44

Which bit of it?!

When I got up I told him to put everything back where he'd found it and get some clothes on. He did, but emptied the drawers in the process and at some point ripped the library book. He said it was an accident so I reiterated that books must be looked after and explained that we'd have to tell the librarian. The TV went off when he frightened the dog. When he mucked about on the stairs and was rough with his sister I just told him not to (for the nth time) and eventually sent him to sit in the hall. He then produced a "sorry" which he seems to think equals absolution.

I try to talk to him about this stuff but it's like the words just don't sink in, he seems blank. And otherwise (when it suits him!) he's a really bright, articulate boy. He goes to preschool and they say he's great.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 12-Jun-11 09:25:53

I think you are expecting a bit too much of him he is 4. and has been alone for an 1h of course he is going to -misbehaved- untertain himself.

AuntieMonica Sun 12-Jun-11 09:34:04

my DD is almost 4, and she'd do the same, i'm afraid. she'd have all the clothes out, there would also be piles of books/toys balanced up at windows/doors and trying to reach the top of wardrobes etc shock

age has nothing to do with it though, IME.

DS1 would have gotten up, fixed himself a breakfast and watched videos (yes, that long ago) until it was time for lunch blush, DS2 would have stayed in his room until he'd been forced out (still like that now).

your DS does sound great, just he's too young for him to be left to his own devices for long. yet wink

Georgimama Sun 12-Jun-11 09:37:36

Well I don't know what to suggest then other than constant reinforcement - it does sink in eventually. TBH I agree he is too young to be left to own devices for that length of time, he was probably bored rigid. If DS wakes at that time he comes in bed for a snuggle, I usually manage to doze whilst he plays under the duvet or looks at books.

GreenTeapot Sun 12-Jun-11 09:47:34

He has one of those infernal bunny clocks but he'd also fiddled with the dials so that it "woke up" - it's set for 6 so that he doesn't have to spend too long being bored on his own, even though he really needs to sleep more than that.

He can't really come into bed just now as his sister is still in our room and he'd wake her. She will go in with him as soon as he can be relied upon not to wake her at 4.30am!

Sometimes I think he is bored, and looking for trouble, but he's one of those kids who wants you to play with him all the damn time (unless the TV's on hmm) and I don't think I'm doing him any favours in entertaining him constantly.

PandaNot Sun 12-Jun-11 09:52:21

My dd would do the same I'm afraid, if I left her to her own devices for an hour. Both she and her brother did this very early waking and both would come into our bed and have to be quiet, he's not too young to understand he mustn't wake other people in the middle of the night.

shelscrape Sun 12-Jun-11 09:53:40

Is it that he's being woken up when your DP gets up and goes to work? My DS used to get woken when my DH would get up at 4 am to get shaved and dressed to go to work. The solution in the end was that DH got shaved and dressed downstairs to minimise the noise he made, DS stopped waking up at stupid o'clock.

By the way I don't think you expect too much from your DS. He is old enough to appreciate that he shouldn't mess his room to that extent.

NorksAreMessy Sun 12-Jun-11 09:54:36

I am prepared to be flamed for this, but if you cannot get up with him and he is too young to be left to entertain himslf without causing mayhem, think this might be a time where a DVD is your best ally.

I used to get up with DS, bung on a DVD, provide milk and snack and favourite toy and blanket and scuttle back to bed.

All the other behaviour you can deal with when you are more awake to cope and he has had a bit of a chill.
I used to put on otherwise 'forbidden' DVDs, like Thomas the bleeding tank bollox, which there is no WAY I would have watched with him, so he saw it as a treat

bad Norks

GreenTeapot Sun 12-Jun-11 09:59:42

DP doesn't generally wake him up - he's always a bit of an early riser but more like 5.30am. It's just the last couple of mornings, for whatever reason.

I guess it's the behaviour in general (rather than the ransacking when left alone) which bothers me.

Norks, I would have no qualms whatsoever in doing that if he made this a regular thing grin

GreenTeapot Sun 12-Jun-11 10:02:48

I should also possibly add that I was up and dressed at 5.45 with the pair of them, and so everything in the second paragraph of my OP happened when sort-of supervised (ie I was in the kitchen sorting DD, grabbing laundry from upstairs, washing up, trying to get 5 minutes peace to have a bleedin' cup of tea). I can't oversee everything he does all day.

Chandon Sun 12-Jun-11 10:06:39

Yes, he is still a toddler at 3.

So needs supervision and very clear boundaries.

I would have told him to go back to bed and stay there until 7, they grumble but usually fall back asleep (my DH gets up at 5 very often, so have often been in this situation!)

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