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4 yr old DS is being a nightmare - it of a vent

(9 Posts)
JoniRules Mon 20-Jun-11 14:24:38

Does anyone know if this is 'normal' -ish behaviour for a 4 yr old DS. Does anyone elses' children behave like this? Or is it only my DS who is so naughty.
For a while now DS has become really difficult to deal with, he's always been very strong minded but lately it's really awful. He says 'no' to everything, or 'no I won't do that', about for example dinner time, or teeth brushing or getting dressed or everything really.

He whinges and moans alot, really alot. He hates being told off by anyone, particularly people not part of the family and he will shout at adults in a rage, 'Shut up stupid', or something like that. This is of concern to me as he will start school in September and I am dread that he will scream and shout at the teacher.

He deliberately ruined our wedding ceremony by singing at the top of his voice throughout, talking and had a huge tantrum before hand about putting his clothes on. He had been due to carry the ring (in our dreams!) and give it to dad, but when we told him about it, trying to prepare him a couple of days before he said, 'I won't do it I will run away from the room' (The ceremony room). He knew he was meant to sit quietly but decided to disrupt it.

Then today, nursery is having photos taken and they all had these little graduation gowns (a they are going to school in September). Somehow I kew he would be th eonly one refusing to have photo taken. And I was right the nursery called and asked me to come. I arrived, every other child was compliant, quite happy to join in and have photos taken but not my DS. He made tantrums, flung himself on the floor, wailing, crying, trying to tear off the gown. He almost did have photo taken but then fell to the floor. I left nursery with him till he calmed down. These are just the incidence that spring to mind, but there are dozens more.

I don't meet other mums and their children as I worry about his behaviour. I am quite often embarrassed by his behaviour. I ask myself what did we do wrong, why is he like this? I can't understand it. Nursery have contact with a behaviour specialist and I asked if they could refer him so that I can speak to her. I really hope I can get some help, because I am worried about school. Also it's making our lives a bit miserable, and DH and I argue quite a bit about how to deal with it. Tell me I'm not the only one!

fluffyanimal Mon 20-Jun-11 14:29:58

No this doesn't sound normal. It sounds like there is more going on here than you have included in your post, that this little boy is troubled because of something.

You mention getting married to your DH. Is he your ds's father?
Have there been recent changes in your household, eg. moving house, new baby?
How do you normally discipline him? What words do you use? Do you tell him he is bad?
Do you praise/reward him for good behaviour?

We need more info to be able to help you get to the bottom of it.

fluffyanimal Mon 20-Jun-11 14:31:05

Also, I've just seen you and your DH argue about how to deal with it. What would be his preferred approach, and what would be yours? Maybe your ds is very confused about his boundaries and/or getting mixed messages from you.

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 20-Jun-11 14:47:17

ditto what FA said, but at work and will try and reply properly later.

JoniRules Mon 20-Jun-11 17:23:01

Fluffyanimal - DH is DS's father
We have had a DD, she is almost 1 year old and we moved house about 7 months ago to a new area.
We are finding discipline a challenging and somewhat confusing area for the following reasons:
DS is our first child and there are so many methods and so much advice, parenting books, to be honest I have found it all a bit overwhelming. Which is the best? What works? How do we stick to it? I will admit it has been a weak area. People give so much advice, have you done this? You should try this? Grandparents get involved and say, 'you should just tell him to stop', 'tell him off', as if we haven't tried this.

- We have tried to remove him to his room whn his behaviour has been unacceptable. What happens is he screams and get hysterical. He throws things at the door, kicks it and hits it. He tried to get out the door, I have to hold it shut. It doesn't seem to achieve anything IMO.

- I have said, 'This is unacceptable behaviour', when he says 'shut up' or the like. Again I can keep on saying it but it doesn't seem to change.

- We do have a reward chart. I am ashamed to admit that it got forgotton by the wayside after a while. I simply forgot to keep doing it.

- Often in frustration I end up shouting at him. Again doesn't achieve anything. Ditto removing toys.

- Yes in my anger I have said that he's naughty.

- I do think we do praise, but maybe not enough. I just praised him for waiting at the road before we crossed and he really liked it, he wanted me to say it again.

Sometimes I think he wants lots of demostrations of love. When he is angry he often wants cuddles.

-DH and I differ in our approaches. DH is very very patient and actually gentle, I think he's a bit too soft. I am more impatient, more quick to say, ' that's it that's enough'. I feel like the 'bad cop'.

fluffyanimal Tue 21-Jun-11 09:42:05

Sorry i couldn't get back to this thread yesterday. Your post makes things much clearer: your ds is most likely unsettled about the new sister and the new house, and - this isn't meant to be a criticism by the way - you've not been consistent in your discipline methods and he is confused.

By the way, I think there is a big difference between telling a child they are being naughty and telling him they are bad, so don't beat yourself up too much over that.

It is a difficult area especially the first time around. It sounds to me like you should do more reassurances, demonstrations of love, so that he knows he is still your special little boy and that no matter what else has changed around him, this hasn't.

I think that you and your DH need to pick one method and stick to it, whatever that method may be, and when others offer advice, thank them politely and say you have a method you are trying to follow. If you can do reward charts, great - but stick to them and be consistent and follow through on any treats you promise for a full chart. Equally, follow through on not filling in the chart if he hasn't deserved it. Give whatever method you choose plenty of time before deciding it's not working, i.e. don't expect results within a week, but more likely over a month.

Make sure your DH backs you up when you scold ds, so that you don't always seem like the bad cop, even if he does it in a softer voice. You have to be united in your message.

Do lots of praise for good behaviour. Try to pick your battles and ignore the more minor stuff (ignore it quite pointedly as it is probably attention seeking - leave the room, fuss over the baby), and focus on correcting one bad behaviour at a time.

Lots of people on here recommend a book called "How to talk so kids will listen and how to listen so kids will talk" (or something...). I haven't read it but from what people say it sounds good.

Good luck!

fluffyanimal Tue 21-Jun-11 09:49:56

Oh something else, if he is due to start school in September, if you feel able to then go and talk to his class teacher before then. Explain you've been struggling with discipline and want to work together with the school - tell the school your methods and ask the teacher to tell you theirs, so that you can present a united front with the school too. I reckon most teachers will fall over themselves trying to help a parent who wants to be pro-active and co-operative with the school on these issues.

JoniRules Tue 21-Jun-11 11:00:06

Thank you Fluffy animal. No offense taken, I know we've been weak with discipline definately. I'm going to read your post mnore throughly. Just at work now. I am definately going to speak with classroom teacher.

cottonreels Tue 21-Jun-11 13:07:33

Poor you, sounds dreadfully draining.
Agree with the others really but just wanted to add a few things.
Id work on say 2 behaviours at aged 4. Stickers for doing something first time - say 2 stickers. 1 sticker for doing it when youve had to ask twice. No stickers if not doing after second time. This should help with the no to shoes etc. Order some stickers off the net with something on that he likes eg cars etc.
I think the other thing that Id hate is him shouting 'stupid' at people. So my suggestion is to have some marbles and put one in the jar for evertime he's polite. Before you start this though you really need to model some polite statements and actions so he has a ready bank to choose from. For now, Id ignore that he shouts'no thankyou' in a nasty manner and work on that bit later.
Then = over the top praise:
What fantastic sitting!!
Good boy - first time!!
Look at your lovely manners!! etc etc. You'll feel a bit barmy at first but you must keep it up.
Also think about prizes for achieving his goals. An ice lolly after 10 stickers (change the goalposts later to 12 or 15 stickers), a day out swimming or somethins after reaching a line on the jar. Keep talking up the prize so thers lots of anticipation.;

Also I think its great dad is gentle and patient and that you are firm-you just need to help each other share those skills now.

Also try to cut the shouting (hard i know). Try to whisper it or have a low voice instead and use as few words as possible.
Good luck. Ask questions if you need more help.

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