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At end of my tether with 4 year old....help

(9 Posts)
TooManyBrownies Wed 22-Jun-11 19:10:51

DS1 is a lovely sweet boy but his recent behaviour is awful and I need some advice. I'll try and be brief. He is just 4. Ds2 is 2 and Dd is a baby. Behaviour has deteriorated since dd born although he is great with her. He fights with his brother all the time, often in retaliation but he is so rough. When we have friends around he annoys them constantly and just wants to play rough games. I am policing him constantly and now I seem to be getting at him all the time. When we told him tonight (after a particularly bad day) there wad no more wrestling with his Daddy (which he loves) and no more 'fighting' progs (Batman, Ben10 etc) he got v upset. He says that he just wants to wrestle with children all the time and can't help himself.
I adore him and he is so lovely when we are spending time together. I feel like ive tried so hard to improve things, reward tokens, time out, making time alone with him, all with varying degrees of success. Now we are withdrawing things we know he likes doing.
I am sure it's a combination of bring ready for school/ having younger siblings/ bring a naturally boisterous child but I can't carry on like this. He is always 'that child' when we are out and it's getting me down.
Btw his behaviour at pre school is impeccable.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 22-Jun-11 20:32:06

Is he getting enough excersise? Some kids need a LOT. Why not send him to a football club and another similar one...tire him out...long walks and kickabouts are good too.

imadgeine Wed 22-Jun-11 21:04:06

Well it is great that he can control his behaviour in pre-school! So he can help himself.
Sounds like he is getting lots of attention by behaving this way with you. And attention, even being told off, is a social reward.
Big, long term punishments probably not the way with 4 year olds.
If there is going to be a consequence to unwanted behaviour it needs to be immediate. At that age they do not really understand things like "no more batman" . Really hard though with 2 younger ones as it takes energy to deal with unwanted behaviour calmly!
When my DS was about this age he used to hit his friend who lived next door. The only thing that worked was to immediately leave her house when he did it. Worked very quickly.
My GS a bit like this last time i was looking after him - very energetic, very physical. He also had a foul habit of running off when you took him out. Charging off into the crowd without a backward glance. A serious talk about being a big boy helped a lot "big boys walk WITH"
Plus a lot of positive language about what I did want him to do. He was being told off a lot and was beginning to think he was a naughty boy. I was so positive I felt quite queasy.

Maybe he could do something else with his dad like go for a 4k run.
Will they take him in the local judo club and channel his wrestling ability?

TooManyBrownies Wed 22-Jun-11 22:06:34

Hi thanks for replies.
Interesting what you said about GS - I am starting to feel he is the 'naughty one' and self fulfilling prophesies and all that .... Did think about a Judo club but not sure he has the discipline yet.
Maybe he doesn't get enough exercise- hadn't thought of that to be honest. Assumed as he charges round the place all day he gets enough but maybe that's why he does. Will get other 2 in buggy and get walking / playing in the field with him more. God knows I need the exercise :-(
My mum thinks watching 'violent' tv shows (Ben10, Batman) makes him much worse. What are your feelings on this?

MumblingRagDoll Wed 22-Jun-11 23:03:04

I agree..my older DD is 6 almost 7 and we let her slip into watching too many DVDs and her behaviour really went downhill. Massive temper tantrums...tiredness...I limit the telly to about one or at most two hours a day now.

Its not onlythe violence but the deadening effect of staring at a screen...kids develop much better without TV.

It's hard to do classes etc when you've a baby...I also have a younger child and remember it well! If you're at home and busy you can set him tasks...like "Run to the end of the garden and back, collect a stone and then do ten star jumps...I'll time you!"

And keep on..they like that!

Again Wed 22-Jun-11 23:17:44

As regards him and others possibly beginning to label him a 'naughty child' you could try to combat this after something negative is said by saying 'he knows how to be kind too' (I got this from Siblings without Rivalry).

On wrestling, it seems that this is very important for children and they do it as a way of exploring their own strength, learning how to modulate it, expressing their emotions and trying to connect if they are feeling isolated (I got this from Playful Parenting, more or less).

Btw I do have my own opinions, but am too tired to think them through right now!!

TooManyBrownies Thu 23-Jun-11 19:17:12

Thanks for all the advice. Will try these. Going to have a battle with dh over what ds watches on the tv. I think he thinks it's a boy thing and I dont understand but I would def rather he watches more suitable programmes. Will try anything. Thanks.

Haudyerwheesht Thu 23-Jun-11 19:23:33

Apart from the 2 year old you are living my life!!

Ds is just way, way too full of energy. His preschool teacher said that she has been teaching for 25 yrs and she has never known a boy like him and nor have any of the other teachers - he runs whenever he gets the chance, he is never still unless he has to be. He is VERY well behaved at nursery, just vvvvvv active.

I don't really know what to say other than I can sympathise. Consistency and calmness is the key with ds but that's not always the way life goes is it?!

TooManyBrownies Thu 23-Jun-11 20:58:14

Mmm. I start everyday with the best intentions to stay calm and do things 'right' ....

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