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Almost 4 yr old often refusing to say hello/ thank you/ goodbye etc and has satrted lying

(6 Posts)
McGill Mon 27-Jun-11 21:06:26

i know this probably isn't vastly important, but our almost 4 yr old son, who by nature is kind, but a whinger, has recently started often refusing to say hello or goodbye to friends/family that visit, and often needs pushed for a simple thank you. I think it is probably a 'phase ' that will simply pass, and no amount of cajoling or telling-offs will help the situation... Its just so bloody rude and infuriating though. And he has also started telling wee lies- like when I ask him if he broke something, he will blame his sister when it is bloody obvious he did it himself. I feel I am constantly telling him off or threatening repercussions for his behaviour and it all feels so blooming negative. Guess I'm not really even needing advice - just want to know other 4 yr olds do this too!

IslandMooCow Mon 27-Jun-11 21:27:39

He's only 3, I think you're being too hard on him IMO. My recently 4 DD also discovered lying at that age. She experimented with it for a while - I always explained why it was best to tell the truth - and has now moved on from that phase. I never felt the need to get cross, it was actually very funny as it was so obvious it was a lie. Never let her see I was amused though!!

She knows how to greet people but is sometimes shy so can't. I never make an issue of it but encourage every time ("don't worry, just do your best") and make sure she sees me doing the right thing, and she's now growing in confidence and it's even been commented on by her pre-school (goes 2 days a week) that she can now have a proper conversation with adults which just wouldn't have happened 6mths ago.

I've always followed the advice to ignore 80% of "bad" behaviour, and focus on the 20% that really matters. If your DS sometimes doesn't say hello or good bye at 3years, turning it into a big issue by getting cross just increases the stress of meeting people, and is just over the top I feel. Plenty of praise when he does it right and ignoring it, except for a small prompt, when he doesn't would be more likely to work IMO.

marytuda Mon 27-Jun-11 21:29:30

Your son sounds impeccable to me. Mine, exactly the same age, has always needed reminding to say these things and spontaneous hellos, thank yous etc especially to relative strangers are the exception rather than the rule. It's important children should be taught this but sometimes I think we overstress its importance at expense of other behavioural lessons.
My son also lies, often trying to tell me in answer to any practical question ("What have you done with your shoes?") what he thinks I want to hear, especially if he doesn't actually know the answer. I think it's a kind of necessary experimentation they go through. Certainly I wouldn't bother getting too cross about it.

motherinferior Mon 27-Jun-11 21:31:27

He's three. All three year olds are insane. Really. They push you to the limit with their insanity. And not in a good way.

But he'll be four soon, and grow out of it.

IslandMooCow Mon 27-Jun-11 21:44:12

Totally agree with Marytuda - I regularly have to prompt for please and thank you. Generally mornings are good, and then as DD gets tired through the day it just stops happening.

McGill Mon 27-Jun-11 22:07:20

Thanks for all your replies-totally agree, and to be honest I think 80% of my frustration is simply down to sheer tiredness and 2 younger siblings, resulting in me having little quality time with him and probably expecting more than I should of him, simply because he is the oldest, which is unfair. I shall try and not make a big deal of it, and have decided that every week either me or his dad are going to take him out for one-on-one time as his 2 wee sisters are at an age where u just can't get a minute to sit and concentrate on him.... Jings this has just turned into a big guilty off-loading!! Anyway, thanks for listening! X

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