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Does anyone else have a 4 year old who argues ALL THE TIME?!

(42 Posts)
CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 17:22:11

angry Because seriously...

Case in point. I just picked DS up from preschool and when we got home he was looking at books. He found something in the book basket and said "I want to keep this." I looked at it and it was the Operator's Manual for my brother's snowmobile. (DB lives with us.)

I said "Oh, you'll have to ask Uncle X when he gets home from work, but I think he needs that."

DS: "No he doesn't."

Me: "Well when he sells his snowmobile he'll need to give it to the new owner."

DS: "He's not going to sell it."

Me: "He is actually. I don't want to argue. Just no, you can't have it. Put it back and find something else."

DS: "No, he's not going to sell it."

And on, and on, and on, and onn.....until he finally gets sent to his room. Then he comes down a few minutes later and tells me he is "ready to be nice." He has a skeleton noisemaker with him that you wave back and forth and the head bounces around and makes the most Godawful clicking noise you ever heard. He begins to play it. Riiiight next to my head.

Finally I said that if he wanted to play with it he could play with it upstairs.

DS: Why?

Me: Because the noise is bothering me right now. Go play with it upstairs and then you can watch your show in a minute.

DS: Why don't you like the noise?

Me: Right now it's just hurting my ears.

DS: But you like it sometimes?

Me: Sometimes it's okay, but not right now.

DS: Why not right now? What if I play it softly?

And on, and on, and on, and onnnnnnn!

ARRRGGGHHH! Am I just incredibly short tempered? It's doing my head in! I try just refusing to engage with him and saying "I'm not going to talk about that anymore" but then he will keep repeating it or tantrum.

Conversations like that happen about every half hour, and I swear every third sentence begins with "But Mommmy...." DS, get ready to go please. "But Mommy...." DS, would you like peas or broccoli? "But Mommy...." DS, the dog doesn't like it when you step on his tail. "But Mommy..."

Does anyone have any advice on dealing with this stage without becoming a madwoman?!

Ormirian Mon 12-Sep-11 17:22:49

No. He's 8 grin

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 17:24:17

If I have to do this for another four years Ormirian...well. Send me a postcard at the institution, won't you? grin

Ormirian Mon 12-Sep-11 17:25:37

In fact DS2 has reversed my most sacred parenting tenet - always to explain. Because if you explain a decision to DS2 he will argue with it, on and on and on!

'Because I said so' is now my mantra. And I bloody hate it!

Ormirian Mon 12-Sep-11 17:27:19

Try to tell yourself that this means he is a very intelligent child.

I do.

And no it doesn't always work.

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 17:30:49

I've tried that, sort of. I've said things like "because I'm the mommy and this is my choice" which inevitably leads to:

"But's not my choice. Why is it your choice? I'm the boy and it's not my choice! I don't want that to be your choice. Will you change your choice? Why not?"

When I do the flat "Because I said so" it again turns to: "But Mommy...why did you say so? Say something else! Mommy! Mommy? Mommy! Mommy? Why aren't you talking to me?! Mommy!"

<cue steam pouring from my ears>

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 17:31:10

I'll give that a try! smile

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 18:10:08

I just feel bad because it seems like we're constantly butting heads. sad

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 18:35:10

And also (just gonna get it alllll out there, like therapy or something smile ) my brother is a very, very argumentative person. He cannot keep his mouth shut, or rather he chooses not to. He was always like that as a child and just remembering the constant fighting between him and our mother when I was a child makes my stomach hurt.

He's a deeply unhappy person, really, and seems to love to make other people miserable too. I'm really worried that DS is going to turn out this way and I'd like to somehow nip this in the bud or turn it to a more positive direction if I can.

I know it's good that he's assertive and knows his own mind but I just don't want our relationship to be like DB and DM's.

Any suggestions, anyone?

TobyLeWolef Mon 12-Sep-11 18:40:35

I'm sorry to say this, but mine is about to turn 12 and he still won't stop arguing. The backchatting is driving me crazy. So I wish I could help you, but I'm about to be committed.

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 18:42:11

Perhaps we could share a padded room, Toby ?

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 18:46:17

I think the thought of my brother, and DS being like him, is really worrying to me.

He gets in trouble with the police (addiction issues) and then further compounds the trouble he's in because he will not...bloody...shut up .

He makes friends, or girlfriends, very quickly because he is quite charming when he wants to be, and then loses them or alienates them just as quickly because he WILL NOT BLOODY SHUT UP.

His nose has been broken at least three times because he will not bloody shut up.

He has irritated or alienated most of our family (except for me, because I'm a softy, and even that's getting to the point where I'm ready to kick him out) because, you guessed it, he will not bloody shut up.

And I see this in DS and I know it's probably just a stage but it's so worrying to me. sad

TobyLeWolef Mon 12-Sep-11 19:00:28

Nope, I get that. My son is horribly like his father. Although his dad's not the same as your brother, obviously. It's worrying in different ways. He's aggressive and was very abusive during our marriage. For as long as we've been divorced he's been manipulative and controlling, and has messed with the childrens' heads by slagging me off in front of them.

So I TOTALLY understand your worries about your son being like your brother. But it's probably that you're just too close to them both to be able to see anything but the likeness at the moment.

Hullygully Mon 12-Sep-11 19:23:50

<parachutes in from other thread>

I would say that you are probably finding it even more difficult BECAUSE it reminds you of your brother and taps into your fear that ds may go the same way. Try to let that fear go and it may reduce the level of stress and irritation.

DON'T get into arguments with him:

I said "Oh, you'll have to ask Uncle X when he gets home from work, but I think he needs that."

DS: "No he doesn't."

You: Oh, well that's good then. Don't forget to tell him you've got it when he gets in.

With the skeleton thing, if he plays it and you say please don't, and he says why not, say: you can choose whether to play it or not, and I can choose whether to listen. I'm not stopping you from playing, it's not fair if you don't let me have my choice too, but if you won't go elsewhere, I will. Then calmly leave the room.


kill him

elmofan Mon 12-Sep-11 19:42:51

Aww cheerful, i reckon it's a normal phase ds is going through.
I remember my ds going through a "but why" phase at that age smile
And that too drove me mad <shudders at the memory>
He is still driving me mad now with his constant backchat.
DD is a chatterbox and i swear my ears do be ringing by the time she goes to sleep
With regards to your ds being like his uncle [i worry my ds will be like dh's brother at times too ] well he's only 4yrs old now so you have lots of time to teach him right from wrong.
You are a fab mum x

CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 19:43:15

I will try. Thanks for the advice.

The thing is, in the first scenario, if I had let it go, he would have said "oh, it's mine then" and written all over it. (Any book of paper is fair game for "pirate maps" and "important lists.")

It just seems to permeate EVERYTHING. He just brought me a picture he'd drawn of a dinosaur: "Does this look like a brontosaurus?" Me: "Yup." Him: "No it doesn't." Me: "Oh, all right then, but it's okay if we think different things." Him: "No it isn't."


CheerfulYank Mon 12-Sep-11 19:46:12

Thanks Elmo . smile

I am trying to make sure that the times we aren't butting heads we are cuddling or reading or something so we have good times together too. And I tell him I love him a billion times a day.

But I just get SO frustrated and then sad because I'm so frustrated.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 12-Sep-11 19:50:17

Message withdrawn

Linnet Mon 12-Sep-11 19:54:14

No she's 7.

My dd is like this,talks all the time,always has an answer or a million questions. If I ask her to do something she will spend ten minutes arguing with me about why she shouldn't do it by which point she could have had it done, drives me insane.

I'm hoping she grows out of it, if not I'll be joining you all in the padded room.

ttalloo Mon 12-Sep-11 19:55:29

I know it must be hard, OP, to avoid drawing comparisons between your brother and DS, but your DS does sound like a standard-issue four-year-old if my DS1 is anything to go by.

DS1 is 4.6yrs and is driving me mad at the moment. He never does what he's told, no matter how reasonably or forcefully he's told, he argues over everything and his stock response to anything he doesn't want to hear is to keep on and on ad infinitum even though, for example, experience should surely have taught him by now that no, shouting repeatedly for a toy in Sainsbury's doesn't usually get results.

Apparently boys go through a testosterone surge at the age of four and it makes their behaviour somewhat challenging. All I know is that I'm reduced to praying for Reception class to have a positive impact on DS1's behaviour before I go insane.

So if anyone's making a block booking for the padded cell, please count me in!

twotesttickles Mon 12-Sep-11 19:58:13

Ooh I have a female version of your son hmm

But with her it's if you do not stop that now you will go to BED (to me, you understand, to her brother, to DH).

Or you will do as I say otherwise I will hit you. hmm

Am not impressed - she doesn't do this at school and only does it when she's tired. hmm

I'm hoping it goes with time.

leftmydignityatthedoor Mon 12-Sep-11 19:59:48

Ds is exactly like this. It makes me want to scrunch up me eyes, put my hands over me ears and scream all the time sometimes.

I hate it because sometimes its just questions not arguments but I'm so worn down that I can't be bothered! Feel horrible saying that, I really do.

He never chooses his moments well either so ill be changing dd or paying in a shop and he'll ask something VERY important and urgent like 'mummy, why can't penguins fly?' And if I say ' I'm busy, I'm not sure' he'll say 'oh well then they MUST be able to fly if you don't know mustnt they mummy' 'er no ds that's not true' 'so how do you know that if you don't know why mummy? Mummy?mummy?'


Mightimama Mon 12-Sep-11 20:06:30

My 4 year old DS's favourite reasoning at the moment is " but I want to....."

Me : Don't pull the dog's tail

Him: Why?

Me: Because you will hurt him / Because I bloody said so

Him: But I Want to....


AllDirections Mon 12-Sep-11 20:14:43

DD3 is just the same and she's 4. She'll ask for something and if I say yes then she'll ask for something else and then something else again until I say no just so that she can ARGUE with me. She'll even refuse to do something that she wants to do just because I also want her to do it. The constantness of it all is driving me mad! I don't engage with her when she does this but then the screaming starts...

On a more positive note DD1 was like this until she was 12 but she's now turned into the most lovely, chilled out teenager. There's hope for DD3 yet!

Thank god DD2 has never been like this!

twotesttickles Mon 12-Sep-11 20:15:56

Ha my three year old does that too Mightimama but with the cat

Me: Don't pull the cat's tail, he will bite you
DS: But he hasn't yet Mummy.
Me: Well it hurts the cat and he will bite you and mummy will not be sympathetic
DS: I'll just see <tugs>


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