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4 year old out of control

(8 Posts)
likecherrycola Sat 03-Nov-12 22:53:50

Hi I am desperate for some advice, for the past few months my dds behavior has been terrible, today was one of the worst days we went to a party and she screamed,shouted refused too share or join in games and was generally very bratty. She can be adorable and sweet but when she acts up she is vile. Its got to the stage where i dread taking her out , even walking to nursery she will strop if something isn't exactly how she wants it , she is fine in nursery except for odd time when her painting etc is missing, then she will cry and scream.
She is a very smart little girl nursery teachers have commented on her verbal skills in particular , she questions everything and challenges everything . She used to be angelic always happy and easygoing and she never had a problem sharing , now she is like Jekyll and Hyde its terrifying she has lashed out at me in her strops and scratches her self and today was even hitting herself in the head saying she wanted to get the " bad thoughts " out.
I have no idea whats triggered the change only thing i could think of was starting nursery in April but she loves nursery so not sure.
Please anyone with any tips or advice on how to handle her will be much appreciated

bean612 Sat 03-Nov-12 23:12:12

Hello there, no advice I'm afraid but lots of sympathy. My DD is 4 next month and sounds pretty similar - half term has been, er, something of a challenge, shall we say, and though she's had long periods of being lovely, she's also thrown some humdingers of a strop/tantrum. Some days it feels like she just careers wildly from moaning to shouting to whining to lashing out to total negativity about everything. She's had what should have been a fantastic half term of treats - 2 trips to the theatre, 2 soft-play days, playgrounds, lunches out, a morning at DH's office reading books and watching films, playing with apps, and a goody bag to take home (he works in book publishing) - yet I feel worn down with her outbursts which often seem to come from NOWHERE. Like your DD, many people comment on her verbal skills and she also comments on and challenges everything - though unlike your DD she has always been quite full-on and headstrong, so it's not exactly a change in behaviour, just moving up a gear as she gets older. It's really hard sometimes, especially as she can be - and very often is - absolutely lovely. But as you say, it's like Jekyll and Hyde. Exhausting and upsetting. I feel like she's a teenager already! God alone knows what she'll be like when she actually is a teenager... hmm

likecherrycola Sat 03-Nov-12 23:31:29

Thanks so much for replying good to know I am not alone. During half term we have done so many fun activities too , lots of trips to park , museums , soft play and various other places she loves she has no reason to act like she does, Whens shes in one of her "moods" no one can reason with her but i seem to bare the brunt of it, Other parents from nursery are avoiding her because of it although shes fine in nursery they have witnessed her behavior outside, so no party invites or play dates. One in particular who i considered a friend criticizes my parenting at every chance her two children are well behaved and easy going but by no means angels , she tells me its all my fault and purely down to parenting but surely its partly just who she is , a feisty temperamental little girl i just need to manage it better nut no idea where to start, the teenager thing terrifies me can imagine the horror of it :O

Phineyj Sun 04-Nov-12 10:21:05

My DNs are both like this, especially the older one. My DS says until you have had a child of such feistiness, you have no idea what it's like! More positively, she says that a feisty child will often be determined and have good concentration on the things that interest them -- hence sometimes much better behaviour in nursery or school than outside. I don't know if it will get worse as they get older - the DNs are getting easier as when they are older it's more possible to reason with them/distract them. The younger one is more sensible too, and I often hear her talking the older one out of doing something stupid. I suppose from the point of view of a bright, feisty little kids they have loads of ideas but very little control over what they do, when or how. One thing that has worked for my sister is making sure the girls get masses and masses of physical exercise - walking everywhere, constant trips to playground and climbing frame. Hang in there and try not to take it personally - it's definitely not you!

likecherrycola Sun 04-Nov-12 12:12:24

Thanks Phineyj your sister is so right I feel like everyone is judging and all the other parents at nursery have ideas on what we are "doing wrong" most common one is she needs disciplined ( because of course we have never tired that hmm ) I think as your sister said the just don't understand what its like.
She does concentrate on things that interest her like painting, she could quite happily do arts and crafts for hours all smiles and happy, but trying and get her to eat or to bed is a battle.
We try and tire her out as much a possible she walks 30 minutes to nursery and back each day then park on way home if dry or if not walk with dog before dinner, it does work but sometimes she will get overtired and have even worse strops.
So glad to hear you dns are getting easier, gives me hope that my dd will get there because just now it seems endless.

PoppyWearer Sun 04-Nov-12 12:40:01

Just wanted to offer some sympathy, my DD (my DC1) can be like this too. She also scratches herself. Every little bump, knock or scrape is a complete drama. Starting school has been tough, although she loved nursery and had been going there daily for ages.

She's just now had an almighty strop/tears/tantrum because she was supposed to be going out for the afternoon with my DH as a treat for her and to give me a bit of peace and quiet and DC2 a chance to play without him around. She had a strop and DH has gone off without her. She behaves like a spoilt brat, but she's NOT!

What pains me the most is her incredibly selfish behaviour. I know "that's young kids for you", but she had so much empathy as a younger child and I personally try to be very unselfish. She honestly doesn't seem to give a shit if I am in pain (which I often am, with health problems) or if her little brother is upset about something. She can't wait for anything anymore and has even forgotten her pleases and thank you's.

With my DD I know she gets really tired, and school hasn't helped, but getting her to take a nap at weekends is a real mission. Her behaviour at nursery was always excellent. At school she is good, but has the odd blip. I have even wondered about finding out where she is on the Asperger's spectrum, as she does show some signs of that.

I don't know what to tell you, but you're not alone!

likecherrycola Sun 04-Nov-12 12:52:55

PoppyWearer thanks for replying my dd behaves like a spoilt brat too and she really isnt and i know what you mean about empathy she too used to be a very lovely sweet little girl but now she doesnt care about anyone or anything everything had to be about her, she is still polite to others though but i can see that slipping having to remind her a lot more now.

Sorry that school isn't helping thats my worry she is starting next year and i dread to think how she will be then , just now she is in nursery everyday but only for 3 hours and even then she is exhausted after it but will point blank refuse to nap, so worried about how she will cope with long school days. As for the Aspergers spectrum i have had the same thoughts recently ,I am convinced there must be some cause for her behavior of course i hope there isn't and its just something she will grow out of but would be great to know for sure. As well as behavior issues she can get really obsessive over things for example if shes watching a movie and misses even a second she will have a full blown meltdown and its a struggle to calm her down, even worse with tv shows god forbid she misses and a second and theres hell to pay.

Thanks again for replying its reassuring to know its not just me smile

rhetorician Sun 04-Nov-12 17:26:51

sounds very like my 3.9yo on her bad days; serious not listening, ignoring rules and instructions, arguing with the rules, trying to backtrack, undo bad behaviour to avoid consequences, lashing out when reprimanded etc. She is capable of very good behaviour at times. She is also a bit lacking in the empathy department, at least in the moment, although capable of being thoughtful, generous and caring at others. It seems to me that it's all about control - she wants to be in charge and is having a hard time accepting that she isn't. I do try to give her as much autonomy as possible, but she quite often blows it and then it is taken away. She too is very articulate and verbal, clever too, but will only do things her way. She will be much better once she has better mastery of things I hope. Some children are just defiant and trickier than others; you wouldn't want a sheep, however challenging their behaviour.

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