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4-year-old angry boy - how long does this last?

(3 Posts)
Bigtrousers Wed 06-Mar-13 21:08:12

I have a similarly angry 4 year old girl doing very similar things. And we are also trying our very best to do calm positive discipline - hard though it is to do in the midst of a stressful tantrum. We've found really really really concentrating on staying calm and distracting mostly works, but sometimes nothing can stop the meltdowns or the sibling thumping - and I am only human and so can't always be calm, however much would like to be. Don't know how long it lasts but seriously hoping it'll ease off soon.

Emmie412 Wed 06-Mar-13 12:03:49

I have no words of wisdom but just wanted to send you a big virtual hug, sounds like it is awfully tiring and relentless sad

happynappies Wed 06-Mar-13 11:26:06

I know 4 is supposed to be a difficult age for boys... I was looking at pictures of my ds when he was 18 months old, happy, smiling, laughing, and I just wonder what has happened, and where that little boy has gone?

Since about 18 months he started having aggressive tantrums, and as he got a little bit older, we had furniture being thrown across the room and all sorts, despite having a zero-tolerance approach to throwing/hitting/biting etc. I went on a triple p course run by my health visitor because I was at my wits end with him, and tried and tried my best to keep rewarding positive behaviour, and so forth.

I thought we were turning a corner, but these last few months (his 4th birthday was last week) I realise we're all walking on eggshells, and I feel 'scared' of his tantrums. I'm not scared of him - I know he is only four, and a lot of this might be his hormones or whatever, but his behaviour makes life so difficult. I have three other children, and it is impossible to get anywhere or do anything because he is either refusing (e.g. to put his shoes/coat/gloves/fleece etc on) or 'terrorising' the younger children, chasing them, grabbing their toys, pushing them, so every minute you get someone shouting 'Mum!' and telling me what he has done, usually in tears.

I put him on time out in the hall if he hurts someone, or throws something, but he will scream like a wild thing, thrashing his legs and it is just awful. I ignore it though, and he does eventually calm down, but as soon as you say anything to him, and I mean anything, he sets off again.

For example, this morning we're all sitting at the breakfast table eating our cereal, and he grabs at dd's spoon. I say 'ds, leave her spoon alone' and he starts growling, throws his spoon on the floor, says he won't eat his breakfast, and gets down from the table and starts rolling around on the floor screaming.

The smallest thing causes havoc. I try not to over-react, but I am getting to the point where it is all just a bit too much. Its not helped by the fact that I have a somewhat melodramatic 6 year old dd who is prone to screaming tantrums too.

He is a really 'Daddy's boy' and I try to show him affection, and to show him that I love him, even though I find his behaviour really really difficult, as I'm worried he just hates me, and I don't really know where to go with it all. Does this make sense to anyone? Not sure how to calmly ignore everything when we need to get to nursery/school by a set time, and I've got a 5month old baby and a 2 year old in tow as well.

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