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Always telling my 4 year old off

(7 Posts)
Seahorse2 Mon 22-May-06 19:34:40

Is it normal to be constantly telling off a four year old ds? I can't tell if his behaviour is really naughty or I am too overwrought to react rationally to his normal four year old behaviour. I have an 8 month old dd and I look at her being so sweet and wonder what went wrong with my relationship with my ds. I know I used to look at him and adore him but somewhere along the line something's happened and I look at him expecting him to misbehave. I guess I know his behaviour is really my fault but I don't know how to get more balance back. The things I tell him off for are: not sitting down through dinner, not putting his shoes and coat on when it's time for school, being too rough with his sister, being too rough with me!, not getting ready for bed, not wanting to go out, etc, etc. I'm worried that I don't show him enough love anymore. And I hate always being bad-tempered with him. Any advice?

TambaTheDragonSlayer Mon 22-May-06 19:35:16

My 4 year old is a PITA. I think its normal.

hoxtonchick Mon 22-May-06 19:38:44

i totally know where you're coming from seahorse. i have ds who's 4 & dd who's 10 months. i have been a much more shouty mummy since dd was born, & i feel v. bad about it. i make a really conscious effort to be as nice as possible to ds, & it does work, though i do have to keep reminding myself to do it....i think tiredness plays a part - i'm still breastfeeding dd, & co-sleeping so seem to spend most of the night awake. i also work 2 days a week. ds & i have been having lots & lots of cuddles recently which i think helps. i do love him so much, & i do think he knows it. dd is just getting to the mischevious stage (climbing stairs ....) so i reckon i won't have much time to get moody with ds any more!

god, no help at all, but loads of sympathy.

honeybunny Mon 22-May-06 19:50:56

I'm having trouble with my 4yo too. He's ds2, ds1 is 5.5 and dd is 17mo. I too look at dd and think "little angel" and have nothing but gushy thoughts over how absolutely adorable she is, but as soon as ds2 walks through the door after pre-school it seems the arguments begin. He screams with tears one minute because I wont carry his coat to screams of rage because I wont do something else quite trivial. He had a 20 minute raging session because I dared to push him on the swing.

We are trying to ignore the tantrums and tears and praise the good behaviour. I think tiredness is a big key in this as at the w/e ds2 is a different child altho that may be due to the fact that I can give him more individual attention. I look around at other friends with 4yo boys and figure we're all going through a similar experience but I dont remember it being this bad with ds1.

I try to look for even the most ridiculously minute bit of good behaviour and make a huge deal of it, it buys some good ds2 time and I'm just hoping that this phase passes quickly cos its driving me nuts.

Seahorse2 Mon 22-May-06 20:01:08

Thanks I am so glad to hear this is normal. I too keep telling myself it is just tiredness as ds is at school for a full day but it is so hard to ignore it. My ds also still does tantrums. His speciality is coming down the stairs first. I guess I used to humour him but now I don't have the time. That's probably a lot of it too. I used to let him do what he wanted and now I've got too much to do with dd as well to pander to his whims. I'm sure having a new sibling must be a big part of it too. I just want to be lovely mummy not miserable cross mummy!

elandjacksmum Wed 24-May-06 10:56:20

We've been through this in the last few weeks and feel like we might be coming out of the other side.

We were frustrated by exactly the same things - asking a million times to get dressed, sitting at the table without jumping up about five times per meal etc, but more than anything LISTENING. Drives me bananas. Feels like wee then get stuck in a trap of saying 'no' and then end up thinking 'why are you always so..' whatever - very negative vicious circle...

We made two sticker charts - one for sitting at the table and one for 'listening and doing things the first time she's asked'. The sitting at the table chart has been a HUGE success. She gets to draw her own smiley face after each meal and once she's won 5 she gets a small treat from a treat bag - mostly sticker books and other cheap treats I found in Boyes. Another relatively educational reward is letting them have a go on the cbeebies website or similar.

The listening sticker chart is less of a success, only two stickers HOWEVER, there is a threat of putting a 'sad face' on it, and whenever we've said. 'Last chance before you get the sad face' she gets on with it right away.

All of this stuff means you then have time to get on with giving some positive attention at other times - I read with mine, or try and do jigsaws and other little board games etc. Just trying to make time and also trying to make a really big effort to remember to tell them how briliant they are when they do anything even vaguely good.

Not sure she's perfect yet, but we're certainly a lot less stressed.

Good luck

Seahorse2 Wed 24-May-06 13:38:15

Thanks elandjacksmum. I too have the asking a million times problem. He's always too busy doing something else to do the dull things like put his shoes on. I've made a sticker chart but I always forget to use it. Maybe I should try again.
Good idea about the Cbeebies website as a reward. That would really motivate him. I'll give it a try.
I've been feeling a bit calmer with him since I wrote this thread. Its' so comforting to know you are not the only one struggling!
I need to keep reminding myself to be calm and nice and maybe he will be too!

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