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nearly 4 yr old doesnt want to get bigger?

(16 Posts)
Tenochtitlan Thu 13-Nov-14 20:37:12

Chatting to my nearly 4 yr old about his upcoming birthday, and he comes out with "i don't want my birthday", when I asked if he wants presents, he said he wanted them for Xmas. This is a child that hosts a birthday party for his cuddly most days!? Later on when he reached up to get his toothbrush from dresser, I said "you're getting tall" and he says "i'm not getting taller, I don't want to get bigger". What the ..... anyone else had something similar in child of that age...... I would understand if he were my age.....!

Mehitabel6 Thu 13-Nov-14 21:59:02

I think he is just being contrary- I wouldn't read anything into it.

NannyNim Thu 13-Nov-14 22:11:59

At 3/4 a child's perspective of the world is changing rapidly and he's just beginning to realise that the world is big place - things happen outside his immediate family, friends and environment. Sometimes that's really exciting and sometimes it's really scary. If he's really happy being 3 the idea that he won't be 3 anymore might be quite upsetting. Have you talked about it a lot and said things like "when you're 4 you can do this!" or "when you're 4 you won't need this anymore!". While these things can be exciting they may also imply that he's going to change and everything's going to be different when he's 4 and it's a bit daunting.

Just reassure him that being 4 will be much the same as being 3 and nothing will change until he's ready. But make sure you tell him a party and presents are not to be passed up! smile

PJ67 Thu 13-Nov-14 23:03:18

I remember my son crying in bed the night before his 5 th birthday, saying he didn't want to be 5. Woke up fine the next morning and happy to get his presents. Not sure what it was all about but maybe it seems a big thing and they're scared things will change.

InvaderZim Thu 13-Nov-14 23:09:00

Mine did this just before four too, she didn't want to be bigger or older... But she did want the party. She used to just roll with life's changes but now she's much more aware and needs lots of preparation for big life events.

We kept reminding her that she needed to be bigger so she could do more things that bigger kids do (which she craves), but also that she'd always be special and perfect to us etc.

usualsuspect333 Thu 13-Nov-14 23:17:21

One of mine cried just before his 5th birthday because he didn't know how to be five.

Tenochtitlan Fri 14-Nov-14 19:51:01

Thanks for above responses. I had a chat with him tonight and he said he doesn't want to go to big school. That, I think is something I caN handle, lots of kids are afraid of big school and it is 9 months off. Of course I'm not 100% sure that is the real reason behind it all.......!?

RandomMess Fri 14-Nov-14 20:01:17

Quite possibly, it's a fairly common thing that they don't want to have to grow up - so many unknowns.

CaramellaDeVille Thu 20-Nov-14 03:09:54

This is really common. I remember feeling like this myself, not just at a young age but later on in childhood too. I felt scared and insecure about growing older, I liked being my mothers little girl. Felt safe and protected. It was a form of separation anxiety for me. Nothing to do with being contrary.
It's probably to do with big school. Just give him lots of reassurance and cuddles.

CheersMedea Fri 21-Nov-14 16:39:19

One of mine cried just before his 5th birthday because he didn't know how to be five.

Aw! That is so cute. Did he manage to learn how to be five?

OP - is he a lot taller than others his age? Sometimes that is an issue, my nephew is taller than his class mates and doesn't like it.

Tenochtitlan Tue 25-Nov-14 18:40:08

Well we've cancelled his party, and I thought that I could slowly work on him in the few weeks prior to his birthday. I've tried not to push it too hard, just trying to find out what he's worried by. But not getting anywhere, when I asked him what he is scared of, he says "i don't know", and later "i don't want cake" (he loves cake!.... so obviously he is just making stuff up now). So looks like we could be having just an ordinary day, with no presents, no cards, no cake! I haVe tried my best to assure him, that nothing will change when he's 4, but he can just do more fun things, but obviously only if he wants to. Just don't know what to do now.....?

CheersMedea Wed 26-Nov-14 14:55:33

"cancelled his party"

Are you serious? I think you should just go ahead and do it.

He's 4 years old! Kids are changeable. He'll change his mind when he gets presents and cake.

I agree that probably there is some other issue but you won't find out what it is by pandering to him. For example, the real issue maybe that he doesn't want a particular friend at his party because they are bullying him (I doubt this is the case but you take the point). Having the party would probably flush this out when he reacts to that friend turning up.

I really don't think a 4 year old should be dictating to you that his birthday will be "an ordinary day, with no presents, no cards, no cake".

You are the parent and what you says goes - especially when its something nice for the child.

CheersMedea Wed 26-Nov-14 14:58:50

I think also it sends completely the wrong message to a child at that age.

What's next? He decides he doesn't want to go to school and expects you to comply with that too.

Fact is he has a birthday coming up. It's going to happen several more times. He needs to deal with it. If he really has a problem with it, then pretending it isn't happening won't help. Part of growing up and maturing is dealing with societal conventions even if you don't like them.

I really don't think this will help him in the long run.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Wed 26-Nov-14 16:06:45

What on earth? If you listen to everything he says and continue to act upon it all you will soon find yourself living a very peculiar life.

CorporateRockWhore Wed 26-Nov-14 16:08:50

When I was little I always told my Mum 'I'm never going to be 8'

She crapped herself until I was 8 in case I was psychic!

I remember why I said it - because 8 seemed to be the threshold into grown-up territory (to a 4 year old!) and I wanted to stay a kid.

Don't cancel his party, that's bonkers. It's really quite a common little phase to go through I think.

MrsGSR Wed 26-Nov-14 16:39:11

My friends DS refused to let us put 4 candles on his cake on his 4th birthday, he insisted he was just going to be 3 again! He's now a teenager and wants to be older than he is! It sounds completely normal to me, I don't think you need to cancel his birthday.

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