4 yo behaviour very trying at the moment.. help.(5 Posts)
Dd is 4.5 start reception in September, her behaviour is very difficult at the moment and it is stressing dp and I out a lot. Dd is ignoring us, answering back, screaming and shouting when things don't go her way all very frustrating.
A few incidents recently, we had a guest over and dd was mithering them a lot it was almost bedtime so we distracted the situation by getting pj's on once that was over dd went back to doing the same thing, we had had a calm little chat whilst getting changed about not jumping on people giving them space etc but dd continued after pj's were on. I asked her to come and sit by my and we would read a book - she ignored this, dp then said time out if you can't calm down, cue dd point blank refusing then hittimg and kicking dp. Dd went straight to bed and both of us had a chat to her about the reasons why she was sent to bed.
We're also having a lot of issues over toys and 'sharing/taking turns' where dd will cry and stamp her feet if she doesn't get what she wants i.e. suddenly deciding that she wants what dd2 (2.5) is playing with and trying to force it of her (usually after me finding something similar for dd2 to play with as she wants what dd1 originally has). Similar to wanting dd2 to move because she wants to sit where dd2 is. Both resulting in wailing and stamping her feet.
Both dp and I have agreed that time outs are not working, we need to find an alternative what else do we do when dd just completely ignores what we are asking her to do??
Does she go to nursery/preschool etc? If so, what is she like there?
Is everything else in the family and home 'stable'?
How long has this sort of behaviour been going on?
Does she know much about starting school, and how does she feel about it?
As a retired TA with twenty years in primary school, I usually claim that children DON'T WANT to be told off, sanctioned, etc but for some reason they cannot control their behaviour, resulting in conflicts such as you describe.
Consider my questions; answer them if you wish, and see if that sheds any light on her behaviour.
I don't know if this will work but just throwing some ideas out there and hopefully something will strike a chord with you.
Does she need more help in interacting with her sister? Maybe show her how she can offer DD2 another toy in exchange for the one she wants or how to strike a deal so that they share the favourite chair.
Does a countdown work for situations like going to bed? Break the activity into smaller parts and give a count down for each one. Could she get little rewards for tiny bits of good behaviours (pieces of pasta?) that build up to a treat she has chosen?
Could she be feeling apprehensive about school? At this age I think children can find it very difficult to identify and express their feelings so she may need some help to be able to tell you if something is stressing her. Have you tried asking her what might work in terms of preventing her anger escalating? With DD 4.3yo when we notice her getting stroppy we fill her up again with hugs and kisses which puts her back in a good mood.
We have just gone back to nursery (in Scotland) with DD and a bunch of fellow 4 year olds. We were all chatting in the playground before we went home. All the 4 year old DDs were behaving exactly as your DD is. Fearsome Fours exerting their will on the rest of the World and bossing about anyone who lets them - Your DD is normal and will grow out of it (I also have 2 older DD).
I'm sure an educational specialist will describe it better but it is something to do with them suddenly realising that they can influence their ability to be the centre of the Universe which having massive egos is what they all want.
Try and not make too big a deal of it and keep a sense of humour but remain in charge. Ignore as much as you can but when you put your foot down don't equivocate.
Thank you for the advice so far. We have spent a lot of time showing taking turns, swapping etc so much so dd2 is generally better than dd1 at 'sharing'.
Dd goes to pre-school and no issues at all there, though we are in the middle of the summer holidays well 3.5 weeks in maybe been going on for the last week or two but progressively getting worse, I think she is quite tired at the moment though - she has been up 5.30/6.00 quite a few times which is early for dd. Family home all nice and stable nothing I can pinpoint to change dd's behaviour. Possibility of being apprehensive about school but mostly showing excitement. I have been considering a reward type jar but in the past having used sticker charts the novelty has worn off after a couple of days. I will try and talk about her getting angry etc but dd hasn't ever been good at showing/explaining her emotions always bem reluctant to say why she feels a certain way, even though we do talk about it - I think thats more her personality though as she's very stubborn.
Thank you How, it helps a lot to know that four year olds can behave this way - and grow out of it. Dd is trying to boss eveyone too but that seems minimal at the moment.
I think one of the reasons for my post is how do I calm dd down when she get (excitible/silly/not listening) in the past removing her from the situation or distraction from another activity has worked. Every method seems to cause bigger issues right now!
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