4 year old DS - what's happened??(15 Posts)
Hoping some of you might be able to sympathise/empathise/advise! But mainly advise...
DS turned 4 a few weeks ago and quite literally since that day he's been a nightmare. He's defiant, hitting, goading and throwing tantrums at the slightest thing. I know, I know, so far, so toddler, but thing is although he had his moments during his younger toddler years, I can't remember it any way as bad as this!
Now, we recently had another baby, the first few months DS was amazing and we were so proud, but now he seems to take anger out on baby. Standard stuff I know and we are guessing the source of the problem lies in his younger sibling (novelty worn off?) but it seems out of character and to be honest it's just sapping the joy out of things. We took time out for the last few days (Dh, myself and the 2 boys) and I wish we hadn't as it was so stressful. Any clear cut advise as to what to do - and the reassurance that this IS 4 year old boys - is gratefully recieved!
For the record pre-school haven't noticed any problems with him and to anyone outside the house he's pretty much as he always was.
Ds has been like this for the last few weeks. He's been HIDEOUS, particularly at bedtime. But he's absolutely fine outside the house, apart from one particularly horrific tantrum at grandma's which hopefully will not be repeated in a hurry...
His tantrums mostly involve running around the house shouting 'bum bum' and blowing raspberries at us whilst laughing maniacally and refusing to do what he's told. He flips like a switch and then will suddenly say sorry and everything goes back to normal.
Things that seem to be helping include:
Putting him in his bedroom and holding the door shut (sounds dreadful, but it is literally for a minute, tops). It's like depriving the tantrum of oxygen by removing the audience.
Encouraging independence-getting him to do more things for himself
Lots of reminders of the need for good behaviour when out and about
Reasoning and shouting don't help at all.
Distraction and removal from the situation seem to be the most effective deterrents.
In a horrible way I'm very glad it's not just me!
I don't know if it IS 4 yr old boys but it is our 4 yr old. He just seems to have regressed in everything at home - potty training, won't follow any instructions, aggressive esp to us, his stutter is back, he won't go to sleep... He's mainly ok at preschool but they are having issues too.
I don't know if it's over-readiness for school (he's nearly 5 really), anxious about school, worried about leaving preschool, he's just a pain in the arse... All of the above?
I'm not sure I can get to September and still keep any sanity! I doubt September will solve it as 3 hrs of school last week sent him loopy afterwards he was trying so hard to behave
We've tried closing the door and holding it shut but he throws things at it. Sometimes when it had got bad, I have closed my door and sat against it!
I bought a bumper pack of polos today to go back to basics and bribe him. It's the only way we potty trained him originally!
Can encouraging independence backfire? We have been doing that but I don't know if it has made it worse. He wants his nappies back!
Have you tried spending time with him 1:1? I know it might feel like the last thing you want to do but often the attention will be what he's seeking and he will revert back to the lovely 4 year old you always knew. I know this isn't possible often but I bet he would appreciate any time you or dh/dp could spare.
Yesterday when Ds and I were together all day he was as good as gold, first bedtime when I've been there with no tantrums for about 4 weeks. Today I went off and did some jobs and went shopping on my own and he was dreadful at bedtime... It's definitely related to the amount of time he spends with me. When he's with DH he's as good as gold.
Different age, but my dd went through three weeks of impossible temper tantrums when she was two, and it turned out that she was upset about her father, who lived far away but had been down visiting his parents for a weekend, leaving without saying goodbye.
It could be anything, especially with the wild imagination that age has, but I would guess he is upset about something.
I'm not alone! Thanks so much. I think it's something to do with his baby brother but just not sure, it's the only thing I can think of that is significantly changed in his life OR maybe it's the thought of starting school, he's had inductions and everyone saying to him..'ooh, starting big school soon' OR maybe he is just turning into a right old pain the arse!! 1:1 is a really good idea and I will try that when the holidays begin. I know he would appreciate it and it's worth a shot.
The thing is I'm now starting to get Into a vicious cycle of expecting him to behave this way, so even if he does something that in itself isn't that bad in the great scheme of things, I feel my hackles rising and thinking 'oh, here we go again...'
God. Again to us all! It will pass, it will!! <weeps>
They definitely all seem quite unsettled at the moment. More tired, more fighting, easily upset etc. Think they are going through a phase where they feel there are a lot of changes with school etc coming up and just at the time when they'd much prefer their little world completely stable. Mine would happily even eat the same food every day if I let him. A new-ish baby probably just makes this a bit more pronounced.
Reception teacher told us to expect more tiredness and tears till October halfterm and for things to then settle down in the period up to Xmas. ...seems a long way away I have to say!
Hope 1-2-1 helps. It's done no good for us I'm afraid DS is an only child. That's all he gets.
for us all
Ooh I have also found that carrying out a threat doesn't help end the behaviour. Eg - saying I'll take away your toys and then following through. He then decides he's lost his toy anyway so he might as well carry on and then goes completely bonkers. Positive recognition of the good and encouragement seems to cut it off much better, so 'if you behave and get into bed now you can have two extra stories' rather than 'if you don't get into bed right now you'll have no stories'. Does that make sense?
Thanks teacher, I have to say I had to laugh at the 'bum, bum' being shouted around the house, we get that too! And poo. And if I get called poo-head one more time... I totally see what you mean about positive rewards rather than sanctions. It's talking their language really. He's at pre-school now after a good start to the day, surprisingly. I am going to put it all into practice!
Thanks all and good luck! Just have to sit tight until Xmas
A promise of two polo for a clean bed this morning and we got a dry night! First one in a week!
ignoring the two hours it took to get him to go to bed
We started bedtime really early in the hope of him settling early... Doesn't look like it... Am listening to Dh attempting it through the monitor...!
I was wondering about doing that but wasn't convinced it would do anything. We tried pushing his bedtime back to see if he needed less sleep but that just meant the same arguments at a later time. Urgh!
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