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4yo being truly horrid. End of tether reached.

(20 Posts)
butteriesplease Tue 28-Feb-17 14:44:20

DS3 is 4 (birthday is January). he's a lovely wee boy - mostly. However, he does not do what he is asked, shouts back, hits sometimes.

Today, I got a call from nursery to say he and another child were fighting over something, and he bit the other child. This is the lowest point.

His behaviour can be so awful, but other times he can be so lovely.

What can I do to help him be his 'best self' as we say at home?? He goes to private nursery 3 days a week, and school nursery 5 days (2.5hour sessions). School nursery said last week his behaviour was pretty bad - boundary pushing, not doing what he was told (e.g. tidying) being cheeky etc. Other nursery generally no complaints - except today clearly.

At home he often won't do what he's asked, it is a TRIUMPH if he tidies up when asked, or holds hands to walk outside.

He still wakes up most (all) nights, and isn't yet dry at night (if that might have any bearing on things?).

I can't really remember if his siblings were this awful at this stage! I think DS1 had his moments, but possibly had grown out of it by this stage...


Mol1628 Tue 28-Feb-17 14:50:35

He sounds tired. Hes in nursery/childcare a lot and not sleeping well. My son is dreadful when he's tired. I'd work out why he's not sleeping through the night and tackle that before anything else.

butteriesplease Tue 28-Feb-17 15:10:58

but he has NEVER slept through. Honestly in his whole wee life, he's slept through less than 10 times.
yes, he may well be tired, but so am i! Seriously tho, if you have ANY way to help him sleep - please share.

Also, he's been going to private nursery since he was 10months old, so pretty used to that, he started school nursery at the end of August. He goes to primary school this August. Yikes.

jimijack Tue 28-Feb-17 15:19:33

Sounds like my January born 4 year old.
He doesn't sleep through either.

Yes to a triumph if he puts 3 toys in the toy box or holds hand s while out!! Same here. Eating is also a nightmare.

He has begun to tantrum, scream and refuse most things...put coat/hat/shoes/clothes on.

I just hope that it will pass. How have nursery said that they will help him with this?

minipie Tue 28-Feb-17 15:52:15

Yes tired. My DD (age 4) is tired a lot (early waker, seemingly incurable) and is a different child when she sleeps more. Since January she's been alternately horrible and lovely depending on sleep.

I don't have the answer sorry.

Can you tell us more about the sleep? What does he want when he wakes up? What's your response? What is bedtime and bedtime routine? Dunno why I'm asking, as I can't fix my own child's sleep issues grin but just in case...

Rozdeek Tue 28-Feb-17 15:57:30

I agree overtiredness may well be causing a lot of this.

How often does he wake? What do you do when he wakes? What time does he go to bed and get up in the morning?

butteriesplease Wed 01-Mar-17 09:52:00

thanks for replies xx
so, sleep - he actually goes to bed very well - bath, stories, kiss and he just curls up and stays there, and generally goes to sleep fairly fast. I put him to bed around 7 or 7.30. He wakes in the small hours of the morning. He used to cry or call for me, and I'd go through and bring him into bed with me.
lately tho, he is bringing himself to me - was about 5 today (big improvement) and has been at 2am other nights.
He is sometimes dry in the morning, sometimes not.

We get up at about 6.30am.

So, when I collected him from nursery, they were pretty chilled about it, and said he had properly apologised. DS3 did not wish to talk of the matter - and denied all knowledge. Ididn't push it, as that was hours ago, and it's all a new day now.

School nursery haven't provided any guidance on what they are doing, but I have said to them we would be happy to mirror what they do, so as to reinforce positive messages. how do you do a behaviour chart? Maybe we need one of them.

I have to say that I feel much better knowing that DS3 is not the only 4yo nightmare - possibly this is a stage? Maybe they are growing and super tired??

Peopleplease Wed 01-Mar-17 20:17:41

Sounds very like my DD except I've been putting her behaviour down to a new baby sister!

Have you tried a gro-clock and bribery with the sleep issues. I could literally count on one hand the number of times DD slept through and now it's almost every night.

butteriesplease Thu 02-Mar-17 13:33:27

a gro clock you say?? Did your DD actually then look at it if she woke inthe night? I will investigate, thank-you.
It all just gets so wearing. The constant 'I wants' delivered at full volume, and the tantrum-ing when he doesn't get the thing he wanted. e.g. chocolate for breakfast.
I do try to keep calm and distract him, but it's pretty tough when it's so frequent.

StarUtopia Thu 02-Mar-17 13:36:39

He sounds tired and overwhelmed poor lad.

Are you working full time?

It sounds a lot for a preschooler to be ferrying around between two different establishments (how does he get from one to the other?)

He sounds like he needs more attention (positive). His playing up is to get his Mum to notice this imo. Can he maybe drop some nursery and spend time one on one with you?

2014newme Thu 02-Mar-17 13:38:17

Overtired and coping with 2 different nurseries.

Jackiebrambles Thu 02-Mar-17 13:42:17

Watching with interest. My 4 year old (Feb birthday) has really awful days.

I remember being on holiday with my nephew who was a few months past 4 a couple of years ago. I remember thinking 'blimey he's quite difficult' and wondering if it was just him or the age.

Turns out this age is quite difficult!!

Jackiebrambles Thu 02-Mar-17 13:42:58

Also just to add - my boy is not dry at night (always wakes with a wet pull up).

HSMMaCM Thu 02-Mar-17 13:52:57

Does he need to go to the school nursery? The mental challenge of managing 2 different settings, with 2 sets of social groups can be very tiring for a child.

minipie Thu 02-Mar-17 13:57:05

It does sound like he's at nursery a lot, I guess this is because you are working but if not I would definitely suggest cutting it down.

Does he go back to sleep after his 5am wake up? If not he's only getting about 9.5-10 hours sleep and that wouldn't be enough for most 4yo. (That's what my DD gets... and it's not enough...)

Gro clock - I found it has worked for keeping DD in her room but not getting her to go back to sleep.

butteriesplease Thu 02-Mar-17 15:17:46

thanks All.
so to answer: yes, if he wakes at 2am/5am he will get back to sleep, then we're up at 6.30.

I am indeed working, hence my child going to nursery. I am working PT, so theoretically, he could drop 2 school nursery sessions, but it is pretty much expected that they go every day. If he's clearly tired, of course I wouldn't take him.

how does he get transported between the 2? he gets taken to/from by the private nursery in a mini-bus with the other children who are also doing the same.

JackieBrambles (the real one?!) I can't tell you how good it is to hear that DS3 is not the only one being challenging right now! He was pretty good when 2 and 3, so possibly I'm getting the tantrums now instead...

Now I think of it, one of my friends did say that DS1 (now 12) had been a bit 'wild'... perhaps I have blanked it all from my memory banks...

Also, those suggesting that I cut down on his nursery time - the point of going to school nursery is to help ease the transition to school, and so that he does know the kids that he'll be in school with. I think it's a positive thing, although I guess not essential (the older 2 didn't go, as we got equivalent funding at their private nursery rather than go to school nursery, which isn't available for DS3's place).

by the by, I'm in Scotland, so poss some of the terminology is a bit 'other' if you are based in England/elsewhere.

thisismadness77 Thu 02-Mar-17 15:22:58

4 year olds are beasts.

StarUtopia Fri 03-Mar-17 11:51:26

I personally would drop one of the nurseries. Obviously keep the school one if you're confident that he will be going to that school.

He's clearly not coping.

butteriesplease Sat 04-Mar-17 20:12:35

Can't drop private nursery! Covers most of my work hours! School nursery is only 2 hours & a bit per day. I can try dropping the Friday session perhaps to give him a rest.

School nursery said on Friday his behaviour had been a bit better as they were trying to keep him and another child separate - both behaving better apparently.

TheTombstonesMove Mon 06-Mar-17 16:00:44

Sympathies OP. My DS is recently turned 4 and has transformed from a fairly chilled, happy lad, to a tantruming, easily upset wee boy. It's completely thrown me. I'm hoping it's growing/hormonal etc. He's hard work just now.

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