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nearly 4yr old driving me nuts

(11 Posts)
marystudent Sun 16-Sep-07 21:17:03

im absolutley knackered so pls excuse my spelling and grammar etc here.
Generally since easter my dd (shell be 4 in nov) has actualy grown up but over the past couple of quicks shes starting to revert to brat behaviour (dementor style).

Shes being a nightmare- she sont listen to me, she doesnt seam to care when i tell her off as she just goes back later and repeats the same behaviour even though she knows it "makes mummy cross".
The both annoying and usefull thing is that she actually takes notice when my dp (barely 6mnths ) tells her off, and he seams to manage her more effectivly then i do.
I tend to feel like such a crap parent during these, because she doesnt listen to me.
she cant even tell me why she does these things (do tend to think its for attention).
she only repeats what i tell her then ignores me.

its so wearing, shouting , screamin, stamping and shes starting to lash out again like she used to.

Apaerently she bit both exp and his new wife (just the once didnt quite get the reasons behind it) the other week and exp bit her back and i think thats wrong and unhelpful (whilst there wasnt a mark dd told me it hurt and told dp it hurt complley unpromted).

im a t a loss. i do time out take her too her bedroom after trying her on the stairs, ive tried sticker chart but after the first month she doesnt seam to care now. i just end up getting mad and yelling or ignoring her (yet when i ignore her she does something else). i cant trust her to be in a room byherself anymore- shes got a habit of throwing things around (virtually trashing her room- pls dont tell me to leave her to tidy it as my parents are horrible about it and basically call me a bad parent if i am not clean and tidy both appearence and houser) and draws on walls (latley with toothpaste, my make-up etc) .

im just so tired its untrue- and to top it off im starting uni tomorrow.

grrrrrrrrrr. help

Elasticwoman Sun 16-Sep-07 21:34:28

Sorry you're having such a bad time.

Four year olds can be hard work.

Lots of love and attention are paramount. She probably sees the baby getting it so make sure she doesn't have to act up before she gets it too.

For tantrums, a little time out, followed by hug when she has calmed down. Sanctions rather than telling off for wrongdoing, and try to make it seem that the sanction is the natural consequence of what she's done, eg if you don't put your clothes on (or let me dress you) now there won't be time to watch tv this morning. And always, always carry out your warning or she will have reason to ignore you.

The less you say, the more you do, the better.

Re biting exp's new wife: let them sort it out. Breathe a sigh of relief it's not your problem. At least you get some time off when she is with them.

marystudent Mon 17-Sep-07 07:26:27

Tahnx for that.

only problem is dd is my only child and shes pretty wearing at times, ive already had screaming and winging this morning because i told her to wait.

No is a major trigger word too- how do u get around that?

as of her bitting exp and wife- they can sort it out but i dont want them disciplining her by doing it back (espec since exp was abusive towards me before i left him- not completly sure hes changed and dont want him losing his temper with my dd- even tho he never has b4)

ill try the idea of natural consequences- but i really am stuck. i just dont have the time to mess around with her anymore, to most people im too harsh but my dp thinks im soft on her and back down too easily.

any other ideas ppl?

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 09:39:32

hi mary, its hard work, your on here trying to get advice, which makes you far from a bad mum.

Your right, i think attention does seem to be the main reason for bad behaviour.

How to avoid 'no' tell her what you want her to do, instead of what not to do. ie rather than no dont draw on the walls - we only draw on paper and give her some etc. I know its only stating the obvious, but sometimes kids dont know how to replace that behaviour.

Try to avoid confrontations, turn getting your shoes on, getting dressed into a game, i will count see how long it takes you, i will race you etc, etc. Doesnt take any longer.

Tantrums ignore, walk away, leave the room, its all for your benefit, if your not there to see it, it soons stops.

Biting - tell her dont bite, it hurts, no big telling off, a few minutes time out, dont make a big thing about it otherwise she is in the spotlight getting all the attention.

Hope this is of some help!!

ClareL Mon 17-Sep-07 09:50:40

My DS is nearly 4 and he drives me nuts. I don't know the answer - but just to know you are not alone. I hate it when it goes on and on and on. All the way to school this morning he has moaned and moaned. "I want to wear my green shoes" "I can't find your green shoes" "but I want to wear my green shoes" - then he threw himself on the floor in the playground. Then refused to walk any further, refused to say goodbye to his big sis and then walked home repeating exactly the same thing "I want to wear my green shoes" over and over and over. He drives me nuts. I just hope and pray that the stage passes and life will start getting easier. But then I've been saying that since he was about 15 months old!!!! grin

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 10:03:32

I understand how hard it can be, and tbh the only real tricks are perseverance and patience.
Try NOT to take any notice of anything that doesnt really endanger them, if they kick off in the middle of the playground either leave them there, or just pick them up and carry them, depending on how much time you have. Tantrums are purely for attention, try to give as much positive attention as possible and keep the negative down to a minimum. Also I find that showing a child you are disappointed in them , a shake of the head, and 'oh, i thought you were a big boy/girl' can work so much better than an actual telling off. Try to tell them what you want them to do rather than what you dont, and amke a joke out of as much as possible.
i.e I want to wear my green shoes' instad of 'I cant find you green shoes, wear these' try 'OH MY GOODNESS, YOUR GREEN SHOES HAVE GONE, DID YOU SEE THAT????????' child will likely shake their head and be 'erm, no' 'LOOK, LOOK OUT THERE, SEE THAT BIRD, HE HAS YOUR SHOES...........' then make a big deal out of 'we better get these ones on so we can get to school quickly, or else we wont be back in time to find them!!!"
Sounds a lot of work, yes, but it is less work than dealing with a tantrum!!!

HonoriaGlossop Mon 17-Sep-07 11:02:15

mary I wonder if she's having difficulty with changes in her life; you and ex splitting, he's now got a new wife, possibly she was aware of his abuse of you when he was with you? That is a HELL of a lot for a young child to deal with and may explain some of her behaviour.

However ALL three year olds are difficult; my ds was the same with the word NO being a flashpoint. I got around it by saying no as little as possible. That means A) choose your battles really carefully, don't say no to stuff that really doesn't matter and B) say Yes if you can even if it's no really eg, "YES, dd, let's do some painting! I tell you what, you help me hang this washing out then we'll paint" etc etc.

I think your dd is asking for more attention. I couldn't leave my ds on his own in a room for long at all, either, at 3. It's a bit of a pain but it's not forever; lots of time spent down on the floor playing, lots of love and attention; and you just cannot go wrong with that, really.

Elasticwoman Mon 17-Sep-07 11:16:57

Sorry I misread your original post Mary. Thought you had 6 mo baby, but it's new partner which is different. Also I see you already do time out and it's not working very well.

With biting, certainly the bitee should get all the attention, not the biter. The biter should be totally ignored while big fuss is made of the other.

I have been there with writing on walls/carpets with my make up!!! Very upsetting. You just have to try not to let her have access to anything like that - easier said than done I know. I locked make up away in jewellery box.

Give her lots of attention, on your terms. Lots of praise for helping Mummy. Do not expect her to clear up any mess on her own - she is much too young to be able to do that, but you can get her to "help" you do it. She won't be much help, but she can't be playing or watching tv while she does it.

marystudent Tue 18-Sep-07 07:47:37

hi.
thanx for ur posts.

i doubt she remembers it as it was before she was one. i doubt its to do wiv new wife either since whewneva dds seen dad since we split up shes been there the whole time: i trust her more than him.

they do spoil her tho as do my parents.

im knackered as started uni now.
what can i do when i dont have time to mess around except on most weekends?

Lorayn Tue 18-Sep-07 09:56:40

distraction doesnt take long, especially if you perfect it, my son is often a snake or bob the builder or a whale that can walk, all these things make him do as he is told believe it or not!?

HonoriaGlossop Tue 18-Sep-07 11:16:08

What do you mean exactly by don't have time to mess around? <stupid head on today, ds up in night so sleep deprived but really don't know what you mean>

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