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my 4.5 year old boy has turned into the child from hell! HELP!!!

(31 Posts)
harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:17:38

My little lad is 4 and a half and about to start 'big' school this September. He is quite a good boy, he know the difference from right and wrong, he has very good manners and he and his little sister (2.5yrs) get on well. But this last few months he has turned into a brat. He screams and shouts as soon as he doesn't get what he wants. It has got out of hand. Also he screams his head off at bedtime. I thought the bedtime thing was just a faze but 18 months later its still going strong! We have done everything from leaving him to scream to lying with him for a while. Nothing works! Then lately he has started these almighty paddys. I am at my wits end. He has been watching 'Power Rangers' on TV and has 3 small Power Ranger figures - but today I have thrown them in the bin (in front of him - for punishment for the paddys) and I have banned him from watching them on TV. Have I done the right thing? Or am I being too dramatic?

Tidgypuds Sat 16-Aug-08 22:20:44

Did you warn him if the paddies continued they would be thrown or did you just bin them with no warning?

Bowddee Sat 16-Aug-08 22:23:06

I wouldn't have thrown them in the bin. When my DS (also 4) kicks off, I will take a favourite toy away but give him the opportunity to earn it back.

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:23:08

I gave him 2 warnings - not that they did any good!

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:23:53

I def wouldnt throw anything in the bin without severl warnings before hand, even then I woudl hesitate about doing this.
It could be a "testosterone surge" which app happens around this age.
There is some good info on this and how to deal with it in the Raising Boys book by Steve Biddulph.
FWIW my DS1 is 3.8 and has lots of paddies at the mo and is generaly a PITA. Am hoping its just a stage and will pass.....

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:25:03

Can you retrieve the toys from the bin? You might find he is v upset tomorrow if he realises they are gone forever.

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:27:49

I am more concerned that they will continue into school. He went to bed better tonight though. Its just been a shock! He is generally a good boy. I am convinced though, that watching Power Rangers is not good for him.. Have I done the right thing?

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:28:25

Some info here

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:28:41 even

CarGirl Sat 16-Aug-08 22:29:05

Well I wouldn't fish them out of the bin or he will learn that the threats are empty. You could fish them out, hide them, do a reward chart and you will "go an buy" him some replacements.

Could well be the testosterone stage though.

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:29:50

He saw me throw them away so he won't be shocked in the morning. I am a firm believer that you should follow through on threats... Do you think I should retrieve them from the bin?? I feel mean now sad

HonoriaGlossop Sat 16-Aug-08 22:30:19

I think the power rangers thing might be a red herring. Boys this age apparently have a huge surge of testosterone (have you seen any threads on this? If you do a search on here you will find some re-assuring posts I think!) Read on here the other day that they have more testosterone in their bodies at 4 than they do at any other time, even puberty....

so it is natural, and normal, and so many boys this age do seem to get so angry. If it helps, you are SO not alone.

I think FIRM boundaries are what helps. He needs to know really clearly and consistently where the boundary lies. If he ALWAYS experienes that he does not get what he wants if he screams and shouts, he WILL get there in the end. Likewise the paddys - they don't get him anywhere, it helps him to learn that he needs other ways of operating. My ds was prey to these humoungous paddys too and I think it really helps to acknowledge that you can't STOP it, only the child can do that. Don't put pressure on yourself. You didn't make the tantrum and you can't stop it - I think it's ok to be nice to them too, tell them you're sorry they feel so awful..if he needs to, let him be alone so nothing is feeding his anger...

Bedtime - DS from about 2 to about 4/5 really couldn't BEAR bedtime, so we ended up staying in the room with him. I told him if he got up or messed about I would go. As long as he was laying down trying to sleep I would stay there till he dropped off. I used to read a book in there...I know you have two so this may be harder but my point is that some kids just can't bear to be left for bed; it's not that unusual. Don't feel that every other parent just kisses their kids and comes out of the room; lots of people on here have different/harder times of it at bedtime...

above all don't worry - he will change so much during this reception year at school, this is not forever!

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:32:16

Pannacotta - thanks for website, I have quickly browsed! Perfect! I will read it properly in the morning!!!

HonoriaGlossop Sat 16-Aug-08 22:33:48

I don't think BTW that throwing toys away is a particularly helpful consequence for having paddies. If he COULD control it, he would - it won't help him learn much IMO. I think it's just a sign of how much pressure you're putting on yourself to somehow stop this stuff happening....ease up on yourself I think. Clear, related consequence is enough - eg, throws paddy in order to get a toy in the shop = taken straight out of shop and home without stopping for a treat etc.

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:34:07

HonoriaGlossop - thanks! DO you live in Glossop by any chance - I do!!!!

HonoriaGlossop Sat 16-Aug-08 22:35:40

Ah, you're one of the Glossop Glossops then grin No, I don't live anywhere near! Took the name from PG Wodehouse character; large, tweedy, horsey looking gel engaged to bertie wooster grin

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:35:40

I would retrieve them from the bin but perhaps keep hold of them and hide them away for a while.
Because as I've said I think he is playing up because of his age and hormones, not simply to upset you, if that makes sense.

Agree with you about the TV thing, I woudl try and cut down on TV and eg Power Rangers, as its not great for the mood IME. We have some very gentle DVDs (the Clangers, Mr Ben etc) for DS1 and he is allowed to watch these rather than loads of TV, they seem to have less effect on his mood/behaviour.

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:36:17

That was the first time I have thrown his toys away - although I feel mean now, I am not going to retrieve them on this occasion... Perhaps he will remember the consequences next time (doubtful)!!!!!

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:37:50

And def worth looking at the "Raising Boys" book I mentioned. You can prob get it at your library, there is some good info in there about this stage and how to cope with it.

harryandgraciesmummy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:39:03

THank you all for your help! I had absolutely no idea about his hormone levels so you have all been dead helpful! I can completely see why this site is a lifesaver for mums and dads! Take care - I am now going to wake my husband up (lightweight that he is) and tell him about Harrys hormones!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heated Sat 16-Aug-08 22:39:18

Ds is just going through exactly this stage, having previously been absolutely delightful (he too has power rangers - maybe it's connected!) He's been sent to bed a couple of times & dh reduced the number of bedtime books for his naughtiness last night - which then led to absolute hysterics hmm

Keep telling myself he's just ready for school.

Am contemplating a few of the parenting books on Amazon just to get a perspective, having failed to find anything age appropriate at the library - am going to look up Panacotta's suggestion too.

No amazing solutions I'm afraid, just wanted you to know you weren't alone in this.

Pannacotta Sat 16-Aug-08 22:45:03

I got my copy here,

HonoriaGlossop Sat 16-Aug-08 22:45:45

glad it was helpful - I also second reading 'Raising Boys' - brilliant book; your DH should read it too, it's so good for showing just how important dads become to children....

alvinandthechipmunks Sat 16-Aug-08 22:50:04

I think it's better to take away a toy and promise he can have it back if he starts doing x,y,z and stops whatever. This way it is an incentive to behave better.

If ds (slightly younger - 3 so might be different) screams or shouts for something I literally pretend I can't hear him and say there's no use shouting as it won't get him anyway. He does usually calm down and ask nicely. I don't do it in a fun way, but in quite matter of fact, look I really can't hear what you want way.

PanicPants Sat 16-Aug-08 22:59:16

No advice but just want to say you are not alone.

Ds scratches, bites, hits and pulls hair. He is nearly 3, and is aggressive whenever he can't get his own way or when I tell him no. Flash points are getting dressed and getting in the car seat.

He used to hurt other children in social settings, but now most of this behaviour is now mainly directed at me.

I've no idea why, we have never smacked him, and don't hit each other.

When he is aggressive we cope by saying no, thats not nice, and ignore him for about 10 secs or so, before turning back and and carrying on talking to him in a normal way. This so far has been the best way of keeping things calm. We have tried timeouts which did use to be successful, but now it escalates the the anger. If he bites/hurts and we are at a park/somewhere nice we leave immediately to try and enforce that there is a consequence to such behaviour.

Don't know if I agree or not with the toys in the bin. I know I have threatened it, and it has been sometimes enough to stop the aggressive behaviour.

Any chance that this hormone surge could come early? Like about a year early?!

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