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4yo DS has started having crying "meltdowns";

(16 Posts)
cornflakegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 14:39:57

My DS has just turned 4. Over the past few months, he has become quite prone to bursting into noisy tears when he doesn't get his own way or if I tell him off. Previously, he was more likely to get angry and hit out (he still does this sometimes).

He is also more likely to do "dramatic" crying now when he hurts himself. It used to be that when he hurt himself, he'd cry with pain / shock / whatever for a couple of minutes, and would then be fine. Now, it seems to morph into "over the top" crying.

Whether he's cross or hurt / upset, he seems to be able to calm himself down from the crying quite quickly - so when I say "that's enough now" it only takes a few seconds for him to stop crying.

In general, he's not a particularly sensitive child - he's quite boisterous, and in rough and tumble play, it's usually the other child who has had enough first, and him who keeps going a bit too long. So I'm not quite sure what to make of this new behaviour. He is starting to test emotional boundaries with me - sometimes if he's cross, he'll tell me not to come into his bedroom, so I'm wondering if it's all part of that.

Is this just a standard phase? Or is he trying to tell me something that I'm missing?

bubblagirl Tue 09-Jun-09 14:55:52

i think its the testosterone kicking in and not understanding these new feelings my ds is just the same at moment his 4 also seems to not be able to control emotions

cornflakegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 15:02:37

oh, that's interesting - I'd assumed that testosterone would make him more physical rather than make him cry. (Not really sure what testosterone does to emotions. Must google.)

dingledangle Tue 09-Jun-09 15:16:00

I am interested in your sons behaviour as my DD started this a few weeks back (she has recently turned 4 too). Could it be developmental as opposed to hormonal (unless DD is really a boy!)

You DS behaviour sounds similar to my DDs. She will burst into tears when she does not get her own way. We have recently had a bout of footstamping and general frustration from her. She has started to answer back in quite complex language too. On occasion she has lashed out.

I was initially wondering whether it was a developmental thing and then wondered whether it was all tied up with going to school in Sept. However, I do remember that a member of staff at my DD preschool saying that this term is always the hardest with the older ones. This makes me think that it is a develpmental phase that most 4 year old go through.

I will watch this thread....

cornflakegirl Tue 09-Jun-09 15:29:27

dingledangle - I didn't find anything scientific or hormone-related when I googled - but I did find a thread on another parenting site talking about such things as being typical 4yo behaviour. So I think you're probably right.

dingledangle Tue 09-Jun-09 15:32:50

I think testoterone gets blamed for too many boy related things! (before I get shot down in flames I have boys too!)Either that or my DD is really a DS!

bubblagirl Tue 09-Jun-09 16:38:20

well i only said it as ive never raised a child before i was told could be testosterone and it does kick in at this age so could be age related also not just that none of us are genius to work out whats really going on or not going on it'll only ever be a guess

Nix79 Tue 09-Jun-09 19:21:05

Hi all, im glad to read im not the only one with a 4 year old who always has a nervous breakdown when told he cant have/do what he wants when he wants! I thought a lot of it was because im pregnant, but the more I look into it it seems to be an age thing, he isnt spoilt, im usually firm but fair, and to be honest im finding it hard not to take it personally or let it get me down! Im due 22nd Aug, a week before he starts school so I could have timed it a bit better!

brandy77 Tue 09-Jun-09 21:31:05

""During puberty, which happens anywhere from 9 to 16 years of age, as a boy's body becomes mature, the pituitary gland signals that it's time for the reproductive system to start developing. The testes start producing testosterone, the male hormone""

I thought testosterone kicked in about aged 8/9 not 4, this is all i could find on the internet

Dlamis Tue 09-Jun-09 23:40:07

There's a paragraph on this page about the testosterone surge in boys around 4yrs. (also an explanation for ds1'stheir selective deafness hmm)

Ds1 will be 4 in October and is already behaving in alot of ways described here. Apparently so are alot of his peers including the girls according to their mums so maybe it's more of an age thing. Either way it's good to know it's normal cos it's already driving me mad.

Will just have to keep chanting the old mantra 'it's just a phase' and repear ad infinitum until they leave home it passes.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Jun-09 09:58:37

Nix - snap! Really stupid timing, eh! I did wonder if he was mirroring my irrational moods and crying for no reason back to me, but I don't think I'm quite as bad as him!

Dlamis - have you linked to somewhere? Not sure what page you're talking about? But agree, definitely easier to cope with when you know it's just a phase!

cat261 Sun 14-Jun-09 21:42:26

Dingle dangle- we are just going through this with our dd aswell. She has been at grandparents this weekend and has been awful, have been told in no uncertain terms that this was not her best weekend at Granny's!! Nightmare, I don't think my parents want her back. Tempers when told off, head banging the wall, answering back and general madam.
Also very nervous of me leaving her for too long, she likes to know where I am and gets quite panicky if she can't find me.
Was wondering if my child was the only one taken over by aliens?
I think its just a phase as she is usually so well behaved.

Dragonhart Sun 14-Jun-09 22:27:52

My ds is 4 in July and has been doing this too. I have read in Stephen Biddulf's book about a surge in testosterone at about the age of 4 that reduces at about 5 until puberty.

I am not sure if that explains the emotional outbursts but he seems totally unable to control it. He often says when I try and get him to calm down 'but how do I stop mummy?' and continues to cry. There are real tears but too much noise iyswim.

Luckily atm he is only doing it with us at home but as he starts school in sept hope it doesnt get worse!

Dlamis Mon 15-Jun-09 14:25:07

Oops sorry,yes I meant to put a link in.

here skim down to the paragraph starting "Hormones........"

rumpus Mon 15-Jun-09 20:03:19

So it's not just my 4 year old DD having dramatic crying fits. Thank goodness I found this thread as it was exactly what I was hoping to find. I have been wondering why DD has been behaving like she is two again. It's so hard to feel sympathy after a while and when to told stop crying so hard and LOUD, shy says 'I can't mummy'. Awww, I feel rotten now for not having more sympathy. Will try, try, try tomorrow to be more comforting!

SleeplessinScotland Mon 15-Jun-09 21:50:20

Hey! Same problem with my ds, nearly 4. I'm not sure how to deal with it though. He sometimes says that he wants to stop crying but can't.
Not sure if I should give extra attention, like hugs, etc or ignore it. Any tips??

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