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Why does 4 yo play up when visitors arrive?

(8 Posts)
LittleMinxes2 Mon 27-Jul-09 23:13:19

Newbie post: Why does my 4.1 year old daughter change personality as soon as a visitor steps into the house? She just comes out with the most embarrassing behaviour; ie every Friday her 14yo half-sister comes to stay for a night, and she drools at her, licks her clothing and harrasses the poor girl the moment she comes in. The sister just refuses to believe that she is not like this all the time. This weekend we had friends round who have a boy in her preschool class. She went berserk, absolutely destroying the playroom, ran screaming around the garden, being loud and rude when it was pizza time. It was cringeworthy.
Then as soon as everyone has gone, she is back to her normal self, drawing/watching TV and being creative. We also have a 1.75 yo who luckily seems well-behaved, but the 4.1yo has always been lively.
I tell her off, threaten (and carry out!) but nothing works. She promises to behave but as soon as the doorbell rings, she is a nightmare until they've gone.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 23:15:35

It's really exciting to have someone else in her house, she's unable to control herself. She will grow out of this, it may take a while though. Do you have a sympathetic friend who's willing to come around for a coffee?? Start off small.

LittleMinxes2 Mon 27-Jul-09 23:21:03

I'm pretty sure she will grow out of it once she starts school, but her half-sister goes and tells her mother that little sister is out of control, and that I obviously can't discipline her. But she has heard me shout at her!!
Any friends that do come round, well, we practically have to give up our conversation, as it's non-stop interrupting from 4yo

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 23:23:24

You need to teach her that she needs to sit down/be still/be quiet(er) and not-interupt. Do you warn her before someone arrives that you are having a visitor?

LittleMinxes2 Mon 27-Jul-09 23:31:37

Yes, with strict instructions to behave. I tell her that if she does play up, then the visitor won't be staying as they won't want to be with a naughty child. Obviously, it doesn't work.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 23:36:13

I probably wouldn't use that tactic to be honest. Have you tried a sticker chart? One sticker for 15 minutes of goodness? A couple of hours worth would earn her a reward (some fruit or something)? A 4 year old's attention span isn't going to be for very long so you need to keep saying how well she's behaving and how pleased you are/she needs to remember to behave this way. She can then look at the sticker chart to see how she's doing.

LittleMinxes2 Mon 27-Jul-09 23:41:04

No, I haven't tried reward charts. 95% of the time she is awake, she is fine, does her own things ie drawing, TV, playing with little sister and helping out. I have asked for help on this, so am willing to try reward chart idea.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Mon 27-Jul-09 23:48:57

My son used to have the same problem, he's mellowed with age though. He just couldn't cope with someone else coming into his house so would be really silly.
Distraction is also good, as is lots of positive praise ("you are behaving so well"). Little children like to feel useful so try and give her a small task if you can, maybe asking your guest if they would like a drink? She will want to feel included so remember to do this, some children will be hard work if you ignore them.

I'd try:
Before the visitor-get her to help you make the sticker chart, then talk to her about the rewards and how she can earn a sticker.
When they arrive she is to say hello and ask them if they would like a drink. This will earn her a sticker as it's caring and is a very important job wink
Give her something to do, draw a lovely picture/look after her sister/play with her sister, she'll get a sticker for every 15 minutes, lots of praise from you.

It does get better, honest.

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