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How many times a day does your 4.5 year old cry ??

(21 Posts)
Scatterbrain Fri 17-Jun-05 10:37:05

Hi everyone,

Haven't been posting for ages as some of the threads were really getting me down and I had to take a break - but have been here since the very beginning - and now my dd is a big 4.5 year old !

My problem is that she still cries every single day - not in an upset way but in an angry foot-stamping way !

I find this so wearing as mentally I had told myself that she would not be crying at this age !

She's a bright, sociable little thing - but her problem/my problem is that she will not tolerate anyone refusing her anything or saying NO ! I try so hard not to - but you can't buy them everything or give them as many biscuits as they want - so invariably she ends up crying about nothing much at all - then she works herself up into a rage/frenzy and nothing will calm her down.

I wouldn't say that these were proper tantrums - she hasn't really had them for a year or so - nor would I say she is a drama queen - for example she doesn't make a fuss about nose bleeds or grazes.

I am just getting to the end of my tether here - I thought it should have got easier by now - but tbh I feel as frazzled as ever !

If anyone has any words of wisdom - or just a similarly behaved child - I would be really grateful to hear about them, and if you have managed to calm them down any tips !

She is perfectly behaved at nursery by the way - it seems she saves this for Mum and Dad !

Thanks !!!

bundle Fri 17-Jun-05 10:39:02

they probably say No to her at nursery

Scatterbrain Fri 17-Jun-05 10:40:28

They do - and she accepts it from them - she has even said to me "You can't tell me what to do - you're not a teacher !"

bundle Fri 17-Jun-05 10:47:39

who's the grown-up here? she's taking the piss, because you let her. children need boundaries and it sounds like you're not giving her any. ask the nursery for a meeting with her keyworker so s/he can tell you how to deal with specific situations. use a mixture of rewards and punishments to reinforce the new regime, but i fear it'll get worse before it gets better as she's had her way for so long.

Scatterbrain Fri 17-Jun-05 10:52:53

Hi Bundle,

I'm not sure that's true though - when I say "No" I mean it and I very rarely give in to her crying and whingeing.

I have asked her teacher (it's a school nursery so no key-worker as such) and she is just amazed that she behaves like this at home as she is so good at school. She didn't have any advice unfortunately which is why I'm here now !

At the moment I've got dd on a starchart - which was working for 3 days - then she reverted yesterday - saying she was too tired to be good anymore.

If it is ME then I will gladly accept that and do whatever I can - but I'm just not sure ! No-one could beat me up more than I beat myself up about this btw - I hate the situation.

bundle Fri 17-Jun-05 10:56:55

sorry if i sounded blunt scatterbrain, but you said:

"her problem/my problem is that she will not tolerate anyone refusing her anything or saying NO ! I try so hard not to"

and I thought that meant you didn't say No. do you have other children? i often "play" school with dd1 where good behaviour is rewarded (we take it in turns being teacher) and she scolds me/her dollies/little sister if they don't behave!

colditz Fri 17-Jun-05 10:57:08

Hi scatterbrain,

Seems to me that she is playing you up at home because she is so good at nursery. Everyone has to be grumpy sometimes, and as her parents you are getting it all, because she is holding it all in at nursery.

Scatterbrain Fri 17-Jun-05 11:46:28

Hi Colditz,

Hmmm - one of my RL friends said that - in fact she was jealous as her ds is a nightmare at school but angelic at home - so she wished she had my dd !

Trouble is - how much can I or should I tolerate ?

To give an example - last night she refused to tidy up the sitting room which she had filled with toys from her playroom. Dh and I started to help her and she went ballistic - saying she wanted to keep the toys where they were - dh said he would throw them all in the bin if she didn't tidy up - so amidst much screaming and shouting she slowly carried about 4 toys back to the playroom and then refused to do any more. Dh then took her up to bed and said she couldn't have a story as she wouldn't tidy up - so left her yelling her head off in bed - NB - NOT upset crying - ANGRY crying - this continued for 1.5 hours until she fell asleep !

I felt desolate about it as this was another day ended horribly. I got virtually no sleep and today feel like selling her on e-bay !

Motherhood is so so much harder than I ever anticipated - and she is just being so difficult right now !

Enid Fri 17-Jun-05 12:11:32

sorry havent time to reply in detail but if its any consolation dd1 (5.5) is monstrous at home but a saintly child at school. When i told her teacher that she was being difficult atm she looked at me as though I was completely and utterly mad and said 'I just dont believe it'

LGJ Fri 17-Jun-05 12:46:02

DS is 4.

Well on the subject of tidying up, I ask, and if I don't get the appropriate reply/action I produce a black sack and I say that anything on the floor when I come back is going in the bin.

I have done this on more than one occasion and now just the sight of the black sack gives him an energy boost par excellence.

I have put them in the bin in full view of him but taken them out when he is in bed.

rummum Fri 17-Jun-05 12:58:22

Does she go to nursery all day? Do you think that she could be tired?.. what time does she go to bed in the evenings... Just a thought
Rummum

Lonelymum Fri 17-Jun-05 13:08:02

My dd (aged 5) sounds a bit like yours although I would describe my dd as a drama queen. Not that she cries for everything - like you say, a physicla hurt can be brushed off quite easily - but when she finds something to cry about, she does it very dramatically. Sometimes I think she is too wrapped up in her fairy tale world and fancies herself as some poor hard-done-by heroine. I am still waiting to be called the wicked stepmother but it will come!

I found dd got better (though still not cured) when she went to school as your dd presumably will be doing soon. School does make them grow up a bit. I don't mean this is a nasty way, but just that they themselves feel more grown up when they start school and adjust their behaviour accordingly.

Lonelymum Fri 17-Jun-05 13:09:16

I had the same response as you Enid when I implied to dd's teacher that dd was less than pefect in her behaviour at home. At school she is regularly a "star" and held up as a good example to others!

NoPearls Fri 17-Jun-05 13:10:14

I have your DD's twin sister - also 4.5, also angelic at nursery and capable of the most bizarre outbursts of anger. Last week we had 15 minutes of sobbing because 'I don't want you to sit in the chair' - she didn't want to sit in it herself, she just didn't want ME to sit in it??!!
Sometimes she can be cheered up - I had to smile to myself the other night as she sobbed her heart out as she got out of the bath, having been grinding me down for the previous 2 hours with her behaviour. Through the tears she suddenly announced 'I'm going to (sob sob) cheer (waaaiiilll) up now, Mummy'.


We've tried discussing things, how much nicer it is when she is nice to people, isn't it nicer being friendly than spending time shut in your room etc and she can give you all the explanations back but not follow it through in real life yet.

We are doing the legendary Mumsnet pasta pot (again) at the moment and it does make some difference. The other problem I have is that she is physically very big for her age and very strong - trying to get her upstairs to put in her room is a wrestling match which I am not going to win for much longer.

Nursery give me very odd looks when I ask how she has behaves. She is only part-time there, so do not think she is overly tired, sleeps and eats well and to most people is a bright intelligent likeable child. Perhaps school in September will change things for the better???

You have my sympathy - if you find a magic solution please let me know!

Scatterbrain Fri 17-Jun-05 14:07:45

Maybe I'm just expecting too much of her then ?

Scatterbrain Fri 17-Jun-05 14:11:12

Hi Rummum,

she goes to nursery 3 and a half days (full days are 9-3.15) and goes to bed at 7pm every night. She usually sleeps until about 6.30am. She eats well too.

I agree that some of it is tiredness as she is definitely worse in the evening - but she won't go to bed early or nap - and has even grown out of the falling asleep in the car trick (Yep - tried that last week - drove 60 miles !! Nothing !)

Also worse when hungry !

bundle Fri 17-Jun-05 14:12:33

have you tried anticipating her hunger/bad moods with distraction/pleasant things she likes to do? painting feet and walking over sheets of lining paper in garden/blowing bubbles/helping to mix cake does the trick (usually!) with dd1 when she's in a strop with me

Scatterbrain Sat 18-Jun-05 11:24:23

Hi NoPearls,

What's the pasta pot thing ? I missed that and can't find the thread ! I'm all for trying something other than the dreaded star chart - I feel all star charted out !

Hi Bundle, I have tried that to a degree - but I guess I am too controlling as I generally say she has to behave before she can do something nice ! Maybe I need to loosen up a bit and go with the flow ?

Thanks everyone else too - slight relief to know that I am not alone - roll on September !

ghosty Sat 18-Jun-05 11:41:06

The thing is, scatterbrain, your DD is 4 ... that is it ... end of story.
No, not really
But I think from my own experiences and from several Mumsnet thread entitled 'The %$%^#%$ Fours' this is a really hard age.
I found my DS (now 5 and a half) virtually impossible at 4 ... admittedly his life had been turned upside down by the arrival of a small, demanding, pooey, burpy bundle of joy (DD ) and he found life very hard to deal with.
I think he turned into this monster ... because he COULD ... all of a sudden he was a big boy that was expected to do things (tidy up, eat all his dinner, get dressed, brush teeth, get ready for bath etc) by himself and at the same time he discovered that if he protested enough he got some great reactions ... I think also, at that age, they come into their own with vocab and can really let you know EXACTLY how they feel about stuff.
Anyway ... all I can say to you is BE PATIENT, it WILL get BETTER ... BE CONSISTENT - use the naughty corner or time out or whatever you use EVERY TIME she behaves like this even if it is 50 times in one day. It is wearing but it will work in the end ... I remember a few afternoons of sending DS into his bedroom continuously until he ended up in there till bath time.
I found that DS really started to sort himself out around the age of 5 ... he hates being denied access to whatever the rest of us are doing and he will think twice about his behaviour if it means being sent to his room or the naughty corner. It took a long time but now he knows that I am really NOT prepared to listen to his ravings when I have asked him to do a simple task.
HTH ...
G x

elastamum Sat 18-Jun-05 11:54:58

If its any consolation I think this is pretty normal. I get this reaction from both my boys 6 and four when they are tired and I upset them by making them tidy up, sending upstairs for bath etc etc. I generally dont acknowledge it or just say if you are that tired it will mean earlier bed time, no TV etc tomorrow. And guess what crying stops and good behavior resumes!

NoPearls Sat 18-Jun-05 12:19:53

Scatterbrain - the mysteries of the pasta pot! I am sure people who overhear me and DD must think we are bonkers... "If I do this nicely can I have a piece of pasta Mummy?" "I have told you three times, and if I have to tell you again I will take a piece of pasta away"!!! They must think she has a very restricted diet...

Basically you have a pot and put in it a certain number of pieces of pasta (or buttons or whatever) as a starting point. Then if DD does something good you can add another - or if she does something not so good you can take a bit away (which is the bonus over a star chart - I know you should reward the good and ignore the bad, but at least the pot gives you something to bargain with).

Hopefully at the end of the week you will have pasta that can be traded for something, then go back to the start again. I am shameless and when we are in town take DD round the shelves saying 'look, you might be able to have that next week if you had enough pastas'

It's also easy to rig as you can suddenly get generous with the pastas - it's just remembering to put them in the pot!

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