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indecisive/serious four year old arguing constantly

(13 Posts)
kathsmj Sat 19-Apr-03 20:49:11

Hello again, not been to the site for ages, but need some advice urgently.
I have a four year old son who has recently turned into a very argumentative and tempestuous child, I have on times been treading on egg shells around him. He asks me to do something or say something, I do it and then he instantly turns on me and demands I do it the other way around, the opposite way to the way he has asked, then, when I do it the other way round, he screams and cries and gets really cross with me. He then throws himself around the furniture in a tantrum and if I tell him to stop or warn him I am going to get cross, he says that he is going to get cross with me and that I am the naughty one ( even if I haven't even used the word Naughty). I am not used to this behaviour, I am worried as I am usually so patient and feeling impatient, also, it can be over something really silly like a song or a dance. Help, need advice.

jasper Sat 19-Apr-03 22:38:16

kathsmj ther are two possibilities here.
a) there are two previously calm four year olds acting in exactly this way ( yours and mine)


b) This is completely normal behavour being enacted by thousands of four year olds all over the country.

I strongly suspect b)


kathsmj Sat 19-Apr-03 22:51:18

Thanks for your observations, just shocked at the SUDDEN change in him, he is usually a very gentle boy and I just wondered if I should ignore it or act on it, I certainly don't want to punish him, especially if it is normal behavioural developments but it is hard to ignore, I also have a teenage stepson who lives with me and he is very rude and argumentative on times, I was worried my four year old was emulating him.

kathsmj Sat 19-Apr-03 22:55:35

Just a little addition to what you previously said, Jasper, thanks, you have made me feel a little easier about it, one does feel like the only one in the world on times when something new transpires. Glad to hear it will pass! Cheers!

jasper Sat 19-Apr-03 22:59:35

kathsmj the change in my 4 y o has been quite sudden too. He is not consistently a pain in the arse but is frequently so . I think it has coincided with his vocabulary taking a leap forward ( " But mummy I TOLD you I don't like those trousers" for example)
I don't have a stepson but my dh can be rude and argumentative at times

kathsmj Sat 19-Apr-03 23:08:40

Yes, I have noticed my boy's vocabulary improving recently, plus picking up various expressions, perhaps off friends and sometimes, sadly, the television. It is hard not to laugh sometimes and I am always concious of him being disrespectful, I think I'll just do my best and try to guide him in the right direction as gently as possible, it is quite frankly like having two teenagers in the house.

Sabbath Sat 19-Apr-03 23:16:27

I would say that you shouldn't let him rule you so much, although i know it is easier said than done. He should be doing what you tell him not what he is telling you. I also have ds that is 3 and is very stubborn and argumentative, just don't give in to him so much. They need to know the boundaries, and if he thinks he can get away with it he will do it. Just a thought, hope things work out.

batey Sun 20-Apr-03 07:29:09

Kathsmj, just a quick one, but apparently at 4-4 1/2, boys get a testosterone surge which can result in previously gentle, well behaved boys turning (temporarily) into little monsters! I've witnessed this with my dds friends and my nephews! HTH, roll on puberty eh!!!

kathsmj Sun 20-Apr-03 08:14:37

Thanks Batey, I knew there must be an explanation and always forget mother nature. I think sabbath proved a point too, it feels like a test to find out boundaries, and if I do allow him his own way on it he will think it's OK to behave badly. So, I will take advice you have all offered me and keep it all in mind, it has helped loads, thanks.

Demented Sun 20-Apr-03 22:20:13

Definately b) Jasper, we have one here too, unfortunately it seems he has only just left the terrible twos behind.

jasper Sun 20-Apr-03 23:59:25

as someone ( mears I think) recently said, they go from the terrible twos to the effing fours

Libby65 Mon 21-Apr-03 03:55:58


Just wondering if I can ask a question..? This is a bit of a diversion from the subject, but my ds will be turning 3 in a couple of months' time, and he is already 'operating' the tv, VCR, etc. He will turn on the tv, put a video in the VCR, forward/rewind the tape, and knows how to start or stop a programme. Half of me feels that I shouldn't let him use the remote or touch buttons on the tv/video, but at the same time, if he's able to do it himself, I don't know if it's really a problem. I just make sure that he asks me before he puts a video on, so that at least he has my permission. Does anybody else have little boys who do this and what is your feeling on it? Thanks.

whymummy Mon 21-Apr-03 07:57:30

libby no advice as my dd has been doing this since she was 2 1/2 now nearly 3 and it drives me up the wall,she gets all the tapes out and knows how to operate the video,the annoying thing is that she wont watch anything,she just puts them in and out and then leaves all the tapes on the floor i`ve tried everything but she`s a stubborn little madam, i`m just waiting till she gets bored with it but maybe then she`ll start with the cds!

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