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Finding parenting almost 4 yr old DS hard

(11 Posts)
JoniRules Thu 02-Jun-11 14:18:25

Hello, I hope I don't come across as ranting but I am finding trying to parent, or discipline my almost 4 yr old DS really hard. And lately I am even having feelings of dislike towards him which is really heartbreaking. I think back to when he was a baby and I adored him, but lately I'm not feeling many loving feelings. Of course I have moments of love and I do love him but his behaviour sometimes is just so impossible and upsetting.
I have a DD also, she is almost a year.
Firstly he wakes up so early like this morning 4.45, or 5.30 which makes things hard for everyone. Basically he is exhausted by 9am and is whingy and moany. Then it's whinging about going to nursery, doesn't want to clothes on etc, moans about scooter walking etc. I feel like I am in a constant, exhausting battle of wills.
Then generally I have had to literally stop meeting other mums as his behaviour is so out of hand. I don't know how to control it. He sometimes hits other children, he is always saying 'poo poo', 'wee wee', but ALL the time. It's all so embarassing I don't tend to meet others, too stressful.
Then we just got married, he deliberately sang at the top of his voice all the way through the civil ceremony, and kept saying 'idiot', 'shut up', and at a really important moment said, 'I don't love (my name). It really detracted from the day, and i was so upset. maybe we shouldv'e got a babysitter, but we wanted him to be there. He know's he was being disruptive as he told me.
I can't really convey everything here. But just very hard to deal with. I find I am always having a go at him, saying no, raising my voice, getting angry. I am sad as our relationship has deteriorated and i almost feel like I just don't want to deal with him anymore.
Has anyone else had similar experiences? Is this 'normal' behaviour? are my feelings 'normal? I sometimes feel like such a horrible mum for feeling this way

skybluepearl Thu 02-Jun-11 19:20:40

i feel for you - sounds like such hard going. we had a similar problem but have worked our way through it somehow.

just wondering if you use black out blinds/curtains - might help with early waking if room is black.

with saying poo/wee etc ... - just ignore completely. pretend he hasn't said it at all.

also can you make sure you give him lots of attention if you meet anyone else. thats what he is really after.

have you tried calmly using time out? withdrawing attention for bad behaviour. praise and lots of attention for good behaviour.

making things into a silly game and playing with him. distraction.

i wonder if your toddler is picking up on you feeling negative towards him. do try and stay calm and talk to him in a way you would like to be spoken to. best avoid shouting or losing it.

really recommend toddler taming book by christopher green by the way. it's for children up to the age of 5. then theres 'beyond toddlerhood' book for 5 to 12 year olds.

JoniRules Thu 02-Jun-11 19:26:57

Thank you Skyblue. I do fear that DS is picking up on my negative feelings. I feel we are in a negative spiral. It is heartening to hear that you worked through it and that also there are other troublesome 4 year old boys. I can rather feel that our DS is the worst behaved sometimes!

Beamur Thu 02-Jun-11 19:32:21

My lovely 4 yr old DD has been testing boundaries lately too!
Getting him to stay in his room, even in awake in the morning would probably help you - have you tried a clock? My DD started coming in really early with us and it was making us all grumpy and tired, she now has a clock and understands she is not allowed in before 7am.

quickchat Thu 02-Jun-11 19:57:23

I would go down the route of being very very firm about the mornings.

Talk to him the night before about how he is waking up far too early, then because he is tierd he is being naughty and grumpy then making mummy grumpy so tomorrow he will stay in bed until Mummy or Daddy come for him. If you shout we will (decide the punishment). If you stay in bed every morning this week you will get a sticker every day until you have 5 then we will take you to the toy shop to choose a toy.

Of course this very toy will be your weapon later grin.

When he inevitibly wakes up shouting etc, Go in a bit angry and tell him firmly "no if you don't be quiet and shut your eyes I will have to take XYZ (whatever his favourite toy is away), and there will be no stickers and no toy".

Do it in a real DON'T MESS WITH ME voice. Maybe a bit wild hair and red eye make up as well wink.

Keep this up as if he is not getting enough sleep then you can never expect good behaviour.

I have a just turned 4 yr old DS and a 17 month old DD so I know how you feel. 4 yr old boys are a bit wired to say the least!

JoniRules Thu 02-Jun-11 20:04:07

Thanks for the suggestions quickchat....yes 4 yr old boys are very wired...I wonder why

SilveryMoon Thu 02-Jun-11 20:05:58

This is interesting my 2 boys (nearly 4 and jut 2) are driving me insane!!
i did try to read toddler taming a while ago but couldn't get into it, maybe it needs a fresh look..............................

lljkk Thu 02-Jun-11 20:16:25

Four year olds are hard work. DS1 sometimes made me cry (saddo alert).

JoniRules Thu 02-Jun-11 20:41:14

I also cry about DS1's behaviour!

SilveryMoon Fri 03-Jun-11 10:39:07

I cried on the bus yesterday!
I have very similar issues OP and the thing that upsets me most is that he behaves wonderfully for everyone else!
For the nursery issue, my ds1 (also coming up 4) won't get fressed, he screams at me all morning that he doesn't wamt to go, he won't walk there so I end up praxtically dragging him, I've tried scooters, bikes but just end up carrying them whilst also pushing the pushchair with my 2yo in it and dragging ds1.
I spoke to his teacher and told her what was happening and they gave me a reward chart for home and have one for him at school so now if he gets dressed nicely he gets a big sticker on the chart at home and if he walk nicely he gets a small sticker on his tie to show his teacher and then she puts a big sticker on his school chart.
This has worked really well because it is a rewrd from someone else, not me so is more special to him.
He is on a 3 week plan for this and then we'll take it from there.
Any inappropriate language I ignore unless a swear word then I tell him if he wants to talk like that he can do it in his bedroom on his own. He rhen says he doesn't want to go to his bedroom so I tell him to choose, he can either go to his room to talk like that or stay with everyone else to talk nicely. He then normally says he wants to talk nicely.
I will now only ask him to do something twice and if he doesn't do it then, then I either carry him/fetch him or put him in a time out where he stays until he calls to me that he's ready to listen, regardless of how long that takes, none of that 3 minute business, that didn't work.
I tell him as often as I can I love him.
Will continue to think of what else happens

eversoslightlytired Fri 03-Jun-11 22:03:59

I am also having the same problems with my almost 4 year old. He has been dreadful lately. Like you I hate having negative thoughts about him because he is my baby! It got so bad on Tuesday that I (rather shamefully) threatened to cancel his birthday in a couple of weeks. He has been better but the hot weather today turned him into a little monster again. I explained to him that I really do not like having to shout at him or tell him off all the time as I love him and that it upsets me that I have to do it. I get "sorry" all the time but I really don't think he understands the concept of sorry, despite us telling him what it means, and thinks that it is the right word he should be saying that will get him out of trouble.

DS is one of those children that no matter what time he goes to sleep he ALWAYS wakes between 6 and 7. We have a Glo Clock which has the moon on during night and the sun comes up at the time that you want it to and he knows that he is not allowed to call us until the sun is showing. We say every night when he goes to bed "see you when the sun comes up NOT before". Most mornings he waits but not always.

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