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Losing temper with 4 year old.

(14 Posts)
Kezzybear Mon 10-Feb-14 13:26:16

I have 3 dc under 5. Recently, particularly the last few days I gave been getting really cross and losing my temper with my 4 year old.

I find him so difficult at the moment. I look forward to picking him up frm school and within 10 minutes, I wish he was back a school. He doesn't listen, is stropy, and generally seems to do the opposite of what I say.

What can I do to improve his behaviour? And stop me losing my temper. I hate the way I am reacting to him at the moment. It feels like we are in a constant battle.

I thought they got easier as they got older but the baby (who doesn't sleep) and 3 year old (who loves a good tantrum) seem so much easier!

Any advice?

CookieMonstersCousin Mon 10-Feb-14 14:53:39

Have no advice sadly but am in complete same situation with my 4 year old!! I'm just trying hard (really hard) to not loose my cool and remind myself she's still so young really. In most cases its my expectations of her which need to change esp if she's spent all day being good at school...
....hopefully someone will be by with advice

extracrunchy Mon 10-Feb-14 14:58:21

Watching with interest - same here...

PeterParkerSays Mon 10-Feb-14 15:01:12

For the older two generally, focus as much as you can on the positive things they do, and ask them to help / give them some limited responsibility e.g. can the 4 year old "lay" the table? Offer praise for him washing his hands, flushing the toilet etc.

I only have a 4 year old so I take my hat off to you with two others smaller than him.

Also, what 1:1 time do any of them get with you? Would it be possible for him to earn extra 1:1 time (story with mummy etc) by helping you, for example, by putting the duplo away?

if in doubt, I swear by hiding in the hall and taking deep breaths for a count of 10

DreamingAboutSleep Mon 10-Feb-14 15:11:22

Struggling with similar stuff here so will be watching out for any advice that comes along too.

Whatnamenext Mon 10-Feb-14 15:12:51

Checking in for answers too....

QueenofKelsingra Mon 10-Feb-14 16:11:56

I have DS1 (4) and DTs (21m) so I feel your pain. I actually came an inch from slapping DS1 across the face the other week he drove me so insane. it was that near breaking moment that made me take stock of it and put some strategies in place to sort it. Here's what I'm doing and it is helping so much.

I realised DS and I only had these issues when the DTs were around - never an issue when they were napping. it seemed likely that his acting up was actually a cry for attention. I make sure he has some 1:1 time every day - often in the form of helping me cook dinner but also a story together in a different room from the DTs, or similar.

I also laid down a system for dealing with the tantrums/violence/bad behaviour. any time he does something naughty it is met with:

DS please stop that now/don't do that again
If he continues: If you don't stop threat by the time I count to 5 you will sit on the naughty step./If you do that one more time you will sit on the naughty step.
If he continues he goes to the step. Ignore all screaming/hitting/banging. take him back every time he leaves the step. no talking to him.
After he's done his time, explain why he was there and make him say sorry.

The first few days were hell but things are so much better now! it is so easy as it doesn't matter what he does my response is the same so I can stay calm and don't get riled by him. I naughty step in public too if required.

We also have a sticker chart for him for good behaviour. often when going out I say he can have a sticker when we get back if he is good. really big up the praise when he does something good. I sometimes give him a sticker if he just hasn't given me cause to warn him about anything that morning!

the thing that makes the biggest difference is having a standard response to all bad behaviour, it really stops me getting worked up and angry with him and he also knows where he stands and that I am serious about what I have asked him not to do.

good luck! Roll on September and full time school!!!

QueenofKelsingra Mon 10-Feb-14 16:12:45

* stop that not threat!

Kezzybear Mon 10-Feb-14 18:52:29

Thank you for all advice, we actually had quite a good afternoon.

cookie I think you are right that I need to lower my expectations. He is so tired and hungry after school. Also I think because he is my eldest I forget that he is only 4.

peter I hardly spend any 1:1 time with him. Even when he is reading his reading book to me one of his brothers is climbing over me at the same time. I read him a bedtime story tonight, and he really enjoyed it. I think he just wants my attention and negative attention will do :-(

I also agree, I need to be consistent and spoke to Dh about this last night.

It's good to know it's not just my 4 year old!

extracrunchy Mon 10-Feb-14 21:15:35

Queen that's great advice! Out of interest - how do you implement the naughty step while out?

QueenofKelsingra Tue 11-Feb-14 09:18:08

extracrunchy I just use any corner, spot on the floor that is nearby. I've had him howling in Tescos before now! you have to be thick skinned as the 'attachement parent' types will tut and frown, but the old bids will nod at you in a satisfactory manner grin.

if we're out and the issue is him running off or touching things he shouldn't in shops I usually make him hold on to the pushchair/my hand which he hates instead. once he's shown me he can walk nicely I let him go on his own again.

gourd Tue 11-Feb-14 13:43:07

Heh heh! Sounds like tiredness (him not you, though almost certainly you are absolutely knackered as well). What's he like at school? School day is a really busy and long day for a 4 year old. He probably needs time to adjust to being home again too, it's often a noisy envrironment in a classroom in betweeen quiet times which usually involve intense concentration for a small child. He is definitely knackered. Quiet time, hugs and food & drink needed! They often do not drink ANYTHING all day except at lunchtime so are dehydrated which does not help the mood or energy levels! Food and water often helps with tiredness. If you dont already, give him a banana or sandwich and a drink straight away, maybe even whilst still at the school, so he can start to get some energy from it before you even get home? Then 15 minutes quiet time when you get home, whatever form that takes, before any reading/school related stuff and teatime? Is that possible for you?

Kezzybear Tue 11-Feb-14 20:07:51

Another good afternoon:-)

I always take a snack when I pick him up and he has a drink as soon as he is home. Although it is then straight to read his reading book. Then he is free to play/ watch tv.

I don't think he drinks much at school as most days his water bottle is still full.

Hopefully things will continue to improve.

mamamiaow Tue 11-Feb-14 22:18:08

I feel your pain. I find leaving the room, getting into a hidden corner of the kitchen followed by swearing and rude gestures with an insane smile on my face, makes me feel sooooooooo much better grin

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