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4yr DD screaming, trying to slap me, please help...(14 Posts)
My eldest girl is wonderful. She also has a very short fuse and totally loses it very fast. Bedtime tonight she got cross and suddenly started to really go for me... Kicking out, slapping, screaming. It only happens a couple if times a week but im really struggling to help her to learn to cope better with anger. She was exhausted but it happens in the mornings too sometimes. Sorry to ramble but I'm at wits end - I'm goof at keeping calm and moving on ... But that's not really working. Time to get much tougher ( if so how ? ) or do all 4 yr olds do this? My youngest is naturally much calmer so I do realise they're all different...but I'm scared my eldest is not getting better at coping when things don't go her way. Is she going to fly off the handle so spectacularly at 14 ? At 40..... Please advise I feel miserable .... And so does she I expect.
My almost four year old is going through a phase of opening his mouth and shouting LOUDLY in the evening that HE IS NOT TIRED and he does NOT want to go to bed, accompanied by crying, kicking, leaving the bed, wriggling out of my arms. It is tiredness so my only solution is to get on the bed, lying with him and cuddle him in till he stops mid-screech and falls asleep. It happens when I am working, so it is partly wanting to stay up and catch up on Mummy-time and partly tiredness. Things go better when we are home earlier and start the evening routine earlier, but that is not possible every week day. It is hard for him.
I would repeat firmly to her that she's tired and needs to tell you that and not hit. If she hits, walk away calmly and tell her why. Then give her a cuddle when she's calm and tell her how she should behave. That it is OK to feel angry and she can tell you she's angry but not to hit.
Has she started school? In which case I'd put it down to that (not just tiredness but having to behave all day can be overwhelming). My ds started in September and is very tired now.
Thank you Romeyroo - makes me feel it's all just normal stuff. We had hugs later because it calms her down and I don't ever want her to fall asleep thinking I'm angry with her. It's so tough sometimes.
Thanks too iggly - no she hasn't started school but nursery have also talked to me about managing her outbursts. She does four half days at nursery and does get a lot of attention - the pattern has never really changed, she was like this two years ago. She's absolutely lovely and I adore her but I wish I could help her keep her cool. I try walking away calmly - and nursery also say to ignore it - but she runs after me !
Yes, if I walk away, it just escalates ds's distress, because really he needs to sleep, but doesn't recognise that. I have tried just repeating the instruction get back into bed x20 or 30, and not moving, which works if he is just playing up, but the wailing and shouting is tiredness, so reasoning does not work.
I have just realised he had a similar pattern when he was a baby, nurse and then, no matter what you did, wail for ten minutes. But more recently, I would have said no matter what other nonsense he did, he was sensible about bedtimes. That seems to have gone out the window at the moment. Mine is fine at nursery, apparently, so he does save it all for me.
and I don't ever want her to fall asleep thinking I'm angry with her
So, she's learning that no matter WHAT she does she will always be forgiven?
My two year old did this today whilst refusing to eat his dinner (he's tired and got a cold) and hitting me. I gave him an option he behaves and eats his dinner before shower and bed or he skips and goes once I got to three.
He screamed and kicked so straight away he went for a quick shower and straight in bed where he continued kicking and screaming but now he wanted to watch sponge bob. I laid him down gave him a kiss told him I loved him, he is not allowed to shout or kick me, but it's bed time, turned off the light and came downstairs. He can get out of bed, scream and kick all he likes but he's tired and knows he is he also has a stair gate so he can't get out of his room.
If you keep going in their they know if they act up you'll giving them attention whether bad or good attention. Just leave her and she'll fall asleep. He very rarely does this now because he knows I don't stick around for it
Good luck it'll pass soon!
My DS (4 nearly 5) has a short fuse and a mega temper and will throw horrible tantrums when he's tired.
I have a zero tolerance approach to hitting, kicking etc - that is immediate removal of his favourite toys. But I talk to him a lot about how it's ok for him to be angry and get cross with me but not to then hit, kick etc.
If he is kicking off at bedtime because he's tired then I tell him that his behaviour is just telling me how tired he is and that he needs to sleep. He will also go on and on about he's not tired and doesn't need to go to bed but that just means he needs to go ASAP!
Stand up and walk away and say firmly that you don't like that behaviour and when she stops you will talk to her. Then go and do the washing up and completely ignore any following behaviour.
If it escalates, so what? Show her she can scream until she's blue in the face but you won't give her any attention.
Chimes I think that's a bit unhelpful - surely you can understand not wanting to leave your 4 year old upset at night and both of you going to bed miserable? OP I really feel for you - I've just been through this with my 3.5 year old and it's miserable. Walking away made it worse, talking about it to her afterwards didn't seem to change anything. Someone on here made a really good suggestion that I think helped us most in the end - it was to be in more physical contact with her during the day (she's at nursery 3 mornings a week and needs some reconnecting time when she comes home). I realised that I was still holding and touching my ex-colicky 10 month old much more than my 3.5 year old, and when I looked at my own physical behaviour, often during the day I was holding or touching the baby and poor DD1 was sat on the outside looking in, looking for attention. I'm very cuddly anything but I now make a conscious effort to touch her if I'm having to hold the baby, just simple things like touch her hair, hold her hand just because I want to (not because you have to like when you cross the road), stuff like that has made a difference. That and time and a bucket load of patience (and tears, mainly mine!!). Good luck, it's a hard, hard phase
It'll be her choice if she has a huge tantrum and goes to bed in a strop though. I used to say 'I'm going downstairs now as you are being rude and hurting me and that's not acceptable,I love you, night night' and exit quickly.
Ds used to roar himself to sleep but I wouldn't put myself in the firing line, he still needs to learn it's not on to hit even if you are tired.
Tbh there will be loads of nights when your dc goes to bed in a strop-if you think it's bad now wait until the teen years! I think chimes makes a valid pint and isn't being harsh.
Earlier bed sounds a good idea.
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