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Four year old boys are reeeeeeeeeeeeeelly exasperating

(102 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Tue 12-May-09 19:00:21

After a day of his wilful destruction, rages, ignoring my requests to stop misbehaving, breaking toys at his friend's house and shouting of, "KILL, KILL, KILL!" at me whenever I admonish him, I simply do not want the child anywhere near me for hours, if not days. I don't want to hug him or anything.

He's currently in his bed howling because he only got two bedtimes stories instead of his usual four.

I'm not the only one, am I? Some days are so shit.

plimple Tue 12-May-09 19:05:37

You poor thing!
First off well done on 4 stories, I'm usually so knackered by the end of the day it's just 1 and if I'm really knackered I make it a really short one.

rowingboat Tue 12-May-09 19:13:26

I hear you! We had a lovely day yesterday with my four year old being completely obnoxious to his 12 month old cousin.
He refused to share any toys and repeatedly called her a 'poop' which was vaguely funny once and became a bit annoying. He told her parents they couldn't come in with her and then repeatedly asked them to take her away .
At least he didn't actually biff her, but I spent ages explaining that babies always put toys in their mouths (he dripped water on her to punish her for putting his toys in her mouth), that she didn't have any toys with her and how would he like it if his friend wouldn't share blah blah.
He refused to go for a walk and when we finally got out collapsed, wailing every two minutes claiming he was 'too tired'.
Oh the joys.
Some days are like that.
If he has been wailing he will probably want to give you a cuddle and say sorry by now, just to get you on side. smile

meemar Tue 12-May-09 19:15:11

I sympathise winky. When my DS1 was 4 he wasn't really destructive, but he had really bad tantrums, wouldn't listen to us and everything seemed to be a battle.

The thing that saved us was the book 'How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk'. It has such simple and obvious advice and really makes you understand the way kids think.

He also changed and matured a lot since starting school. He is now almost 6 and a beautifully behaved child most of the time! It does get better smile

fruitful Tue 12-May-09 19:21:28

I am counting the days till September, when ds1 starts school!

ds2 (16mo) doesn't say much at all, but at "Music with Mum" a couple of weeks ago he picked up a drumstick, pointed it at me, and said "kill, kill, kill!". Guess who he learnt that from?

fruitful Tue 12-May-09 19:24:34

The only thing I remember from that book is "giving them their wishes in imagination" or something like that. So when we're slogging to school to pick up dd, and ds1 is having a tantrum, I say "you wish we didn't have to walk! Wouldn't it be great if we could fly! What colour is your aeroplane? Mine's a pink one with two wings!" and by the time we get to school we've been in a submarine and a boat and a hot air balloon. It's fab when it works.

It takes so much energy though, all that bright cheeriness. Sometimes I just drag him screaming along ...

WinkyWinkola Tue 12-May-09 20:12:07

Yes, my DD (2 yo) is now saying, "Stupid mummy," and "Not your friend, mummy," thanks to my delightful DS.

I too look forward to September when he starts school proper but it makes me really sad that the last two years have so fraught with anger from both of us and that I haven't handled this stage of his life ( 50% of his life shock) at all well.

He'll be away every day at school and it'll be the end of the period that he's with me a lot of the time. I'm really full of mixed feelings about it all. sad

PaulaYatesBiggestFan Tue 12-May-09 20:18:42

winkywonkola poor you - it will get better i promise you!! i actually think three is really hard and am looking forawrd to four (only 9 months to go hmm)

what is this 'kill kill kill' children are saying ? tbh that would concern me - who is using these words round them?

apostrophe Tue 12-May-09 20:19:54

Message withdrawn

WinkyWinkola Tue 12-May-09 20:21:42

I keep asking DS (who is 4, PaulaYates but I don't want to fill you with dread!) who says this, "Kill, kill, kill!" and "I'm not your friend anymore," stuff but he says he doesn't know.

I know one shouldn't take what a 4 year old says personally but I find it really disturbing when he says it particularly when he says it with such menace as if he understands what he's saying. He doesn't of course!

He says he hates me too. This is too teenage for a 4 year old, I'd've thought. Gah.

rowingboat Tue 12-May-09 20:22:05

Fruitful, I know what you mean. It does help to tell a story or invent fabulous things, but it is very taxing when your brain is just chugging along in morning mode.
My DS told me he wanted me to lie in the road and get squished by a bus when he was just three. I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed, but now it just rolls off.
Winky I don't know, but I would say you are being extremely hard on yourself. He probably doesn't remember much, given the very limited memory of the four year.

PaulaYatesBiggestFan Tue 12-May-09 20:45:00

apostrophe i hear you girl - be strong!

rowing boat - at the end of a day being 'chirpy' and using 'distraction techniques' i am ready to stck cocktail sticks in my eyes for pleasure....

currently sorting out nurser provision for ds in september wink and i feel awful but grin

plimple Tue 12-May-09 22:05:11

You can also try the less cheery more honest approach e.g. You're not my friend you're my DS and I'm your Mother and always will be, if you don't like me just now you'd better keep away from me/go and play in another room.
I can remember my Mum saying this type of thing at various stages in my and siblings lives and she still says the same to grandchildren. She's wise enough to know children only say "I hate you" etc to get a reaction so doesn't give one.

plimple Tue 12-May-09 22:15:15

Oh, winky - he does understand that saying kill, kill, kill gets a reaction and that's all he needs to know. Ask him how he plans on killing you! (with knowing humour in your eyes or it won't work) I hate to say it, but I'm certain at 4 I may have said "I hate you" "I wish you were dead" etc if not to my Mum then certainly to brothers and sisters, and I would've really meant it at the time too. Can you remember when you were that little? It might help you let his comments wash off you.

PaulaYatesBiggestFan Tue 12-May-09 22:47:34

plimple i like your advice - how about with a 12 year old wink

i do say to him 'i am your mum like it or lump it so we have to accept that'

plimple Tue 12-May-09 23:12:53

Exactly the same. e.g. "I wish you were dead"- be careful what you wish for/can you afford to pay for my funeral?/you'd struggle to get a lift home from your mates if I was/you'd better learn to do your own washing now then for when I do etc ad infinitum.

PaulaYatesBiggestFan Tue 12-May-09 23:15:07

thanks - will use them!
will attempt water/ducks back approach

muffle Tue 12-May-09 23:28:49

Sympathies winky! I remember your posts from my thread when I was at my wits' end with DS's tantrums; you helped me so much. (He has got past that phase - for now! But he's just about to actually turn 4 - hmmmm)

I know exactly what you mean about wanting to have a break from it and then feeling regret about that. And the stuff they come out with that you know hasn't come from you. My DS has started saying these almost incomprehensible phrases in a weird American accent. He has also just started loudly responding with "Blurble-urble-blooble-burble" etc when I'm trying to tell him off or get some serious information across. It's bloody infuriating!

Two bedtime stories is enough for any child btw - no guilt allowed there!

When DS was at his most difficult ever recently, I did think "what if this doesn't end, I will go mad" - but it did subside and he's so much better now. I know there will be other phases but it is true that they pass. The kill kill kill thing is horrible for you, but will be a blip when you look back on it. Try to let it go by.

muffle Tue 12-May-09 23:35:07

Oh and PS - today I was at a friend's and while she was out of the room her DC started fighting. I said to her DD "Hey, you don't hit, stop it" in what I considered to be a pretty mild tone - and she looked devastated and burst into tears! I got a glimpse of how the other half live! DS can be reasoned with, but he just does not give an arse if I tell him off sternly. It just rolls off him. I can't work out if that's just him, or if it's because I've said "DON'T DO XXXXX" so many times blush

WinkyWinkola Wed 13-May-09 09:04:55

Ah muffle, I love it when other people tell off my DS - obviously when he's done something wrong - because he listens to them and it actually sinks in that there is a problem with his behaviour.

DH got the brunt of DS's rage this morning (toothbrush flung in his eye - OW! lovely) all because DH dared to brush DD's hair first. The fury that resulted from that misdemeanour was incredible to watch. Wildcat.

He's at nursery now until 1pm. I don't want to go and get him then. He's been 'orrible for the best part of 2 years now.

WinkyWinkola Wed 13-May-09 09:46:06

DH wants DS to see a child psychologist because this behaviour has been going on for so long. His being at work means that he doesn't see most of it but when he does, he's really disturbed by it.

Do you think it's an over reaction to send DS to a child psychologist? I would describe his behaviour as extreme (every day rages at least three or four times) but I don't know if it's just typical of his age or if he actually has problems.

I'm just not equipped to cope with this constant stress and such a furious, controlling child. Yes, that makes me an inadequate and even a bad parent but I'm at a loss. <<despair>>

plimple Wed 13-May-09 10:16:16

You're not a bad mother, you want to do what's best so you're a great Mum. If you can't handle his rages just now you're right to seek outside help of some kind. Perhaps he has a problem, perhaps what he's doing is normal but needs to be handled differently. There is a problem as you are unhappy and so is he, so seek help. Good luck!

muffle Wed 13-May-09 10:28:38

I don't think you're an inadequate parent winky, if you do use firm boundaries and consequences etc and it just doesn't work. I've realised DS that an outrageously behaved child isn't necessarily the result of lax parenting! (And feel blush if I've ever judged anyone because of their stroppy 4yo) I think some children just do have more difficult personalities than others (and this difficultness - for us as parents - may be the flip side of something good - eg my DS is incredibly persistent, incredibly stubborn, he will find the loophole in any argument, and he will question every edict from authority - which could actually stand him in good stead. He would make a great lawyer...)

I know another boy of very similar age who is slightly different but also very hard work (I think for both me and his mum it's a relief that we know each other) - he SCREAMS if anyone tries to talk to him when he's not in the mood, hits and throws things, is incredibly bossy, etc.

And yet another who can be angry, aggressive and unmanageable. Yet all these boys can actually be very sweet, play together, interact socially - they don't seem to have any problems as such. And they are all very bright, interested in things, and very verbal. Maybe it is just that it is confusing and exhausting being a small child and being constantly ordered around and herded while taking in vast amounts of info and naturally wanting to question things - and some children react by challenging everything. Several people have told me their sons who were extraordinarily difficult at 2/3/4 have become much calmer, happier older kids and teenagers.

I guess in the past boys like this would have been slammed down with a lot of physical violence We have to find other ways to deal with them and it's hard, but better I think.

However I don't think there's anything wrong with going to the GP / a psychologist if you think they could help him - I don't know much about it though.

muffle Wed 13-May-09 10:29:06

with DS

NotSoRampantRabbit Wed 13-May-09 10:38:31

Where does this "kill" thing come from?

My DS is almost 4 and has been slowly changing from gorgeous, cuddly, sensitive type to some kind of mini-Rambo. He is constantly killing random things/people. He is obsessed with poos, bums, farts etc. He is more unpredictable now than when he was 2 in terms of tantrums. He also likes to tell me he's not my friend.

I miss DS!

I really sympathise winky. My only tactics are world-class ignoring, time-out for yer actual violence, removal of toys for wilful destruction.

DC2 due any day now - am completely terrified as to how I will manage DS with baby strapped to boob all day.

ARGGGHHHH!

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