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4 year old Acting out - help!

Laura070716 · 11/01/2018 10:25

Hi all

I’m new to this but I’m desperate for some advice or even to just find I’m not the only one!

I have a 4 year old son, who has always been testing. He never stops or sits still even while he’s eating. If he’s not occupied he’s looking for something to do that he knows he shouldn’t.

We welcomed our second child, a daughter, in July last year. Just before our sons 4th birthday. We made sure we made a big fuss of him and his behaviour seemed as per usual. Until he started full time school in September. Since then he is unbearable and me and my husband are at our wits end.

The bad behaviour starts as soon as he is up which is sometimes as early as 5-5.30. He wants the whole house to be up with him. Before, I could make him some cereal and a drink and get him his iPad and he would eat his cereal and watch YouTube kids for an extra hour or so. Now he demands somebody play with him and when this isn’t possible most of the time as I’m feeding the baby and my husband is getting ready for work, he starts screaming and banging the walls or slamming doors. If we ignore him it gets worse, if we tell him off it gets worse and if we shout it gets worse. Nothing we have tried can talk him down so his behaviour continues so that by the time I manage to get him to school I am exhausted.

His behaviour is hit and miss at school. Sometimes his teacher has mentioned about him not being able to sit still or not listening. There is another boy, his friend, who seems to lead him astray and the 2 of them are naughty together. When I pick him up from school he is hungry and tired and most of the time he can’t remember if he’s been good or bad or what he’s done all day.

I try to give him his tea and make sure he’s ready and calm for bed by 6 but sometimes he just refuses to do what I ask and this isn’t possible. Which I know makes his behaviour worse. He has also started being mean to his sister. Purposefully waking her up or keeping her awake, trying to scare her by shouting or getting in her face and shouting. Then he laughs when he’s told off.

He is constantly telling us no, laughing at our attempts at discipline and telling us he is the boss so will decide what he does. Some of what he says has come from his friend at school because he tells me that his friend says he is the boss of everything - including my son.

Bedtime is a battle every night. Which usually ends later than we wanted after us eventually shouting and arguing. We tried ignoring him but when he’s banging on the walls and your trying to get a baby to sleep and have neighbours that’s not possible. It’s like he can’t help himself or likes being in trouble and seeing us angry or upset.

I’m well aware of what’s started this - new sister and full time school. I’m just looking for advice on what to do to make the situation bearable for us all or just advice on how to survive until the storm passes lol

Thanks for reading x

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Mol1628 · 11/01/2018 13:25

Sorry I can’t help but apart from the new sibling, my 5 year old is exactly the same. Any attempt at discipline just goes completely wrong I have no idea what to do with him anymore. Even when he is screaming after us telling him off I see underneath he is laughing.
A small boy is making our household miserable, it’s ridiculous.
‘It’s like he can’t help himself or likes being in trouble’
That is EXACTLY my son too.
Every morning we start fresh. He has a nice snuggle in our bed we tell him we love him etc he has plenty of positive attention. It’s utterly exhausting.

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Leo090813 · 16/01/2018 11:03

Reading this just gave me goose bumps as I am going through the exact same thing! And I have just added a thread asking for similar advice. My 4yo started school in September and the change in him has been remarkable, not in a good way! Ditto with the early starts and demanding constant attention at 5.30am!!

I don’t have any advice but I just want to say you’re not the only one going through this as it made me feel the slightest bit of relief reading your post and finding out someone is in a similar situation! X

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jaimelannistersgoldenhand · 16/01/2018 14:09

It's totally normal to be hungry and tired after school. I have teens and the first thing that they still do when they get home from school is hunt down food and drink. When they were in primary school, I took a snack and drink to them after school.
I don't ask questions about school until an hour or two after they come home and certainly nothing as hard as were you good today. Here's some inspiration;

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Apple27 · 01/02/2018 23:08

I feel the same. Sorry to hear there are a few others here too that are also going through it. I feel like I’m the only one sometimes.

A lot of similarities between our situations although my DS has always been challenging in some way whether it’s been pushing, not listening and doing as he’s told, shouting, can’t keep still, interrupts, laughs and doesn’t seem bothered about discipline (only sometimes). And now since starting school he’s just getting worse. Cheekier, rude, copying things other children are saying that we don’t say at home.

I feel like I’ve tried everything. Read so many things. Try to be consistent as I think this is a huge part. Maybe we’ve started sticking to the consistent approach too late?!

I find it embarrassing and I feel like I’m failing.

School have raised issues, not listening and sitting still, being mean to others, silliness, interrupting, always needing attention.

He can can be good too and a real joy to be with. But it’s 50:50! If he gets told off or asked not to do something he can often shout back NO! The more we take things away or whatever at home as punishment he gets worse. Shouting. I try to stay calm but It doesn’t always work.

It’s like he thinks he’s in charge. A real battle of wills. I’ve tried the nice approach. The over-praising. The shouting. Feels like I’ve tried everything.

We also welcomed a second baby almost a year ago - not sure if it’s made things worse or not. He can be very sweet towards his sibling but also can be rough sometimes and do things he knows are wrong, squeezing hands, ‘cuddling’ in a rough way which I’ve asked him not to do.

What do we do? I have to make this better. It’s making me feel very down at times.

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