View Full Version : Ok folks, talk me through the horrible 4's
DS is 4 1/2. He has become the most whiny, clingy, and tantrumy kid around. He stopped playing soccer (he is signed up for a class, but the last 2 times he would not go out on the field). He fights with us about getting dressed every single morning. Everything is opposite of what we say/do now. He has a fit when he spills food on his clothes and will not let us wipe it up (he has to change clothes). Getting dressed in the morning used to take 20 minutes. Now it can take 1 hour. We have tried rewards for doing what he is supposed to do. We have tried getting him breakfast before he gets dressed (if it is related to blood sugar or something), we have tried taking things he loves away for a time, we have spoken with a social worker about how we can better handle/change the situation. For awhile things were fine. now they are ramped up again. I have to say, there are some mornings that I dread b/c I know dealing with DS will be a huge challenge. Once we get in the car though he is fine. It's like a jek'll and hyde thing and I cannot wait for it to be over. Anyone BTDT? Any advice?
06-08-2009, 10:23 AM
How verbal is he? Can you talk about consequences with him, or is that not effective? Also, you have to decide what battles are worth fighting. When my ds, now 5(somedays its worse than when he was 4), is either too exhausted or doesn't want to do what I ask him to do, we don't do the things we had planned to do. Even if it was grocery shopping, he just goes to his room where he either takes a nap or continues to be angry.
But, talking things out with him has started to help. Not bribing really, altho, somedays thats what it takes, but bringing myself to his height and making sure he understands.
don't know if this helps-wondering if its a question of not enough sleep? or competition with your DD?
06-08-2009, 10:24 AM
For the getting dressed, it helped DS a TON that we bought a hanging shelf unit for his closet and he could now easily get his clothes. We told him he should get dressed before coming downstairs in the morning. Now, he gets up, uses the bathroom, and gets dressed all on his own. I think he didn't like that I was picking his clothes and telling him to get dressed. Being able to do it all seems to work.
For spilling on his clothes - does he use a napkin at meals? Have him wipe it up himself. Or, let him change his shirt if that's what he really wants.
I think it's about independence. Are you trying to do the things for him? He might just need/want to do them himself.
Not sure about the clingy. We haven't had that, fortunately.
We can talk things out with DS. However, not while he is in tantrum. We have to wait it out or the tantrums get worse. Sleep is an issue--not amount, but quality. DS is being tested for sleep apnea b/c he stops breathing several times a night. I'm hoping that as we solve this problem it helps with his sleep.
DS's closet is set up so that he can get his clothes out himself and get dressed. In fact, he completely gets himself dressed every day. He even picks out his clothes the night before. He has been doing this for about a year now (the getting himself completely dressed part has been about 5 months). I'm at my wits end....
06-08-2009, 10:34 AM
Does it matter when he gets dressed? I mean do you have to leave for school, daycare, etc? Maybe just let him do it later?
We leave for what is now camp (was preschool as of last thursday) at 8:15 in the morning. I have no issue if he goes in his pj's and I told him that he could do that. He flipped out about that as well saying he wanted to get dressed (he does this flip flop of what he wants on a daily basis). He wants to put on clothes but doesn't want to take off his pj's, but wants to put on clothes (and will scream and yell and kick and carry on until he can get ahold of himself and take off his pj's and put on his clothes). I almost feel like for some reason he needs to go through this to get whatever it is out of his system. Afterwards he is fine and even talks about his behavior to me. It's the getting through the first phase/wave of behavior that has become the real issue. btw, it happens at night as well--transition time is hard for DS. We try to help him by giving him advance warning of things that will/need to happen, but that hasn't been working over at least the past week.
06-08-2009, 11:39 AM
Can he sleep in the clothes he is going to wear for the next day? Then he doesn't have to change out of his nice warm clothes. Might be worth a shot.
That's a good idea. Thanks.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.