Four-year-olds are easier?

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DitherDither's picture
Joined: 04/16/09
Posts: 152
Four-year-olds are easier?

I am the only one who feels like their LO is getting worse in his/her behavior? Rache has been a difficult 3-year-old at times, and I definitely subscribe to the idea that 3 is waaaay more difficult than two. I was under the impression that four-year-olds were easier, though. At least that's what all of my parent-friends have led me to believe. LOL. I feel like I was sold a bill of goods!

Rache has been a bit of a nightmare lately. He's an emotional kid to begin with, but good lord it's been out of control. Last night, for example, he wanted a biscuit before bed, and DH told him no. This led to an epic tantrum. Tear, wailing, screaming, the whole bit. Over a biscuit!

And he's become nasty and defiant when he's in a bad mood. If I tell him no about something, he'll go and do it anyways, and then comes back to me to let me know he went ahead and did it. Yesterday (it was a great day....ha ha) he wanted a popsicle at 9am, and I said no, later. Not 5 minutes later he got a stool, got a popsicle, and then came and waved it in my face. Seriously! Who is this kid!?! So far, when he does stuff like this I try to stay calm and just issue a punishment without really reacting, assuming that he's looking for me to yell and raise my voice. IDK....it's been frustrating.

So, is Rache the only April Blossom who is still acting this way? Please say no!

DitherDither's picture
Joined: 04/16/09
Posts: 152

Oh, and he's gotten even more impatient than his 2-year-old sister. He'll ask me for a snack, and he wants it NOW! When I tell him to wait, he asks again 5 seconds later. And then 10 seconds later. It drives me crazy! I know he knows how to be patient and kind, but he just doesn't want to be.

toothy35's picture
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 4578

"DitherDither" wrote:

I am the only one who feels like their LO is getting worse in his/her behavior? Rache has been a difficult 3-year-old at times, and I definitely subscribe to the idea that 3 is waaaay more difficult than two. I was under the impression that four-year-olds were easier, though. At least that's what all of my parent-friends have led me to believe. LOL. I feel like I was sold a bill of goods!

Rache has been a bit of a nightmare lately. He's an emotional kid to begin with, but good lord it's been out of control. Last night, for example, he wanted a biscuit before bed, and DH told him no. This led to an epic tantrum. Tear, wailing, screaming, the whole bit. Over a biscuit!

And he's become nasty and defiant when he's in a bad mood. If I tell him no about something, he'll go and do it anyways, and then comes back to me to let me know he went ahead and did it. Yesterday (it was a great day....ha ha) he wanted a popsicle at 9am, and I said no, later. Not 5 minutes later he got a stool, got a popsicle, and then came and waved it in my face. Seriously! Who is this kid!?! So far, when he does stuff like this I try to stay calm and just issue a punishment without really reacting, assuming that he's looking for me to yell and raise my voice. IDK....it's been frustrating.

So, is Rache the only April Blossom who is still acting this way? Please say no!

i don't know how parents can remain calm.......i have been known to fly off the handle for blatant defiance.........i am a total yeller!!!
abby just happens to be a very laid back, very content, very into NOT getting yelled at little girl(thank god!!!!!)
but i bet most of rache's issues are just new sibling adjustment still......that is a huge life adjustment for a 3 yr old.....my mantra is usually.........this too shall pass, or ages and stages ......hang in there and just keep on him....

Joined: 06/29/08
Posts: 1096

No! Not the only one. Miles was a great two year old but has been making up for it since. Although his behavior lately (like you said, with tantrums and stuff) is that of a two year old.

I keep telling myself it's newfound independence that he wants but can't have it yet. Though I have no idea why this is suddenly happening now.

shefrn1's picture
Joined: 08/28/07
Posts: 4148

nope...not the only one!!

although i must say that we have good days and bad days around her....and i totally think alot of it is because of tyler.....each of my kids individually are a breeze, very well behaived little angels Wink but put them both together and it can be totall madness!!!!!

the defience is the one thing that gets me yelling...i tend to stay pretty calm like you said and give punishments or whatever but when she looks me in the eye and is totally being defient it sends me off my rocker!!!!!!!!

i have seen flashes of the '4 year olds are better' phase but i haven't found that it is here to stay yet (i'm hoping becuase she's not quite 4 yet .....LOL...)

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

We are getting there. The more his communication skills improve and his coping skills to deal with his speech blocks are practiced, the less melt-downs we have. We have days that he still acts like a 2 year old, especially if he is over-tired/sick/starving etc. Not an excuse for his behavior, just what can set him off.

What works best for Jax is explanations when we aren't in the midst of bad-behavior. Just sitting around having a good time, I'll point out a time when his behavior or response to something I said no to was exceptional. I do a lot of talking when things are good. "Jax, when you asked for that sucker, and I said 'not right now', but that you could have one after supper, that was really good BIG boy behavior. Now, that is how a 4 year old acts. Thank you for acting like a big boy." Or, when the tantrum is over and he is settled down, I'll tell him, "boy, that was really ugly, don't you think? You are too old to be acting like that. 2 and 3 year olds act like that, and you are almost 4. You really need to remember that you have control over your emotions and big kids just don't throw fits like that."

EmilyC3's picture
Joined: 10/27/07
Posts: 1170

Wow Mel, you have the patience of a saint Smile Gweny is the same way, but ya, I am a yeller too and defiance is what sets me off. They do understand more at 4 so even though they may still throw fits and stuff like that, they are easier to talk to and understand the concept of consequences a lot better

DitherDither's picture
Joined: 04/16/09
Posts: 152

"luangwa" wrote:

Or, when the tantrum is over and he is settled down, I'll tell him, "boy, that was really ugly, don't you think? You are too old to be acting like that. 2 and 3 year olds act like that, and you are almost 4. You really need to remember that you have control over your emotions and big kids just don't throw fits like that."

I'm going to write this down and put it in my back pocket! LOL This is what I want to be saying, but don't. I aspire to be patient, I really do, and I am good at it some days, but I am also a yeller. I come from a family of yellers, and that's partly why I don't want to yell. My dad is a horrible, horrible screamer. He actually screamed at Rache recently and made him cry (that is a whole other issue right there....grandparents!). A lot of times I think I convince myself I was just 'talking sternly' to Rache when I was probably just yelling. And Rache just yells right back....it's in his genes, I suppose.

Seriously, I love the idea of reminding him that he has control over his emotions and also reminding him that he is nearly 4. I will often say "you're acting like a little kid" or "you're acting like a baby" but the way you phrased it sounds a lot more positive and like something he might respond to!

SPCN319's picture
Joined: 06/14/06
Posts: 2118

Pax's behavior comes in stages, it seems. He'll go a few weeks or months doing really well and then we'll have a really BAD few weeks or months. When we were having a ton of separation anxiety around the first of the year his behavior was mostly awful. One day, he just turned it around and was great for awhile. It seems we're headed back into a "more challenging" time at the moment. It seems as though he had a huge growth spurt around the last difficult time, I think that may have had something to do with it. Anyway, my point is that it doesn't seem to be the age so much for us as the season. I hope he comes around soon!

brandifawn's picture
Joined: 05/28/07
Posts: 348

I have been saying lately that Nicholas is trying to get all of the three out of his system because he was doing great, but in the last week or two he has really been trying to push my buttons. He is trying to do the defiance thing as well and has started with, "But, mom..." and goes on to tell me all the reasons he can't comply with anything I ask him. I do try to do, like Mel, and point out when he does do good things and tell him that whatever he did made me happy and showed me what a big boy he is becoming, but I have also seen myself be short with him much more often than I like to. William has always been my difficult one and Nicholas has been a pretty easy kid, so I think the combination of William's 2 year old tantrums and Nicholas just being extra three has me on edge. I've heard four is easier too, so I'm hoping for the best!

luangwa's picture
Joined: 06/29/07
Posts: 8898

I DO NOT HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF PATIENCE. I just want to make this perfectly clear. There are MANY MANY MANY MANY times a day I lose it right along with him. I am getting so much better, but it's been a long hard 4 year road for my temper as well.

I view it this way, I am learning to be a parent right along with them learning what acceptable behavior is. Yelling gets us no where. It works perfectly fine with some kids in some families, but here it just doesn't accomplish producing good behavior. Jaxon learns best by example and if I lose it and become angry in response to his tantrum, all it does is fuel him to respond to situations in anger. Rick was the one who actually pointed this out to me. He made a very good point one evening, Jaxon loses his temper over something stupid, I get frustrated and lose my temper and yell and scream about it. Nothing ever changes, Jaxon isn't learning to control his emotions because his mother isn't controlling her emotions. I think what really drove the point home is when Rick said "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, you yelling at him like he's committed mass murder for a meltdown over not getting a sucker is not changing his behavior. Save your yelling and the extreme emotions for an extreme situation like running in the road or to the pool and it will have a better effect''." Plus, what was happening is Jaxon was yelling at his sister and his friends over everything and the tone that was coming from him wasn't pretty in the least. I had to take a long hard look at my own actions when I heard my son treating his peers exactly how I was treating him. My problem is I can't raise my voice and yell without an angry emotion behind it. It isn't the yelling that is wrong, it's my anger that is wrong.

mommyvolc's picture
Joined: 03/22/07
Posts: 1296

Mel, you said it beautifully...we are learning to parent. I saw a great quote the other day..." there is no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a great one".

As for three year old temper tantrums...well, lets just say that Alicia was a perfect little two year old and I felt so blessed. It came back to bite me in the *** when she turned 3. DJ is two and is a typically two year old...plus he's very smart and gets frustrated quickly. Fun times at my house.

Nicole

tybaysmom's picture
Joined: 04/08/07
Posts: 483

[QUOTE=mommyvolc]Mel, you said it beautifully...we are learning to parent. I saw a great quote the other day..." there is no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a great one".

LOVE this!!

Joined: 04/14/07
Posts: 793

For us, 4 has been much better, but there are still days when the "three days" come back in full force. I have noticed that those days are becoming fewer though, so I am holding on to hope that the end is near!! Wink

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