Holy hotheaded mommy tonight!
I have a 4 year old that might just cause my death by frustration before she reaches 5!
What happened to this child of mine? The one that I had first, loved first, pampered first? The one with the radiant smile and easy hugs?
When did she turn into a surly, defiant, belligerent, out of control teenager? And what in the world am I, a mom for only the time since I have known of her, going to do about it?
This is getting out of hand. She does not listen, care about consequences, scare easy, scare at all, want to please, or think that anything that she does at all is wrong.
She is 4.
But still 4.
I did not think that the term, “You are grounded!” would escape my lips for at least another 7 years. I did not think that I would fight a small child for 3 solid hours to get her to go to bed.
Asking does not work. Bribery does not work. Time out is a joke to her. Threats fall on deaf ears. Spankings are laughed at.
What do I do?
How do you solve a problem like a 4 year old?
How do you preserve the wonderfulness of her and her childhood but prevent her from being the only thing we have the energy and time to deal with. Because she is always needing attention!
I suppose she is me. Begging for accolades and acceptance in a family where hugs and kisses are rampant, but certainly shared. Needing to feel special in a room full of special. Needing more.
So her solution is to act out. Create issues where there are none so that we have to stop, deal with them, deal with them again, deal with them some more, and lose our ability to take care of everything else.
I would say that she is bored. But today alone she went to preschool and gymnastics. Something she has been asking for for months! And she was worse than when we never leave the house!
I have thought of a child psychiatrist. I am not naive enough to think that she is beyond a little help. I have prayed to the Lord above that Supernanny come driving up my driveway. Again not naive enough to think that I am a perfect mother with perfect methods to deal with such a high needs child.
And I know that this part of her is small compared to the amazingly huge heart she has. The creativity of a world renown artist courses through her veins and all I ever hear from teachers and friends is how polite, helpful, sweet, and caring she is.
I guess just being around her twin in the needs department just sets her off.
I want the good parts of her to outshine the difficulties that she has in expressing her wants and needs. I want to relish in her amazing energy and stifle the amazing defiance. I want to wrap my arms around her in love, instead of putting her out of my arms as punishment.
Maybe I am just not experienced enough as a mother to deal with what is probably mostly normal. That typical tug of war between someone without full reason of who she is being raised by someone who might never be clearly aware of who she is.
A mother and a daughter.
Too much alike to celebrate their differences.
How do you solve a problem like a 4 year old?
I supposed I’ll continue to attack like I attack trying to improve myself. One day at a time. Minute by minute. Bathing in the tears of happiness and cleaning up the ones of frustration. Knowing that eventually, with a pure heart and consistent goal, I will be able to let her shine as brightly as God made her.
She’s only 4.
But still 4.
I found when mine would go through those phases it meant they were seeking to have more control over their lives- so I’d find ways to make them in control, allow things, give plenty of options, and more responsibility.
not sure if it is the same with boys and girls, but maybe it’ll work.
I am sure that is what it is!! I am thinking of making a chore chart and letting her unload the kid dishes and silver ware and feed the dogs kinda thing. At this point, I will try anything!! LOL
Oh I hear you. I don’t have a solution – but I hear you.
My little man is not 4 yet – but sometimes I get so frustrated I could scream! (And do!)
For some reason, his challenging behaviour seems to be cyclical – just when I start to think I need to take him (and me!) to someone to get some advice and help – he snaps out of it & goes back to being as good as gold.
I hope that your little Miss is going through a period of testing limits & that she’ll find her comfort level again.
It is so hard – you love them to pieces, but equally feel infuriated & at your wits end with their behaviour.
Hang in there – this parenting business is one tough gig – but you are not alone x
Thank you Fi!! I do the same thing…. find someone to go see and then bam – a month of angelic behavior! It is so frustrating!! But I am so glad I am not alone! Here is praying both of our kids grow out of it soon!!!
My oldest is 14, almost 15. I’ve been there. The best advice, the same advice that someone very wise gave me, is to remember that you are Mom, and this too shall pass.
Keep your cool, and vent later. Be consistent. You’ll get through this.
Thank you Kristin!! Especially since you made it through and are now at the ages that scare the living tar out of me! LOL
Keep my cool… I need to do that. Maybe I’ll carry around a glass of ice to remind myself! Seriously, it is so easy to lose it on these sweet babies!!
Oh, I can so relate! My oldest daughter is also a high needs little girl. She was born that way. I love her to death, but WOW! We battle too much.
I know she responds much better to positive motivation. Even something simple like a sticker chart for good behavior has been helpful. She also makes progress when we role play and give her loads of praise for good choices. Still, it will be an interesting road ahead with my spirited child.
Hopefully, your little girl is just going through a phase. It’s a good sign she is sweet around everyone else. Good luck!
Thank you Janae! I am thinking of the reward chart. Something tangible she can see and relate too. We will both make it through this…. right?! LOL
I have a book about raising a spirited child. Maybe I should pull that out!
a friend of mine started taking her 4-year-old son to a behavior specialist. he broke…get ready….THREE flat screen tv’s. just because he wanted to. they would replace one, and he’d chuck something at it and break the new one. he was an unholy terror. i’d try something like that before a psychiatrist…might be more beneficial. if you really want her to see someone, anyway.
we had the moment last night where my almost three (but still 2) year old daughter was a poopie head at dinner and we finally had to say no playground that evening. it was rough because we all wanted to go and poor kellan didn’t do anything wrong but didn’t get to go. we took a wagon ride, and past the playground we went. the whole time repeating, you didn’t listen, so no playground. fun times.
maybe kindergarten will straighten her out!
OMG!!! 3 Flat screens?? WOW! I would be livid!! I think a behavior chart might be needed! If that does not work, maybe hanging her upside down by her toenails will work! LOL
Love Love Love your honesty! Also, I am new to the blogging, but was awarded a blogging award! One of the rules is you have to pick some of your favorite blogs to read and award them… so I am awarding yours… I LOVE reading your blog:)
WOW!! Thank you so very much!! I am honored and on my way to see you!!
It’s more than likely a phase…. she’ll grow out of that one and into another one. Stay strong, stand your ground, and thing will get better. ( I have 3 girls …15, 11, 9 and a 15 month old son)
Loved this post bc as a mom in some way or another we have all been there.
I know I certainly have battled with both my girls as they go through phases os trying things out, figuring out how to express themselves, seeing what they can get away with, etc.
Girls are difficult to deal with in that way – they certainly have their own ideas and feelings about things and while i want to encourage them to be strong, proud and determined – it certainly is difficult to deal with when you are trying to keep order and enforce rules.
I don’t have any quick fix solutions – we too are a work in progress but I can tell you that I used a marble jar – they got marbles when they did something good or when I saw real effort to listen and do as they were told. It was all about encouraging the positive they did. Negative behavior lost them marbles. They worked towards a goal that they wanted & we agreed on and it really helped.
I also had to resort to taking things away when things were really bad. Fave toys, treats, etc. They had to earn all those things.
It’s not easy Mama but it does get easier as you figure out what she responds to – there will be something that clicks for her, it’s just finding it.
Good Luck – sorry about the thesis I wrote here!:)
I welcome your comment! Thank you!! I have had friends use the marbles and they loved it! I tried it with plastic bugs but they just wanted to play with the bugs. I need to find marbles and try it. Thank you so much for your comment! I sincerely appreciate it!