Terrible Fours???

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2011
Terrible Fours???
1
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 5:43pm

I know that it seems very biased, but I have always been amazed at how well my oldest has always behaved. Never throwing fits, whining, or crying when told she couldn't do/have something, and always doing what she's told. But lately all of that has changed. At first it was just with me and her father, she would whine and throw tatrums if we told her to go do something, then it escelated to screaming and even sometimes hitting. Now she is doing it with other members of our family as well. Most weekends she gets to go to her Yaiyai's house to have sleep overs, but last weekend she was brought home after dinner because she was behaving so poorly. Is this just something that happens at four? Is it a late rebeliion because of the "new" baby?( I put new in quotations because she's six months old) I am at a loss. We are trying to stay calm and not lose our tempers with her, but it is getting hard and stressing us out to the point where my husband and I have arguments over almost nothing. HELP!!!!!

Community Leader
Registered: 05-04-2011
Sat, 03-09-2013 - 6:01pm
Ugh.  :(  My five-year-old was much the same: an angel at 2, and then at around 4 he became whiny and demanding.  We realized it was because he spent so much time with DH's parents, who give in to the whining, and who always let him get his own way; he's a marvelous, remarkable, incredible person around whom the world revolves, as far as they're concerned.  (Not that he's not marvelous, remarkable, and incredible; we just don't let him think his sh!t don't stink.)  We had to cut back on the time he spends with them, make sure he understood he would NOT be welcome to go there every time he asked, and sit down with the IL's and make sure they understood that Noah is not the only grandchild in the world (they have two others, for instance, who also want to spend time with them) and his whining was not to be tolerated.  He still huffs and sighs and whines when he doesn't get his own way, but it's not nearly as bad.
I'd take a good look at what she's doing and ask yourself why.  It could be because of the baby; does she feel that the baby is getting all the attention?  Maybe it's pushing the boundaries.  Maybe it's something else completely.  Either way, figure out what's going on.  Sit down with her and ask her why she's so upset.  Then, let her know that this behaviour is not okay, and that if she does X, then X will happen.  Next time it happens, give her one warning, then lay down the law.  It's going to suck for both of you for a while, but eventually it should help.  Talk to her grandparents and let them know how you're handling her behaviour and that you expect them to handle it the same way.  Above all, you and your DH need to be on the same page with this.  Talk to him before you talk to anyone else, and be open with each other.
*hugs*  I hope E settles down soon -- temper tantrums and whining are no fun for anyone.  :(