Four and a half year old

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Four and a half year old

Postby JMc » Wed May 04, 2016 3:02 pm

What has worked with your 4 y/o? DS1 is seriously pushing boundaries. He is actually 4.75. He will be starting kindergarten (first year of elementary school) here in the Fall (mid-Aug), so 6ish months before he would be starting in Aus. And it can't come soon enough for me :( I feel so sad saying that.

He is disobedient. He always says he is bored and asks to play the tablet all day every day (he is only allowed to play it on the weekend). He doesn't want to go anywhere, and we have a battle every time we leave the house (and, you know, we have to get DD from school every.single.day.) He is so rough with DS2. He drives DD to tears every day (tho, to be fair, she reacts so spectacularly it must be impossible to resist).

I think we must be doing a totally sh!tty job of parenting. DH thinks he is bored and needs more to do. He's suggesting pre-soccer and more play dates.

DD is also being quite difficult and melting down a lot after school - so adding more to our schedule might be hard for her.

I'm wondering if it's just us (two difficult children at the same time suggests our family is in stress) or are four year olds just hard work?

Help!! Suggestions please.

Also, thank goodness for the cutie breastfeeding 'baby', reminding me that actually I do love my children...
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby AussieBritLu » Wed May 04, 2016 5:26 pm

My 4.5yr old is driving me bonkers!
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby Jenbt85 » Wed May 04, 2016 7:20 pm

We have had huge success with lots of reflection of feelings with our 3.25 year old. I will pm you a book recommendation and Facebook page that I follow that has really helped us.
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby Esther » Wed May 04, 2016 10:07 pm

Sounds like my nearly 8yo DS at times. Sending hugs. It's occasional successes, lots of yelling (from everyone :oops: ) and lots of trying again. I think some personalities just have to push the envelope. We're also starting to slowly realise that DS actually is much better this week when we've just told him it's time for bed, but not actually what time it is. His official bedtime is 7, but I think he does better even half an hour earlier, as he's usually awake and reading after 5am :shock: :? :roll: and yay?!

The babysitter had him in bed tonight at 6.30. Out like a light apparently. He's quite a bit nicer with more sleep. Just something that has worked for us recently. Ask me again next week.

I also remember a book about children and discipline talking about the need to give children fences to run into ie, rules for your family. It's really hard work and you sometimes wonder why you bother, but they really need them, even when they push against them as hard as they can.

And no, I doubt very much that it's you xo

Good luck!
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby ~WildChild~ » Wed May 04, 2016 10:27 pm

My 4yo (5 in June) pushes my boundaries too. She's often 'bored' with no idea what it means! She doesn't do as I ask & I love her dearly but enjoy the days she's at kinder too.
Rather than go out if your DD won't handle more, challenge him at home maybe? What does he like? Can he help you more? Is he interested in numbers / letters etc?
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby Nedsmum » Wed May 04, 2016 10:44 pm

Observation from working in a preschool with children from 3+...somehow by around 4.5 they act like they 'own the place'... so much attitude ;-)
My teens have to be dragged out anywhere...I think it just feels like too much hassle...and then they actually enjoy themselves (we took them to the observatory for the first time last week and they really got into it, till the two older ones hit bedtime and couldn't stay awake...)...

What works ? Predictable routines, even a written plan for the day, jobs to do, pets to look after, chores, 1:1 time with someone who is not mum or dad... got any good friends who are good role models for him ?
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby ClOuD_NiNe » Thu May 05, 2016 6:39 am

My 4.75 year old is the same. I've worked out he needs to be really active, ALL THE TIME!! He has so much energy, just like his dad. It's not feasible for me to be out all day with him (housework duties, preg tiredness) but I at least make sure we get out for half a day. He needs to run and play outdoors. When we're out at the beach or playground or going for walks he's in his element, he loves learning about nature. He is also very social and loves playing with his friends. When he started kindy this year it was perfect as he could play with his friends all day.

If we're home all day he asks to watch tv a lot, bugs his sister, has big meltdowns and generally makes my life a misery. That's a lot of incentive to get out! Sometimes it can be hard to get him out of the house but it's totally worth it. He will quite happily sit down and concentrate on drawing/colouring, blocks, cars, etc but he needs that balance of outdoor play, without it things just fall apart.
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby JennyD » Thu May 05, 2016 10:18 am

At this stage I made sure the back yard was safe and they spent most of the day out there, just doing stuff. We would also go shopping or do something fun each day, go to the park while the older one was at school etc. The other thing I did was certain things are not negotiable. We need to get DD from school, so everyone has to walk to school to pick her up, we need to go to bed at bed time, we need to have a shower, so these things just have to happen. We don't need to get on the swing, we can play in the sand if we want to so that is a choice. I was, and still am, very careful about what is a choice and what is not. Works reasonably well, although I still get complaints. The other thing that worked well with mine was surprise activities, so if I wanted to take them to the zoo on Friday, I would tell them on Friday morning "put your shoes on we're going to the zoo" this is because if I had to cancel after telling them they would get really upset, I know other kids don't like surprises and would prefer the warning and possible cancelation, but surprise activities worked really well. They still enjoy going on a mystery tour, I know where we are going, but they don't and they spend the whole time guessing.
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby MamaMagoO? » Thu May 05, 2016 11:24 am

Yes 4.5 year olds are phenomenal boundary pushers. I have considered packing mine up in a box and posting her somewhere far, far away until she grows out of it. I also have a sensitive 7 yr old that the 4.5 year loves to push the buttons of and torture whenever she can. It is not your family It is a really difficult stage. Give me a room full of 2 year olds any day rather than 1 4.5 year old!! I don't have any suggestions other than you just have to keep your head down and try to ride it out. They do grow out of it eventually. I do find days when we have planned activities for her tend to go more smoothly- unless she gets over-tired.

Just wanted to let you know you are not alone and it is definitely not your fault xx
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby JMc » Thu May 05, 2016 2:43 pm

Thank you so much for your suggestions and words of encouragement. I'm *glad* it's not just us! I did remember that I felt very ready for DD to go to school too.

We live in an apartment without much yard, but I've been tidying up and I think we can fit a trampoline in. Hoping the increased physical activity might help all of us!
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby MamaMagoO? » Wed May 25, 2016 2:30 pm

So I just revisited this post because my 4.5 year old is getting really full-on. Her tantrums are ramping up to the next level often over the smallest of things. Thankfully she usually has them at home so I don't have to deal with it in public. I remember all to well the stress of trying to keep her safe when she did throw 2yr old tantrum in busy public places- so at least I have that to be grateful for... mostly...

Today was an exception. I'm driving DH's car atm after DD vomitted on her car seat the other day (that's a whole other story- but the short of it is that I needed to wash the seat cover so it was easier to take DH's car rather than moving seats around). Anyway, DH's car has a lever that pops the boot open which my car does not. When we got to school I let Little Magoo pop open the boot to get out his school bag and Miss Magoo cracked it because she didn't get to. I offered to let her have a go now but that wasn't good enough because LM's bag was no longer in there. Then she gets out of the car and starts chasing LM across the school grounds as he's walking to class. He sees her coming and opens his arms for a hug, thinking that is why she is chasing him but it isn't. She tries to pull his school bag off his back. I run over and restrain her so the LM can make his escape and then the tantrum really starts. 15 minutes of screaming and kicking and trying to pull me along in the direction of LM's class room because she wanted me to go in there and get his school bag so that she could get it out of the boot. Meanwhile I am just trying to stay calm and grounded and not cry - which took a massive amount of will power. After about 15 miutes she finally calmed down enough for a hug and it was another 10 minutes before I was finally able to carry her like a baby back to the carpark (Oh, and how that brought back memories of carrying her through the playground just like that as a little 2 year old when LM first started school and I nearly started crying again for how quickly she has grown and how next year she will be a school kid too- but that's another story). Finally back at the car I let her pop the boot open and promise her that whenever I need to open the boot today she can be the one to pop it. Then we are off and she sings happily in the back seat all the way to the speech session we were now running late for.

The thing is I am starting to wonder at what point to you decide that this sort of behaviour is not normal? When do you decide it's time to get a professional opinion on it? Its kind of funny how reading back not that long ago I was reassuring Jmc that difficult behaviour is normal for 4.5 year olds and now I'm questioning that. Miss Magoo has always been very strong willed. We used to call her Little Miss Tenacious even as a baby because she always knew what she wanted and wouldn't give up on it without a fight. But far out!! As a 4.5 year old I would have thought I'd be able to use a little more reason with her. 2 friends, both of whom have kids with diagnosed ASD, stopped to ask if I needed help. I said I didn't think there was anything they could do but I thanked them for stopping. 1 was still in the carpark when I got there and so I had a little chat after buckling MM in. She said that that rigidity she is displaying is so much like her ASD kids but she is so much more social and has no trouble at all making friends. I said I was glad we were going to speech as I know that speechies can be really good a picking up on indications that there is something going on. And so far they have not seen anything to worry about.

Anyway thanks for reading. I'm a bit stuffed now.
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby JennyD » Wed May 25, 2016 3:40 pm

Hugs MM that sounds so full on. Truthfully I would consider getting her checked up. Girls with ASD present very differently to boys. Girls seem to be much more socially able while still having the rigidity. And really if she isn't ASD, at least you know that and don't have to wonder. We still wonder if DD is ASD, and she is 21, if I'd had her tested at 11 (when we found out DS was ASD) I would no longer wonder :)
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby AussieBritLu » Wed May 25, 2016 4:12 pm

Hugs MM...know the feeling though...DD throws a tantrum over anything....we are currently doing questionnaires (which I still need to get on with) and are being referred to an OT about her behaviour.
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby MamaMagoO? » Wed May 25, 2016 6:14 pm

If I did want to get her assessed who would I see about that?
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Re: Four and a half year old

Postby AussieBritLu » Wed May 25, 2016 6:25 pm

I spoke to the early childhood nurse at DD2's appointment about DD1's behaviour as I wasn't sure if it was normal behaviour for her age or not.
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