Okay, I don’t mean all four-year-olds are a problem. But damn, my one is challenging. I guess that is the beauty of parenting. You take the good, the bad and the tantrums. I always believe that there is no manual. There are some common themes, but all of our children are unique. This is my little rant so bear with me.
Firstly, we had the terrible two’s and threes, and things were finally calming down at age four.
However, it was a false sense of calm. Little did I know what lies beneath. Also as she is ‘Big Sissie’ this comes with an additional set of challenges.
Although the tantrums have become less, they have become higher grade tantrums.Although the tantrums are less, they are now Higher Grade tantrums Click To Tweet
Questions asked all the time.
Things that don’t work anymore:
Bribes don’t work, because she can work it so that she gets the thing that you are bribing her with and still go for what she wants.
Talking her out of things
Try to reason with a four-year-old.
Don’t worry I’ll wait.
You have the spunk of a three-year-old (that does not go away guys), and the vocabulary of a four-year-old, and the mood of a thirteen-year-old on your hands. Plus sometimes the energy of an energizer bunny.
Then again, sometimes the energy of an older person. “I am so tired. I can’t walk”, she pronounces. Suitably timed to be when things are not going her way,
Distraction does not work. She is focused and determined. Wild horses cannot take this little one off her path when she has set herself a goal.
Tips for managing your 4-year-old’s behavior
At every stage, it is essential to get to you know your child. There is no manual. Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with your four-year-old
Focus on the positive, always reinforce positive behavioural traits
Catch them doing something right and recognise that. If they go ahead and brush their teeth, why not say something encouraging?
Maintain a routine for your 4-year old
Waking up, eating times, bedtime, etc.
Give your child choices whenever appropriate
Example, getting dressed give them two acceptable choices. Just for the record, this does not work out with Big Sissy. She looks at my two ‘acceptable’ options and then goes to her cupboard.
Try to always respond calmly
This is so HARD! I am a shouter mom, but I am working on it!
Each phase has its challenges, and this too shall pass!
I also stumbled across this article about tantrum taming phrases to use with a 3 – 4 year olds that might give you some tools to use.