A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

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A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

Postby nanana » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:17 pm

My girl will be 4 years old in another 2 months.

Recently she has been extremely short tempered and her temper is getting out of control.

We brought her for a short trip overseas and she has been behaving badly. She talks A LOT and asks LOTS OF questions non stop. When we can't hear her due to the noise outside, she gets upset and angry and starts crying. We ask her to repeat what she just said, and she gets angry. She talks and talks and refuses to listen to us. When she asks a question, we must answer her promptly or else, she will jump of anger. When I was trying to reason with her, she refused to listen to me and kept shouting: "mummy..! mummy..! why just now i asked you, you never answer me!!!" yell non stop.

Her temper is getting worse and worse and I am feeling helpless now. She is extremely DEMANDING and we must follow her way, or else she will throw her tantrum by crying and DEMANDING us to tell her WHY we never listen to her, or why we never follow her instructions. She has lots of WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY.

I feel she is getting out of control.

Due to the trip, her routine has been messed up. She didn't nap or nap at a super late timing and end up, her bedtime was pushed back to 11pm or later.
Normally her bedtime is 9 - 9.30pm.. Could it be due to this? not enough sleep?

At this age, she is already arguing! She has been arguing with me A LOT when I was explaining things to her or telling her off about her stupid behaviour.

I am really at my wits end handling this unreasonable girl. I need help. Seriously.

nanana
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Re: A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:36 am

I found that at 4yo, there was another "terrible 2's" type phase with my girls (now teenagers). When I analysed it, I realised that I had been committing 2 errors - I don't know if this will help you, but I'll share here. One was that I hadn't changed my way of dealing with them even though they were older, and was making all the decisions and expecting them to fall in with my wishes. On the other hand, I sometimes felt that because they were older, I expected more mature behaviour than they were capable of.

Using the examples you cite - maybe your daughter still doesn't realise that it's hard to conduct a conversation in a noisy environment? Maybe when she was younger it wasn't a problem because she talked less? You can pre-empt this issue to some extent if you warn her before you enter a noisy place that you won't be able to hear her, and she should keep her questions for later as far as possible and that you will answer her then. And you must honour that promise by giving her time after you get out of the noisy place, even if it's just 3 mins to answer 1 or 2 questions.

I didn't allow tantrums and was firm about time-out when my kids threw them, but it's usually a sign that a child is unhappy about something. Could it be that your daughter doesn't have enough of your undivided attention on a daily basis because of a younger sibling, long working hours, multi-tasking etc? I found that when I was busy (I was actually doing some courses when my girls were 2-4yo) and not paying much attention to the kids, they got grouchier. Just devoting 30 mins a day of undivided 'mummy time' to them to read a book, play a game, listen to them chatter, worked wonders. No phone calls, no trying to read something or clean or cook or whatever at the same time!

Kids may not know how to voice opinions in a pleasant way, and hence sound like they are arguing or talking back. After all, that's often how we talk to them, and they may not know any other way (which is a reminder that we need to model how we want our kids to speak). Scolding them just makes it worse as they get more antagonistic. You may want to find a calmer moment to help your daughter find nicer ways to voice an opinion, practise speaking in a non-whining, non-argumentative tone etc. Of course, if she is genuinely being rude, give her time-out to think about her sins! But you may find that it's actually that she just doesn't understand how she sounds to you.

And yes, behaviour ALWAYS gets worse when kids are tired and routines are disrupted. Even when on holiday, we tried not to extend bedtimes more than absolutely necessary, and to build down-time into the programme when my girls were young.

slmkhoo
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Re: A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

Postby nanana » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:08 am

mummy of three wrote:She sounds too pampered and seems to want undivided attention, how is she in school?
You may want to bring her around other kids and teach her some manners like how she should be patient and wait.


She is fine at school. Her teacher has been praising that she is well behaved.
She is normally shy with outsiders, but demanding with her parents.

nanana
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Re: A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

Postby nanana » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:15 am

slmkhoo wrote:I found that at 4yo, there was another "terrible 2's" type phase with my girls (now teenagers). When I analysed it, I realised that I had been committing 2 errors - I don't know if this will help you, but I'll share here. One was that I hadn't changed my way of dealing with them even though they were older, and was making all the decisions and expecting them to fall in with my wishes. On the other hand, I sometimes felt that because they were older, I expected more mature behaviour than they were capable of.

Using the examples you cite - maybe your daughter still doesn't realise that it's hard to conduct a conversation in a noisy environment? Maybe when she was younger it wasn't a problem because she talked less? You can pre-empt this issue to some extent if you warn her before you enter a noisy place that you won't be able to hear her, and she should keep her questions for later as far as possible and that you will answer her then. And you must honour that promise by giving her time after you get out of the noisy place, even if it's just 3 mins to answer 1 or 2 questions.

I didn't allow tantrums and was firm about time-out when my kids threw them, but it's usually a sign that a child is unhappy about something. Could it be that your daughter doesn't have enough of your undivided attention on a daily basis because of a younger sibling, long working hours, multi-tasking etc? I found that when I was busy (I was actually doing some courses when my girls were 2-4yo) and not paying much attention to the kids, they got grouchier. Just devoting 30 mins a day of undivided 'mummy time' to them to read a book, play a game, listen to them chatter, worked wonders. No phone calls, no trying to read something or clean or cook or whatever at the same time!

Kids may not know how to voice opinions in a pleasant way, and hence sound like they are arguing or talking back. After all, that's often how we talk to them, and they may not know any other way (which is a reminder that we need to model how we want our kids to speak). Scolding them just makes it worse as they get more antagonistic. You may want to find a calmer moment to help your daughter find nicer ways to voice an opinion, practise speaking in a non-whining, non-argumentative tone etc. Of course, if she is genuinely being rude, give her time-out to think about her sins! But you may find that it's actually that she just doesn't understand how she sounds to you.

And yes, behaviour ALWAYS gets worse when kids are tired and routines are disrupted. Even when on holiday, we tried not to extend bedtimes more than absolutely necessary, and to build down-time into the programme when my girls were young.


Thanks for your sharing! Well written. Appreciate it! :)
I agree with you. I am a stay at home mum, facing her all day. But as I also have my own online business to take care, so I can't give her 100% attention all the time. But I do spend time to play with her/ do some activity books with her with undivided attention for 30 min to 1 hour each day. And read books to her before nap/bedtime.

Now that we are settle down at home again, I hope she will get better, as she will be back to her routine again. I think part of the reason maybe due to the travelling too, as we were all quite exhausted. I will try to talk to her calmly and repeat to her again and again that she needs to behave herself.

I will see how it goes. :) Thanks again!

nanana
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Re: A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

Postby slmkhoo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:33 am

nanana wrote:I will try to talk to her calmly and repeat to her again and again that she needs to behave herself.

I will see how it goes. :) Thanks again!

You will probably already know, but just want to point out that vague words like 'behave yourself' don't always convey enough meaning to small kids. They sometimes don't know what you want, so it's better to be very specific what you want them to do or say, and make the practise it in your presence.

slmkhoo
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Re: A short-tempered soon-to-be 4 years old girl

Postby nanana » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:42 am

slmkhoo wrote:
nanana wrote:I will try to talk to her calmly and repeat to her again and again that she needs to behave herself.

I will see how it goes. :) Thanks again!

You will probably already know, but just want to point out that vague words like 'behave yourself' don't always convey enough meaning to small kids. They sometimes don't know what you want, so it's better to be very specific what you want them to do or say, and make the practise it in your presence.


Yup, I don't normally tell her the words 'behave yourself' as I know she doesn't understand what that means. I have been telling her specifically what and how I want her to behave. :)

nanana
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