What to do about the Terrible Two’s & Fours

You’ve heard of the “Terrible Two’s”, but what about the “Frightful Fours”?!

I came across this blog post that I wrote but never published and I thought it would be a great time to publish it now because my friend has a set of twins that are going to be turning 4 soon.  I wanted to share with her and my readers my experience with my 3 kids at this age.  Here is the blog I wrote about 10 years ago……

I’ve noticed so far that having a four-year-old boy or girl is much worse than having a two-year-old. I have a son who has passed these two ages already but now I have a daughter who is four and I can defiantly say I prefer a two-year-old! lol.

This has been a rough year for both her and me as a parent. Every morning is a fight. She doesn’t want to get up, she wants to pick her own clothes and gives me an attitude no matter what I say. Then there is crying and crying and crying, it seems like she cries over everything and anything. I’ll talk to her so sweet and ask please, pretty please can you put your shoes on and she starts crying hysterically….”I don’t want to wear those shoes”. I’m so mentally exhausted!

Dealing with these 4 years olds feels similar to someone with bipolar disorder or something because one minute they’re fine and then the next they’re screaming, crying, and throwing a tantrum.  I remember my son doing the same thing, crying and fighting with me about everything.  I was so happy when that year was over but now I’ve got my middle one going through it and my youngest will be four next year so I’m not done yet.

My Advice:

Understanding her sleep routine/personality:
I realized that my daughter really struggles with waking up quickly, which is partially my fault.  I would try to sleep in as long as possible so I would only allow for about 30 min to wake everyone up and get ready to leave.  Now, on the days when I have to get up early for work,  I’ll wake up an extra 15 or 20 minutes early and turn their bedroom light on and tell them to wake up slowly. That way she has a longer amount of time to wake up slowly and she tends to not be as grouchy.

Pre-plan the outfits & distract:
I also have started making deals with her about what she’s going to wear. Right now all she wants to wear is dresses or skirts but it’s cold out and I don’t want her to get sick.  So now, the night before we talk about what she’s going to wear and I tell her that one day she can wear a dress and the next day she’ll have to wear pants.  I also told her she can pick out her own clothes all long as it’s appropriate for the day. She likes being independent and it seems to work out for both of us. If there’s a day when she wants to wear a dress but it’s too cold or I don’t have a clean one available, she starts crying like usual, but now I distract her.  I’ll start talking about after school, we can go to a park or I’ll talk to her about something I know she likes and she tends to forget all about not wearing what she wants.

Rewarding for good behavior:
I have also been trying to use rewards and treats for good behavior instead of just punishing for bad.  I bought little suckers and keep them in my car.   When I pick them up from school, I will ask the teacher how they were and if she said that they listened and she didn’t have a tantrum,  they get a sucker.  At home, if she’s being really good I’ll read an extra book, play some of her favorite songs in her room or they get to watch a movie.

It’s been a rough couple of years and these new techniques have been helping a lot.  I hope if you’re going through the same things as me,  these tips will help you too. I would love it if you left comments about your situations and what you’ve done as well, so we can all help each other!

Much love,

Kristin


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