My 4 year old is driving me CRAZY! HELP!

Rachel - posted on 02/04/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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He doesn't want to play with his toys. All he does ALL day long is chase our 3 cats. He will lay on them, crawl on the floor and act like a cat, chase them around the house, and laugh at the top of his lungs. The cats grew up with him so they are tolerant of it but it drives me crazy. He has all these awesome toys that he never plays with. He always acts bored and he is always playing with the cats, getting into things and talking back to me. He has a 7 week old brother so he is acting out more, but before I was even pregnant he was still like this it's just getting worse. I tell him over and over not to chase the cats, and he get's time outs, stuff(like watching tv) taken away, but nothing seems to work. He tell me he hates his toys. I literally have to make him play with his toys. I also noticed that when he is in his room he quietly plays with his toys but when I let him out he runs around getting into things and pestering the cats. I am always tired cause I have two kids and especially cause I have a 7 week old to care for 24/7...so his behavior has got to stop. We tried to make a chart and he would get stickers for being good and picking up after his messes then he would get a reward..and it seems like he could care less. At first he was excited now it seems like he's forgot all about it, despite me reminding him. Any ideas from anyone on what I should do with him?

3 Comments

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Carol Anne - posted on 02/06/2013

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I have two boys, 12 and 9 years. I remember that 4 was the hardest! He could be bored because he is between stages. So he may still enjoy his toys sometimes and other time be totally bored with them. I found age 4 to be hard because they were no longer toddlers, but they also were not "big kids"....they don't know what to do with themselves. Find an activity that burns some energy....and wait for him to get through this stage....I remember it was hard.

Crystal - posted on 02/05/2013

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This sounds alot like ADHD. I have 2 boys ages 4 and 6 both were diagnosed about 3 months ago. I had basically gotten to the end of my rope. The talking back was horrible. They constantly were on the go. From the time they got up antill the time they went to bed. Also my 4 year old as the dr. put it has a problem with athority. Really the best way to handle it was to talk to them at there level. I tried just like you did taking things away. It didnot work. They also did not care. What i found to be my savior was to put them in a group activity. You wouldnt think at this age it would make such a difference but id did. They got out tons of bottled up energy so bed time and really all day was much easier to handle. Also I never new my approval or I should say my praise would mean so much to them .They would try so hard at their game or at their matches and that for some reason made them wont my approval at home too. Try some activities where they mite have interest in such as basketball,karate, or even a music class. Maybe this can help you too.

Crystal - posted on 02/05/2013

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It sounds like he really enjoys the cats. You should not make him play with his toys. That will make him feel like his toys are a form of punishment. How much time to you spend playing with him? Is he involved with taking care of his little brother? Does he get one-on-one time with you? It is natural for four year olds to run around, play and act like the cats, get into things. It sounds like he has found ways to entertain himself. You could set up a play cupboard for him (one that he is allowed to get into without actually getting into anything). It is important to spend time with him while caring for your newborn and alone (while your newborn is sleeping). He may just need some extra cuddle time with you, but there shouldn't be a punishment for enjoying your pets. Just make sure he understands the proper way to play with them, (petting them, laying next to them instead of on top of, etc.)

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