I can't handle my 4 year old son anymore.

Brittany - posted on 02/24/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Hey, I am a stay at home mother of 3 young children. My oldest (4) is out of control. He will not listen, he is completely hyperactive. he has a smart mouth, he never stops talking, he never sits still. I don't know how much more I can take. I feel like a horrible mother but I do not think I have what it takes to care for him. I have 2 younger children and I think this is really putting a strain on my relationship with them. I don't know what to do. I have tried getting him put on medication but the doctor refuses because they say he is too young. I have tried time out, restriction fromt hings he likes, and old fashioned spankings. Nothing works and he gets worse by the day. He will not play in his room. He crys and whines all the time as well. It is to the point that I am ready to call social services and have him placed with a family that can better take care of him, i am just afraid if I do that they will take my two younger children who are not behavior challenged. I love my son very much and I hope I am not looked at in a bad way for sayign these things, I just have no one to talk to about this.

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Jessica - posted on 02/24/2011

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i completely understand where you are coming from. you are not a failure at all. you just have a difficult child. i would read some books on ADHD and try some of their methods of discipline. i myself have it and i can remember driving my mom CRAZY. i was so bad, my mom wanted to drop me off somewhere and never come back. i even caused my parents to get divorced in some ways. my whole family resented me for a very long time because i made their lives hell... seriously, i was BAD. and looking back, the one thing that i wished my parents did was understand. i wished they would have realized that i was really confused and that i could not control anything i did. my brain was just wired funny and i couldn't help it. the last thing i would have needed was my mother abandoning me... because even though i acted super bad all the time, i was actually happy and i loved my parents a lot. i just acted like i was unhappy. but truthfully i was just overstimulated and i acted out because of that.



so read some books. learn about it. figure out what works. and go from there. i would meet with a child psychologist specializing in ADHD and have your son see her once a week. i would also stick your son in preschool so you can get a break from him (trust me, it helps, and your son will learn how to follow rules better). i would also get him involved in large muscle activities like swimming or baseball or anything that is really physically challenging so you can wear him out. kids with ADHD need a lot of physical stimulation to cool down. i would also do some alone time with him one to two times a week and do something special with just him. i would also get a second opinion on the medication (trust me, it HELPS) or you could go to a health store and they have herbs that are supposed to help (and they do). another thing to remember is soon he will be in school all day so you won't have to be with him all day and it will be easier to deal with him. also kids outgrow some behaviors after awhile. it won't always be this hard. it does get easier.



my step daughter has ADHD and i swore sometimes when she was four, that i wanted to THROW her out the window or drop her off somewhere in the country. she fought with my kids (her siblings) constantly. she was mean. she yelled for hours. she was set off really easily. if my daughter had a toy she wanted she would scream and yell at her and hit her until she gave it to her. it really sucked watching her pick on my kids and it broke my heart. she was always running away and never listening. she was always making these HUGE messes that would take hours to clean up. she was really rowdy in public and people always gave us funny looks. it really took a toll on me. i was really stressed out and depressed over it. not matter what i did, she would never stop. but once she started school and medication she changed over night practically and things got A LOT better. granted there are still issues but they aren't as bad. my stress level has gone way down and she is easier to deal with.



my point is, wait. it gets better. i would try to maybe get more breaks from him too and spend time with your other kids doing special things with them... so they get a break from him as well and feel special spending time with just you. i would also explain it to them what their brother's problem is so they are more understanding and less resentful.



you do not look bad at all for saying any of this. in fact you look better for admitting it.

Kayla - posted on 04/01/2015

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I started crying as soon as i read this. My son is just like this he is 4 also. I feel horrible because I can barley stand to be around him. He makes every day a struggle. No matter what he gets he is still unhappy. I took him to the zoo and he threw a fit,took him to park and he cries the whole time, it seems like the more nice and caring things i do the worse he acts. Its like no matter what he is going to choose to be unhappy. Everyday its a fight about what clothes he doesn't want to wear or he doesn't like the cup i put his milk in, Its exhausting. I love him so much and i discipline and love him every day. I hope it gets better because i don't know how much more i can take. I drop him off at daycare as early as i can and pick him up as late as i can so i can just get a break.
He is in soccer and i am going to put him in swim classes to see if that will help calm him down.

[deleted account]

You are not alone. I just googled, "I can't stand my awful 4 year old & this post (thankfully) popped up. I have a 17 year old who is going to major in aerospace engineering, a 14 year old who is kind hearted and smart. Before I had my 4 year old, I thought I was the baby (and child )whisperer. I nursed them all-my 4 year old the longest, was at home, attachment style, went to early childhood education classes-all the right things, right? My heart & spirit is broken. We were able to finally get her in with a neurologist who refered us to a children's hospital that will do some official testing. I'm so done. I am exhausted every freaking day. I worry about what kind of an adult she will grow into when this is how she acts now.
And yes, I've tried everything. Every book, every discipline technique. Everything.
I'm sorry for you other moms who are dealing with the same thing. It's heartbreaking.

Kristin - posted on 12/15/2012

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To all you frustrated moms of kids with behavior problems. It does get better they so calm down and with structure discipline and consistency they so calm down. The absolute worst thing you can do is feel bad about being a mother or not being able to handle them. Being a parent is hard and every parent has had feeling if being inadequate but all one can do is their best and love and support their children. When my son was 3 I was ready to give up but I got in touch with some community support groups when they digs nosed my son with speech issues. Then we went to chads and found out he was ADHD with aggressive tendencies. With support and bring consistent my son is 10 million times better he is now seven I closely monitor his diet and I don't let him get away with any inexcusable behavior I still put him in his room until he calms down I don't yell don't hit just stand firm. I also believe that going outside and being active helps calm ADHD kids plus it keeps us mothers young at heart lol just remember it may seem like hell now but it will get better and remember you are not alone and there are many local support groups and parenting groups

Kimberley - posted on 09/02/2014

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This is how I'm feeling right now, would never give him up but I'm finding it hard to cope I have 3 children 6 month old (angel) 2 tear old (grumpy but well behaved) 4 year old (uncontrollable) he has gone from my perfect little angel to this horrible little boy who likes to hurt people, cry a lot, bored constantly, fidgets, makes mess, runs riot, talks back and just generally has no respect for me or my partner (not his real dad but been with him since my son was 6 months old and has always been treated equity if not better than our younger 2) we are finding it so hard I do not know what to do for the best his dad had ADHD so I'm guessing there is a big chance he could too. Its just making us very unhappy and unfair on our younger boys I'm just glad he will be starting school next week. Summer holidays have been a nightmare and he was only in 2.5 hours 5 days a week before. We have done so much with him I just don't understand how he can be like this after all we do! Its making me a very angry person and I just feel like I'm failing as a mother 😢 my partner feels down about this 2 as we have tried so hard to be the best parents we can.

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Maria - posted on 11/07/2017

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Wow im crying reading this as i thought i was a horrible mother. I have 3 kids a 17 year old daughter, 5 year old so. and 1 year old son. My daughter was a good and easy child and still is but my 5 year old drives me insane. He is rude, disrespectful, doesnt listen at all, is a lil bully, screams throughs tantrums, acts like he is crazy i just dont know what to do anymore. I think i went wrong by spoiling him to much when he was younger. I dread being home and its sad. He does stuff then wants hugs after and i feel bad but then he goes and behaves the same. His dad is in his life and he is completely different around daddy makes it seem like im lying. I love him to death but im so stressed i take away his favs, no TV, no game but it just gets him more bored and behave worse. I just cant take it anymore please any advice would help.

Maria - posted on 11/07/2017

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Wow im crying reading this as i thought i was a horrible mother. I have 3 kids a 17 year old daughter, 5 year old so. and 1 year old son. My daughter was a good and easy child and still is but my 5 year old drives me insane. He is rude, disrespectful, doesnt listen at all, is a lil bully, screams throughs tantrums, acts like he is crazy i just dont know what to do anymore. I think i went wrong by spoiling him to much when he was younger. I dread being home and its sad. He does stuff then wants hugs after and i feel bad but then he goes and behaves the same. His dad is in his life and he is completely different around daddy makes it seem like im lying. I love him to death but im so stressed i take away his favs, no TV, no game but it just gets him more bored and behave worse. I just cant take it anymore please any advice would help.

Maria - posted on 11/07/2017

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Wow im crying reading this as i thought i was a horrible mother. I have 3 kids a 17 year old daughter, 5 year old so. and 1 year old son. My daughter was a good and easy child and still is but my 5 year old drives me insane. He is rude, disrespectful, doesnt listen at all, is a lil bully, screams throughs tantrums, acts like he is crazy i just dont know what to do anymore. I think i went wrong by spoiling him to much when he was younger. I dread being home and its sad. He does stuff then wants hugs after and i feel bad but then he goes and behaves the same. His dad is in his life and he is completely different around daddy makes it seem like im lying. I love him to death but im so stressed i take away his favs, no TV, no game but it just gets him more bored and behave worse. I just cant take it anymore please any advice would help.

Maria - posted on 11/07/2017

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Wow im crying reading this as i thought i was a horrible mother. I have 3 kids a 17 year old daughter, 5 year old so. and 1 year old son. My daughter was a good and easy child and still is but my 5 year old drives me insane. He is rude, disrespectful, doesnt listen at all, is a lil bully, screams throughs tantrums, acts like he is crazy i just dont know what to do anymore. I think i went wrong by spoiling him to much when he was younger. I dread being home and its sad. He does stuff then wants hugs after and i feel bad but then he goes and behaves the same. His dad is in his life and he is completely different around daddy makes it seem like im lying. I love him to death but im so stressed i take away his favs, no TV, no game but it just gets him more bored and behave worse. I just cant take it anymore please any advice would help.

Maria - posted on 11/07/2017

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Wow im crying reading this as i thought i was a horrible mother. I have 3 kids a 17 year old daughter, 5 year old so. and 1 year old son. My daughter was a good and easy child and still is but my 5 year old drives me insane. He is rude, disrespectful, doesnt listen at all, is a lil bully, screams throughs tantrums, acts like he is crazy i just dont know what to do anymore. I think i went wrong by spoiling him to much when he was younger. I dread being home and its sad. He does stuff then wants hugs after and i feel bad but then he goes and behaves the same. His dad is in his life and he is completely different around daddy makes it seem like im lying. I love him to death but im so stressed i take away his favs, no TV, no game but it just gets him more bored and behave worse. I just cant take it anymore please any advice would help.

Julie - posted on 09/23/2017

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Can any of u shed some light a couple of years later? Im in this boat with my 4 year old and have lost all hope.

Julie - posted on 09/23/2017

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Nikki i just dod the same thing and in the same boat...your post is from 2015...can u give me some hope? Has anything changed?

Julie - posted on 09/23/2017

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Nikki i just dod the same thing and in the same boat...your post is from 2015...can u give me some hope? Has anything changed?

Chana - posted on 04/01/2015

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Hugs to all of you that have children that make you feel like this. I have no advice that hasn't already been given. I have always used the "1-2-3 Magic" but that is something I learned while working in Daycare before becoming a stay at home mom. It is a great tool and has good results. My girls are 4 and 2 1/2 and are usually well behaved, they have their moments but nothing compared to what you moms are describing. It makes me realize that the little things they do that sometimes drive me crazy are nothing.

Kimberly - posted on 09/04/2014

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Hi Brittany,
I can't even imagine how challenging life is for you. I am not a single mum but commend you and want to let you know that you are a great Mum, because you haven't given up and only want the best for your kids.
I have a daughter who is very strong willed and can be quite difficult. Here are a couple of things I would try.
1) try to eliminate additives out of his diet.
2) work out what he values, and trust me there would be something
3) give timeout another go, but read up on Jo Frost UK nanny. I use this and find it extremely successful

****** make sure above all else no matter how tired and hard it might be, be consistent and persistent. It will be hard in the beginning, but worth it in the long run.

Kimberley - posted on 09/02/2014

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Reading this sounds exactly like my oldest son who is 4, he's such hard work just so ungrateful for everything we try and do for him he has 2 younger brothers 2 and 6 months and he hurts the 2 year old and has made my baby cry by screaming at him and finds it funny, I swear he has an evil sense of humour he fidgets gets bored so easy, makes the biggest mess his brothers have a different dad to him but he is like a dad to him been there since he was 6 months old and treats him exactly the same as our younger 2. Doesn't see his real dad he had ADHD and was such a horrible person to me, I'm so scared he's turning out like him. Me and my partner are both feeling really down about this and feel like there is no happiness left in our house. 😢

Anna - posted on 07/16/2014

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Omg I thought I was the only mom who felt this way seriously. I feel terrible for feeling this way. My 4 year old is the exact same way. I feel its hurting my one year old daughters development as well. I know its already put a strain on my relationship with her dad. I just dont know.What to do anymore. Its causing me severe depression and anger issues.

Danielle - posted on 01/30/2014

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Hi I'm excactly the same my son is 6 and I've tried everything same as yourself can't cope anymore no one will diagnose him as they keep telling me he's young he's
6 but as his mother
I no something is rong I've been dealing with this from he was
2 don't no what to do anymore

Danielle - posted on 01/30/2014

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I am excactly the same except my son is six av to younger children and can't cope anymore

User - posted on 12/15/2012

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Britney you are absolutely not alone as the other moms said. my son just turn for this past November. I have a 9 year old daughter so I knew from the beginning that something wasn't right with him. I left father when he was 2 weeks old so I thought maybe I wasn't doing good at being a mother on the own. but then I thought my daughter is doing great so I'm doing something right. as a mom you tried to ignore it. first it was the terrible twos, then when he was 3 they told me all he's just a boy. now he is 3 and it is gotten worse than ever. I have been reading book after book blog after blog trying to get some kind of answers home what could be wrong with him. he is never happy no matter what we're doing. he's angry all the time talks back all the time. his dad only sees him once a week so I don't really have any support there. I found a blog about a disorder called ODD. now I'm not saying this is what he has but as I read it I felt as though they were talking about Sebastian. word for word action by action. so a few weeks ago I decided to try the techniques that they explain to do and behavior has escalated to something I can not handle. I feel horrible because I love my son but I sometimes hate him so much. they say not to hate the child that you don't hate the child you just hate the behavior. I can't even handle this behavior. I'm at my wits end but I cannot give up on him. he went this past week for his first visit with a child psychologist and has a second appointment next week for a one on one appointment with the dr. after that though be weekly visits with the doctor until he can tell me what is wrong with my son.
you're not wrong to feel is if you just want to give him away and don't feel bad about feeling that way we can only take so much. I have felt it too that's why I'm on this blog right now. we literally just left the Winter Fest Fort Lauderdale boat parade which every child in enjoys. well every calm child enjoys. but instead to work the end of the parade Sebastian decided he didn't want to sit with me anymore so he stood up and ran away. I chase him through about 500 people before I caught him. picked him up, he was kicking and screaming hitting me calling me stupid. I ended up leaving my daughter with my sister and my friends so they could enjoy the rest of the night. I borrowed my roomates car to come home w him. he is literally terrorizing the entire household. it's affecting me my roommate my daughter my life.
I honestly don't know if I can wait for doctor tell me what's wrong with this child. as I said before it's gotten worse since I've tried different technique. I no longer yell at him I no longer his him or spank him. I simply in Conley take whatever is bothering me or he's bothering me with a way from him. I believe that this may be the reason for the Escalation in the bad behavior. for so many years his bad behavior is gotten a spanking or time out and now that no longer works so he's trying other things like eating and talking back and calling me names. I think that if I can get through this and teach him the only good behavior get your war did and bad behavior will no longer get my attention. I hope it will set a pattern. I just know I love him I'm not going to give up on him and if he can be this way it for years old I don't know what he will be at 14. I just want what's best for him and to make him a good young man. I'll keep you guys posted I'm what the doctor says and if I have any progress with the new techniques. it feels nice to be able to get this out thank you ladies and know there is hope for all of us!

Kristin - posted on 06/12/2012

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My son was like that and he was diagnosed with ADHD best thing i found is counting to 3 and using time outs. Explain to him that bad behavior has bad consequebnces and good behavior has good consequences. If my son is bad he goes to his room and stays there until he calms down and apologizes. If he makes a mess while in a time out he has to clean it and all treats are gone (ie trip to the park, going to a friends house etc) Consitency and discipline are key to getting them to behave. Also I put my son through behavior classes at CHADS and I limit the amount of sugar he has. I also learnt that I have to watch my reactions and stay calm. Yelling, screaming, hitting get you absolutely no where with kids with behavior problems. I also make sure he knows what he did wrong and get down to his level and make him have eye to eye contact with me and I always follow discipline with a talk and a hug and tell him i still love him. I know it is hard when you have younger children but you really need to make time for just you and him. I have a 1 year old and my ADHD son is 6 so when baby goes to bed we have one on one time. Also, keep him active. I kick my kids outside all the time and take them to the parks, swimming, sports, every night of the week for at least an hour. Try putting your son into karate or tae kwon doe as this will teach them discipline and calm them down. Whatever you do do not give up, it does get better and there are a lot of support groups within the communities to help you.

Ajc03anderson@yahoo.com - posted on 06/12/2012

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my son is 4 I can't take him any where he screams, hits, tantrums. I can't tell him what to do like get dressed with out a big fight everything is a fight I'm not kidding everything. he tries to break my stuff his brothers stuff. Ive tried spanking, soap, time out even in a car seat so he wouldnt hurt me and himselfhe has always had a anger problem its just keeps getting bigger as he grows my husband doesn't know what to do

Aimee - posted on 03/09/2011

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i have a son like that and when i sent him to pre school he calmed down as he was so tired when he come back he was ready for his tea and bath and bed u are not a bad mum u are just at the end of your patients we all get that at times hope this helps but keep up the time out and take things away to good luck

Mandy - posted on 03/08/2011

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I hope that you read this because it has helped my so much with my spazzy daughter. She had many of the same issues, problems with respect, listening, and is ALWAYS on the go. I read this book (I know, I know, that sounds lame) called Magic 1-2-3. I highly reccommend reading it but the cliff notes version is that you count, without emotion or explanation unless nessesary. For example, your son is jumping on the couch, something you told him several time not to do. All you do is say "Bobby, that's 1" and hold up 1 finger, if he continues "Bobby, that's 2", if you get to three you put him in his room (no timeout chair, naughty spot etc, just his room) for 1 minute per year. This 'break time' starts over if he leaves his room. I sat down with my daughter and explained that I was sick of yelling and saying the same thing over and over again and that we were going to count. I explained the method and it worked from the first time I used it. She has only reached 3, 3 times and we have been doing it for a few weeks now. The key is to reamain calm and not to talk about it. If it's not something you have told him not to do before you would say "Bobby, that's 1 for jumping on the couch." and that would be the extent of the explanation. You can also use other punishments, such as no TV which is helpful if you are out where a timeout is not possible. Good luck!! Hang in there!!

Stacy - posted on 03/07/2011

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I could have written this, but my dd is only 3..4 in June. She is horrible. I spend days/nights crying bc of her.

Amanda - posted on 02/24/2011

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there is books for adhd childeren.. it tells you the signs, behavior, and what to do to better handle them and understand them.. my oldest does this to me.. i know how it feels, it feels like you as a parent has failed some how some way... and it sucks badly... but its not that you are doing anything wrong, or doing something you have not thought about yet.. i have a 3 yr old that the doctor said is adhd, but they wont give meds untill 6 or 7.. andim one of those moms that rather try something besides that. but when your at your wits end and its putting t a relationship damper with the other little ones than when he gets old enough i would try meds..

Becky - posted on 02/24/2011

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Brittnay..you are not alone with this. I have a 5 yr old that is like that sometimes. He use to be terrible that I just didn't know what to do.He has become more calm now that he goes to preschool everyday. I haven't taken him to the doctor yet because I am hoping that maybe he will grow out of it. But have you tried maybe going to see a diff. doctor..just to get another opinion. Or I found that if you channel the hyperactive with something else..it calms down. I found that he likes to read..so when he gets hyper I tell him to go get a book and we can sit and read it. But if it is way too out of hand I usually do some physical activity with him...like jumping jacks...or little bit of tag or hide and seek. Anything to get that energy out. It is really hard..but I certainly would try other things before calling the social services.

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