Challenges with Preschooler

Marcella - posted on 08/27/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I'm 33 weeks, expecting our 4th child, a baby boy (no name decided) and I have a 13 yr boy, 4 yr girl and a 16mth girl. This pregnancy was a total surprise. I was on birth control and breastfeeding so this was completely not planned. My question for the board is: my 4 yr old (just turned 4 last week) has been very challenging with her behaviors. Natalia is pushing, yelling, having serious temper tantrums and being a bully to her little sister. When she does something wrong, she states I'm a bad girl and puts herself in timeout or she will just curl in a ball on the floor. I don't spank but have become very tempted. She doesn't get phased by time outs or telling her to go to her room and find a happy place before she can come out. I have taken a 6-week parenting course recently to try to learn something new, but the more attention she gets (positive or negative) the worse her behavior has become. I really am at my wit's end trying and would like to just give up and tell her she needs to find a new mommy. Which is awful but I just don;t know what to do. Any suggestions as to what I can do. She will be starting preschool again next week. She is so well behaved at school and playgroups it just been this summer of backwards behavior. Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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Roseanne - posted on 09/22/2010

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try to keep her as bizzy as posible planing for new baby let her help and play dates activitys and such i found thje bizzyer my children are the less thay act out if thay are bord thay don't know what to do but act out to get mommy ation and try to make time for just u and her i know it is hard but she maye feal left out with the new baby and the other kids

Angeline - posted on 08/28/2010

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Totally agree with Sandie and Sarah...worked wonders for our daughter too! I have finally got her to want her little sister to be born...through the same methods they have spoken about. It is tough but then suddenly, as quickly as it arrived, the child's behaviour improves...they feel important all over again :)

Sandie - posted on 08/28/2010

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My 3 year old sounds similar to your 4 year old, but she is a singleton right now. I am also expecting and I think my 3 year old started acting out because she knows she's going to have to share our attention soon. With that being said, my daughter's behavior has been out of control and I don't know how to contain it! My husband and I both talk with her often about using her words when she's upset, and after a few months of this I think it's finally working. I read a book that said if I get upset over her tantrum, then her tantrum was successful in her eyes. So my hsband and I act like it doesn't bother us that she's screaming and kicking the wall. We pull her away from what ever she's destructing, put her back in time out, and give her no verbal/nonverbal clues that we're mad over what she's doing. After she's done with her tantrum we sit down and talk. I don't know how you culd do this with 4 kids because it takes all our patience and energy with just her! Good luck. Strong-willed children are difficult!

Sarah - posted on 08/27/2010

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Sounds like someone is pretty upset about being pushed even further on the back burners, so to speak!
I know how you feel, as a mom with so many responsibilities children can be so frustrating, especially when you already have your own emotions to deal with.
If I were in your shoes, I would definitely try to keep reaching her, the sooner the better. I would sit down with her, just her and you in a quiet place away from everyone else. I would sit down with her and talk. Ask her what she's feeling, ask her why she thinks she feels that way. If she has trouble understanding her feelings and talking about them, ask her 'are you upset that we're having another baby?' Just keep talking until she seems to act normal lol Some of the best moments I've had with my 4 year old is when we're talking 1 on 1. Makes her feel valued and like a big girl when i talk/treat her like one. Once she's calm and acting good, I would hug her and tell her you love her. Kids pick up on emotions in the house, I know whenever I'm happy and calm and having a good day, so are my kids. When I'm frustrated and tired and irritable, thats when they act terrible. Also if I spend too much time on the computer or tv, they act out. So maybe if this is the same for you, work on your own emotions first. That's what I try to do. To take deep breaths, become confident and calm and smile and play with my kids. Those are always my best days when I feel this way and interact with them. All she wants is you. Remember that. :)

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