I have a son who will be 4 next month. The past month or so he has really started whining when he doesn't get his way. He'll then yell something like "You're not my best friend!" and run to his room crying. This is so out of character for him.
Is this just a phase? I've made a point of telling him he's not allowed to whine anywhere but in his own room, but now I'm wondering if that was the wrong thing to do b/c it seems like he's spending a lot of time there. My husband is getting really frustrated and I'm just concerned. Any ideas?
It is a phase, I feel. A child that age is discovering the power of language rather than physical resistance, as in tantrums, throwing stuff, etc. It is the same stuff, he is using his new skill to push at his boundaries and test them on you. Painful, Huh? The solution I think is just to notice the words and not react to the tone most of the time. But refuse to give into a request that is whined for .."Ask nicely, or no" Take him literally.."Oh, do you hate Mommy, I feel sad about that, now let's ............" Reflect his words back at him in the tone you would like to hear..."You don't want to play with xxxxx any more". He whines to get his own way. I don't think punishment is appropriate for that, just the fact that it will never work is enough. Kids like to see their parents react to what they do, POWER!!!, so don't. Bottom line...It's totally normal/
No meds, just a vitamin! He does have pink eye and has to get drops in his eyes, which he hates, but this started prior to that.
He seems to be getting a little better, when he runs to his room, he'll stay there for a second and then come back out to tell me he feels better now. It's so funny b/c he is really articulate and sounds like a little man "I'm feeling better now, Mommy. I want to speak to you nicely. Isn't this a nice voice?" Maybe I should put up a better front, but it's so hard not to smother him in kisses when he says things like that. It's just so darned cute!
I'm sure it's just a phase. My son used to be the king of temper tantrums when he was 3 and 4. They say the terrible twos are bad, but this was worse. He would fall flat on his back just like a tree falling - he would not bend or anything. And he would scream at the top of his lungs. I was a single mom until I met my husband and he would take up the slack when I had enough. Just don't give in to him, it'll just make it worse. We tried washing his mouth out with soap, he got to like the taste and would take big bites of the bar of soap. Then we tried putting tobasco sauce on our finger and putting it on his tongue - he now loves spicy foods. To prevent tantrums while I was grocery shopping, I would often hire a sitter. It actually saved me money.
Stick to your guns and it will pass - at least until they reach the double digits. That is when their haloes seem to fade and those little horns make an appearance. Then, you can look forward to "putrider" as one of my children once put it.
In the end, it is all worth it. I have many grey hairs, but the oldest of my four is graduating from university this year, the next oldest just got into a very prestigious art school and the younger two are doing just great as well. I am now very glad I did not run away from home despite the many times I wanted to.
My son has been trying this once more, periodically since he was 4. We get his attention real quick with a squirt of cold water or swat to the backside when he starts such up. Then he straightens up real quick, when he has too put away every toy he has and sit and think about his behavior alone in his room. He is a big boy and if he acts like a toddler then he can not play with his big boy toys. Once toys and proviledges have been lost he must earn them back with a week of good behavior. Bad behavior resets the proverbial clock.
My son has learned he likes to be treated in accord with how he acts. If he is being the smart, sweet, well mannered child he is inside; he gets computer time, a TV show, toys, trips out. Otherwise, it is alot of alone time in his room with crayons and paper.
He knows we love him no matter what, but no one wants or likes to be around a boy that is acting poorly. It works for our family and those in our more distant family.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Oh, man, this is a phase it seems we all go through with our 3-5 year olds! I found from poling teachers at the day care I work that it seems to hit boys harder. Not sure why. Perhaps cause they are more aggressive than girls, at least most of them are.
My son's phrases have been (in a nutshell):
"I hate you" - usually when I've taken away a priveledge because he's acting up.
"I hate my teacher" - after being put in time out.
"I don't have any friends" - after one of his friends won't play with him for various reasons.
"I hate my bed" - when he's putting put to bed and he doesn't want to go down.
"I hate the potty" - thank goodness not anymore, but was a constant reason why he wouldn't use the toilet for #2.
The list could run on and on. When someone or somethings make him mad, he hates it. If I'm folding laundry and can't take him outside, he hates the laundry. I understand it just an emotional phase he's going through. He uses hate to express that he doesn't like something. It's as if by saying hate he'll get whatever it is he wants. It bothers his teachers at school, though, and so he has had all of his Thomas Trains taken away and gets one back at a time after having a good day at preschool. This has really curbed his use of "I hate..."
In my country we refer to males who cry as little females. What we do is have them take care of camel to strengthen boy hood. Boy should not cry in front of anybody ever. We believe in punish for when we see crying from boy. I suggest camel training.
LADIES, thanks for your advice. It's good to know that others have had this experience too. We found out we're having another baby and I think that may be stressing him out a little too. He's been an only child for 4 years and he's not sure he wants to share us.