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Is this typical 4 year-old behavior?

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Old 12-11-2006, 01:26 PM   #1
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Is this typical 4 year-old behavior?

Mom & Dad at home
Two Children, Daughter is 6 years old, son is 4 years old
-Slept in same bed for almost a year at in-laws house due to financial hardships until last month, now each child has own room
-Daughter is easy to discipline, easy to please, can become bratty at times, but overall a well-behaved child
-Son is the most loving in the world, very caring when he feels like it - BUT - he throws awful temper tantrums when he does not get his way; repeats badwords (from Dad) even after explaining those words are only for grown-ups; is in trouble almost every day in daycare for pulling hair, kicking boys in groin, pushing girls faces into carpet; trying to "kill" stuffed animals; has started to choke his sister when they are arguing or fighting; says he hates us when he gets in trouble and wants a new Dad; asks why his Dad is so mean (Dad yells a lot, gets very frustrated); says No to everything I ask him to do; and is very mean at times. At the same time, he can be so loving, wants hugs and kisses - and he gets them everytime and even when he doesn't ask for it.

I have a feeling this derived from bad parenting, but we desperately want to change that. I do not want this to affect him later in life. My husband already deals with Depression & Anxiety and I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. So we are a pill-popping family, sad to say. My son does have allergies, but nothing more than that. While I was pregnant, my husband was taking regular Paxil at the time, and my husband thinks he may have inherited some of the depression or something similar. Anyway, what kind of advice can you give??

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Old 12-11-2006, 01:52 PM   #2
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Re: Is this typical 4 year-old behavior?

If your son behave like that in daycare it means that your daycare person just can't maintain discipline. In my case my almost 4 y. old behaving badly at home although we are trying to discipline her, she wants everything her way and takes advantage that people are busy and rather give her what she wants than struggle with her but at daycare she does what she suppose to do it is very different. Before that she was at different daycare and it was the same. Both daycare people we had have really strong charachters and kids feared and respect them.

Old 12-11-2006, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: Is this typical 4 year-old behavior?

Four year olds can be rather hard to handle. Sometimes worse than the terrible twos.

As far as the bad words, I can only tell you that parents must set the example. It's very hard to reason with a 4 year old about things like this. Saying bad words in front of a child and then telling them they can't use that language because it's an adult word only serves to confuse them. My son started saying things he heard my husband say, and I had to set my husband straight and the bad language stopped around our son. There was no way I could tell him they are bad words and allow him to hear those words coming from daddy's mouth.

You said that your son was with your in-laws for some time. Did they tend to spoil him? If so, your son could be just doing what is natural when children are spoiled and acting out because he is used to getting his way, and now doesn't get his way all the time.

It is concerning to hear you talk about the way he is choking his sister and also bullying the other children at daycare. I know you are concerned about this. Sweetie, it may be a good idea to speak with your pediatrition about this. Let them know exactly what your son is doing. It may be that he needs to be tested/screened for ADD.

I do hope you are able to find some answers to your questions. I know you only want what's best for your family. Take care and keep checking back. You will get a ton of information and support here.

Old 12-12-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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Re: Is this typical 4 year-old behavior?

After my divorce, my daughter (3 at the time) and I moved in with my parents. My parents spoiled her rotten (as most grandparents tend to do). Her father was no longer a part of her life so my parents took on a very active role trying to fill in as the "other parent". We moved out when I remarried and we had a VERY hard time with her. She would tell us she wanted to live with Nana and Papa again and that they let her have her way. It was awful.

It took a while, I'm talking a few months, but with consistency her behavior improved. She got toys taken away when she did something unacceptable. She stood in the corner for telling me no. For every bad behavior or action she had we had a consiquence and we didn't let it slide once. Children need consistency when it comes to disapline, structure, and boundaries.

Your son is going through a confusing time. It sounds like there has been a lot a disruption to his daily routine and that can be very stressful for a child. Most adults have a hard time handling change. Make sure that you can provide him a schedule so he knows what to expect and make sure he knows what mom and dad consider unacceptable behavior. He won't like it at first. He will probably be even worse in the beginning. But if you stick to your guns it will get better.

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