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  • Is there such a thing as terrible 4's?! :)

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    Old 12-19-2002, 05:07 AM   #1
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    Post Is there such a thing as terrible 4's?! :)

    My middle child is a 4 year old girl. She has always been the most even-tempered, well behaved child. She has a loving personality and has always acted so mature for her age. Her little sister is 15 months younger than her so I have always tried my hardest to keep a healthy balance with the love and attention...(although, my youngest child is very high strung and not always well behaved)
    My problem is that my 4 year old has suddenly started doing some strange things. She has always been a little sneeky but now she is much worse! She hides from me in the house (under beds,in closets, behind furniture) and makes me have a panic attack looking for her. She dumped laundry detergents and bleach into my dryer! AND then she mopped it up with my christmas sweater! She also is not the most honest child and my youngest is almost always part of her alibi. She manages to find scissors or markers and cuts and writes on things that she thinks I will not see.
    I don't know what else to do. She is such a beautiful, loving and caring child but her behavior is really concerning me since it is so out of character for how she has always acted.
    Any suggestions or comments are much appreciated~


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    Old 12-19-2002, 05:57 PM   #2
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    dear soccermom, i KNOW you have tried to be even with the attention and i really know you love them equally. i too have two girls less than 2 years apart and the "highly strung" one will get more of my time cos if i did not watch her God knows what she will do. you say your middle girl has always been so good and mature, perhaps she wants to cut loose and give you hell, simply cos she sees her younger sibling doing it. bad influences cut both ways unfortunately with children. blaming the other sibling is a childhood classic and normal but i agree the other stuff is worrying. have you tried talking to her? she is attention seeking from you and does not seem to care what kind of attention it is, good or bad?? choose a time when you are alone with her and she has not done anything, do not bring up the funky behaviour, but ask her if she is sad, perhaps using her favourite dolly as a prop.
    my little girl acted the same recently, it turned out her playgroup dynamic had changed, she was feeling left out and she was acting it all out in the safest place she has, home. good luck, and remember, this too will pass,(fingers crossed)

    Old 12-20-2002, 01:42 PM   #3
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    It sounds to me that your 4 year old is not being given enough attention, and that is not a slam against you - just that in our culture, most children do not receive enough attention. It's probably hard being the middle one, too.

    When my now 9 year old was 4, she cut off the cats whiskers and then a few days later, gave herself an interesting haircut. I think at 4, for the first time children are being let out of your sight and they get some strange ideas into their heads...

    It is hard having young children very close in age, especially hard on the older one, I think, but they often become very close when they get older, esp if the same sex. I have two boys, 17 & 15 who are very close.

    Try to be patient with her and I am pretty sure it will pass. Maybe get her involved in a project?

    Old 12-20-2002, 01:53 PM   #4
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    THis may make some people laugh and others angry but I have always heard, it's the terrible 2's trying 3's and f**&^&^8 4's!

    Just thought I would give you a little toilet

    Good luck.

    Old 01-26-2003, 07:10 AM   #5
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    My 3rd and 4th children are 13 months apart. My 3rd was an angel at 2. My 4th was a typical terrible 2. When she started her terrible 2's my then 3 year old joined right in! They went through the tryin 3's and fearsome 4's together (but the older one was 4 in the 3's and 5 in the 4's). I think it's partly monkey see monkey do. My 3rd child has never been delayed always advanced, very clever and wise. They have been like raising twins (it's been fun also). They are now 6 & 7 and the 6 year old has calmed down but the 7 year old is still rowdy! Did I mention they are both girls? Any way here's something to make you laugh- the 6 year old weighs 57 lbs and is 46 inches tall and the 7 year old is 45 lbs and 45 inches tall. People often ask if they're twins but when I say no I ask them which one they think is older, they can still tell the smaller one is older by her face (a look of maturity- if only she was! LOL!) Hope my story has helped any.


    Old 01-26-2003, 07:56 AM   #6
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    Hi Mommyof5!
    God bless you, first of all! As a mommyof3, I commend anyone who can still function normally with 5 children! I truly believe that it is some of the "monkey see, monkey do" thing. I also believe that my 4 year old sees the attention that her sister gets when she is being naughty but doesn't understand that it is NOT a good thing! I have tried to reward my children for having good behavior but allowing them to do extra things...longer play time,words of praise, freedom to choose special things, special treats from the goodie box (pencils, small toys, jewelry &etc) My 3 year old is good about being honest...even when it hurts but my 4 year old will lie until the end. I think some of it is just a personality thing but I just wanted to see if anyone has any other suggestions on how to let get the 4 year old to feel that she doesn't have to act the way she does for attention.

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