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terrible 4s??

My nephew is 4. I know they say there is terrible 2's but what about 4's? My husband and I try to take him out with us and our 1 year old and he just acts up the whole time. We will go get something to eat and he will start screaming about how he hates us, the food, the place..pretty much everything. And demands new food. Or we will be at a store and he will want something (like kids normally do) and we will say 'no you will have to ask your mommy..' We try to explain that we can't buy him everything and that we will let his mommy know but he just screams and keeps on. He is VERY spoiled by everyone else in the family but is there any way for us to take him out and have it be a good experience for once??

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Asked by ZOSO at 7:53 PM on Jul. 17, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 4 (33 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • At 4, you're not going to have a lot of control, but I would try promising a small reward for the end of the outing which he will receive if, and only if, he behaves. When he starts to have an outburst, you can remind him of the reward that he will miss out on if he doesn't stop immediately. If the behavior stops, he hasn't missed his chance. If it escalates, remove him from the situation, and finish your trip. When he asks for his reward, remind him of his behavior and encourage him to earn it "next time."

    when we took the kids out when they were his age, we usually gave them 1 "warning," and we did not refuse the reward very often. In fact, I think it took only 1 time. The refusal of the reward led to a major meltdown, but we didn't give in, and we had better behavior thereafter.

    this might be a trip to dairy queen, a cookie at the grocery store, a 1/2 hour of his favorite video game, etc.

    Answer by lawmom623 at 10:14 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • Hi, I have a nephew who is 5 and he DOES NOT behave whatsoever. It drives me crazy, he is so spoiled and hits and screams until he gets what he wants. I try to be around him little as possible. He has no dicipline and no rules. Im close to saying something to my sister and the way she is raising her son, but it is really none of my business. I am 19 and have an 8 month old. She is 26 and has a 5 year old. She is being a bad influence on her son as well.. Me and my siblings all agree, but my mother and sister think nothing is wrong... I too am having issues. Hang in there, hopefully they can get a grip on their kids!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • Unfortunately, since he's not with you 24-7 (not your child) there's not a ton you can do, but you can let him know that when with you, if he misbehaves in a store, everyone gets to go home, leaving the food in the shopping cart. Or if he acts out at a restaurant, he will be escorted out to wait in the parking lot with one of you while the other pays for their food to take home in a box.

    Answer by TXdanielly at 10:47 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • i think every age has its ups and downs i think that you might need to be firm with him and let him know that acting up doesnt get him anything but in trouble. if he wants something to be calm and ask nice for it - but as a aunt there is realy nothing you can do beyond that ammount of time he is with you - you need to let him know that when you are in charge this doesnt happen - and as far as how his parents deal with it its up to them.

    Answer by vakatia at 1:57 PM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • Thanks for the advice. My finance and I live with his Uncle who watches our nephew every weekday. Which turns into us watching him because my finance's uncle does not watch him at all. We try removing him for the situation or offering a reward if he is good, which he is not and does not get it. But when we get back to the house he will tell somebody else that he wants ____ and they will give it to him. He went so far to put a bag over my baby's head with his mother right there. She took the bag away from him but did not explain why. He asked her why and she just said "because I dont want you to have it" And Im not about to correct her son for her. He threw a fit hit her, spit on her and screamed. Its a mess. I know I have to realize its not my kid but I think he really needs to understand the word 'no'

    Answer by ZOSO at 7:20 PM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • I think all ages are terrible!! LOL... I think it depends on the parenting too... we have 3 children, and they know better then to act up at a restrauant, even like a fast food place.. so I think it's all about the parenting.. if he acts like that again in a restraunt take him out to the car, and leave him there with you or your hubby.. and talk to him about the way he's acting.. we still do that, and ours are 9, 4, and 2.. they get to go to the car or sometimes the bathroom for "the talk" and normally ours are good after that

    Answer by Illinoismomof_3 at 12:34 PM on Jul. 19, 2008

  • Let me tell you!! I think it is totally a boy thing lol We have 5 kids. Our girls had their moments at 2, and again at 3, and again at 4 and again at 6 lol but our son turned 4 in April. I swear it was like a switch was flipped. We really never went through anything bad at 2 or 3 but now that he's 4 - oye!! He's suddenly become the "typical brother" doing mean things, sneaky, lying, etc. He's just totally different than our girls were. Can't say I'm much help but just thought I'd let you know your not alone lol

    Answer by pwfaith at 12:06 AM on Jul. 20, 2008

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