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Anyone else experiencing the terrible FOURS?

My daughter seemed to skate through the terrible twos no problem, then I heard 3 was worse...not for us...but now, ugh. She'll be 4 in a few weeks and has been attitude ridden for about a month now. She says no to everything, she freaks out if we don't do what she wants, she's just been so difficult. We don't give in to her and she gets time outs and things taken away, but its not stopping. Several times a day this happens. She doesn't want to get dressed, brush her teeth, brush her hair, eat what I serve, go to bed, etc. I don't know what's going on. Just curious if any others experienced this at this age.


Asked by gramsmom at 7:21 PM on Jan. 14, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • I just want to say that I am experiencing the same thing. My son turned 4 last week and it seems like almost overnight he has become so defiant! We are also trying the time-outs and loss of toys/activities, but nothing seems to phase him! It can be exhausting! I hate feeling like I am arguing with him and punishing him all day. I am constantly trying new ways to try to get him to want to cooperate, but I am really at a loss right now!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:30 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • Mine are tweens.... it doesn't get easier. The problems and attitude just shift to different areas. I don't have to worry about the things I did when they were toddlers.... I have entirely different areas of concern, now! I'm so sorry to say, it only gets easier for a few years (5 - 8 maybe), then gets harder again!

    Answer by drowninginboys at 7:25 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • I know exactly how you are feeling! My 3 yo DD get's dressed, cleaned and teeth/hair brushed in the morning with no problem. DS is 4 and is impossible when it come's to getting ready, listening and not having attitude! Then he say's, "Mommy why do you yell at me?" ARGH!!!!!!!

    Answer by AmandaH321 at 7:35 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • This is what happened with us. All was easy until 4. No consequence seemed to get the idea across!

    He did understand what was going on, and I feel he benefited from the consistency, even if it didn't *seem* to work. I learned to make sure my boy knew I was on his team, even when a toy as taken away or an activity was scrapped.

    Ten days before his 5th birthday, he underwent an incredible transformation -- we joked about me getting a "new boy" :-). His questions and conversation changed, and the contrariness almost completely vanished.

    We still go through times of highs and lows (9 was super tough until about 2 months ago), but he comes back around, and knows, bottom line, we believe in him. Sometimes it helps to imagine the annoying qualities on an adult trying to make it in the grown up world, and many of them turn out to be strengths he's going to need (persistence! inquisitiveness!), as he learns to channel them.

    Answer by peninasharon at 7:37 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • My sister went through this with my niece.

    Answer by rsgmom at 10:20 PM on Jan. 14, 2009

  • krystalmarie, you are the step mom. You have no right to touch to her in my opinion. You will be the evil step mom treating her that way. Putting a child in a corner is humiliation. Try another technique thats not so demeaning to the child and it may work seeing this isn't.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:50 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

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