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Am I expecting too much from a 4 year old? *kind of long story*

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Poll

Question: Should a 4 year old be able to do things (like dressing, playing, picking up their books, using the potty) with a parent just in the next room keeping an eye/ear on them?

Options:

No. They need someone in the room watching what they are doing.

No. They need someone in the room actively helping them do those things.

Yes, if they are capable of doing something it is fine to expect them to do it alone.

Other (please comment)


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Total Votes: 35

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Sorry its so long. But I want you to have the details and tell me what you think.....

I have a 4 year old girl. She hates being in the room alone, she refuses to do things upstairs unless someone is up there watching her. Her father tends to cater to that to avoid her throwing a fit and will stand right there while she pees or while she changes clothes. I think that is silly and when he is at work I pretty much try to make her do things herself when she is capable of them.

At 8:30pm she was in the middle of a movie. I told her that if she went upstairs and changed into her pajamas she could stay up past her bedtime and finish it. We both went upstairs. Her closet is in the hallway right at the top of the stairs and I helped her pick out a pair of pjs to wear. I told her I had to grab some pillows and towels and couch covers from downstairs to put in the washing machine (upstairs next to her closet) and for her to stay upstairs and change so I would let her finish the movie. She followed me down crying and whining that she can't be up there alone...right at the top of the stairs with the lights on. I told her that if she can't change into her pajamas as I asked her to then she could just go to bed instead of getting to stay up. She starts screaming at the top of her lungs and yelling "I don't want to go to bed." but still refuses to go put the pjs on. I put them on her and put her in bed.

When she is in her bed I leave the door open and leave the hallway light on for her (trying to make her less afraid). I make sure she understands that she had to go to bed instead of stay up beause she wont listen to me. And she still screams at the top of her lungs for at least half and hour and keeps trying to get up. It is now 9:10 and she just got up and used the potty, said she wished her dad was here instead of working, and then laid down without any more screaming. I feel like this is all an act to get attention and try to get her way and I really don't feel bad for her. My husband thinks she is genuinely afraid and I am being cruel.

It is driving me crazy because she is so clingy and whiney all day, even when we spend time with her and do nice things for her. She seems to never be happy. I end up screaming at her and furious with her behavior. And he ends up thinking I am a huge bully.

What do you think? How does/did your 4 year old respond if you expected them to do something alone?


CafeMom Tickers
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM
Replies (11-20):
emmy526
by Silver Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM

maybe you should try putting her in a dance class or something to build her confidence in what she can do..

love-my-tween
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM

amber, she might be terrified when you aren't around her and I feel for both you and your daughter.  When I was a child, I was scared of my own shadow.  My parents would go out on a date and I would cry, and cry.  It wasn't because they were leaving, but because I was scared.  When it was bedtime, my heart raced because I would be so afraid someone would come through the window and either kidnap me or kill me.  There are times I'm even afraid now.  Like others have said, I wouldn't allow your daughter to watch any part of any scary movie.  My husband watches scary movies with my daughter sometimes, but I have to leave the room.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that perhaps your daughter truly is scared and it's not an attention getting reaction.  Good luck to you and your daughter!   

erinsmom1964
by Gold Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 11:38 PM

OTHER-----my DD is 3 1/2 and could for awhile do these things alone.  there are times she wanted me to be with her upstairs and the last thing on my mind is that she is trying to get attention.  I assume she is a small child and could very well be afraid or uncomfortable. i don't judge my DD's feelings or fears and i sure don't punish her for them.  I find now on my 4th child that by not judging a child by an adult standard gives them the confidence to take on their fears because they know i support them and have their back if you will.  She JUST started going up to the bathroom and even turning the light on by herself now this last week because instead of bullying her and telling her how silly it was she was afraid or uncomfortable I just went with her until SHE was ready and wanted to "do it all myself Mommy"  I agree with your husband

jesuschild06
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:19 AM

If she really is afraid and not just trying to get attention, I would go see a kids counselor. Even one session may be enough. It could be from a shock of losing someone or something close to her that has caused it. could be a change in a family member's or friend's (if she goes to daycare or church or something) attitude or emotional state that made her fear something. and even if it is to just get attention counseling could really help with that as well. 4 year olds should be fine doing things on their own without fear. and sometimes a parents "knowledge that things are safe" just arent enough to help a child through their fears.sadly :/

HalleyEricaMom
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:26 AM

I don't have the answer, I have the same problem. Eagerly waiting for a more experienced mom to answer

jesuschild06
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:26 AM

did you ask her where she got that idea from? what makes a clown scary? how would a stranger get in the house? and just keep asking questions. maybe get her to tell herself there really is nthing to be afraid of instead of you telling her that.

Quoting amber710:

I don't think you are crazy. I think you are being honest about what you think it could be and I appreciate that. I did sit down on her bed during the issue earlier and ask her what she thought there was to be afraid of. She said....

"There could be a stranger or a clown in my closet or something."

Quoting skylarkdancer:

I know ppl may make fun of me for saying this or say I'm crazy but I just want to mention this....my dh has been able to see things since he was a child. Children tend to be very sensitive to things like that especially. Have you asked her what she is seeing or is afraid of? I know a lot of ppl don't believe in this kind of thing but I do. Just try to be open and not judgmental about this theory. Good luck!



schatzi869
by Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I think she's genuinely scared. My son does the same thing. I know my child well enough to know that it is real fear and panic in his eyes. His doctor said to be patient with him because things are different in the minds of four year-old kids than in the minds of us as adults.
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schatzi869
by Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I've heard this too, and I didn't think anything of it until I became a mother. We sleep in the room that used to be my Gran's (she passed in 2001). I was uncomfortable in her room because it still smelled like her. Anyway, when I had a cesarean, we used her room instead of my old room upstairs. When he was a baby, my son would stare at the door or a corner of the room, and laugh and giggle. It used to give me the chills. Now, he's 4, is freaked out by the upstairs (I was too when I was a kid. I slept with my Gran or on the couch until I was 14 because I was scared up there) and says that he has ghost friends. My Gran always said this house was haunted, and at night it sounds like someone is pacing upstairs. Anyways, that's my story.

Quoting skylarkdancer:

I know ppl may make fun of me for saying this or say I'm crazy but I just want to mention this....my dh has been able to see things since he was a child. Children tend to be very sensitive to things like that especially. Have you asked her what she is seeing or is afraid of? I know a lot of ppl don't believe in this kind of thing but I do. Just try to be open and not judgmental about this theory. Good luck!


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marinewife55
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 2:16 AM
My dd sees supernatural things, and I know she has since she was a baby, so I would say be open about it. However, that said empower your daughter, my dd is 2.5 and I encourage her to do things on her own. Not saying this will work with your dd, but sometimes my dd gets really freaked out day/nite, at home, in town about the "bad ones" and I remind her that doesn't she have her own angels. Then she pauses and looks at me, then looks around her and goes Ohhh yeah momma I forget sometimes, my angel army is stronger. I have had people tell me I need to stop her from believing in imaginary friends, ugh.
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CoeyG
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 3:32 AM

Her father is enabling her clinginess and her whinning.  She should have been able to be in a room by herself by the time she was two and of course she was going to throw a fit, she was a toddler.  Until her father let's go and ignores the fits she is going to be this way...and how is it going to look when she is a teen and her father is standing in her door watching her change her clothes?  

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