Not sure how to handle this

United States
November 1, 2010 10:16pm CST
My four year old has always been such a good girl. Lately she has been acting out, coloring on walls, tearing things up, yelling and just overall testing the limits. I try to do time outs and I have to gently hold her there or she will be up and running around mere moments after I sit her down. She is almost constantly misbehaving and I need advice on what to do. What are some constructive ways to curb those behaviors? And does anyone else have children who changed so suddenly? Could it just be that it's time for her to be in school and she's feeling shut in at home? I'm lost and I don't want to be in a constant struggle with my daughter. I love her and hate the constant bickering. Any advice, or understanding would be greatly appreciated.
9 responses
@jazel_juan (15750)
• Philippines
2 Nov 10
i believe it is a phase. i have an adorable son, who is now 3, he used to be so angelic just sitting down and playing with his trucks but now he has turned into this little devil that i want to strangle every second hahaha but my husbnad keeps on reminding that he is just a kid and it a phase or he might be asking for more attention. so i try my best to show him that he is loved even though he at times becomes sooo hyper and irritating. he keeps on jumping, throwing food and stuff like that! so in return i do buy him thsoe things he love that will keep him in one place..so more toys, more crayons and yes more drawings on the wall lol but i dont mind it he shows me he is talented in drawing...so more bondpapers, more crumpled papers..but more love and hugs from me.
• United States
2 Nov 10
So glad to hear I'm not the only one going through this! Extra love is definitely important, I try to give her extra care and attention as well. I think what everyone else is saying about preschool may play a role in it too.
• Indonesia
2 Nov 10
I agree...It is just the stage of her development. My son was also like your daughter. My house is full by his drawing. At first, I got so angry to him. But he kept drawing and drawing, jumping over here and there, and it seemed he liked if I got angry. then I stop to mad at him. Once his friend came by to our house, and his friend said that our house was horrible and ugly...My son was crying and he felt ashamed himself. Then he stopped drawing on the wall.. I believe, the social life of the children will help you to get through this stage..
• United States
3 Nov 10
Thank you! Love that his little friend made him see that it wasn't cool to do that! Maybe my baby girl needs a social life. Lol A social life at 4, that just sounds weird, but I can see where the need may be very real.
• Philippines
2 Nov 10
Maybe i could say that those days is not yet over. I have encountered it with my 6 year old boy since he was 3 and until now although it does not occur more often now. My pediatrician advised me to consult to a child psychologist so we would know if he has a behavioral disorder, and we did. They, gave him an IQ test. Lucky, he doesn't have behavioral disorder or any thing. His IQ test was high-average. The doctor just assessed him to be too mature for his age, too smart. Kids with high IQ don't want to do the same things again and again. We just gave him various activity book not coloring book alone, so it will not be the usual coloring books, they have to think before they color it. And also try some puzzle games, memory games and the likes. And one thing more, we make our child decide for his own, what he would want to do for the day. We don't always NO if it is not dangerous for him at all, because if you always oppose to your child, their self esteem and confidence would loose down, they will become very independent, the tendency is, they will think that they cannot do any thing because you will just say NO to what they like to do. Maybe that would help you. Good day!
• United States
2 Nov 10
My daughter is also very advanced. She knew her ABC's and the sounds they made by 17 months, and also knew her colors and shaped at about that time. She already reads a little. I will talk to her doctor for sure and see about making sure there is no behavior disorders. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. That would actually make a lot of sense if she were just too advanced and bored.
• United States
2 Nov 10
Not sure how I picked best response on this one... but yours definitely makes the most sense thus far. Thank you again. I feel like a light bulb just went on in my head!
• Philippines
3 Nov 10
You're welcome Kellie. Raising a child is really hard, until now, we're on a trial and error. Good day!
• United States
2 Nov 10
I have a couple of questions first. Like, have there been any major changes lately. Anyone moving in or out of the house, someone passing away or anything like that? And I must ask also if there is a chance that anyone has abused her in any way. children act out sometimes when they have emotions that they don't know how to express. If she's always been pretty easy going, I'd say something major has changed to make her act out so drastically.
• United States
2 Nov 10
We went through this for a short time when my dad passed away, but it got better. The only change has been my husband's job and work schedule. I know she has not been abused, I am a stay at home mom and am always with her.
• United States
2 Nov 10
My husband did just go to the midnight shift, and there is a lot less family time, but could that kind of change trigger this behavior?
• United States
2 Nov 10
I really don't know. But if it's like a major schedule changer for everyone - or even if it changed your own stress level - or if it limited his time with her, she could see that as a form of rejection which could trigger the behavior. That's because she could be feeling the "loss" of the time with him and not be able to properly express it.
• India
2 Nov 10
this is a commen thing and is called learning stage in children they learn by doing such thhings the thing is to gently make her understand what she can do not that what she cant do it will make her mad
• United States
3 Nov 10
Thank you! I will try, even harder to do that while looking into the other suggestions I have gotten. Everyone has been so helpful, it is very much appreciated!
• United States
2 Nov 10
I was a wild child. Extremely rowdy and always testing the limits. I still do that as an adult, ha ha. However, my mother put me in pre school when I was 2 years old because I was just so crazy. And that helped IMMENSELY. I am also extremely social and sociable and I think that starting at a young age and making friends made it easier for me in my adult life. Get her in school and a day care where she is around others. The structured environment of a school will also help incredibly.
• United States
2 Nov 10
Seems preschool is what most people thinks she needs. I will start calling around in the AM to find a good place in our area.
@shia88 (4578)
• Malaysia
2 Nov 10
Hi, It seems your daughter is going through the terrible stage 4 now. and since she is at the age to go to pre-kindergarten,why don't you let her socialize out there and have more friends,at least she can explore more things at school and have friends to play around. BEing at home can be boring for small kid. It same goes to my son. When my son reached 3 years old, I sent him for half day nursery class,let him socialize and learnt new things from school. Now, he can sing lot of nursery songs,can write a to z,1-20 and do colouring.He become more independent too. You just need to be patience to handle your daughter,it is part of her growing up process and don't get stress up. SOme times we as parent can be emotional and just can't stand with our kids behaviour,but we have to stay firm to educate them and teach them what is right and what is wrong. You can consider my suggestion to send her to school for half-day and see how she goes. Good luck!!
• United States
2 Nov 10
Thank you! and I do think it's definitely time for preschool. I'm trying to be patient, and consistent. I think the socializing would probably be wonderful for her, she's probably very bored with mommy.
• United States
2 Nov 10
Consistency is the key to raising children and although it is a struggle you have to continue utilizing the word no. Continual time outs and taking away tiny privileges like not allowing the coloring crayons for a bit. There is nothing instant that we can say that will change it outside of saying that when you say no it does not mean maybe or later. Good luck.
• United States
2 Nov 10
I'm definitely consistent with the rules and discipline. Thanks for the input.
@dorannmwin (36634)
• United States
15 Nov 10
The first thing that comes to mind is if there have been any huge changes in her life lately. If there has, it would be natural that she would respond to changes in her life in ways that really aren't that good of ways to deal with things. If this is not the case, it could be that she is starting to get bored with things being the way that she is used to them being. If that is the case, you can try to take some time every day and work with her on learning, a craft, anything.
@eileenleyva (26582)
• Philippines
3 Nov 10
Kellie, I am sure your daughter can express herself verbally by now. You can actually ask her why she is yelling. You must be able to explain to her, too, that tearing things are not right. Preschoolers do write on walls, so buy pad paper, coloring books, and crayons so that she can keep busy with artwork on the table and not the wall. I don't think there is anything the matter with your baby girl. She is just asserting her personality. And mind you, she knows that she can get away with tantrums because you love her. But tell her not to do that because you love her precisely and you don't want to see her crying and yelling.