The effing Fours
I know that the term “terrible twos” was initially meant to describe the two years between two and four, but we found the age of two to be lovely with Henry. Three was where the real problem behaviour set in. As we’re approaching four, we’re finding it hard to even deal with the aggression, the rudeness and the talk-back attitude of our once kind little guy.
By all accounts, Henry is an exceptionally kind, generous and helpful little guy at preschool. His nickname is “Henry Helper.” From the moment I go to pick him up, however, he becomes a monster. He hits, screams, runs away and talks back. Over nothing. We only ever get the support of one of the teachers in his room. The rest just walk away. Our pickups go something like this:
MAMA! *hugs* Can I play for a few more minutes?
Sure, buddy. Five minutes, though. We have to go have dinner. Daddy and Lauchie are waiting.
*five minutes elapse*
Ok, bud, time to go.
NO! I HATE YOU! LEAVE ME ALONE! *hits, punches and slaps me*
At this point, usually, the help scatters, and I’m left, five months pregnant, wrestling with a three and a half foot tall, 50 pound toddler alone. Last Friday’s pickup was exceptionally terrible – it involved Henry running around and shoving and slapping everyone in his path. I finally had to pick him up to put his boots on and he went ragged on me, slamming his head on the bench I was sitting on.
I’m embarrassed, tired and sick of it.
Friends have been extremely helpful, too. But, we’ve tried almost every single thing they offered up to us. One friend suggested the If/When consequences thing. It works about 60% of the time. The rest is him saying NO! I DON’T CARE! LEAVE ME ALONE.
It’s tiring dealing with this sort of drama especially with another toddler and a baby on the way. Our family is also under a lot of stress right now due to my unemployment situation and it being Matt’s slowest month of the work year.
What are your tips for dealing with petulant children? How have you gotten over this hump of bad behaviour?