Q&A: why do 4-year-olds suck so much?

Melanie writes:

"Why do 4-year-olds suck so much? My daughter is like a mini-tyrant who throws a tantrum every time I say anything. A-ny-thing. I offer her food–she freaks out. I tell her I love her–she freaks out. It's making me feel like a crap mother. The only "good" thing is that all the other kids in her class are doing the same thing. All the moms hang around after dropoff and just complain about how mean our kids are now. Why? And how long is this going to last?"

So publishing this letter is completely self-serving. My own 4-year-old is also acting like this, to a certain extent. It's definitely some Jekyll and Hyde behavior, because he can be the funniest, sweetest, most loving little sprite, but then in an instant he just wigs out at some imagined or minor injury.

It's like living with one of the Real Housewives.

I remember when my older son was going through this. It was milder with him (because of his personality), but I absolutely noticed the moodiness and a sort of brittle quality to him and the other kids in his class.

The other thing I noticed (and the other parents noticed, too) that made me think about what was going on developmentally was how weird the kids got about social things. Birthday parties were crazy, because the kids would get all excited, and then at the last minute scream and cry that they didn't want to go. It seemed like they were becoming aware of themselves as social beings, and this was stressing them out.

So I wonder if this isn't part of it–the boundaries. In order to establish and enforce their own boundaries, which are confusing the heck out of them, they need something to push (flail wildly) against. And that's you.

Now, bear in mind that this is all just out of my head (ahem) based on observing two sets of kids go through this. But we'd all probably do well to get the Ames & Ilg book on 4-year-olds ("Wild and Wonderful") to see what they observed with hundreds of kids.

Now, what I do know is that this phase doesn't last forever. And it really has nothing to do with you–you just bear the brunt of it because you're the one your child feels most comfortable with. So if you can try to stay above it and know that it's something your kid is trying to work out, and not a battle that you have to emotionally invest in, you might be able to come out of it with less scarring.

Tales of 4-year-olds? Tales of run-ins with 4-year-olds? Assurance that 4-year-olds do grow up and become less prickly?

0 thoughts on “Q&A: why do 4-year-olds suck so much?”

  1. Oh, you are KIDDING? I’m going to survive the hell that is a three-year-old only to be greeted with THIS?Good thing that they are sweet and loving right before they go to bed, and that one day they will be able to take the trash out.

  2. My experience has been different, but probably all along. He was fine at 2 (okay, there were the occasional tantrum and all, but he could talk, and tell me what he wanted) so we didn’t have such a “terrible two” year. My son was very difficult at 3 (the only thing worse then 2 is 3?).Four, I must say, had been good to us. He’s 4.5 now, and while yes, he’s still moody and can get cranky (mainly when he’s not had enough sleep or needs food), he is helpful, inquisitive, interested and lots of fun. He is, at times, mouthy, and we’re working on that (any hints are appreciated!).
    I have noticed that the girls in his class at school are much more…well…mean then (most of ) the boys. The girls tend to be more cliquey (we don’t want to play with so and so) and mean. The boys, not so much.

  3. I don’t mind the brittleness of 4 because the cognitive and physical leaps. My son floors us every week with some amazing new thought or ability. He’s been talking about the concept of infinity for a month now. Just this week he started swimming after weeping in terror his WHOLE LIFE over water on his face. Just flipped that around in a moment.

  4. Wild and Wonderful, indeed. As dated as Ames & Ilg can be … this one especially was right on the money re: my daughter at four. And something to note: four is SO VERY DIFFERENT THAN FIVE! So if you are looking at Kindergarten or having your four-y-o assessed for K … remember, there is a reason that they have to be five to go to K (hint: because it means they are no longer four, basically). I was amazed at how dramatically different five was – a few months made all the difference.

  5. we are on the brink of four- i’ve noticed the wild reactions to things that ordinarily wouldn’t bother her- she has started to run away and just face a wall with her arms crossed, crying. sigh. i agree w/ naomi and rayne that this is also an amazing bunch of months, too- the ability to make connections and be able to do things is so cool. which helps to balance the crazy outbursts.mostly i go over, validate her feelings “it’s ok to be frustrated when ___ happens, but not ok to push your brother. would you like a hug?” sometimes she does, mostly she doesn’t.
    any other ways to deal with the outbursts? i feel like this is toddlerhood all over again!

  6. My son is just two, so I can’t really comment yet- but a woman at my work told me “it’s not the terrible twos that are bad – it’s the f$&cking fours!”. Thought that was funny – until I get there, probably 🙂

  7. I don’t call them the “fucking fours” for nuthin’…I’m on my 3rd go round…for me, it’s like a curve…3 sucks more and more the closer you get to 4, and then it curves back down, and 5 is pretty good. My daughter will be 4 in August. It’s getting frustrating over here…sigh.
    Then I get to turn around and do it once more! ugh.
    In my experience, girls go through this worse (more irritating? more drama queen?) than boys. I have no idea why that is, but that’s been my experience, with both my kids and friends’ kids as well…

  8. *fingers in ears*la la la la la I can’t hear you.
    I’m holding my breath that my delightful 3 y 2 m old will keep up with the loveliness, at least until after the month-long trip to the states.
    She had a doozy of a 2 1/2 year disequalibrium (holy hell), so maybe it’ll be not so bad…? I don’t even want to think about 4. Though I have pre-armed myself with Ames and Ilg years 3, 4 and 5.
    I will look on with morbid curiousity as the comments come in.

  9. Um, not trying to hijack or anything but while yes, 5 is SO much better, 6-7 is like 4 on steroids. Everything the OP wrote I could have written yesterday and my DS is almost 7. He has pushed me into what I can only assume is full on depression. The OP wrote how it makes her feel like a crap mother. Same here. I am hoping other posters will have some tips on how the PARENT can cope with all this day in and day out. Thanks to all.

  10. I think I found 3 harder than 4, personally, but I think it’s a case by case basis.Things that helped us this past year (my daughter turned 5 last week):
    1. She loved school, so that was never a fight. (Although she, like kids of friends, behaved very well in school and could be SO obnoxious at home.)
    2. Willingness to be bribed on her part.
    3. Willingness to let her scream out her drama without trying to deal with it on my part. I gave up trying to solve everything. She’s a dramatic soul by nature, and sometimes she’s got to work it out for herself. Just like when she was tiny and we couldn’t figure out what was bothering her, sometimes you just have to let her know you love her and let her scream it out.
    She was extremely defiant at times, but I have to imagine that’s the whole boundary push-pull thing. But again, easier to reason with (read: bribe) than a 3 year old.
    I was very worried when I lost the ability to pick her up and move her when she completely lost her mind (I use this tactic with my 3 yo all the time), but I’ve managed. Which isn’t to say I’m unhappy that my 3 yo is skinnier than she was, so I will be able to use the “REMOVE FROM SITUATION” tactic longer.

  11. No help, just OMG thank you for that letter. I thought it was my sensitive son that was slowly killing me, not the age.the beauty of two such different personalities (18 mos son and 4.5 son) is that one is usually in a cooperative mood. The days when they’re both on edge? Kill me now. 🙂
    I do love aspects of 4…as others have commented; they make some amazing leaps and connections. I love our time at night before bed just to hear what’s on his mind. It makes the temper tantrums and screaming much more bearable.

  12. So interesting to read this. My girl is 3, but she is besotted with a couple 4s at daycare and, good god, are they ever pains in the butt at the moment — telling her, “you are a bad friend” and “you are a baby,” etc etc. (Needless to say, my girl takes this Very Poorly.)We just saw some friends who have a 4 yo girl who managed to pout for about 3 days straight — and to totally rebuff my daughter’s efforts at playing w/ her. All of which means that my girl is doomed to do the same in 11 months… AWESOME. 😉

  13. My daughter turned 4 earlier this month. It’s so gratifying to read eveyone else’s similar experiences. My favorite is how she will sobbing and carrying on over a scratch or some slight, get distracted for thirty seconds by something shiny, and then remember she is supposed to be upset and go back to crying.

  14. I truly did not think I would survive. But I did, and I promise that five has been good. I hated describing my son as mean, or on occasion, “evil” but it was awful. He left us all walking on eggshells and I hated being his parent at times.At five, I’ve been watching my son listen to his choices (neither of which he wants) and choose the lesser of two evils. He has walked away from an intense situation without losing control, and he has even come to us and apologized. It is so, so, so much better that I am relaxing. (And that is when all hell usually breaks loose! Can’t let down my guard!)

  15. 4 has been rough for us. 3.5 was hell too but i can’t separate what was 3.5 and what was me being pregnant. my husband assures me that 3 was worse but i’m hating 4 (or 4.5 as she insists). The sibling jealousy is exhausting as well. when I just have her and she has all the attention she is a delight. but if I have both kids….in fact, I was thinking last night about writing Moxie about 4 year olds as I was going through 3 hours of getting 2 kids asleep. Largely because the 4 year old has a tantrum right now if Daddy tries to get her to sleep. Its all about Mama.

  16. My mother was a preschool teacher for 20+ years, and she describes 4 years old for boys as their “sap is running”, and for girls as practice for high school.

  17. I found 3 1/2 rough for my twin boys but have found 4 to be wonderful – so far (I’m sure I just jinxed myself). They are definitely more sensitive but I think the two of them help each other. When one is in a mood, the other tends to sense it and the majority of the time tries to be either super goofy to distract his brother or extra loving which also seems to help snap the other out of it.Hang in there…

  18. Thank God for this post. I thought I was going nuts. My mom just stayed with us for 2 weeks while we were expecting DS #2. She started treating our 3 1/2 (4 in August), like he was a teenager. I couldn’t believe the way she was reacting to him. She said “I’ve never known any 3 year old who still has tantrums”! I about slugged her, but then asked her to pack up and go home instead, lol.

  19. I’m sorry– I can’t hear you over all the noise. That racket? Oh, that’s just my three-year-old daughter sobbing in time out. Why is she in time out? For throwing her juice cup across the room. You see, I had the unmitigated gall to give her juice in a Thomas the Tank Engine cup instead of a Cinderella cup.Don’t worry. She’s almost four. I’m sure this ridiculous behavior will stop soon. What? What? You say it won’t stop? It will continue? Maybe get worse?
    Excuse me, I need to go throw myself off a bridge.

  20. As usual, I thought it was Just Me. Or Just Her. Brittle is so right on. Wonderful, too, but such brittleness and, for lack of a better word, spazziness. It’s bearable but weird, and good to know it’s just the age.Sheesh. I need more contact with other families of four year olds, I guess.

  21. As usual, I thought it was Just Me. Or Just Her. Brittle is so right on. Wonderful, too, but such brittleness and, for lack of a better word, spazziness. It’s bearable but weird, and good to know it’s just the age.Sheesh. I need more contact with other families of four year olds, I guess.

  22. My four-year-old becomes enraged over the smallest things these days. It seems to be related to him understanding and accepting what part of his world he is in control of and the rest. It likes he needs to keep pushing and testing the limits to find out where they are.The other evening he was furious, major tantrum. He finally told me that he’s mad at the moon for chasing away the sun, and that he doesn’t want it to be nighttime (he’d rather play than sleep, natch). He said he was going to put the sun and moon in timeout.

  23. My four-year-old becomes enraged over the smallest things these days. It seems to be related to him understanding and accepting what part of his world he is in control of and the rest. It likes he needs to keep pushing and testing the limits to find out where they are.The other evening he was furious, major tantrum. He finally told me that he’s mad at the moon for chasing away the sun, and that he doesn’t want it to be nighttime (he’d rather play than sleep, natch). He said he was going to put the sun and moon in timeout.

  24. I thought 4 was quite sweet, but also hard. We didn’t have so much of the tantruming, but a lot of the running up against life’s realities and understanding what they actually mean but not being able to put them in perspective sort of thing. Death, for example. Repeated sobbing over the fact that we will all die one day, and don’t want it to be soon. Inability to sleep because a book mentioned someone’s daddy dying in an accident–absolutely must make sure that ours is safe. All night. Recognition that things actually are not fair. Which does indeed suck.I felt like there was much more whining and sniffling than at 3 1/2 but it beat the shrieking and she got better at multitasking, i.e. continuing to walk home through the rainstorm while complaining about it. It definitely beats refusing to put your hood on and then clinging heartbrokenly to a sidewalk tree and screaming about how wet you’re getting. And I actually taught her about how to negotiate better, and it eventually worked. A la
    “carry me all the way to the cafe”
    “I can’t carry you that far, how about to the next tree?”
    (3 1/2-year-old: NOOOOOOOOOO, the CAFE, I hate you)
    I taught her to say “then how about a block?” (or whatever, just some intermediate position) to which I could respond “how about 1/2 a block?” until we actually got to an agreement we could both live with, and it’s sort of fun.
    Oh, and the girls acting like 14-year-olds, yes–so much shitheadedness and nonsense about clubs and who’s friends with who today. Yeesh. One particular school friend of Mouse’s who I just dreaded has become so much nicer since turning 5.
    5 so far has exciting intentional sass and so forth, but seemingly an improving ability to identify what’s major and what’s minor and possibly set aside the minor. (“Can I have a lemon drop before breakfast?”
    “No” “Awwww…well, then can I have my dinosaur bowl?”) So it’s better.
    Then again, I thought 4 was better than 3…

  25. I thought 4 was quite sweet, but also hard. We didn’t have so much of the tantruming, but a lot of the running up against life’s realities and understanding what they actually mean but not being able to put them in perspective sort of thing. Death, for example. Repeated sobbing over the fact that we will all die one day, and don’t want it to be soon. Inability to sleep because a book mentioned someone’s daddy dying in an accident–absolutely must make sure that ours is safe. All night. Recognition that things actually are not fair. Which does indeed suck.I felt like there was much more whining and sniffling than at 3 1/2 but it beat the shrieking and she got better at multitasking, i.e. continuing to walk home through the rainstorm while complaining about it. It definitely beats refusing to put your hood on and then clinging heartbrokenly to a sidewalk tree and screaming about how wet you’re getting. And I actually taught her about how to negotiate better, and it eventually worked. A la
    “carry me all the way to the cafe”
    “I can’t carry you that far, how about to the next tree?”
    (3 1/2-year-old: NOOOOOOOOOO, the CAFE, I hate you)
    I taught her to say “then how about a block?” (or whatever, just some intermediate position) to which I could respond “how about 1/2 a block?” until we actually got to an agreement we could both live with, and it’s sort of fun.
    Oh, and the girls acting like 14-year-olds, yes–so much shitheadedness and nonsense about clubs and who’s friends with who today. Yeesh. One particular school friend of Mouse’s who I just dreaded has become so much nicer since turning 5.
    5 so far has exciting intentional sass and so forth, but seemingly an improving ability to identify what’s major and what’s minor and possibly set aside the minor. (“Can I have a lemon drop before breakfast?”
    “No” “Awwww…well, then can I have my dinosaur bowl?”) So it’s better.
    Then again, I thought 4 was better than 3…

  26. Yes, drama at 4 1/2. Everything is the End of The World. And she is realizing she can’t have everything. And really can’t have everything at the same time. She Really wants to go to the park, but Really Doesn’t want to stop playing Barbies so we can get in the car.And she has a short fuse now. So we’re having lots of the “it’s OK to be mad, but you are Not Allowed to hit me” discussions.
    Ames & Ilg’s half-year disequilibrium right on schedule.

  27. Yes, drama at 4 1/2. Everything is the End of The World. And she is realizing she can’t have everything. And really can’t have everything at the same time. She Really wants to go to the park, but Really Doesn’t want to stop playing Barbies so we can get in the car.And she has a short fuse now. So we’re having lots of the “it’s OK to be mad, but you are Not Allowed to hit me” discussions.
    Ames & Ilg’s half-year disequilibrium right on schedule.

  28. Our twins never hit these stages at the same time. They are 4.5 right now and one is absolutely unbearable most of the time. One is very sweet and cooperative. Thank god for that or I’d have to slit my throat.The difficult one basically does and says the opposite of what I do, and argues with me. or won’t cooperate (won’t walk when we need to go somewhere, wants to do the opposite of what we are doing). If I say something is black, he says white. If I say up, he says down. There is much crying and yelling (by him, although I consider it). It’s exhausting. I am looking forward to 5 but unfortunately my other one will probably enter the 4.5 stage then. He seems to run behind his brother.

  29. Our twins never hit these stages at the same time. They are 4.5 right now and one is absolutely unbearable most of the time. One is very sweet and cooperative. Thank god for that or I’d have to slit my throat.The difficult one basically does and says the opposite of what I do, and argues with me. or won’t cooperate (won’t walk when we need to go somewhere, wants to do the opposite of what we are doing). If I say something is black, he says white. If I say up, he says down. There is much crying and yelling (by him, although I consider it). It’s exhausting. I am looking forward to 5 but unfortunately my other one will probably enter the 4.5 stage then. He seems to run behind his brother.

  30. I work with 4 year olds at a day care and I LOVE this age. They’re old enough to be clever and witty and funny and do all sorts of challenging things, but still young enough to want to cuddle and well, little.however… I see a HUGE change when they’re picked up by their parents – a lot of them all of a sudden start crying or screaming or tantruming… something I hardly ever see (with one or two exceptions). I agree with the social thing – they’re becoming actual social beings with pecking orders and “cool kids” and “you can play with me but you can’t” etc. Still, I love this age 😉 but then again, I’m not their parent!

  31. One of my readers just pointed out that we just wrote the same post about 4 year olds (although your post clearly has the edge….)I swear, I now know why they yell FOUR as a warning in golf.

  32. I am so, SO glad my four year old is not alone. Because really? If we were the only people dealing with “I’m never getting NOTHING!!!!” as a response to “Dinner’s ready so no, you may not have fish crackers”, I think my mental health professional would be buying a home in Tuscany.

  33. SO GLAD to see this post! My 4yo boy makes me crazy and has me in tears at least once a week. The backtalk/arguing, stubborness, flipping out over nothing.at.all. Throw our 10 week old baby into the mix and me constantly on a very very short fuse due to sleep deprivation and my house is not too fun this Summer. He can be so smart and sweet and funny, but some mornings I dread facing another day with this kid…

  34. Last night, I read the reader’s question out loud to my husband, and we both laughed. YES. Our household is normal!And, having read this last night, I was able to stay much more calm and Zen while my daughter did a “practice to be a teenager” morning. This was one of the days I couldn’t take her to preschool fast enough! 4-1/2 is not unlike 3-1/2, but with stronger and more abusive (and louder) verbal skills. Ack.

  35. @CharisseI loved your description of your 4 year old in the rain. It is so spot on.
    My son went thru a particularly bad moment a couple of months after his 4th birthday. I would spend as much time outside as possible, but the moment we walked into the house, he was kicking or throwing things around, aggressive, uncooperative, wingy and whiney. Not too many tantrums, but he has never been much of a tantrum thrower. At the same time his teacher told me he would mope around at kinder, not participate, wouldn’t sleep, and that he had gone ‘backwards’ in many ways. Sleep also had deteriarated. he’d wake up in the middle of the night, go have a pee and get inot my make up in the bathroom. Of course he’d also pee on the floor ‘cos he was too distracted by my eyeshadow, and then the yelling at 4 o’clock in the morning that he had wet his pants. This went on a full 2 months. Then it ended as quickly as it had begun. His teacher was back to beeming about the progress with his art work. He is also back to sleeping right threw, with no accidents.
    He still has his off days (he is now 4.5), but nothing more than what is in the range of normality for my boy. Those 2 months though were just NOT NORMAL for him.
    BTW, he went thru a similar thing at 3. Happened exactly 2 months after his third birthday and last 2/3 months too. At least I’ll be prepared for the next one.

  36. Same deal as Charisse, here.Four, especially 4.5, very whiney, no perspective, sometimes mean, experimenting on the social side (how about I just tell you I don’t want to be your friend? What happens then? How about now I tell you I love you? How do you react?), lots of social insecurity and social control efforts, frantic flailing about on that (you can’t come to my party! I want to come to your party!).
    It’s still way better than 3, IMHO. So much better reasoning skills.
    And generally I’ve liked 5 a lot, 6 not too bad, 7 sucks, 8 much better, 9 is easy sliding into mangle at 10-11, late 11 is better…
    My kids are sliding toward the next regulation phase slowwwwwwwly, all at once. So I’m getting ‘have a good day!’ (and meaning it) from the 7 year old, ‘how was work today, wait, let me get my ice-cream first, don’t tell any work stories until I get back, I love them!’ from the 11 year old (wait, he WANTS to hear how my day went??? Cool), and the occasional ‘okay, how about we move the pillows and he sits way over there on the sofa’ instead of ‘AHHHH-GET-HIM-OFF-THE-SOFA-MY-SOFA-MY-TV-SHOW’ *KICK*KICK*KICK*SCREAM*THRASH* and ‘I-DON’T-WANNA-GO-TO-CAMP-I-WANNA-STAY-HOME-YOU-CAN’T-MAKE-ME’ *KICK*THRASH*SCREAM*SNIFFLE*WHINE* from the 4’s.
    They do keep getting better. More fun, more interesting, more there. More thinking, more talking, more discussion. And then there’s another area that needs to grow and goes haywire while it grows, but then that part clicks in more, and gets interesting, and fun, and …
    Still tiring. But I’ve learned not to take any of it personally. It’s either problems to solve, or issues to manage while living with them, but no different than dealing with personalities at work – I can either take it personally, or not. Not is much more sane. Learning how to pull that apart and be less ‘I suck at this’ is a long road, and I’m imperfect at it, still – but I also find that it isn’t worth the energy drain of being trapped feeling like I can’t do anything right. So I choose to remind myself that it is the age, the stage, and they’ll grow past it. It helps a lot having the siblings, because I can also tell the other kids that it is an age thing, which helps me remember, too (easier to remember for someone else than for myself, for some reason).

  37. I had to post on this topic. My daughter was a hellion at 4. Really, from 3.5 through 4. My husband and I would laugh/cry at the end of the night because we couldn’t understand who this crazy, demanding, whining, back talking, etc child was. K was always so sweet and giving and lovable. This time was ROUGH and LONG. But she turned 5 on June 10th and I swear it was like she went to bed one night and another child woke up in the morning, the old K who we missed so much. Sure, it’s only 2 weeks into 5 but there seems there was a huge turning point. So have hope that it will end and I wish for you that your darling baby/child returns soon.

  38. Our daughter is four and a half. We struggled for two years under the impression that “it’s the age” or “it’s a phase” but the truth is that with that attitude things might never get better. Despite all the phases that kids go through they still need to adhere to behavior limits and guidelines. We were well and truly screwing up our kid and it felt awful. I found and read 1-2-3 Magic and I know it sounds like a cliche but it fixed our family and the way we were dealing with the phases and the expectations of behavior throughout those difficult times, or bad behaviors that come daily. We have our sanity back and our daughter is happier, all due to the simple system set out in that book. No more yelling (from us) which was so damaging to her self-esteem and not nearly the power struggles. We are all back to enjoying each other after all that time! I so so so recommend it for this age and all ages.

  39. WAHAfter a relatively calm 2, and an utterly horrid 3 (this started at about 2 years 10 months), I keep telling myself he will be 4 soon. And comes this post that 4 is also sucky?
    Should I be looking forward to 5?

  40. @Gina, there are limits, definitely – and some systems work well with certain kids. 1-2-3 Magic has some merit, and fails utterly with other kids, too. It’s worth a look. We use some of the principles related to it, but lean more on other methods (like Parent Effectiveness Training, which deals with proactive problem solving – prevention more than resolution, and often requires no power efforts because it’s authority based). Regarding ‘fixing’ the family, the right method for your dynamics can definitely FIX a lot – for us, P.E.T. is closer to the ‘fix’ result. It is a change in thinking that enables us to work better – now, we still have the age-related bahavior, and it still drives me nuts, but that doesn’t mean the age-related behavior ‘wins’.One of the things I like with P.E.T. is also part of what you touched on there – that YOU have to be able to live in your house, too. It isn’t all about letting the age run things. It is about everyone being a functional team. Losing your own needs in there is not the right answer, either.
    Anyway, I’ll recommend that people read several parenting books around the concepts of discipline, problem-solving, and family strategies – or at least check into the books on Amazon. The reviews tend to give a interesting cross-section of what the strengths and weaknesses of each approach might be. Easier for me to pick and choose what to look at, that way.

  41. THANK GOD I found this topic! I thought I was all alone in my misery! My older daughter just turned 4 less than a month ago and it has already been a difficult, frustrating, “shoot-me-now” few weeks. I was SO looking forward to her 4s, too, because we did go through the “terrible 3s”. If all this drama is an indication of what the next year is going to be like, though, I should have been THANKFUL for the 3s!We’re going through a lot of arguments and yelling and crying over the smallest things. I never know what will set her off. And, oh! the freaking out over her baby sister touching her toys and books! AAAHHH!
    There are rays of sunshine that still manage to peek out of these dark clouds, thank heavens! She still LOVES to cuddle and give kisses and hugs. Just yesterday she asked me, “Love is a feeling, right?” I said, “Yes, it is.” She then said, ” Well, why doesn’t love change or go away ? Other feelings like happy or sad or mad change all the time. Like you, Mommy, I love you when I’m happy or sad or even mad.” 🙂
    Yes, Pumpkin, this, too, shall pass. But love will always be around.

  42. Oh gosh! I get some comfort by reading this, at least I am not alone. Sometimes I think I am going bonkers. What am I doing wrong?? One day he is nice, and then out of the blue, like somebody pushed the wrong button on him he goes stir crazy completely bananas…He seems to enjoy the most annoying his little 1 year old sister. Oh dear, god forbid of her to get near any of “his” toys. But if she has a baby toy in her hands, he immediately grabs it and states loudly: She NEEDS to shaaaare! Be nice baby! :rolling-eyes: …. jeeez please give me patience to endure this nasty phase….
    So OK we all know by now. 1 is adorable, 2s are a joke not terrible at all, 3 is the beginning of the tirany and 4 is hell at times. OK yes we have good days 😉
    But so when on earth does it get better??? I read that 5’s are good BUT that after 5 1/2 until 6 1/2 is just horrible again….. oh no dear lord have mercy of us … lol

  43. Four, I must say, had been good to us. He’s 4.5 now, and while yes, he’s still moody and can get cranky (mainly when he’s not had enough sleep or needs food), he is helpful, inquisitive, interested and lots of fun. He is, at times, mouthy, and we’re working on that (any hints are appreciated!).I have noticed that the girls in his class at school are much more…well…mean then (most of ) the boys. The girls tend to be more cliquey (we don’t want to play with so and so) and mean. The boys, not so much.

  44. Four, I must say, had been good to us. He’s 4.5 now, and while yes, he’s still moody and can get cranky (mainly when he’s not had enough sleep or needs food), he is helpful, inquisitive, interested and lots of fun. He is, at times, mouthy, and we’re working on that (any hints are appreciated!).I have noticed that the girls in his class at school are much more…well…mean then (most of ) the boys. The girls tend to be more cliquey (we don’t want to play with so and so) and mean. The boys, not so much.

  45. C’mon, folks: are we really trinyg to say that adults and kids in America aren’t fat these days? Sure we are. I’m not all that worried about it, though. It’s a natural response to a) decreases in physically-active jobs and b) increases in consumption of calorie-dense pre-prepared foods. Give us a generation or so, and we’ll work it out, either by learning better portion sizing or by inventing a miracle pill that keeps food from being absorbed by the body. In the meantime, though, it’s ridiculous to say that fat doesn’t have health implications. I’m about 30 lbs overweight. I’m fit and healthy, but when I run a race and see people who haven’t trained dash by me because they aren’t carrying the extra ballast, it’s hard to deny that excess weight is going to have health consequences. There is a middle ground between obesity epidemic panic and obesity denial.

  46. C’mon, folks: are we really trinyg to say that adults and kids in America aren’t fat these days? Sure we are. I’m not all that worried about it, though. It’s a natural response to a) decreases in physically-active jobs and b) increases in consumption of calorie-dense pre-prepared foods. Give us a generation or so, and we’ll work it out, either by learning better portion sizing or by inventing a miracle pill that keeps food from being absorbed by the body. In the meantime, though, it’s ridiculous to say that fat doesn’t have health implications. I’m about 30 lbs overweight. I’m fit and healthy, but when I run a race and see people who haven’t trained dash by me because they aren’t carrying the extra ballast, it’s hard to deny that excess weight is going to have health consequences. There is a middle ground between obesity epidemic panic and obesity denial.

  47. i just googled “why is my four year old so obnoxious” and came across your post 😛 I know every is very disequalibriamated (is that a word) for him right now. but really. he’s insufferable. always highly sensitive and persistent since day one, he is channeling a 13 year old girl right now.glad i’m not the only one….

  48. i just googled “why is my four year old so obnoxious” and came across your post 😛 I know every is very disequalibriamated (is that a word) for him right now. but really. he’s insufferable. always highly sensitive and persistent since day one, he is channeling a 13 year old girl right now.glad i’m not the only one….

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