A is for Attitude

I really wish I could start this new link from Rachel of Confessions of a SAHM on a positive note. Sadly, my decision to use A for Attitude is not positive.

Harry has developed an attitude of late. One that would not be out-of-place in a teenager. Sure, for the most part he is the happy, cheeky, kind and lovable little guy that everyone loves and adores. Sometimes though, just sometimes, we get a glimpse of what I imagine the future will hold.

The husband and I have discovered that there appears to be a fine line between cheekiness and misbehaviour.

If I am honest, I struggle. I find it is so much easier to handle a child who is happy, plays nicely, interacts well. It IS easy. It's not so easy when the same child throws things, shouts, slams doors, is rude. When he refuses to get out of the bath (I can't lift him out), to get dressed, to brush his teeth.

At four-years-old, Harry knows when he has misbehaved or when he has done something that upsets me or the husband. You can see, in the brief moments before, him mentally planning what to do or what to say. Removing privileges doesn't seem to help; use of an old laptop to play games on, TV, messy play, a trip to the park, sweets. We don't have anywhere to place him for time out; one hall way leads to the kitchen, the other to the bedrooms and bathroom. Today we tried to shut him in his bedroom which just ended up with a trashed bedroom. I don't think a reward chart would work either since it's all a series of little things; answering back, shouting, rudeness, refusing to let us brush his teeth, demanding things. Besides, I am not sure I am comfortable with punishing or rewarding behaviour but they are all things we have tried.

I also don't think it helps that things are different with the husband. I don't know whether Harry behaves better or the husband just handles it all easier. Obviously the husband gets to do more with Harry as well, which may well be a part of it; I join them on trips to the park or to play games in the field when I can but often, I cannot.

All of that said, tomorrow is another day, one which I hope will be better. I have planned a bus trip to the local village where we will have a couple of little things to do, followed by milkshake and cake together. If Harry enjoys it as much as I hope he does, then I will make it a regular a thing, each week for just the two of us.

How do you deal with your child(ren) misbehaving? Have you any words of wisdom to impart on me before I lose my mind?

A to Z of Family

18 thoughts on “A is for Attitude

  1. My children are 7 and 5.5. I remember telling my then pregnant for the first time friend that 4 is the worst age of all, made worse still from the lack of fore warning...it's when we've stopped turning to the manuals of child behaviour and think that it's all smooth sailing! My most amenable, well behaved older child was the worst behaved ever in her fourth year..I've never made sense of it, though others have remarked similarly. Hope it helps knowing that you do see the back of it...and then it comes back at 7! Remind me why we chose parenthood again?! 😀 Hah! Enjoyed reading your post as it took me back to when I sounded exactly like you...this too shall pass! x
    Kanchan@ The Intrepid Misadventurer recently posted..Nature, Nurture and Apples falling from Trees!My Profile

  2. Harry is a similar age to Abigail and she behaves the same way. I think a lot of it is testing boundaries. It's such a difficult age! I bet he wants (and thinks) that he is fairly independant, and he may be in some circumstances, but he still needs mummy and daddy to help every now and then.

    Reward charts never worked for any of my kids. I know it is really difficult, but try to ignore the bad behaviour and praise the good....and make sure that you stick to your guns with regards to removing privileges etc!

    Good Luck (it doesn't last forever but it does come and go as they get older!) and thank you for linking up with my A to Z of Family xxx
    Rachel recently posted..Silent Smartphone Cinema with Sony Xperia Z2My Profile

  3. No advice I'm afraid, but I feel your pain! We've tried punishment and rewards, but if they want to misbehave, they will and nothing will stop them! I still struggle with my eldest's behaviour now - he is constantly winding his brother and sister up and he is so untidy! We can only do our best and try to keep the boundaries clear and hope that eventually the messages will go in. Good luck! x
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..The Gallery: DetailMy Profile

  4. Austin is 4 too, and has been 'challenging', in one way or another, since birth. It's nearly driven me round the bend at times! I try to hang on to the thought that it's just a phase, and that it's something he needs to go through, to test boundaries and learn right from wrong. And I try to react in a way that shows him an example - cross, but calm and firm. I say I TRY to do that, but sometimes (yesterday, for instance) I end up losing my rag and shouting horribly....then feeling guilty. Ah, the joys of child-rearing....one thing that HAS worked recently, is rewarding him for a week of not hurting his little sister when she does something that make him cross. That's the one thing I picked as the behaviour I wanted to stop - I felt it was important to pick my battles. If Gwen destroys something Austin's built, for instance, and he says 'you've made me really cross', or even just shouts at her - which is better than hitting, in my view - after seven days, he get a Dinosaur Cove book. He's obsessed with them, and is REALLY proud of the fact that he's managed his anger enough to collect five now (they're cheaper when you buy them in bulk). If he does lash out, we re-start the clock, and he waits seven more days. This might not work for everyone, but that's been a good solution for us. Good luck! x
    Nell@PigeonPairandMe recently posted..Could our girls wear pink with pride?My Profile

  5. The other Rachel above has hit the nail on the head it is testing boundaries. I have had a few techniques that have worked but probably easier to explain verbally. You know Aaron is capable of all of this and more and it breaks my heart. Same deal, less so likely with Dad. Don't blame it on your limitations as it is a Mum/Dad thing universally I feel. I have seen one of my closest Irish friends, her hubby is Mexican, and exact same thing, kids try it on with Mum.

    As the Mum mantra goes "this too shall pass".

    Will catch up soon, Liska xxxx
    Liska @NewMumOnline recently posted..Bristol Zoo ReviewMy Profile

  6. My 2yo sounds like this already! We have firm tellings of no, 3 times, and after that we say it will be time out if he does it once more. It usually works but if it doesn't then he's in his room with stair gate on as we also don't have anywhere else. He just lies and strops though rather than trashing but we do get a sorry! #FamilyFriday
    Stacey Guilliatt recently posted..Little man N at 3 months oldMy Profile


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