Surviving a 4 Year Old

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Please tell me this is a stage that will pass.  Please tell me that someday I will look back to this age with fondness and actually miss it.

Because right now I’m not enjoying it.

Don’t get me wrong, we have good days.  Actually, I’m not sure I can say days.  We have good moments.  We have really good moments.

Yesterday didn’t have many good moments.  Unless you count the hour that I went grocery shopping by myself while the boys napped and daddy worked on building Owen’s big boy bed.  Yes, unless you count that hour, I’m not sure what else was good about yesterday.

It started with Owen waking at 5am.  He didn’t whine or cry though.  He was still tired.  He just laid in his crib and talked and sang and played until he fell back to sleep.  Thank goodness.  I fell back to sleep too, but it was already after 6am.

Then at about 7am I hear Ryan talking in Owen’s room.  Ugh.  Now Owen was crying because he hates to be woken up.

This made me crabby.  Which in turn made Ryan crabby because he got in trouble.  And because I had to run up the stairs to console crying Owen I didn’t have a chance to bring up his milk which made him cry even harder.

Double UGH.

And then I hear daddy say, “I’m just going to stay in bed until everyone gets a better attitude.”

I can guarantee that this did not help my attitude.

From that moment on everyone was just crabby.  Crabby about numerous things.  Crabby that the nobody would eat breakfast.  Crabby that the kitchen was a mess.  Crabby that nobody was listening.

And during all of that our 4 year old kept saying “That’s not fair!

Where did this sassy attitude come from?!  Seriously.  He turned four and the next day he turned into a different kid.  We have no idea what to do with him or how to get through this stage.

Please help.


Today Jim said to Ryan “I’m really tired of your attitude.” and Ryan’s response was “No you’re not!


Everything is a battle.  Everything.

But during the good moments, they are actually really good.  Ryan can be such a sweet kid when it’s on his terms.  He’ll come up to me out of nowhere and just say “I love you sweetie” and hug and kiss my leg.

Or I’ll hear him explain something to his little brother and he’ll say “Bud.  Here let me help you bud.  I’ll show you.”

Today was a very trying day.  A day where Jim and I both questioned our parenting skills and wondered if we were doing something wrong.  We wondered out loud if we’ll survive this age and the stage we seem to be in right now?

Any suggestions on how to handle this sassy attitude without putting myself in a time out?  It’s either that or I’m going to cry.  Literally cry.

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  1. No advice from me–my 5 year old girl is in this phase, so sweet one day and seriously full of attitude the next. I’m just hoping the good wins out–sometime soon!

  2. This too will pass. Sometimes putting the boys in their rooms and you going to yours for a few minutes helps all. My crabbiness is why I had only one. You and Jim are doing such a wonderful job with the boys. Please do not get discouraged when these moments happen. You have the right idea and when this is all over, you will at least not hate these moments.

  3. Oh Sweet Jesus. That sounds awful. The constant crabbies kill me. KILL ME. You’re a saint. Hang in there! Sounds like all those precious moments (seriously – so sweet) balance out all the negative plus some.

  4. My Miss Bug went through a horrid stage from age 3.5 – 4.25 or so. It. Was. Awful. I survived, and I’m pretty sure you’ll make it, too. 🙂 My only suggestion is a rewards system if you don’t do that yet. If it fits your kid’s personality it can work wonders. It did for my kid. She is a doll again – closing in on 5 years old. Can’t believe it!

    Oh, and now? Dealing with terrible 2s with my dearest Miss Boo. Just blogged about it. I think you’ll feel my pain. Ha!

  5. I wish I had suggestions. I really do. Dustyn has so many bad moments. The good moments are fantastic, but hard to remember when they are throwing a fit because they don’t get what they want.

  6. Let me know when you figure out how to skip this phase. I’d rather just pass when the kids get there!

  7. JT is exactly the same way!!

  8. It will pass and your memory of it will become vague. We’re getting into some attitude problems (she’s almost 6). I find it really difficult teaching her the power of her words. Last night she asked my husband, “what’s wrong with you?” in a very snotty tone. I laughed a little. That was the wrong thing. Really, I have no advice. I just hope you get out of the phase quick!

I would LOVE to hear from you!

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