No One Warns You About Four Year Olds

No One Warns You About Four Year Olds

I’m sat writing this when I have a million and one other things to do. But I’m writing it because I’m fired up and if I leave it until later, I’ll be calmer and then it just won’t happen.

Four year olds. No one warns you about four year olds. You hear about the ‘terrible twos’ and the ‘threenagers‘. I even wrote about that stage myself! But four-year-olds? What’s the term for that? Surely it exists for others too and not just us?

You expect each year to get better. But I swear since the Little Man turned four, we have had the biggest of all challenges on our hands. This gorgeous little boy can go from angel to devil with the flick of a switch. Seriously, to the point that I don’t recognise him.

I’ve always said I will be honest when writing posts like this. There’s no point in sugar coating any of this parenting lark. It’s real. It’s amazing and at times it can be a fricking nightmare.

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No one warns you about the challenges that come with a four-year-old who I can only assume is so ridiculously ready for school. No one warns you about the four-year old that will back chat you like he’s fourteen. Slap you when he can’t get his own way. Throw the washing you’ve just tidied up across the room because he thinks it’s FUNNY.

No one warns you that you will lose your shit despite trying to ‘keep calm because they need you to be calm‘. Really? Who are these people?

I’m all for trying new parenting techniques if it’s for the benefit of my kid and me but really? Surely there’s only so long you can keep a lid on it?

I admit. I lost my shit this afternoon. I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m not the first. I sure as hell won’t be the last. The kid had driven me to the brink!

And before we get a wise ass. Because there’s always one. We have tried EVERYTHING. Time out. Removing favourite toys. Star charts for good behaviour. You name it, I’ve googled the crap out of it and tried it a million times over. It just doesn’t work.

That doesn’t make me a shitty parent. I’ve considered this many times. Believe me. I’ve beaten myself up over that very phrase. Countlessly asking myself where I’ve gone wrong. But it’s not me. It’s just kids. It’s what they do. I realise that now.

He’s four. He’s clever. He’s probably bored of being at home. He’s ready for school. He’s 80% angel and 20% devil and I love him to bits. Of course, I do, but bloody hell. He tests me in ways I never knew existed.

But we carry on. We get up day after day and we carry on. Because we’re Mums. It’s what we do. Because for all their faults, they’re ours and we love them. We might not like them at times but we love them. And if we can’t teach them and shape them, who will?

Now excuse me while I go and tidy the laundry up for the third time today.

 

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54 Comment

  1. Reply
    Kayleigh Watkins
    28th July 2017 at 11:19 am

    I have a four year old daughter who can be an angel too but when were home and she’s bored she is an absolute nightmare, her attitude is worse than her brothers who is 12, she doesn’t like the word no, or doing anything she’s asked, its all on her terms, I’m dreading it as she has a four month old sister and I know when she gets a little older they are going to argue like cat and dog, but I also wouldn’t change them for the world and there is nothing better than the peaceful looks on their faces when they sleep or the huge smiles and hugs when they 1st wake, and there is light at the end of the tunnel for you, my son used to be a pain in the backside but now he’s so calm and always offering to help me with his sisters and when I put the girls to bed he makes me a cup of tea, his pouting now is sitting in his room sulking with a pair of headphones on, I’d take that over the naughty four year tantrums all day long xxx

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      28th July 2017 at 12:32 pm

      I LOVE this comment. Thank you! I felt a bit awful when I read it back this morning, thinking I sounded like a really ungrateful parent, but clearly it’s not just me and it is normal after all! Phew! I look forward to the next, calmer, stage! 🙂 xx

  2. Reply
    bringinguptheberneys
    28th July 2017 at 1:08 pm

    I hear you. My son is only 18 months old but he’s got a temper like no other, which I can only pray will dissolve with time (highly unlikely…) But you are most definitely not alone! I remember times my mum lost her shit with us! There’s only so much patience we can expend on our kids before they find out how far they can really push us. You’re a great mum, kids are just little shits at times! #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      30th July 2017 at 11:15 am

      Thank you, that’s kind!

  3. Reply
    Kim Carberry
    28th July 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Ahh! Breath! Keep telling yourself it is just a phase….It is. I am sure when he starts school things will change. My girls were both like this when they were about 4 years old. Hang on in there. #PoCoLo

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      30th July 2017 at 11:15 am

      I’m convinced school will help. Watch this space!

  4. Reply
    Twin Mum/Dad: Emily (@Twinmumanddad)
    28th July 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Here’s hoping it’s a phase, a very short one! Although I have to admit my girls are five and some days just go so slowly with their constant fighting! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      30th July 2017 at 11:12 am

      Nige tells me it’s worse?! I’m hoping that’s because you have two!! Otherwise, watch this space for a ‘five-year-old’ post! 😂

  5. Reply
    booandmaddie
    28th July 2017 at 9:50 pm

    I think it’s wonderful when parents are honest, because it IS so bloody hard. And the more people that share these things, the more others will know they aren’t alone X #PoCoLo

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      30th July 2017 at 11:08 am

      Thank you! This is why I share it all, warts and all! If I’ve helped one person feel sane, it was worth it!

  6. Reply
    Stephanie
    29th July 2017 at 2:25 am

    I’ve heard it referred to as the F@#%ing Fours (by a mom of twins plus another). My best friend also had a terrible time with her son when he was 4. No looking forward to that, but apparently it is a thing. #PoCoLo

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      30th July 2017 at 11:07 am

      This makes me feel a little better!

  7. Reply
    diynige
    29th July 2017 at 11:02 am

    I love this and all true the sad part is the girls are worst now they are five. Can I sell them on eBay please Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      30th July 2017 at 11:06 am

      Oh god, it gets worse?!? Let me know how that ebay thing goes!! 😂

  8. Reply
    wotshernameagain
    1st August 2017 at 6:29 am

    Such a real post! It funny how they can take your emotions for love to dislike unless then 10 seconds. I don’t have children but I coparent my nephew who is seven now. I remember watching home sleep thinking I love you so much but please don’t wake up lol! I promise you will miss these days. #Triumphanttails

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:02 pm

      I think that often in the mornings! 😀

  9. Reply
    kerry
    1st August 2017 at 7:51 am

    Love this, sorry to tell you though five is even worse!! It all started to change for us at four as my boy started school (he was born 45 mins before the cut off date so he started school at 4!) the change was crazy ans like you we tried everything….Now he’s five we go through crazy mood swings, attitude and the “I hate you” stage. Its hard work been a parent but your not alone and looks like we are all in the same boat! #triumohanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Your better half has warned me of the same! At least I am prepared!

  10. Reply
    Richie Sayers
    1st August 2017 at 8:37 am

    It doesn’t get any easier, our son is 5 (almost 6) and he is amazing at school. At home it is like he is another child. His behaviour a lot of the time stresses me out so much. I have a 2 year old daughter and she seems like she will be worse! Arrrgh! #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:00 pm

      Oh God, this is not what I wanted to read Rich, you could have lied to me!!! 🙂

  11. Reply
    Monsterful Mama
    1st August 2017 at 9:28 am

    Oh dear! I have all of this to come! My LG is only 5 months and already packs a mean left hook! 🤣

    Thanks for the heads up though. #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Maybe she’s getting it out of her system early! 🙂

  12. Reply
    Helen
    1st August 2017 at 11:50 am

    Yep, the attitude begins here! I think at 4 they are beginning to understand the world around them and working out how they can manipulate it to their advantage – and they get frustrated when they can’t manipulate it. It’s hard isn’t it?! X
    #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Oh ridiculously so! These kids should come with a warning label! 🙂

  13. Reply
    Mrs Jibril
    1st August 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I was one of the mums that thought by 4 things get easier, my son is almost turning two so I’m a little worried about the terrible twos. Anyways you’re doing great with your son all kids can be naughty sometimes #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:08 pm

      I think we’re lulled into a false sense of security if I’m honest! We can only do the best we can do – thank you!

  14. Reply
    tinmccarthy
    1st August 2017 at 4:15 pm

    So far four was my favorite- probably because it followed age three- which brought me to my knees.
    #tritues

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Kids hey?!

  15. Reply
    mummy2twindividuals
    1st August 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Having twins has shown me that however similarly I parent them, their own personalities dictate how the react. They will be their own little self and we just have to guide them to be the best they can #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:07 pm

      Yes, exactly this! No child is the same!

  16. Reply
    Jo - Pickle & Poppet
    1st August 2017 at 10:04 pm

    My little boy went through a testing time when he turned three and we have seen an improvement although I am expecting it to get tougher as he is about to turn four in October. He is ready for school now, all his friends have left preschool to go to school and he is already showing that he is bored of preschool, and being at home. I think we need school but we have another year to wait and so this could be the toughest year yet….. #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:06 pm

      Oh I’m sending you all the luck and positive vibes in the world! If I can cope with it, anyone can!! 🙂

  17. Reply
    Lucy At Home
    2nd August 2017 at 7:18 am

    This parenting thing is hard! Sometimes, they just can’t see how difficult they’re being. I once heard that after the “terrible twos” and the “threenager”, you get the “four-nado” (like tornado)! Haha #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Four-nado – I LOVE it! I love that I now have a name for it! It somehow makes it easier! 😀

  18. Reply
    stressymama
    2nd August 2017 at 10:14 am

    Molly is an angel for everyone. Except me! One minute we could be having a really lovely time together, the next she’s a completely different person. It very frustrating isn’t it #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      2nd August 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Like flicking a light switch!! 🙂

  19. Reply
    Fridgesays
    3rd August 2017 at 7:46 am

    #triumphanttales my dude is 4…the hard bit is he is irrational like a 2yo but can argue like he is 44….haha, well I’m dreading school, so a few more weeks of this boy to myself before another change in our lives.

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      3rd August 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Oh I’m dreading it too – so much change, I’m just hoping it will help – but totally relate to what you’re saying!

  20. Reply
    laura
    3rd August 2017 at 11:31 pm

    I like to call it the F’ing fours, which is unfortunately followed by the f’ing emotional fives! I dread to think what six will bring later this year!!! Thanks so much for sharing on the #friyaylinky xx

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      6th August 2017 at 6:37 pm

      I’m just relieved I’m not alone!

  21. Reply
    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    4th August 2017 at 8:53 am

    Anya is 4 and SOOOOO ready for school (September baby…) she is the naughtiest of my 3 kids so this year has been tough but I don’t remember Matt being too bad and am keeping my fingers crossed for Zach! #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      6th August 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Nice to know it’s not just us that struggle with 4!

  22. Reply
    randommusings29
    4th August 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I don’t think it gets any easier until around 25 lol
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Debbie

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      6th August 2017 at 6:36 pm

      Only 21 years to go then!! 😀

  23. Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    5th August 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for your honesty Jaki. We all lose our shit, and it is comfroting to know we are not monsters. Just people trying to do the best we can. For us, 4 wasn’t too bad, but I still send you all the empathy in the world, along with a hug! #TriumphantTales xoxo

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      6th August 2017 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks Lisa – gratefully received 🙂

  24. Reply
    chickenruby
    7th August 2017 at 8:37 am

    stop trying to put a description/name to every age/stage and just go with it, it’s called growing up and every milestone is different and enjoy the moment. My youngest is now 18. I have 5 children they are all and have all been very different, they all continue to be very different as adults, every day is a challenge, every day they discover something new, everyday they can display a new behaviour, have a melt down, show you up etc etc. #triumphanttales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      7th August 2017 at 10:59 am

      Pretty sure I am just going with it – what else can you do? It’s media and others that have made up these ‘names’ in the past. This was just an observation. I am aware he is growing up, and fast! Thanks for your comment.

  25. Reply
    Daydreamer mum
    7th August 2017 at 3:47 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve had a four year old but I do definitely agree with you that if they’re clever they do crave school,and maybe get bored and frustrated with being at home. Not that that helps you any when you’re out of your mind wit stress!!! #TriumphantTales

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      7th August 2017 at 6:17 pm

      It’s always nice to know it doesn’t just happen to us though, because it feels like it at times! 🙂

  26. Reply
    Stephanie
    11th August 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Glad you got to the realisation that it’s not you it’s them (and it’s their job) – hope there’s more good days than clean washing throwing ones – thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo x

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      14th August 2017 at 8:13 pm

      Dare I say he’s been better recently?!

  27. Reply
    Rosie Parsons
    5th October 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I’ve got 4 year old triplets…. and a 2 year old. I hear you xx

    1. Reply
      Jaki
      7th October 2017 at 10:20 am

      Ohhhhhh. You are a superstar for coping with that! 🙂

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