4-year-old driving crazy

This Is Why Your 4-Years-Old Is Driving You Crazy!

When it comes to how a 4-year-old child drives you crazy, the sky is the limit. You might feel certain that the “terrible twos” and the “Threenager” stages were concealing the stage of “Furious Fours.” 

Four-year-olds are more curious than ever; they have countless questions, do non-stop messes, have a rollercoaster of moods, and have serious meltdowns and endless needs.

It may not be easy for parents to stay calm in the face of a screaming or irrational child of this age, but it is a common problem among most 4-year-olds. 

The most important thing is to know the root cause. For that, as a parent of a 4-year-old, we must know his common behavior at this stage.

Understanding common 4-year-olds behavior:

As human beings, we all make transitions when we grow from a certain age group. 

Just like that, a child has multiple stages that they cross in a short time. As your child transitions from toddler to preschooler to almost kindergarten student, you would agree with how surprised you are to see your little one has grown up so much.

At this stage of life, the most common behavioral traits of a 4-year-old can be :

1- Wanting to be independent

Commonly, a 4-year-old kid learns and tries to be independent. It is totally normal and a good milestone for your kid. The good news is that they can now do so many tasks, but the bad news is that they will try to find fun in every task. That fun sometimes becomes destructive too. 

2- Imagination on peak

Kids of this age will likely have an imagination beyond our expectations. Their imagination grows exponentially at this age. Some of the kids have imaginary friends too. They would be doing a lot of pretend and play and playing extremely creative games.

3- Talking back to signal individuality 

By this age, the child achieves individuality development. They recognize their family, friends, teachers, and surroundings. They become responsive to their unique strengths, interests, and needs. Basically, they become vocal about their likes and dislikes.

4- Learning to express emotions

A kid of age 4 starts to understand that they have certain feelings and know how to express them. Along with exploring their emotions, they know that others have feelings too. Sometimes children of this age want to comfort their crying friend with a hug or a kiss.

5- Sometimes too defiant and sometimes co-operative

It is quite normal for a 4-year-old to be defiant. Parents can relate that sometimes they are too defiant and sometimes too cooperative. It is because they are learning how to manage their frustration and communicate anything bothering them.

6- Try to please and be like your friend

At this age, a child knows what pleases his parents and makes them angry. So most of the time they try to please you by doing things which you would appreciate. They would say things like “ You are my best buddy” or “You are my only friend” to make you do things that you mostly don’t allow them to do.

a 4-year-old sitting

Why your 4-year-old might be driving you crazy:

Now you know the common behavioral traits of a 4-year-old kid, you must understand why you are having a hard time dealing with your preschooler. 

Moreover, there could be more reasons why he is driving you crazy. Following are some possible reasons:

1-  Not getting enough sleep

Four years is the age when most kids start schooling. They have to wake up at a specific time, disturbing their sleep. 

This could be the most possible reason that he is not getting enough sleep. Less sleep makes them frustrated mentally and physically. It is just because being a toddler; they used to sleep and wake up in their own comfort.

Read more: What if a 4-year-old is not getting enough sleep?

2- Transitioning from a toddler to a preschooler

Your 4-year-old might be driving you crazy just because he is in a transition phase. From being a baby at home, he is now all set to start school. Some hours away from home and mama would be making him sad hence he would show it in his behavior.

3- He wants to be independent.

4-year-olds have a natural urge to become independent. They want to make their own decisions. But they don’t yet understand what’s right and what’s wrong. So, when you try to correct them, they are more likely to resist making you furious.

4- Frustrated with the responsibilities.

As a child enters the “Furious Four” stage, he comes under the weight of certain responsibilities. It could be that waking up early for school, attending school and doing the homework, and coming back home to follow the same daily routine could frustrate them.

5- Not following the same routine:

Having a routine is super important for kids. Not having a schedule will make the kids stressed and less organized. 

For example, when you put them to bed at different times every day, they will resist a lot and will obviously drive you crazy. While on the other hand, if you put them to bed daily at the same time, they will fall asleep quickly.

Transitioning from “staying at home” to “starting school” is also hard for kids. Being a parent, it is our responsibility to make the transition smooth. 

Prepare a toddler for preschool months before he starts. You cannot change the routine overnight. The possible reason for him driving you crazy is his sudden change of routine.

6- He always wants to have fun

Children at this age might not understand your responsibilities and how short of time you have. 

They always want to play and have fun. So when you ask them to hurry up, they resist.  

7- Learned from friends at school

Children learn what they see. He might be driving you crazy because he may have seen a child doing this. It could be a friend at school, a friend in the neighborhood, or a sibling at home.

Some kids are naturally more mischievous than others. When your 4-year-old starts school, he may learn different types of “funs” from other kids. 

8- Attention seeking

Mostly kids act crazy or irrational when they seek their parent’s attention. You can relate that when you are working or over the call, they ask you questions, shout in the background, or does something which makes you angry.

9- Excessive use of screen

We know as a parent, you need some alone and peaceful time. Screen time is found to be the easiest way to settle down a kid for some time. But we do not realize that long screen time hours are not only bad for the eyes and muscles but they disturb the peace of their minds. 

4 year old playing in the yard

How to handle a 4-year-old kid who is driving you crazy?

Here are some parenting tips for the parents of 4-year-olds who are driving them crazy.

1- Work on yourself:

This is the key. We as a parent mostly try to work on our children when they are giving us a hard time. But we never think of working on ourselves.

  • You must always look on the other side of the paper. Look into the scenario the way your kid must be looking at it. Be in their shoes to know how they feel about a certain situation. Work on “how you think.” Understanding your child will help you cool down faster.
  • Give yourself a timeout. Leave the room when you are angry, rethink a couple of minutes, and respond to the situation.
  • Meditate to bring calmness to your nature. Focus on yourself, give yourself some “me” time, and most importantly, keep yourself indulged in any activity that makes you happy.
  •  Learn to control your 4-year-old’s bad behavior in his way. Offer him something that he likes and, in return, ask him to do a certain task.

2- Everything is a game

Children love to play games and are always ready to have fun. Make everything a game and see their interest. You will be amazed to see how easy it will become to control your kid. 

Here are a few fun ideas:

  • Make the toilet time more fun by asking them to race with you. Loose intentionally.
  •  Close your eyes and count to ten to see if he has finished the task.
  •  Make stories of his interest when having dinner. Hug him or praise him after every bite.
  •  Make a bite of the food, hold the spoon while closing your eyes, and say, “ no one should eat my food; I’ll eat it in the morning.” The child will eat just to have fun. Make munching time much more fun.
  • Make the clean-up time fun by singing clean-up songs or their favorite rhymes. Ask them to clean up with you and reward him.
  • Pick their favorite toy and ask him, “who is ready for the exciting bedtime story”?

3- Set logical and realistic consequences:

Never give unrealistic threats like a boogeyman will come and take you away if you don’t sleep, eat, or behave well. Tell them the true consequences of not sleeping early, not eating balanced food, or not behaving a certain way.

4- Give enough attention to your child

Dedicate enough time for your child. Ultimately, he depends on you and needs you most of the time. Sit with them, play with them, cuddle with them. Never leave them unattended in the washroom or kitchen.

Fix at least 15-30 minutes a day for your child. keep your devices (and other distractions) away and bond with your child. 

5- Let him do the tasks under the supervision

As discussed above, 4-year-olds like to be independent. Let them do certain tasks on their own but under supervision. 

Let them (and sometimes ask them) brush their teeth, take a bath, take out a snack, put their shoes in their place, put the dirty clothes in the bucket, etc.

 Letting your child do his tasks will obviously take some time, but it’s still better than dealing with a furious child.

6- Limit and fix the screen time:

Try to limit screen time. You can’t completely take it away and shouldn’t because it is the norm of today’s world. When other kids at school know how to use gadgets, your kid will feel uncomfortable.

Fix screentime to a maximum of 1 to 1.5 hours in the daytime only. Dont’ allow it before bed as it may disturb their sleep.

Invest in board games and art and craft supplies, or take them to the park for physical activities.

7- Make bedtime memorable and peaceful

Bedtime is the most precious time of the day. It is said that a child listens to you more attentively when he is about to sleep. 

Make the best use of this time. . Keep the room cozy and comfortable to ensure that the child gets sound sleep. 

Tell him how much you love him, tell him what he did wrong during the day, make him understand the good and the bad, and tell him stories that he can relate to in his life. Most importantly, tell him he is precious to you.

 Bottom line:

It is a common complaint of parents of 4-year-old that their little ones drive them crazy. Look, this is natural but a hard part of parenting. 

The key is understanding why your child is doing all this crazy stuff; try to understand his brain and physical development. Understanding your child will put your mind at ease. 

After understanding, try to handle the child in a more fun way. In a way your child wants. This way, he will become an easy child and throw fewer tantrums, and you will also be able to save your sanity. 

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