Grumpy Lives Here

I have trouble managing my own emotions… how am I supposed to teach that to The Boy?

It’s been a rough ride around here lately. To put it mildly The Boy is GRUMPY. I swear some days we have one of the dwarfs living in our house – he even gets that same eyebrow slant and crossed arms.

Here are just a few of the joyous statements we’ve heard around the house lately:

I NEVER love you anymore!

I’ll put you in a time out! (To his brother… and to me)

I’m NOT going to [insert task of the moment such as eating breakfast or getting dressed] until you [insert whatever treat or toy he wants like buying a new car or having a cookie].

I understand he is struggling to have some control over his life. I understand it is hard being four and having to be told what you can do and especially what you can’t do. I also understand I can’t let the defiance rule the house.

The problem is that he can’t seem to figure out what to do with his emotions. He knows he is angry or sad or frustrated but he doesn’t know what to do with that emotion. When he was little I used to teach him to hit a pillow (better than hitting his baby brother!) to try to work out the emotion… now that doesn’t cut it. He needs more of an outlet for whatever he is feeling but I can’t, for the life of me, figure what to tell him. We’ll often hug it out or stop for a snuggle and that helps… he often does it at times that are the lest convenient for me (when supper is just about ready or when I’ve just sat down to eat after being on my feet all day, etc) but I’m trying to make time to do it anyway.

Beyond that, I’m stumped. Any advice?

The terrible twos have nothing on the furious fours!

The Boy image by The Beest Photography: thebeestphotography.meganvenner.com

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2 Responses to Grumpy Lives Here

  1. Megan says:

    Hmmm. I seem to recall a similar stage. We had a book called The Grumpy Ladybug, by Eric Carle. We also used to make grouchy faces back at him from time to time, but I can't remember how successful that was.

  2. Divawrites says:

    At least he acknowledges you…our little diva in training simply ignores us if what we are saying doesn't suit her. I never thought I'd be a screaming mom but I have been known to bellow from time to time…and I have a classically trained, loud soprano voice that carries. We do the best we can. We're heading into 5, which is apparently one of the rebellious ages. yippee.

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