Grumpy 4 year old

Hi all,
My 4 year old son Nat is just plain grumpy. He can be the sweetest child ever and all of a sudden become this grumpy, negative child. I’ve done some reading and learned that this is normal. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I don’t remember my older son being like this but he was difficult when he was three. I just thought maybe since Nat breezed through 3 that 4 would be easy. :teehee: Yeah right.
An example of Nat’s grumpiness is when we were in the grocery store and saw a baby. Nat just said “I hate babies”. We don’t use the word “hate” but I told him he could say he does not like babies. I have no idea where this came from but he still says he does not like babies.
I guess he is just learning to express himself. He goes to bed at 8 and usually sleeps until past 7 so I think he is getting enough sleep.
Any other ideas? I am not enjoying being around him so much right now. Hope it passes soon.

Yeah it’s pretty normal at that age.

A shot of JD will fix him right up :rofl:

Or Nyquil!:roflhard:
Sorry you’re going through this. :hug:

Don’t tempt me :teehee: . I figure it’s normal and all kids are different but he is really putting me through it right now.

Well maybe you need the shot of JD more than he does :rofl:

Kids are all different, but they all go through grumpy times. Does he have a younger sibling? Has a baby usurped your time at all lately? I usually just told them it’s okay to be grumpy, but it’s not okay to take it out on someone else. :hug:

He is the youngest so he has not been usurped. Jan, I have told him the same thing. It’s okay not to like someone or to be grumpy but you don’t have the right to be mean to them. For example, a little girl who goes to our church and lives across the street wanted to hug him and he totally blew her off. I spoke to him about it and he hugged her the next time. I think he was so excited to see her brother, a great buddy of his, that he didn’t feel like being nice to anyone else. He just seems to choose whom he will tolerate.
In thinking about this, his big bro was at day camp last week and is doing it again this week so Nat is probably missing him.
This has been very therapeutic. Sometimes writing things just helps.

When my 3 year old GD is tired, she is negative about everything. I know it’s nap time. Is he like this about everything when he is doing this or just one thing? Does he go to daycare?

Is he doing anything else new? Like putting all his toys in a line? Does he complain about loud noises? Is he sensitive to things like clothes (socks don’t feel right, itchy shirt, etc?) My once lovey son turned grumpy when he was 7 and we now realize it was Aspergers. It may not be true for your son if he has no other issues, it could just be a 3 year old thing or missing big brother thing. I know what it feels like to think “Ugh, I don;t like my kid. He can be so rude and such a drag” We moms are not supposed to feel like that in our culture. We’re supposed to smile and brave through it. Well screw that, if you feel like he’s no fun to be around then go ahead and feel it. He’s still a person, a small, new to the planet person but still a person. You wouldn’t put up with that crap from a tall person who has been on the planet for a while right? So tell him you are going to your room for some fun knitting to get away from his grumpyness.

Amen to that! My son is 5 and we seem to go through 3 month cycles. He is fun sometimes, so sweet and kind and a delight to be around. Then he is a whiny, bossy, tantrum throwing monster for 3 months. He’s a monster right now and I can’t stand being around him. I actually have to sit in his bedroom at night while he is sleeping and “fall in like” with him again. Don’t get me started on his little sister. I thought he was bad!!!

I would try focusing on praising others who make positive remarks while he is in your presence – it may be he realizes how much the negative remarks frustrates you & he is able to get your attention this way (negative attention is “attention”). Make a comment about how much nicer it is when people are so kind to others when you hear the positive remarks. Also, since they learn through example, focus on making positive comments about things (as much as possible, save the negative for when he’s out of earshot). The big one is to praise his older brother when he says nice things and is kind to others.

Four-year-olds are really starting to enter the ego stage – everything should be revolving around me! – so when you focus on others positive behavior & learn that you will ignore the negative comments (even the “I don’t like …” which is telling him he can still make the negative comments) he will start learning he will start getting better results by changing his attitude.

Bug went through that faze when he was 3, we had to really start emphasizing the treating others kindly — lots of verbal rewards, he had to do kind acts without prompting & when his parents & I witnessed a week of this behavior, he was surprised with a special day with his mother (which is what he wanted in the first place – extra attention). I borrowed tons of books from the library about being kind. He came around, although he has really started to enter into the ego stage – “it’s all about me!”.

My 4 year old is like this too sometimes. I’m reading a book called How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, & Listen so Kids Will Talk. It’s really good so far. It’s interesting how just validating their feelings can diffuse a bad mood.