Did your difficult 4 year old daughter turn out okay?

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Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 8:14 pm
Need some encouragement here. My daughter is reading havoc on my home and making life chaotic for the rest of the family. Any hope that she will grow out of this difficult, impulsive, aggresive behavior? Anyone have a preschooler like this who turned out to become decent adult???
I am parenting her to the best I can right now but not an easy task.
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Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 8:19 pm
My difficult, stubborn, angry little boy turned into the smartest, kindest, patient young man.
My sweet, laid back, easy child gave me a run for my money as a teenager.
Some people say, let them get it out early.
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Ora in town


Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 8:29 pm
There is hope... she's 12 now...
She has stronger feelings than other people. That's not easy to handle, neither for her, nor for her surroundings. When she suffers, she lets us all know.
It is hard. She absorbs a lot of energy. As a mother, you have to learn to let go, not to escalate, project serenity... sometimes nothing helps... then you just have to wait it out till the pendulum swings back. There are moments when it's not possible to reason... It's just because she has stronger feelings than others... She has a very keen sense of justice. That goes both ways: she wants to be treated fairly, but she will also defend others quite vocally when she feels they are treated unfairly... However, she has sometimes a warped perception... when she gets 90 and others get 10, she will feel deprived...

Last edited by Ora in town on Thu, May 07 2020, 6:19 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 8:30 pm
Not a daughter but a sister. One of my sisters was impossible. If we ticked her off in the sliiiiightest we were all doomed. Trantrums like you can't imagine...

Anyways, she's an AMAZING person now. Her middos are impeccable. She's confident, funny, super smart, has a ton of friends, and is all around a great person.

Do NOT worry!!!
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Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 8:34 pm
I'd switch the above poster's words from "don't worry" to "don't project."

You REALLY never know how a child will turn out. Difficult child does NOT automatically lead to difficult adult. So don't project!

However, you shouldn't just relax and take it easy because "they all turn out okay," try to help the child learn to deal with the difficult emotions and help model good behavior. But definitely don't decide that the way they are at 4 is the way they'll be at 14 or 24!
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Cheshire cat


Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 8:41 pm
My daughter seems similar to ora in town's.
Also 12 now.

She is still a very intense and sensitive child. But she has blossomed beautifully, bh.

In preschool, we contemplated placing her in a special ed setting, to teach her better coping skills. We ended up not doing that.

Today, her teachers wouldn't believe me if I told them that was ever a consideration. She is smart, mature, socially savvy... and adorable.

I am so proud of her, and so grateful to Hashem

I wish you the best, op. It's not easy.
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Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 11:13 pm
Thank you all. Each reply was truly helpful to me and gives me some strength to keep going.
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Post  Wed, May 06 2020, 11:51 pm
My son when 4 was crazy out of control. He is now 12. Me family and neighbors still recall his behavior and how it was scary to have him over (in school he was always an angel)
When he turned 5 we realized he couldn’t hear. Putting in tubes turned him into the sweetest little boy to this day.
We know his tubes fall out when he starts acting like a lunatic. And when they get put back in he goes back to being just wonderful.
It’s like having a jekyl and Hyde - controlled by his ENT.
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 12:02 am
My spectacular 20 something daughter -model wife, mother, professional who makes me so proud was a nightmare infant, toddler and preschooler. Crying, tantrums, you name it. I will admit that at times I hated her! But she outgrew it and her "stubborn" nature produced a positive work ethic, can-do attitude and strength of conviction. IyH you will have much nachas!
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 12:13 am
My extremely active toddler is now the most quiet well behaved middle schooler! I wouldn't have imagined it in my wildest dreams!!
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 12:40 am
My 16 year old was the most difficult baby toddler and pre schooler. She screamed often. Scowled persistantly and was extremely needy.
Today she is kind warm and loving. Extremely active and driven and uses her talents for the good bh.
I would say the character traits you see in a child often stay but manifest in new ways in a teen/adult. My babys who screamed are my more sensitive adults. My babys who were laid back and easy going are still so as adults.
With continued love and praise I am sure she will grow to use her personality traits to drive her forward in a positive way.
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 12:42 am
She will iy"H grow into a beautiful adult. It will be extremely frustrating at times but please G-d do not ruin her as she finds her way there.
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 1:32 am
DD17 was like that and was just like Ora in Town and Cheshire Cat's DDs.
She is still sensitive, ridged/needs heads ups (if I say dinner is at 7 she leave her homework at 6:58 to come to the table, and if the chicken needs another 1/2 in the oven that is "annoying to her". If I call up to her room at 6:30 and say that dinner is delayed and moved to 7:30, have an apple now to hold you, she is fine) She is headstrong and very much driven by what is just and fair. Sometimes it can be hard and I sometimes feel like I need to be preemptive so that she is not disappointed as she is not great at rolling with the punches. It is hard for me as I am easygoing, laid back and unorganized. I make for dinner whatever falls out of the freezer, I get to places when I get there, I am happy to hang out with whoever happens to be there - no preplanning needed. definitely a difference in our personalities which can be trying.

She is a tremendous bat chessed (because she is sensitive and super aware of others needs and want to alleviate their burden), advocates for others especially in regard to fairness, hardworking, honest, determined, and not easily deterred- especially when it is something that she believes in (as opposed to wants - an example would be that she will go to the administration and go to bat to have a fundraising bake sale or Kiruv event, but not for a Rosh Chodesh party or ice skating trip).

She pretends that she is ok with disappointment, but it doesn't genuinely roll off her back like my others, and she is not as lighthearted and energetic or as much fun as her sister, but there is nobody I would rather have my back.
I have no doubt that she will one day make a wonderful wife, mother, community member, and employee.
(My older DD, who is in shiduchim said that DD17 will be quite a catch, who wouldn't want to marry her-she wants a DH-organized, hardworking, and just-like her sister).
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 8:53 am
DD17 is a delightful young lady, and getting great grades. She's thoughtful, kind, compassionate, and generous with everyone she meets.

She was a great toddler. Years 2 and 3 were easy. Then 4 hit, and it's a miracle we both survived. I was never so happy to send a kid off to kindergarten!

Some people say that easy babies will give you trouble later, and difficult babies will be easy later. I have no idea if that's true.

What I do know, is that your child's greatest challenge right now, will later become their greatest strength. Your job is to teach them how to use that trait in a positive way, and channel that energy.

Just tell yourself that if your child is stubborn, then when they become an adult they won't be anyone's shmatte. They won't give up easily, and will accomplish anything they set their mind to.
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 9:06 am
(I did too - I think!)
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 11:30 am
My difficult 4 year old is now a 9 year old who is really a pleasure to be around.

I have a 5 year old who has never been easy. He has a very anxious disposition and can get aggressive. He has over the years out grown so many of his fears and really come out of his shell. Hes still got moments but hes mellowed a lot also.
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 5:44 pm
Every kid was different, but my harder kids had more help as they had more sensory and behavioral issues. They were easier teenagers. My most difficult teenager was the easiest baby, toddler and preschooler!

Keep loving them even when you feel like giving them away!
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 6:08 pm
How's this for irony:

My, ahem, challenging child is now a BCBA. School was miserable, and we home-schooled her for high school. But like others have said, she's an amazing adult.
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Post  Thu, May 07 2020, 9:14 pm
My very difficult 4 year old daughter turned out to have pediatric absence epilepsy. She was basically having many many seizures a day without us realizing. Once her seizures were controlled her behavior did a complete turn around. She is now 5 and has been on medication for about 8 months and is BH a completely different child. My point is, make sure that there is not a medical reason for her poor behavior. As an aside, prior to her epilepsy diagnosis I went to speak to a child psychologist about her behavior. Without meeting my child, she diagnosed her with “middle child syndrome.” Which I now know was incorrect.
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