Friday, June 15, 2012

The Terrible Two’s Were Nothing!

We all know about the Terrible Two’s, and some people know about the Trying Three’s but what about the Frustrating Four’s?

You see we have been there through all of those, and yet right now all of those hold nothing, and I mean nothing to the F&*#!NG FIVE’s.

Personally I thought the Terrible Two’s were a walk in the park, compared to the Trying Three’s –and the Four’s were difficult at times, but wow these fives; so far not fun.

Back in September when Little Girl started preschool (age 4) we went through some trying times with her, I attributed it to the change of starting preschool and looking back I think I was right, about a month later things settled down and she was back to normal.

But right now, we have been going through temper tantrum hell.

If you have a child 5 years or older, then you know that a 4 or 5 year old temper tantrum is nothing like a two year old’s.

About a week ago, we were dealing with time-out after time-out, so many in fact that I brought in a Naughty Chart.

Little Girl is allowed 3 time-outs in one day – once she gets that 3rd time-out – she gets a bigger punishment or penalty so to speak – right now – if she gets those 3 boxes filled in one day – she loses the privilege to wear a dress / skirt the next day.  This is a big punishment for her – all she wears right now is dresses and skirts.

I thought I would share with you all an example of what I mean when I say F&*#!NG FIVE’s.

This happened the other night in our house:
1.       She was bugging her brother – sitting on him or something.

2.       I told her to get off him.

3.       She does not move.

4.       I tell her again to get off him – and mention that if she doesn’t – she will get a time-out.

5.       She doesn’t move.

6.       I tell her to go to her room for a 5 minute time-out.

7.       She doesn’t move.

8.       I tell her again to go to her room for a time-out and add that I will be putting an ‘X’ on her time-out chart.

9.       She screams – NO!!! and runs to the fridge – pulls the time-out chart off the fridge and crumples it up. (see above picture for evidence of said crumpling)

10.   I grab it out of her hand – smooth it out – put the X on and put it now much higher out of her reach.

 Naughty chart - now lives way out of reach.

11.   I tell her now, Blankie will have a time-out too, unless she goes to her room right away (which means – Blankie goes on top of the fridge for a time out at least double the length of hers).

12.   She runs away from me – in the direction of Blankie.

13.   I pick her and up and carry her to her room.

14.   I retrieve Blankie from her – prying her fingers off.

15.   I tell her to stay in her room – and start to walk away.

16.   She follows me – hitting me with her fists – yelling at me and telling:
17.   Now I tell her to go back to her room, for a 10 minute time-out, (hitting = a 10 minute time-out vs. the standard 5) I will turn the timer on when she is in her room. 

18.   Eventually – she is in her room and we actually start the time-out.
19.   Once the times goes, I tell her to come downstairs and we talk about what she did wrong and why she got the punishment she did. 

 20.   She apologises and gets Blankie back from her time-out spot on top of the fridge.

See how much fun this is? 
I was telling someone at work about this and they said there were more rules and play going on he would need a rule book bigger than the NHL’s.

I know every child is different, every stage is different for each child – but I am so ready to be over this one.  Please tell me it gets better.  Please let this be a phase. 

I do want to add that I have been working on me being calm throughout the whole thing – and it has been working – it is kind of hard to tell your child not to yell at you or their brother when you have just screamed at them, right?

Anyone have any tips, tricks, advice? 

One thing I have filed in my brain and often think of as we are battling it out:
Little kids; little problems

Big kids; big problems
So I will enjoy this time when a 10 minute time out and the loss of privilege to wear a dress the next day is all I have to think about. 

One day I will have to take away car privileges.  I don’t even want to think about the reason why that might happen.  Oye!


  1. i have the exact same problem with my 5 year old...i actually think at times she could have ADHD or hyperactivity and needs ritalin...i have no idea - i have zero patience with her attitude and lack of listening. We go through the same routine, she thinks shes boss and then when its time for time out - its screaming and kicking and she ends up there longer, why do they not see that if they just do the time for like 5 mmins then they get off instead of making it harder...sooo frustrating!

    1. I don't think we have an actual issue like ADHD - I just think they are growing and changing. This is their way of pushing boundaries - they are just so much older and verbal compared to a 2 year old. Oh, and their memories are much better too.

  2. It's so tough being a parent sometime isn't it? Good for you to keep your word - I find that's the worst part, the follow through!

  3. Oh my I love that time out chart!!! Why didn't I think of that? And the not being able to wear a dress/skirt the next day!! I am going to use both of those, starting now!!

    Advice/tips- I don't know, I do the time outs, then I take a special toy away and they have to earn it back!!

    I so agree , the terrible two were wonderful compared to the threes, fours, fives, sixes and sevens!!! Yes I said sevens!!! I have a seven year old daughter, is a good thing she goes to school!! And a four year old daughter that is interested and showing me how different siblings can be! Oh and I have an almost 2 year old boy, let's just say had I had him first I may not have had anymore!!!! The terrible twos came at 18 months and I can't see them improving anytime soon!! His time outs include being put in his crib, but yesterday after a minute I heard his bedroom door open and tada! There he was! Yep climbed out! So I'm pretty much doomed!

    Logan - Alison's cousin.

    1. Thanks for the comment Logan!

      I came up with the time out chart out of pure desperation - after countless time-outs in one day - you have to think outside the box.

      I really don't want to hear about the sevens! I was hoping for a few good years before the teenage years hit.

  4. So I have been doing this positive parenting thing for about 8 years now and have used it at many different ages, and for the most part I try and use these strategies as a first resort. If the above scenario was in my house I would do this: at the first question, please get off your brother, instead of getting into a match of wills about it, I would instead walk over there and remove her from her brother. This is a very shortened version of the 5 steps, which I use often with 5 and under, which is, put forth request, put forth request and ask if they need help to accomplish it. keep in mind that a 5 year old may fully understand what you want them to do, but their bodies and their immature minds aren't able to keep up with what you want. When you help them, its just that, help. If they have big sputtering feelings about it, instead of telling them to stop feeling X, you just tell them what their feelings are and reflect it back to them. The other helpful thing is to think of what you are trying to teach in this situation, so in this case, you are trying to teach her that her brother's body is her own right? so I might also say something like "XXX, you are not respecting your brothers body, you need to give him space". that is what you want to focus on, leaving his space and respecting his body right? when you punish you distract from what you want to teach in the first place. I am not totally opposed to time outs, when my child is screaming at me or acting physically violent, I will separate them from myself/others. Anywho, the whole point of my rambling is that you head it off at the pass. Engaging in a power struggle with a 5 year old is super frustrating and makes you want to rip your hair out. the key is to keep as calm as possible while dealing with her feelings.

  5. Ahh yes I know the terrible 5's! Dawson went through this exact stage when he turned 5. It is definitely getting better as he's nearing 6. I think for him it was a battle for independence. Sounds like you are handling in the right way. Keep up the good work!