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Why is my 4 year old so cranky?
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Why is my 4 year old so cranky?

My daughter is 4, going to be 5 this year. We lived with my in laws for the first 3 years of her life, where it was really hard to discipline her because her grandma always got in the way and gave her whatever she wanted. We have been out of that house now for a year and up until recently my daughter has been very good. She is a good listener, helps me around the house, keeps her room and all her toys clean and goes to bed when I tell her. Recently though, she hasn't wanted to listen to me at all. Everytime I ask her to do something or tell her no she can't do something she acts like it's the end of the world and throws a major fit. Some days we have 4-6 tantrums, and each one lasts at least 20 minutes. She refuses to clean anything we ask her to clean, and when it comes time for bed, it's a huge fight and the fight usually lasts 2 hours of her screaming and crying that she isn't ready for bed. Why is she acting like this? It came out of nowhere and doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. Please help.
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Here's the likely explanation, but obviously I cannot say for certain. She is now experiencing a response to frustration of her wishes that many children display at a younger age. Since, as you point out, she was 'spoiled' at that age, she never really had experience with dealing with the frustration that comes with obstacles. Be sure to employ systematic beavior management (see Lynn Clark's book SOS Help for Parents at www.sosprograms.com) and you will guide her through this portion of her development.
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