I think you have a discipline/behavioral issue here. Sounds like your son does not respect your authority. He does not accept your discipline and rebels against it. Does his father help in the discipline? I would tell you to start concentrating on being consistent with your discipline - both you and your husband should handle the discipline with your son exactly the same. If your son is put in time out, he does not leave time out until he has served his time out. He should not be able to just throw a tantrum and get out of his consequence.
There are many parental classes out there that concentrate on this issue, and parent support groups for parents at their wits end! Good luck!
First of all, I don't know many 4 year old boys who can sit still;) Is he in a preschool program? Do other adults make similar observations or is he saving this charming behavior just for you?
Do you have an active lifestyle? I know that my son (will be four in Oct) needs lots of active play in the run of a day. Get him outside, join a preschool soccer club. Give him lots of opportunity to run, jump, play, yell.
Also, make a short list of behaviours you specifically want to work on. Discuss your concerns with your son, come up with a reward system and a discipline structure and stick to it. (for example: If you do not sit at the table during supper, you will not get to watch tv after supper).
He's wearing you down. Just be consistent, I promise, it works. I also have a 16 year old daughter who is extremely energetic and as a preschooler she wore me out. She turned out to be a great kid.
It can be difficult but it can be determined if a 4 year old has a diagnosable attention problem. Your family history indicates that his chances are increased for having ADD/ADHD. It may be worth having him evaluated. Check with your health insurance provider if they will cover an evaluation by a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist. Either way these professionals can help you with guidance in terms of managing his behavior. Best wishes...
My son, who was a joy when we brought him home from the hospital, turned into a tasmanian devil when he was 15 mos. I noticed that this wasn't just the normal "terrible twos," as several of my girlfriends had kids the same age. My son was "different." He would not nap anymore - when previously he had been napping 2 - 3 times a day!!! And sleep through the night. All of a sudden our home was turned upside down, and I was 7 mos pregnant with the next one! I kept telling the Dr. this is not normal. But was told of course that I needed to wait. I don't know but the hormones and all, I was CRAZY. He fought us tooth and nail, over EVERYTHING, every moment of everyday became a struggle. Daycare became a nightmare. I had the comments like the ones I see posted to you, that we weren't commanding the behavior correctly, etc.. My son is now 6 as of this past March and I have to tell you things are great! Our home is peaceful again and we are "normal" - as normal as you can be with a 4 nd 6 year old :)He was kicked out of his private kindergarten in January of this year. I called our health care plan and requested an emergency appointment due to the craziness that was occurring daily at the school - kicking, hitting, throwing objects, running away towards street, climbing fences to get away etc. He was 5. The Dr. confirmed finally that my son had ADHD. We were prescribed Concerta - we did not want to go to medicine, but we were done, tired, worn out, and defeated. This medicine worked - the ADHD is under control for 12 hrs a day and now the behavioral redirections and all that stuff we had been trying prior to the medicine is able to work, he is not frustrated because he is always doing something "wrong," however He still exhibited aggressive behavior and we received another prescription for yet another set of initials ODD - Oppositional Defiance Disorder!! We moved him to a public elementary school, had some trouble at first because the medicine takes a few weeks to really take. Last week, our son won an award from the principal that he was an outstanding student in front of the whole school!!!
I cannot say how much I sympathize with both you and puglove. My son is 3 1/2 and we finally reached the conclusion that we had to do something for our child. Not only was he driving us crazy but our whole house was turned upside down and we noticed that our son was heading down the wrong path. I was beginning to question the amount of happiness that our house had. There was constant frustration, arguing, ineffective discipline and just plain unhappiness. Not to mention I was completely burned out. We have had the same issues many of you have described daily. We always know that our son had something different with his personality. He was a tough baby. He was fussy and high need all the way. And becasue my husband had ADD, probably ADHD as a child, I felt like it was the reason we struggled day in and out. Finally I reached a point where I had to talk with our pediatrician about ADHD. She had and continues to have a completely unbiased opinion about ADHD and treatments. She just heard what I had to say and we went through the standard testing. Needless to say he was diagnosed with ADHD. I opted to try medication. His father has taken medication daily for many years. And he had the most convincing rationale for our decision. He needs his medicaiton everyday or he would not funtction. He told me that if it weren't for the medicaiton treatment, he would not have the ability to feel like a normal functioning adult. My husband had a difficult childhood - mostly becasue he wasn't treated or had any form of help with his ADHD - mostly just alot of ODD behavior and overall social ineffectivness. This worry for my childs future and the strong intuition that I was making the right decision to try medication has landed us to where we are today. I can see a remarkable difference with his inner turmoil. There is less struggle and defiant behavior. However, we still struggle with discipline and have to constantly think of creative and consistant ways to help our son make it through his day with minimal issues. I can't say that this is the answer. Maybe it is just one of the tools - actually I am certain it is only just one of the tools. I know that this will always be something that we have to face head on daily. At this point I am just glad that I am following what my gut instinct is telling me - which is that something must be done - and not listening to all the other opinion that make some parents feel guilty about medically treating their children. Those people have never had to raise my son, therefore they have no right to say anything about our choices. I guess the main point I am trying to make is that only we as parents know deep down what the right decision is. And if you feel like you are having trouble trusting yourself, just follow what your gut instinct is telling you. You are right. Because no matter what you do, only time will tell if it was the right path to take. However, taking any path - regardless of its end - is better than taking no path at all. I wish all the other parents out there who have similar issues the best of luck and I hope that we can all find strength together. :)
I hope you have returned to read more. Yes the medicine has helped immensly, and yes we are still working on behavior issues. But they are down to a level where our house rarely hears a yell, unless it is from an excited happy child. Its funny, it's like we are meeting a new person, he is so wonderfully smart, and it was hard for him to get to display that before becuase of all the other distractions going on in his head/body.
And you know what, he is aware that the medicine helps him. How wonderful is that - you wonder if you are doing the right thing and he says to his teacher one day (she told us this in a parent teacher meeting) that he takes medicine and it makes him feel better and it helps him play with others now.
And to mommyluvsum - god bless. I am rooting for us all!