Please Someone Help Lol.

Updated on March 14, 2017
J.W. asks from Schenectady, NY
18 answers

I like to try to have a little giggle usually with parenting, I reflect it an analyze the situations that arise and honestly sometimes I find myself laughing because it's so incredibly obscure. My four year old daughter is kind of a pain in my butt. She has been since she turned three. However, before she turned four I had gotten her somewhat into order An her sorts in a row. It was almost like the day she turned four a magical fairy came an sprinkled some kind of "be a total bum to mom" dust on her. I am consistent with timeouts, and being stern on bedtimes etc.. but she will NOT for life of her listen to me anymore. She wakes up at 5am every morning I put her to bed at 7. I try telling her to go back to bed, we are very sleepy and she is going to have a very long day if she gets up An she just makes a giant fuss and screams and cries waking up everyone and it does ripple effect an ruin everyone's morning which yes extends into the rest of the day. It's making us all miserable. It doesn't matter if I go at it positively or negatively. It goes for getting ready for school as well, I will ask her to get dressed and the tantrums start.. the frustration that it creates and the stress is so unbearable. I am here to simply reach out and as for some tips on discipline because I simply have no clue what to do! I rememeber listening to my mom, she was intimidating but warm and loving. I parent a lot like she did.. she took her approach with four of us an it worked. But it doesn't work for me, I am not my mother.

Please people, help me out! Tips! Is anyone else dealing with this? (I'd assume yes lol)

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your replies ! Some of you have thrown out some tips. She's my first child An those of you basically trying to scold me on when she goes to bed is absolutely ludacris. After reading some of those comments (the positive ones.) I will be moving her bedtime forward through the march break. The reason her bedtime is as early as it is is because of work shedules.

And to those of you saying I don't want to spend time with my child because her bedtime is 6:30-7 clearly have their parenting 'down pat'. I asked for some tips. Not a clap in my face thankyou. I love spending time with my child, or otherwise I'd toss her in after school programs.

I will be taking a more positive approach I do have some parenting books that push the positive stuff but i have honestly tried some of it and it doesn't work. Thank you everyone who was kind and informative ❤️ Reading your comments gave me something :)

Oh and P.S.

She cannot dress herself as she is in school which Is also why she goes to bed earlier, and she is a bus student. Lol

More Answers



answers from Springfield on

She's getting 10 hours of sleep if she sleeps until 5:00 am. That's about all you can ask for. If you want her to wake up later, try putting her to bed later. But I'd hold off and see what happens this weekend. You might want to wait until after "Spring Forward" before you try to tweek her sleep schedule. Honestly, Sunday night might be the perfect night to attempt a new bedtime.

As far as the rest of the day, play around with a few things. You could try phrasing it differently. Instead of asking her to get dressed, try, "Time to get dressed" (with excitement and a smile). You could try making it into a game or a race. Let's see who can get dressed faster, Mommy or Sarah? Can she get dressed all by herself? If not, maybe make that the next game. Get excited about her being able to do it by herself and make that into an exciting new challenge. What a big girl!

Shake up the routine to see what might help make it feel different to her, and therefore more exciting.

I swear, sometimes parenting is all about adjusting to your kids changes. Just when you think you are finally on top of things, bam! They change in some way and turn your world upside down and you feel like you're starting over from scratch. You just have to remind yourself that you conquered the previous challenge, and you WILL conquer this one, too.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

I had to laugh a little when someone mentioned she should be playing soccer and t-ball instead of going to bed at 7:00. Most 4 year olds are not ready for team sports :-)

In your SWH you mentioned that you had tried some "positive parenting," and it didn't work. Yep, been there! What I mean by that is, often time we will try something that other moms swear by, and it feels like it blows up in our faces. The thing is, not everything is going to work with you and your kid and sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out what works.

Keep in mind, also, that just because your mom's parenting style worked with you and your siblings, doesn't mean it will work with you and your daughter. It could be that the personalities are different, but it could also be so many other things. There are tons of factors that can affect whether or not different techniques work out. I know I try to remember what my mom did and try to emulate her in many ways. I do find a lot of wisdom in things that she did, but my mom and I have very different personalities and some of the things she did I just can't seem to do successfully. I have to find my own way. I have to find what works for me - what I am able to do successfully.

Try not to let the responses upset you. Every time I post a question I feel like half the people responding made false assumptions or are calling me stupid. I think some people are insensitive, but I also think it's really difficult to read tone in written text. It's also human nature to try to fill in the gaps (after all, you can't write a novel in your question), and sometimes we fill them in incorrectly. People really are trying to help, so try to just take the helpful comments and forget the rest.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

She's sleeping for 10 hours - how much longer do you expect her to sleep?!

Try bedtime at 8pm or even 9pm, then she won't be up so early.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Everyone had dealt with this. Really nothing more frustrating than trying to get through your day when you have someone that seems dead set on making your life a living hell .... and they are only children.

One of my grandsons was an early riser. His mom put a digital clock in his room and he was allowed to get up at 8:00. He could sit in his bed looking at books or playing quietly until 8. Granddaughter #2 has the same problem but her mom bought a clock with a stop light on it. Red means stay in bed. Yellow means its getting closer to being able to get up. And green means you can get up and go see mom and dad. Again not allowed out of bed until green but can play quietly in her bed with books and small toys.

Switch up your morning routine. If its dressed than breakfast change it to breakfast then clothes. The nice part? If she spills its on her jammies and its ok. Have her get on some of her clothes and you help with others so its a team effort which will make it less stressful on your both.

Mostly I'll just tell you that the more you try to rule with an iron fist the more problems you'll have. Instead of clean up this room change it to lets get the toys picked up so we can go do this other fun thing. Granddaughter #2 is 4 and I find that if I partner with her things get done. If I order? We both get frustrated.

Hang in there. Just when you think things are fine she'll be doing new more annoying things that will drive you NUTS.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Some kids have meltdowns at this age over getting dressed in the morning.
Would it be hard to have her sleep in the clothes she has to wear the next day?
She's 4 - who cares if her clothes look slept in? - if it will save you some time in the morning then try it for a few months.
4 yr olds aren't great at dressing themselves - you help them.
If you want her to sleep later in the morning, try moving her bedtime to 7:30 or 8pm.
Does she still nap?
I ask because our son napped till he was 7 yrs old.
He was growing rapidly (he shot up 4 inches when he was 4 yrs old (and again at 6 and 8 yrs old) - the growing pains were awful) and he SO needed that extra sleep.
Even in kindergarten - they had nap/quiet time - and his teacher told me he really slept - had REM sleep during nap time - and he even seemed taller after nap.
If she naps on weekends - have it at a set time - noon-ish or what ever time they do it at school.
Sometimes being over tired means worse meltdowns.

When my sister and I woke up before Mom - we KNEW better than to wake her up (Mom was old school - she worked, was exhausted and if you woke Mom up over nothing, we'd get spanked) - so we quietly went downstairs and turned the tv on.
(Never put a tv in any bedroom.)
I don't like using the tv to keep a kid quiet - but if everyone else needs some sleep, then maybe show your 4 yr old how she can watch something until everyone else wakes up will keep things quiet in the morning.
A dvd player might work - and she won't be watching commercials or other stuff besides what she's allowed to watch.
She'll outgrow the tantrums eventually.
When she's a teen - you'll have a hard time getting her to wake up before noon on weekends.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I have noticed with my kids (when they were young like this) that "bad behavior" seems to come and go every 6 months or they were growing and changing and suddenly things were hard for them to handle. Then they would outgrow it. So, to me this behavior is normal for a 4 year old and with time she will mature and outgrow it. You are not your mom and she is not you! She has a different personality and if it were me I would think to myself, well, what I am doing now is not working so I am going to try a different approach. You tell her to go back to bed and screaming tantrums start. You tell her to get dressed and she refuses and tantrums start. What can you do differently? You could say: if you wake up before 6am you may play quietly in your room until mom and dad get up. Show her how to read a digital clock. In the morning, has she eaten breakfast before the tantrums or after? I would wonder if she needs to eat and that is why her mood is so bad. I would have her clothes from the night before picked out and somewhere near the kitchen where she eats breakfast. I would feed her something first and give her some attention/love/smiles. Then it would be time to get dressed. I guess I would try to snap her out of this habit of refusing and getting upset. I found making getting dressed fun worked well with our daughter. You could start a star chart for these two things and if she fills up her star chart she gets some special mommy-daughter time. Don't forget to praise her like crazy when she does it right! Tell her what a big girl she is. Remember, this is just a phase and you will outlast it. Try to break the bad habits and change things up. Added: I do agree with others who say to put her to bed later. At that age and through elementary school my mom was very strict with giving us a 7pm bedtime. I was always wide awake at 5am every day. I usually waited till the static ended on the TV and cartoons began! I was not allowed to wake up my mom and I remember being bored. She taught me how to make myself cereal right away so I wouldt my own breakfast! Bedtime at 8 to 9 would work fine I'm sure...but that is something for you to try to see if it works for your daughter. (My kids don't do this...I have to wake them up in the mornings...on weekends our son now likes to sleep till noon!) Another thing, our son had a hard time with getting dressed in the morning when he was this age and I now remember we just put him to bed in clean clothes...sweats or track pants...every day he slept in his clothes for the next day! It worked great! It got rid of one of the morning battles. Our daughter doesn't fight us on things as much as he did...every kid is so different.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I don't have this parenting thing "down pat" but I AM a parent to 3 and a previous nanny. So I do have experience with children.
That being said...
Your bed time is too early. If she is sleeping at 7pm and up at 5am then she is getting 10 hours of sleep. Which is enough for her, especially if she is taking a nap. I suggest moving her bedtime to 8pm or 9pm.
You say that she cannot dress herself. Unless she has some kind of disability it is time to teach her how! Have her help you pick out what clothes she wants to wear the day before and set them out. Then SHE can put on her own clothes in the morning. And if she says "I can't!" after you have shown her how then just let her know that you will be leaving and if she is not dressed that she will go in her pajamas. No fights, just clear statements. I have only had to take my middle son to school ONCE in his pajamas...he got dressed all by himself after that!
She is probably throwing tantrums because she is tired. Time to get her sleep schedule under control.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids only need a certain amount of sleep. If I went to bed at 7pm I'd be up by 3am or 4am every morning. You want to sleep later? Don't put her to bed as soon as dinner is over.

When I see bedtimes like this I can't help but wonder why the parents don't want to spend time with their kids in the evening. This sort of bedtime prohibits kids from playing outside with other kids, doing any activities with friends, no soccer or T-Ball that is age appropriate for her right now, she won't be able to do much of anything with that bedtime.

I just find it so very sad that people put kids to bed that early. The whole family is confined to their home every day after work. They can't do anything together. I truly can't imagine life like that. Our grand kids all had a natural sleep pattern and we allowed that to become our standard. Our bedtime for the kids was 9pm. They'd go right down and then wake up on their own between 7am and 8am. Happy and well rested.

Consider keeping her awake another hour and see how that goes. It might take a couple of months for her body to adjust and start consistently sleeping in though.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

As everyone said, getting 10 hours of sleep for a 4 year old is pretty good. That's about how long my 4.5 year old daughter sleeps. I put her to bed around 8:30pm-9pm and she usually sleeps until about 6:30am-7:30am, depending on how tired she was, how long it took her to fall asleep the night before, etc.

As for her not listening, remember that she's only 4 and there is only so much you can expect from her. I had the same problem with my daughter, but when I started changing the way I parented and disciplined her, her behavior changed drastically. I read some books, including How To Talk So Your Little Kids Will Listen and Parenting with Love and Logic, which really helped. I highly recommend you read those books ASAP. Also try reading some positive parenting books. Personally, I don't think time-outs work with kids this young.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

4 is an awkward age. Not a toddler but not a big kid.

She still needs help getting dressed, she is 4. While she may not think she does, she does.

I would also push back her bed time. I think she is going to bed too early. She is getting 10 hours of sleep. She is ready to go at 5 or 6. When she wakes up, I'm sure she is starving. So she probably needs to eat quickly after waking up. I am Ms. Crankypants if I don't eat.

She is 4 and riding a bus? Nope. I wouldn't do that. Is she in school or is it daycare? I'm confused a little about that.

Later bed time, make sure she is getting a good dinner and breakfast. Consistent with discipline (because 4 is when they really start with a lot more independence) and outside activities. She needs to run off steam.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I completely agree that 7:00 pm is not too early. And I echo the reality that putting them to bed later doesn't guarantee they sleep any later in the morning.

Does she nap during the day at school? My children (both of them) had completely given up naps by that age. But the preK my daughter attended (if I didn't pick her up at noon for whatever reason) had all the kids take a nap right after lunch, for 90 minutes. On the few days I had my daughter stay (b/c I had other responsibilities) for the "aftercare" program, she was the only child who did not go to sleep. Even with the nap mats, darkened shades, quiet music, etc. She already knew how to read, so she was allowed to lie on her mat, quietly, in the back corner, and read books during that time, since she never once fell asleep.

IF your child is getting naps at school, maybe push bedtime back by a half hour. Lights out at 7:30 instead of 7:00?
Another thing you might try is to set up breakfast snack food for your daughter. When she wakes, she can be allowed to get this breakfast (pre-breakfast?) and eat it quietly, as long as she doesn't disturb anyone else in the house. When my son woke me too early (when I was pregnant with his sister and he was not quite 3), he really just wanted something to eat. I set up a space on the bottom shelf in the pantry of things he was allowed to choose from. He'd come let me know he was up, then go get a granola bar and sit on the sofa and watch Winnie the Pooh. Quietly.

Perhaps something like that could work for your daughter? Then, she'll also have more time to come awake and maybe cut down on the grouches in the morning. I am not a morning person, and many people are not. Even notice how many "don't talk to me until I've had my coffee" memes there are? Well, maybe your daughter just needs a little longer to wake up. To ease into it a little more, rather than the rush of everyone getting up and getting ready at once.
It's worth a try to see if she does better. Allow her one program/episode of something she likes maybe, then the TV goes off and she gets dressed, etc. ?

Mornings were always the worst when they were little. As they hit the teen years, while they don't like to get up, they do it and know what needs doing. They'd rather not be late, so they self regulate and make sure they have it all done. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

First of all, a young child can't really make sense of "we're still sleepy", or "it's going to be a long day if you wake up now". Things at this age are pretty basic and immediate. We as adults see a cookie and we think "oh, that's a lot of calories, I probably shouldn't. And besides we're going out for supper so I should probably not snack now". A kid sees a cookie and thinks "cookie. Now." So explaining staying in bed in terms of being tired several hours later is useless.

Online you can find "toddler time clocks" that you can color code. Different colors mean "quiet" or "read and play quiet" or "its ok to get up". There are many choices.

Teach her to look at books in her bed. Give her a sippy cup of water that she can reach. Give her a signal that means it's ok to get out of bed (something like "when Mommy says Good Morning it's time to get up" or "when Mommy opens your door it's wake up time" and then make sure you stay consistent with that). Or set an alarm for 7 am and tell her until the alarm rings she has to be very quiet. Practice by setting the alarm for 2 minutes and both of you be very very still. Then when the alarm rings, do a fun dance. Then set the alarm for 5 minutes and both of you look at a book. Alarm rings, do a dance. Increase the training time and get her used to it.

As for asking her to get dressed, that also presents a problem. Some little kids can't make choices, or they want to wear something inappropriate (tutus in the snow with flip flops).

Instead, set out her clothing, give her a simple choice (blue shirt or red shirt), and set a timer. Don't let her sense frustration on your part. Tell her: "get your clothes on before the bell rings".

Keep things consistent and structured and calm. Speak quietly. Get down on her level and look her directly in the eye. Use brief sentences with simple words. Ignore screaming. Give simple choices with just two options ("grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwich?" instead of "what do you want for lunch?").

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Cut out naps if she has any.

Bedtime at 8.

Get her a clock that she can read and figure out something for her to do if she wakes up before a certain time. Reading, toys, tv, etc.

She will continue to change and push you throughout her childhood.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia!

Your daughter is growing up and her bed time is too early. She's telling you that when she wakes up at 5AM. You just don't want to accept it. You MUST change her bedtime and her routine. When my kids were 4 years old? They were going to daycare and NOT school. And they were going to bed at 830PM.

If she has ANY naps during the day and you DEMAND that she go to bed at 7PM? Those naps MUST STOP.

You won't listen to you because you are not respecting her. You need to listen to her too. It's not "just do as I say", you want your daughter to listen to you? You need to listen to her. No. She's not in control and no she doesn't rule the roost. However...when she makes the fuss - ASK HER what she needs. LISTEN to her. Let her know that her screams will NOT be tolerated. She can talk with you like a big girl. IF she can't do that? She can sit her happy butt down until she can behave politely.

School? Have her set her clothes out the night before. prepare as much as you can the night before. This solved our morning tantrums. Being prepared helps.

so here what you need to do, in my opinion.

1. Quit her naps.
2. Change her bed time to LATER.
3. Talk with her the way you expect to be spoken to.
4. LISTEN when she is screaming - tell her you will listen when she will TALK and NOT scream.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

She's getting 10 hours of sleep. She is listening to her body and getting up when she is ready. Why not move her bedtime to 8:00?

I found it is easier to stop the behavior before it starts. If you see her about to stand on the couch or jump on the bed physically stop her by picking her up and saying feet on the floor. By 4 yo I was able to give my girls a look and they knew I meant what I said. Having said that, I know my girls were super easy. I got lucky.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Fully agree with 2kidmamma.

Couple of thoughts

Time change soon so that will help. One of mine never adjusted to time changes, so I just got up an hour earlier - no biggie, I went to bed earlier. I also adjusted my kids' bedtimes. My youngest went to bed later than my older kids (did at same age) and was by far the best sleeper. She went to bed later than 7 pm at that age.

I didn't do time outs. We did natural consequences that were more You don't get to join us playing with the play dough if you can't be kind to us. Works still to this day (teenagers).

I helped mine get dressed at 4. Pick your battles.

I said "When you get your toys picked up, then we'll have story." Or "We'll get you dressed, then you can play for a few minutes before school". Still do that with my teens - once chores are done, you can call up a friend.

Mine were typically out of sorts as I'd say, if tired, hungry, needed downtime, etc. Does your child nap? Might need one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I don't think 7 o'clock is too bad, but maybe pushing it back to 7:30-7:45 would help a little, but don't count on it! At 4, kids don't necessarily sleep later because you put them to bed later. I am a firm believer in a strict bedtime during the preschool and early elementary years though AND I find it equally important for the parent(s). I NEEDED that time after my kids went to bed to either get stuff done or just relax by myself and with my husband. I personally don't want my kid going to bed at 9 o'clock, that's my time. My kids are now 9 and 7 and if we are out at an event or something, then yes it happens, but if we are home, my kids are in their rooms/bed by 8-8:30. They may stay up and read to themselves, but they are not coming out talking to me and I like it that way just fine.

I would teach her how to read the clock. I started this with my kids when they were about 2-3 and started sleeping in a regular bed. For us, the rule was it had to be 7 on the clock before they could leave their room. They could still get up if they wanted to get up, but they could lay in their bed, read books, play with quiet toys, etc. Of course if they had to go to the bathroom they could do that but they couldn't get us up or go downstairs. It honestly worked like a charm. It gave them some independence and practice entertaining themselves. Now, their toy choices weren't always quiet and we still had days when they woke me up, but it really was unintentional and I had to let it go because they were following the rules. There was a learning curve about a week or two, but we consistently would walk them back to their rooms, look at clock, discuss what number had to be there, get out some toys, etc. and then I would go back to bed. Even if I didn't sleep, I made sure to stay consistent and calm and they caught on quickly.

As far as getting ready for school I would suggest picking out clothes the night before. My daughter had a very hard time at this age getting ready on her own. We would pick out clothes together the night before and place them on her dresser. Then she knew exactly what to wear in the morning and there was no more drama. I don't know if it's all the choices or the time constraint or what, but she had a hard time with it in the preschool years. Also, remember that she's 4 and she's trying to assert some independence so if there are struggles over the actual clothes she's picking out you have to let some of that go. I always told my kids their choices had to be seasonally appropriate and I encouraged them to match, and kind of taught them to try and match colors, etc., but if they really wanted to pair a wacky outfit I let them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

10 hours of sleep is in the low side for a four year old, but not that much outside the range. If she also has a nap I would think 10 hours at night makes sense, so move her bedtime to later. She may be claiming her independence. My twins didn't dress themselves until kindergarten, but I nannied a two year old who got himself completely dressed on his own everyday! 2-4 can be a rough age with tantrums, but it gets better after age 4 usually. I have heard those who don't do the terrible 2's will do the terrible 3's instead.

Next question: Should I Enforce Bedtime? Now My Son Wakes up Too Early!