Need help now?

Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Reply
Highlighted
Casual scribe
Solved!

Extremely sensitive 4 year old

I’m not sure if this is the correct forum to ask this kind of question.

I have three boys - 4 yo, 2 yo and 10 month old.

When a kid (mainly our two year old, but also kids at kindy) take a toy away from him he squeals and runs away saying “it’s mineeeee...sob sob” and then eventually goes back and says in a meek voice “can I have it back”, if they say “no” he squeals and cries again.

If another kid makes a loud noise or says something firmly to him - he cries.

He is a sweet kid, gentle and really caring. At kindy when a new kid comes in he walks over to introduce himself and show them around...but the older kids are starting to see he is gentle and they take advantage. I really want to help him handle his emotions and stand up for himself...while maintaining his nice temperament.

Our two year old on the other hand stands his ground of anyone tried to take anything. He doesn’t yell or hit..he just says “no get away, this is mine. You can play later. Use this” and points at another toy.

We don’t teach them any differently, my wife and I have a good relationship, albeit we are tired a lot 🤣 but we are patient and loving to the kids and each other.

I’ve tried to talk to him (4 yo) every time something happens and ask him what he is feeling, how we can help make it better and show him how to handle the situation but he just looks down and says ina. Sad voice “nooo I boo cuddle”

What can I do?

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted
Community Manager
Solution

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi  @Dadof3boys  , 

 

ReachOut Parents is aimed at parents of young people aged 12-18, so we may not be the most useful forum for your question I'm sorry. As a parent of a preschooler myself, I can definitely really relate to your post though - your son sounds like a lovely, gentle, and caring kid, and you're clearly really switched on, responsive and caring parents. 

 

One resource I've found really helpful is the Raising Childrens Network site, which goes through all of the different aspects of a child's development, I've linked there page on 4-5 year olds here in case you find it helpful. There's also a great article on temperament here. Role playing with your son about being assertive if other kids are doing things that he doesn't like might be something that could be helpful... it sounds like you're doing a really great job at talking to him about his emotions, and helping him to feel safe and secure. 

 

Do you have access to an early childhood centre/ early childhood nurse? They can be a great place to start to chat about any concerns you may have, and they may have some suggestions on how to help your son to build on his social skills. . Parentline is also a great resource if you want to get some advice on different approaches from an experienced counsellor Smiley Happy  

View solution in original post


All Replies
Highlighted
Community Manager
Solution

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi  @Dadof3boys  , 

 

ReachOut Parents is aimed at parents of young people aged 12-18, so we may not be the most useful forum for your question I'm sorry. As a parent of a preschooler myself, I can definitely really relate to your post though - your son sounds like a lovely, gentle, and caring kid, and you're clearly really switched on, responsive and caring parents. 

 

One resource I've found really helpful is the Raising Childrens Network site, which goes through all of the different aspects of a child's development, I've linked there page on 4-5 year olds here in case you find it helpful. There's also a great article on temperament here. Role playing with your son about being assertive if other kids are doing things that he doesn't like might be something that could be helpful... it sounds like you're doing a really great job at talking to him about his emotions, and helping him to feel safe and secure. 

 

Do you have access to an early childhood centre/ early childhood nurse? They can be a great place to start to chat about any concerns you may have, and they may have some suggestions on how to help your son to build on his social skills. . Parentline is also a great resource if you want to get some advice on different approaches from an experienced counsellor Smiley Happy  

View solution in original post

Highlighted
Parent Community Champion

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi Dadof3boys,

Although this is a forum for teenagers, I thought I'd say hello because I was really stoked to see how much you love and care for your boys and you sound like a really involved and loving Dad. I remember what it was like when our two were young and how tired we were and I hear you. I actually ended up at a night that was more intended for Mums of young kids last night and was reminded of that phase of life again. 

Here are a few phrases I remember from when our kids were young and at daycare or playgroup.

Put their hand up and say :"Stop I don't like that".

There was a constant encouragement for them to "use your words". 

Another one would be to take a deep breath. 

Another piece of advice I was given when my son was about 4 and I could 've used it early on is that boys need to go for a run every day. 

I don't know if you're boys are going to playgroup but that's been fantastic for our family. We still live in the same house and my daughter has known her two best friends since she was born and my son has known his mate since he was one or two. We weren't always on the same page at the time and sometimes fights and issues between the kids caused trouble between the parents, but it was a great experience. 

I hope that helps.

Best wishes,

Birdwings. 

Highlighted
Frequent scribe

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

My youngest son is the same. It has never happened with the eldest. The youngest son is very sweet, not conflict, he hates it when others are offerended. If the older son tries to play with him, he inflates his lips and almost cries. We left the situation in the hope that in time it will pass. Now it's better, he is stronger and more confident after talking with friends. 

Highlighted
Mod

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

It's so great to hear that things have improved @AmberP . Sounds like you have made a good decision in letting your son have room to grow and improve some of his skills through making some friends. You sound like a really caring parent Woman Happy

Highlighted
Casual scribe

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Hi janine-RO

Thank you so much for the comprehensive response and pointers to relevant resources.

We have spoken to the childhood centre team and nurse and they all say “he is just a gentle caring boy, he will learn” which is great but I guess I just want to know what I can do to help him learn - rather than leave him to work it out alone.

The responses here have given me a sense that I’m at least doing the right kind of things. I will also reach out to parent line and the other resources you shared.

Thank you 😊
Highlighted
Casual scribe

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

Hi @Birdwings

Thank you 😊 I appreciate your kind words and experience shares. We have been trying to teach him to use his words and to say “STOP I don’t like that” for a couple of months and I’d given up hope...but in the past few days it appears to be making incremental improvements to how he responds. Albeit he says it and then falls to pieces if they say no and then runs around screaming 😂 but he does seem to be getting better.
He is in play group - although he has been through three moves (interstate, then to a new suburb) in his short life, my wife is in a mum’s group but the kids are all the age of our middle child. Reflecting on these posts I realise we need to find him some friends his own age outside of playgroup. He is also a bigger boys so the centre put him with an older class...which means he is with 4.5-5 year olds and he is only just 4....next year he will be in a new class with kids his age which might help too.

So, I’m going to get him into some local sports in his age group and see if we can grow something from there.
Highlighted
Mod

Re: Extremely sensitive 4 year old

It's great to hear that you have found the resources and responses to be helpful @Dadof3boys . I hope that you find Parentline to be helpful too when you call them up. Telling your son "stop I don't like that" when he behaves in that way is a great response on your behalf. Hopefully with further reinforcement, his behaviour will be a bit more manageable (sounds like it's on the right track already!). Getting him involved in some local sports group is also a great idea as it might be a helpful outlet for him. Sounds like you have thought a lot about supporting your son in the best ways possible, which is so great to hear Robot Very Happy

Moderator Hours

This forum is moderated from

09:00AM to 11:00PM

We are not a counselling or crisis service and we can't guarantee you'll get a reply, so if you need to talk now

Click here for help

The current time is Mon, 4:25 AM
(Australian Eastern time)