We’ve been back from Hawaii for 3 weeks, and I’m starting to pinch myself. Since we’ve been back, my 4-year-old son has done a complete 180. On our 2-month sabbatical in Hawaii, he was… well, a pain in the ass.
I felt like we were walking on eggshells to prevent him from having a 2-hour tantrum every night. He wouldn’t listen. Outright disobeyed us when we told him no or sent him to time out. Screamed for hours every night at bedtime. We even considered coming home early because he was just a nightmare.
He also gave up his nap in Hawaii (he used to do 2-3 hours in the afternoon) and stopped using Pull-ups to bed. So maybe he was going through some developmental growing pains. Maybe it was the terrible fours?
Now in his defense, we weren’t at home and we did move about 5 times in the 2 months we were there. So I guess the kid loves his home in San Diego and needs a stronger routine. We were on vacation mode.
But even before we left for the trip, he had tantrums and problems at school. He’d hit other kids and wouldn’t do the work the teachers asked him to do.
Since we’ve been home the kid has been an angel. I’ve probably put him on 2-3 timeouts in the last three weeks. I used to do 2-3 timeouts a day. He’s been helpful, obedient, and listens. Even his teachers have remarked how much better he’s doing in school.
He’ll be 5 years old at the end of March. Could this be that he’s nearing his time of equilibrium? Have you read the series by Louise Bates Ames? She has a book on each age of life for kids, and believes that children go through phases of equilibrium (sweet and fun to be with) to disequilibrium (moody, tantrums, etc.).
In Your Five Year Old: Sunny and Serene, when kids turn 5 they are at their state of equilibrium. Yes, my little saint is here! I’m thrilled!
But according to the book, when he turns 5 and a half year old I may expect some changes toward disequilibrium. Crap.
Well, at least I’ve got 6 months to enjoy it. Though now my 7 year old is nearing his half birthday and is starting to be a pain…
Have you experienced phases of equilibrium and disequilibrium with your kid? Please share your story.