Just spent several days in meltdown-land with the four year old, and I'm really looking for a map or an arrow or a guide or a big freakin' neon sign or something to point me out of this minefield. We seem to have crossed more firmly into the realm of Daniel wanting to do everything himself. I love the independence he is showing, and I certainly do admire his persistence. If only I could do something about his frustration level.
It could be anything that sets it off. Getting his socks on, the building blocks that won't go together, wanting dessert when he hasn't eaten his meal yet (and of course being told no!). And woe betide me if I offer help, or even just directions. Trying to move things along by say, implying that if the socks and shoes are not on then you can't meet your friend Marisa at the library just transfers the storm. Instead of wailing about the socks I get wailing about NOOO! I WANT TO GOOOO!
Other responses run the gamut of ignoring him (made all the more difficult when the aforementioned wailing involves much clutching of Mommy's legs) to picking him up and removing him bodily from a situation. Or in the case of being at home, plunking him in his room and shutting the door for a time out.
Maybe it's a school adjustment? He's been a champ at preschool, and I've talked to some folks who have suggested that some kids expend so much energy being "on" and "good" at school that they do a bit of a fall-apart when they get home in a safe environment. I'm not sure yet. I just want to get back to some cheery interaction with my kid.