4 yr old becoming disobedient and I don't believe in spanking

(12 Posts)
becknnico Sun 31-Aug-14 17:27:03

My little guy is generally a good kid. He is 4.5. He is very loving and outgoing overall but is starting to become extremely selfish. Almost every sentence is ,"i want, what can I have, may I please have this or that..." ect. He uses manners appropriately but is becoming so ungrateful and bratty unless he is getting something. Hes also stopped listening promptly which is my biggest problem. He will not listen to me until he knows he is going to immediately get in trouble. Time outs do not seem to be working at all anymore and Im tired of having to take a big stand for every single little request. I have started to keep him from having friends over when misbehaving and it is helping a bit. He is also refusing to take deep breaths and gets frustrated and tantrum like very easily when upset with something/someone. I have shifted my focus to 'our important reactions when we dont like something' but its not helping. He knows what he should be doing, he understands why he should be grateful, why being kind is most important and acting like a big boy will gain him more fun time but refuses almost always. I've honestly felt like a little swat on the butt promptly when he is acting out or not listening or being selfish (or rudely reactive) to others may help at this point but I have never really believed in raising my hands to him. I feel like he is kind of becoming not the greatest buddy to his friends and a brat at home. He also begins preschool in 2 days and I'm worried. He rarely listens to anyone except for me. I want to curb this asap and am hoping for any suggestions. Thanks so much in advance

gamerchick Sun 31-Aug-14 17:30:48

Well as a smacking supporter there is nothing you've listed there would warrant one anyway so you can let it go.... its your own frustration with him that's talking.

gamerchick Sun 31-Aug-14 17:33:15

I do think that he's jut little and learning yet and pre school might have more of a positive effect on him than you think.

Be firm and be consistent with him but I honestly think it's an age thing and they learn those boundaries as they go along as long as you're consistent.

Fairylea Sun 31-Aug-14 17:34:04

Well I'm anti smacking and have never smacked either of my two... I go for a praise and ignore approach - praise everything good to the point of being over the top and completely ignore anything negative / distract and remove child if necessary. My eldest child is 11 and I have used the naughty step about 3 times in her life. I think the less you use it the more impact it has.

dietstartstmoz Sun 31-Aug-14 17:35:40

Sounds like a normal 4 year old, I would not worry I bet every other parent at preschool would say the same. He sounds like he has good manners, just stick with your basic rules about listening and manners and he will be fine. I have a 9.5yr old who does not listen. I think most kids are like this.

ArgyMargy Sun 31-Aug-14 17:37:12

I predict he will be a complete angel at preschool. It sounds as though you are doing everything right, and new experiences, challenges etc are probably just the ticket. Good luck.

donkir Sun 31-Aug-14 17:37:17

I look after a 4yr old who starts school next week. He is also very much like your lo.
On bad days we put the numbers 1 to 5 on a board and I explain that for every time he has unexceptable behaviour (after a warning first) he will get a cross through a number. If he gets all 5 crossed out then it will be no tv before bed or no story. No going to the park tomorrow morning etc. this is explained when numbers go up so he knows what will happen. Taking things away seems to work better for us than the naughty step where he just laughs.

Bobkitten Sun 31-Aug-14 17:45:08

Weirdly, my 4.5 year old DS has had phases of behaviour like this and it's always praise, praise, praise that brings us out of a negative cycle. It's easy to forget to comment positively when they are doing something you'd expect a 4 year old to do (e.g. not be an absolute pain in the arse in the supermarket) but I notice a huge improvement when I sincerely say things like, "DS, I'm so glad you're such a great boy when we go shopping. Some children really whine and cry for things, but you never do anymore. I really enjoy doing this with you. " That sort of thing: it gets a bit repetitive, but DS laps it up and now sees himself as a "grown-up, good child". We still have difficult days, of course, but he's generally a pleasure to be with. Until the next phase...!

becknnico Mon 01-Sep-14 04:58:41

Thanks everyone, so much. I like the 1 to 5 chart idea and really need to try and praise more as well. I love hearing how praise works. Thanks for the important reminder. This is actually his 2nd yr in preschool as they wont let him into kinder til he is 5 yrs. Last year we encountered some of the same behavior inside the classroom. The "you're not my mom" happened and stopped fast but none the less happened. Hitting also happened. It wasnt crazy but it the teach did come to me 3 times through the year. The others flock to him since he's outgoing and he gets attention from other kids regardless of how kind he is. I need to work more with consistency. Its hard being so busy as a single mama and its hard knowing behaviour issues are a result of my fatigue. I appreciate the comments. Its nice to feel others understand. So often I just get comments from immediate fam. Thanks againsmile

whycantifindaname Mon 01-Sep-14 05:55:10

It sounds like you are doing all the right stuff. Totally agree with the praise the good, ignore the bad. Although I just lead DS1 (4.5yrs too) to the naughty corner or pick him up and place him in it for obvious bad stuff, so not completely ignoring but minimal attention. Also, do not continue to respond to requests that have already been declined (I.e. just ignore repeat demands).

It sounds like your wee man is having a testosterone surge. Very common at this age. Also very frustrating. Look it up.

Waveney Mon 01-Sep-14 06:28:10

My DS is nearly four and sounds similar to your DS at times. He can be lovely but also a real pain in the behind! I have never smacked him and hope I never will but I do get very frustrated with him and angry at times. I agree that positive praise helps a lot. I also choose one behaviour we need to work on - being nice to his brother, or cleaning his teeth without a tantrum - and have a sticker chart for that one thing. Six stickers earns him a little treat eg kinder egg. Also trying to make a game out of things eg, 'Who can be the first to get to the bathroom? Whoever is upstairs first is the winner' works when he doesn't want to do what I'm asking. I've also just bought Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting following a recommendation from someone On here but haven't read it yet so I can't tell you if it works! But I do know that when I am calmer and feel more in control, my son behaves better. I think your son sounds lovely and I am sure he will do fine at preschool. They've seen it all before! Good luck.

Waveney Mon 01-Sep-14 06:30:54

Also it helps to dissociate the behaviour from the person. Your son is not selfish, he's just four, and four year olds are selfish, it's in the job description.

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