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strategies to handle a spirited but wilful near 4 year old?

(4 Posts)
hollingbury Fri 21-Nov-14 06:58:14

My son is nearly four. He's fantastic but very wilful. At the moment he says no to almost everything, unless he wants to do it, and will have meltdowns or crying tantrums if he doesn't get his own way. He has started to be quite rude to people/friends we meet out - sometimes shouting at me that he wants to go. I can't bear that sort of disrespect.

I try hard to pick my battles but it's so fucking wearing. I give warnings etc. This week I have started to tell him that if it happens again he will not watch television that day (loves it, watches it for 40 mins late afternoon). I followed through one day and he had an enormous meltdown but I did stay firm.

But I don't want to break his spirit - I'm really conscious of that. I know it's probably a phase.

Where's the balance? Any thoughts?

Slowdownsally Fri 21-Nov-14 07:10:53

I have one of these so I'm watching with interest!

Sunna Fri 21-Nov-14 07:36:37

It isn't breaking his spirit to insist on acceptable behaviour. It's for his own good as well as yours.

Stand firm and never give in. If he is behaving in an unacceptable way remove him from the situation and tell him why.

Don't shout back. Keep your voice low but firm.

If he's shouting that he wants to go tell him quietly that you aren't going yet and ignore his histrionics.

It gets better. smile

NannyNim Fri 21-Nov-14 07:47:57

You say you "followed through one day". If you are warning him etc without actually carrying out your threat then it is ineffectual and he will ignore you. His behaviour has no real consequences.
It sounds blunt but the point of removing the television was to make him upset - to make him realise that his rudeness can have unpleasant consequences and encourage him not to do it again.

As the PP said, it won't break his spirits. You're not being cruel, just firm. It's tough but as long as you are consistent, it will get better!

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