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4 year old punched me (repeatedly!) - Did we handle this correctly? Is this common?!

(8 Posts)
FixItUpChappie Thu 25-Jun-15 19:59:46

My 4 year old (5 in October) threw a tantrum just before dinner yesterday.

He didn't want to stop playing. I told him he could have extra play time after dinner and bath if he liked but he was immediately rude and angry regarding. So I sent him to his room to calm down as he refused to go to the table. Then, I reiterated that he could have extra play time after dinner if he was well behaved. He just dug in.

I gave him a countdown to get to dinner or else I would take the truck the was playing with. No - arms crossed, huffing, refusing. Got to 0 and took the truck, put it on top if the fridge.

He came at me punching (as hard as he could!) I marched him to the corner and sat him down. He left the corner and I told him to return (No!), I told him I'd take another truck if he didn't return (Nope!) I took another truck and put it on the fridge and he was punching me, yada yada. I carried him back to the corner. Then he tripped following me and stubbed his toe so was crying for me to hug him.

Sharply told him he is behaviour is very naughty and that I would not deal with him until he returned to the corner like he was asked. He did so. I waited 2 min or so and went to talk to him. He apologized but it more ended becasue he hurt himself than anything else.

Sent him to bed directly after bath with no play time (but still read his stories), no dessert when asked at dinner and trucks are gone for the rest of the week (but he has lots of others).

Is that too soft would you say or about right? I was tempted to do something really meaningful like taking the tv away for the rest of the week but that wasn't really related....?

Also - is this common behavour? The things he picks up at daycare are unbelievable!! Sometimes he has a meltdown but he's never been so aggressive about it.

What would you have done?

GlitzAndGigglesx Thu 25-Jun-15 20:06:36

I think you have him too many chances. I would've put him to bed after the punching incident and spoke to him in his room. I find some children play up more because they know they won't be punished straight away. My 4yo used to try every trick in the pick and now she's given one warning before x happens

GlitzAndGigglesx Thu 25-Jun-15 20:07:04


FixItUpChappie Thu 25-Jun-15 20:12:56

Hmmm yes, I considered putting him straight to bed - I think that would have been a more memorable and pointed message.

I think I get caught up because he sort of an inbetween age - still so little but nearly school aged...I think we are too soft, then sometimes too harsh....overall too many choices- yes I think that is correct smile

Rivercam Thu 25-Jun-15 20:19:40

I think you did okay, because you gave him the choice to be good or face the consequenpces, and when he didn't behave, he had to face the consequences. Is. Trucks removed.

I would never threaten his bed as a punishment, as then it has a negative connotation. Ie. When you tell him to go to bed on a routine night, he may consider it as a punishment.

rhuhbarb4 Thu 25-Jun-15 20:29:59

Oh my god super mum right here. I think you handled that at least 10 times better than I would have. I think if anything you were a little on the soft side but it seemed to work with him. The only thing I would say I like the previous poster I never threaten bed as a punishment as kids might think that when they have to go to bed at night then they are being punished. I think you a so brilliant for handling this the way you did and if you are having concerns about his behaviour then why not talk to his care givers?

FixItUpChappie Thu 25-Jun-15 21:53:23

That is nice of you to say rhubhbarb - I didn't feel super mum like - mostly I was like "holy cow - where did we go wrong! Why is my sweet baby acting like this!!"....followed by hang wringing about whether we are too soft on him etc.

I feel like it was too soft - not terribly handled but I'm not sure it was a commanding enough deterrant either. The alternate perspective about downside of using bed as a consequence gives food for thought.

The daycare doesn't seem to like to tell me negative things about what is going on. They have mentioned he doens't always listen the best but when I probe they are vague. I think they omit a lot of information TBH. Its an ongoing struggle to get the proper information we need to support them, and our son, as parents.

I find him really easy to deal with generally - he's got a relatively social, easy personality - if you get him to explain why he's frustrated instead of ignoring the signs then he's usually okay. Occasionally has a blow out but not that common - usually linked to hunger or tiredness.

I think Kindergarten will be very telling in September. I just hope he's ready.

Thank you for the feedback

rhuhbarb4 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:01:53

I think it is difficult with children to know how to deal with them especially like you say when their behaviour is so out of the ordinary. I totally understand the whole where has sweet tiny baby gone I find myself thinking that a lot at the moment. Son is just over 2 1/2 and really testing boundaries at the moment.
Playgroup leaders (in my experience) like to moan a bit but when questioned about it don't have any answers and as you said are vague.
I'm sure he will be ready for kindergarten it might even help as I think they have a more of a structured way of doing things. He is probably just trying to figure out where he fits in the world and what he can and can't get away with. He also might be experiencing new emotions and feelings that he doesn't understand.
Either way I think you are doing a brliant job and he is a very lucky little boy to have a mummy like you. X

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