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going through a 'challenging' phase with 4yo ds

(8 Posts)
stottiecake Mon 03-Aug-15 09:00:24

Ds is a wonderfully funny sweet loving boy BUT is really testing boundaries. He seems to believe the rules don't apply to him, laughs in my face if I tell him off, hits and is rude will chuck stuff on the floor in a rage. I understand there is a big surge of testosterone at this age so that's explains some of the agressive behaviour perhaps but I am starting to feel very frustrated with it!! Also his lack of care about following the rules resulted in him deciding he could cross the road by himself yesterday whilst I was distracted. So we are now at the point where I feel I can't trust him sad
I have bought a little box and stuck some stars on it and explained that he has to collect 10 stars (sparkly cardboard cut outs) during the day by being kind (not hitting) listening and doing what hes asked straight away. if he gets 10 stars he can have his bike back which got confiscated after the road crossing incident. But after the initial enthusiasm about collecting stars wore off he's tipped them out and decided that he wants money instead. hmm So I've confiscated the box and reitterated that he has to collect stars to get his bike back. Arrrrrrgh. Anyone got any thoughts /advice?

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 03-Aug-15 09:12:15

Firstly I'd make him wear reins when out, until you can trust him again. Road safety is non-negotiable.

With rewards I always offered 2 choices, that way they felt like they were in control more.

When he laughs in your face, what do you do?

Ormally Mon 03-Aug-15 09:23:22

Whatever combination of things you do, be consistent and use the same phrases (stuck record).

DD turns 5 in 3 months, everyone thinks she is an angel, and up to now, she has been - so it's really wearing to come up against this all.the.time.

What I have done has worked for a reasonable period each time - am persisting. She has become inventively naughty about bedtime, so one weekend I said that the time she had wasted the night before meant she would go that late to a party. We spoke about it in terms of 'Do you think it took a long time (last night) or did you sort it out quickly?' and I put it in terms of being fair because of the time she had wasted. We also did something boring instead of party - not time out, it was sorting washing or similar. She kept asking me why...why...why and every time I said the same thing (then she kept moaning she knew that already, but I said that it was the same answer for the question).

I also quite like 'instant satisfaction' in the park, so when DD is good and doesn't make a fuss about going, comes when she is asked etc, you can say 'Oh, well since you've been so good, I think there is just time for another 3 goes' (or whatever) - it's a kind of surprise and good reward that lures them into repeating their behaviour!

It may also help to talk in more neutral moments over when it's great to be independent (where it is safe) and when you never mess about. Is there anything that might stretch him more in safe circumstances, like den building with big boxes or something?

stottiecake Mon 03-Aug-15 09:46:50

Thanks for your messages smile When he laughs at me I remain firm and calm, say my piece and then remove my attention - if older ds is there I focus all my attention on him until ds2 apologises.
Reins are going to be tricky as he is a big boy but will look into a wrist strap. He has never done that before sad
with the star box do you think it is not instant enough? Should he be in control of the reward? Should it just be positive thing - I.e not take stars out for naughty behaviour - just reward the good? I didnt have to do any of this with ds1 - he is/was no angel but following natural consequences for behaviour seemed to be enough.

Ormally Mon 03-Aug-15 09:57:15

I think he should have the capacity to handle the star box - he is just rebelling against that too and hoping it will get sidelined. And I think earning his bike back is the right kind of thing. If he mentions money you'll need to say 'Well you've got to earn your bike back first and then we might see about other things as a treat next week if you can show me your behaviour is good enough'.

Remind him about the box where the occasion arises. Perhaps get him into the swing of it with a few leniently earned stars! Say exactly what he earned them for when he does - ideally not 'because you didn't do X' but 'because you were really sensible about X'.

stottiecake Mon 03-Aug-15 10:57:26

right. I am keeping star box today to earn bike back. We are focussing on positives but he is reminded when he is naughty that he won't get his bike back if he doesn't get enough 'superstars' hmm grin we are going on our hols next saturday and I was thinking of decorating a couple of jars for them to collect coins for pocket money for good behaviour. Not sure how to implement this tho - can't just be chucking a quid in willy nilly! So will have to think of a way I can link reward to behaviour and how much to pay and when to pay.

stottiecake Mon 03-Aug-15 11:05:47

maybe a pound a day awarded at teatime if the behaviour has been mainly good. any hitting throwing or dangerous behaviour means instant elimination for that day only. too harsh?

Ormally Mon 03-Aug-15 11:38:00

I'd do after tea or shortly before need that 45 mins more good behaviour!

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