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Disobedient behaviour

(16 Posts)
Roxy Sat 30-Dec-17 08:59:50

Hi Mum's
I have a 4year old boy and we're having problems with his behaviour he won't do anything he doesn't want to..... I ask him to not mess around in shops and he'll make it his mission to do as he wants (touch things, climb under shelving, not do as he's told ect...) For example he wanted to go to the toilet yesterday and he wanted his dad to carry him and he was told no you can walk to the toilet so it ended in a 30 minutes melt-down of him crying at the top of the stairs screaming daddy even when we went up he still refused to wee unless his dad carried him to the toilet on put him on! His dad was not giving in! And putting his coat on he will roll on the floor and refuse to put his coat on after chasing and shouting I'll say fine don't put it on you'll freeze we'll go to walk out the door and he'll cry and say I want my coat on I want my coat on. We try and explain to him what he's done wrong and he'll make a stupid noise put his hand over his ears and say I don't want to listen..... This behaviour tends to happen when me and my husband are together or more family are around it's like attention thing! He's good as gold when it's just the 2 of us. It's a constant race of who's going to back down first.... We remove his toys we shout we've tried the naughty step we do not smack ! We've given him a warning "tap"'s affecting him at school now as he's so far forward in the construction part of learning because he likes it but as for the writing and identifying numbers and letters his teacher thinks he's lacking behind and probably won't reach the target as a hands on mum who's always used routine in everything since birth I'm heart broken and at the end of my tether its putting a strain on things we do it's causing arguments between me and my husband and I can't help but blame my self for giving him to much and letting people undermine my every step with parenting like parents and grandparents always telling me off for telling my son off in front off him I believe he's seen to much got away with to much and now I'm paying for it. Any tips and advice would be really appreciated mum's xx

OP’s posts: |
EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sat 30-Dec-17 09:28:17

He dies seem to be getting a huge amount of attention, albeit negative, for his current behaviour.

Please don’t shout at him and give him a warning “Tap”. If you do he’ll just learn that shouting and hitting are acceptable ways to express his emotions.

What does he do that you do like and do you praise him lots when he does something you like?

What has the teacher said about him not meeting his targets? Do they have any other concerns?

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sat 30-Dec-17 09:51:33


corythatwas Sat 30-Dec-17 10:03:46

Agree with Everyone that you need to take the attention off this one. Apart from the attention-seeking aspect, it is also quite scary for a 4yo to feel he has the power to cause that much upset in the family.

Your language is very dramatic for somebody whose 4yo is simply being a little bit naughty. Or to put it another way, having to work fairly hard to channel naughty behaviour is the price you have to pay for having a child in the first place: it's a job you've taken on. Blaming relatives, unless absolutely abusive, is going to be counterproductive.

You probably won't be able to get away without the occasional dramatic moment, but if you can cut down on them so they don't become his normal, you will have gained something. Brisk, cheerful, no-nonsense works well with this age group.

So he is in a shop and wants to run around and climb on things. Don't talk lots to him about how he has to behave, just briskly take him by the hand and lead him where he needs to go. If you can manage to talk cheerfully about other things, that will be a gain.

He won't put his coat on, so you go out anyway, but calmly and without rancour. He moans for it, so you give it to him with a gentle "next time you might want to put it on before you go out".

If relatives ask you to cut down on telling him off, you might want to ask yourself if every get-together is spoilt by your tellings-off.

I used to spend every holiday with extended family and after a while my mother banned me from eating at the same table as my youngest, as my anxiety about him not behaving translated into constant nagging which ruined everybody's mealtimes, from grandparents to youngest cousins. I moved into the other room, peace descended- and his behaviour improved dramatically.

corythatwas Sat 30-Dec-17 10:08:53

The other thing to consider is that he is a person in his own right: not a project you need to get top marks on.

He needs to learn to behave for his own sake, and the sake of other people, you are absolutely right there. But it is perfectly possibly that he may, for instance, be behind intellectually without this being some kind of failing on your part. If so, he needs to feel that he is cherished for who he is, not for what you feel your perfect parenting ought to turn out.

I have two children. One was identified as gifted and talented at an early stage, the other was behind in primary school and needed lots of extra support. Nothing to do with my being, or not being, hands-on: it's who they were. The gifted one has since fought her way courageously through MH problems (again, not caused by my parenting) while the struggling one has overcome some of his early difficulties.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sat 30-Dec-17 10:09:17

He won't put his coat on, so you go out anyway, but calmly and without rancour. He moans for it, so you give it to him with a gentle "next time you might want to put it on before you go out" this.

Roxy Sat 30-Dec-17 11:04:55

When I say a small tap I mean on his hand and it's a tap with a warning that's when he's hit me or pushed me or even sometimes bitten me I've never hit my son ever ! His teacher says he's a very strong willed little boy who will only do what he wants to do and learning isn't something he's interested in. And I do praise him alot when he's got dressed brushed his teeth eaten his meals ect ect

OP’s posts: |
corythatwas Sat 30-Dec-17 11:11:57

I wasn't primarily worried about the tap, but about the general feeling of drama in your OP: as if a 4yo defying his parents would have to be the sign of something dreadful gone wrong. It's not good for him to have such a great effect on his whole family.

We had compulsory child development lessons when I was in secondary: stubbornness and contrariness were listed as typical developmental traits of age 4. Together with good practical advice on how to deal with it.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sat 30-Dec-17 11:16:19

I don’t want to derail the thread with the smacking/“tapping” issue. I wouldn’t do it but if you say it’s working for you, that’s upto you.

The teacher sounds like she’s having difficultity with him too. I’d go ask for a meeting with her. Get her to outline what the problems are and how you can help and ask for an assessment by SENCO.

I’d also have a read of this book.

Roxy Sat 30-Dec-17 11:21:32

I'm not blaming my family and when I say my family contradict my every word I mean say at meal times I will say no you can't have ice-cream untill you've eaten dinner and my grandad would say stop being over the top Roxanne he's eaten a chip let the boy be so my son would kick off and I would take him away and tell him no you listen to mummy he would then probably smack me in the face so then I'd tell him off.... Then I'd get told off in front of him... Bearing in mind I'm 27 so I'm no child.... This was the 18months I had to live with my grandparents so when I say they contridicted everything I did or said they really did that's why I say he's seen to much so when we finally got our own place this is when I was in charge and he didn't like it and I'm not being dramatic over a little naughty behaviour he can get completely out of control.
And I also fully understand what I was letting my self in for having my son. I don't need a lecture. And im fully aware he's not a project I need full marks on but wanting the best for my son is not a crime.
I don't for one second blame anybody but my self for this behaviour.
So please just advice and different techniques

OP’s posts: |
Roxy Sat 30-Dec-17 11:28:04

I've tapped his hand a few times it's not a constant punishment it's just a warning when he's slapped me round the face or pulled my hair and no it doesn't work for me but I got told to try it by so many people as a (would you like it back) kind of warning please don't think I hurt my son because I've given him a few warning taps that was also advised to do so from a health visitor

OP’s posts: |
corythatwas Sat 30-Dec-17 11:44:04

Ok, for the advice then.

I have a large extended family, so have seen quite a lot of different children at close quarters: would say the ratio of ordinarily defiant children to complete meltdowners is perhaps 5: 1 or thereabouts. The good news is they have all grown up into perfectly respectable adults/teenagers.

Basically, what worked for us was to put a stop to things quickly rather than to escalate telling-off or punishing. So if a child is ratty you get them to behave quickly (if necessary by taking them by the hand and walking them off, or removing the offending object) rather than threatening punishment.

If a child hits you or bites you, you either move them to a place where they can't or hold their hands (calmly) so they can't. Children who show this sort of behaviour are not yet mature enough to take responsibility for their actions (doesn't mean they never will be), and are often frightened by the violence of their own behaviour. It is reassuring for them to see that Mum and Dad can stop the violent behaviour and that they will do this because nobody must be violent in this house. I can't tell you how many times I have held my daughter firmly (from behind is best, because then they can't bite) whilst repeating "No, I can't let you hurt anybody, No, I won't let you hurt anybody".

Obviously, you do have to be very calm during this procedure or there's a risk one of you will get hurt.

It is up to you to make a call on whether your ds could control his violent behaviour (in which case you can apply sanctions) or if he gets so carried away that he loses control (in which case, sanctions probably aren't going to do much). In dd's case, I felt the latter.

corythatwas Sat 30-Dec-17 11:45:03

However, it may well be that you also need to see his teacher as suggested by Every.

thethoughtfox Sat 30-Dec-17 13:19:55

Don't be too hard on yourself or your boy. You should like a loving mother with a high spirited child. Agree with pp that he is getting too much attention for negative behaviour. Remember 4 is too young for a child to be at school and many children, especially active ones, aren't emotionally or physically ready for sitting down, concentrating for long periods and fine motor skills.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sat 30-Dec-17 18:49:39

If you’re after techniques, have a look at the book I linked to smile

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Sat 30-Dec-17 18:51:55

And there’s is some advice here on biting and hitting. It’s mainly aimed at toddlers but you can easily apply it to your DS.

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