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any ideas on disciplining wild 4yr old!(29 Posts)
So my toddler has recently become quite a handful.
In honesty hes always been a handful! He struggles to sit still or concentrate, is always talking, laughing, joking.
At nursery the teachers love him. Hes very bright and well liked amonsgt his peers. He loves nursery and theyve never mentioned any problems.
Recently, he is pushing his boundaries more and more.he finds it funny to disobey my requests. The harder i get with him the more he gives me back. I dont want it to turn into constant power struggles. Any ideas how to get him respecting what i say more!?!
He says awful things, to get a reaction i guess. I ignore him or simply tell him its not nice!? And i dont like to hear him talkig that way. Should i be telling him off more for this!?
Make clear what your expectations are (and repeat them), ignore daftness (pick your battles), time out maybe for saying really horrid things.
What sort of things is he saying
If you have a good relationship, you can use that to barter.
I would say to my son, 'if you don't listen to me, I won't listen to you'
I used to say i won't play with him and use that to barter with.
I found that the more I tried to discipline the more he would resist.
It was and is hit and miss but now at age 7 he is lovely mostly.
I'm quite old school with keeping DS in line if he's being naughty as in doing something he knows he is not supposed to do, talking back or ignoring me he is punished. I try to follow the consequences that are natural for what he is doing as much as possible so for example he won't put his shoes on to go to the park we don't go, he won't sit to eat his lunch at soft play we go home, if he is throwing his toys he is not longer allowed toys (usually 10 mins he's 4). If it is something like ignoring me he is sent to the naughty spot, if he's being rude and mean to me for a reaction he is no longer to speak to me I send him to another room again about 10 mins. He's generally very good and to be honest I think it's because I don't fuck about I tell him what will happen if he keeps on that's the first and only warning if it carry's on he's punished he knows I mean what I say. It might sound a bit much but I rarely have to raise my voice and never smack, I don't tend to lose my patience much because overtime he's become used to me being firm with any punishments he knows a tantrum won't change it so he just takes it like a champ and we all move on. We have only ever left the soft play once but he always remembers that time he had to go home.
We do have a good relationship. I can usually talk to him
Anout his behaviour when hes clamed down later in the day. But his naughtiness just feels endless to me at the minute
Examples of the things he say
'Im going to hit you' followed by growls
'I will close this lid and trap his fingers until they fall off!!'
'Im going to squash you with that huge tree!'
I ask him how he thinks that would make me feel and he says 'sad' i tel him that if be hurt and could end up in hospital. He says thats ok i'll find a new mum!
Then i get all the usual
'I will not do that! Do not be nasty to me mum!i dont like those nasty words so stop it now!'
So he probably gets the last bit from the way i tell him off but the first style ones i have no idea where he gets his twisted nastiness
Why hes not being like this he is such a mummys boy! Very kind and loving. He just seems to be so grumpy and struggling with his anger at the minute
I'd wouldn't engage with that sort of threat - a vague hmm and what shall I make for tea / look there's a squirrel out the window / wow a big lorry usually works for my 4yo. For persistent not doing what I ask she either loses her TV for that day or ends up in her room until she can behave nicely.
Kiki22 is he our only child? We have a younger too who seems to listen to me much more.
My first (the one im taking about) even pushed boundaries as a baby! Everytime id say 'ah ah no' hed laugh and do it again. My second i say 'ah ah no' he stops looks at me and takes himself away!
I think this boundary pushing is part of his make up. His dad is still the same now!
That said i no he needs to learn not to. He pushes my patience all the time! Weve done reward charts, time outs etc. i used to have to pin him to a naughty step when we tried that cos he wouldnt even sit on it! So we went to time out in a room. Which usually results in full on meltdown and mass destruction of the room! And my youngest is pushed out while im dealing with it.
Sometimes he tells me after he didnt mean to say it or do it that he didnt want to and hes sad about whats happened!?
Generally i do follow through with any threats of consequences but at times when my other son is with us its not as easy so i cant even threaten things
Bounced this is what im trying to do. Just ignore him. I started telling him im turning my ears off until he starts to be nice. But sometimes it works. Other times he acts up on purpose until i have to step in for the saftey of our other child :-/
I do think its an attention thing more than real nastiness. But will it stop if i ignore it!? Or will he just think up worse
And he gets loads of attention! Its not that hes pushed out by his younger bro at all! If anything the younger brother is! I make very sure they both get their fair share of time with me. Alone time (just me and him) and family time which the older dominates!
Watching with interest as I have a 4yo dd who is displaying similar behaviour recently. I've been really struggling with it. Wondering if it's an age/developmental thing? I'm hoping its a phase anyway!
Im hoping too! Ive racked my brains for any underlying thing he may be dealing with but there really is nothing
Try changing topic or disengaging, don't get into 'what if' or a battle of wills.
If you are home try 'I can tell you are tired/need some alone time' or similar and then withdraw.
You can retreat with the other child too.
We also have a 16 year old and 9 year old at weekends I do the same with them the 9 year old is harder to deal with she will tantrum and get off the naughty spot 50 times. My theory is with her I spoiled her when she was little as her mum has a lot of mental health issues so she got neglected a lot at home by the time she was 4 I'd created a monster and she's took so much more work to get her behaviour sorted where as by the time DS was born I knew I wasn't going down that road again. Even the 16 year old gets the same rules I try to be really fair and give them lots of freedom but keep the rules very very clear I think it works.
Tiredness defiantly affects him. I do say i can tell your tired why dont we have a cuddle and rest or read a book or watcha. Film. But its like he cant rest. He cant sit still He just gets worse and worse until he eventually wears himself out. Sometimes well past his bedtime!
I think that sometimes stating your ignoring can up the ante and create a conflict. Distraction or humour or generally being silly can work better at that point (albeit through gritted teeth). Sometimes getting them out the way of their sibling can be done that way eg who can do the silliest dance / who will have their shoes on first / wait a minute, why are you upside down (having picked them up upside down). Much easier to say than do, but when I manage it, it works very well. My DH did a fantastic personification of my 4yos boots today - got her from whining frustration and about to tantrum to giggles in about a minute.
Take yourself off to another room -without him he's not allowed - and tell him that you don't want to be near him when he says horrid things. When he can talk nicely you can sit and have a cuddle. Don't put a time limit on it if he wants to be nice straight away that's fine
bounced i have tried that kind of distraction and humour with him too..and i agree it does work but am i almost feel like I'm rewarding his behaviour/attention seeking by allowing it and giving him it? or am i wrong in thinking like that..like is it a phase that can be ignored or distracted out of or is it something that requires me to teach him its wrong?!
kiki22 i also agree that threats of consequences defiantly need to be followed through and do work with him to a degree but he's just the kind of kid that the more i put him in a box the more he wants to break out.its important to him that i listen to him and understand him. like i say generally he's a really loving sociable friendly happy well liked child.
and i also find it quite hard to implement that kind of approach in many situations. like your examples..if he doesn't put his shoes on don't take him out. what about the times he does it when i need to get him to nursery?! i can't not take him. or if he misbehaves at soft play take him home.what about his brother i can't take him home and punish him too can i? i know i could try work out consequences that do fit. i just find the more i go with punishing the more hard done by he feels and the worse his behaviour gets?! i could be being too soft though! I totally appreciate and understand your point of view and I'm glad it works for you
he enjoys pushing his boundaries. like i can say to him 'we don't jump on furniture, i can then remove him from furniture and say it again. i can then threaten a conseqence say 'time out for example if he does it again. he will more than likely do it again so i follow through on the consequence he cries screams has a total meltdown. says sorry. then 5 mins later climbs back on the furniture. so he gets the consequence again. and it all happens again. it doesn't matte if its the same consequence or a worse one its just endless at times..he isn't bothered. its like he just likes winding me up :-/ how many times do i have to tell him and punish him b4 it sticks!
You say it's important to him that you listen to him. Like I said take yourself away from him(or him from you) when he's saying horrid things.
You need to find a consequence that you can do whatever. That will be different in different situations
When ds was that age we had a treat box (shoe box with tat in it). If he behaved he could pick something from the box when we got home
I may try that treat box idea. Thanks!
I dont mean listen to him while its going on. I mean after when hes calmed down and he talks to me. Its important to him that we talk about it because he wants to understand why he did it and he wants me to understand what was really going on. I know it sounds a bit deep and silly but He does get sad about his behaviour when he reflects on it. He knows its wrong but its like he feels out of control at the time. And his emotions escalate. I mean he likes pushing boundaries and that needs dealt with but the nastiness is new for him. Hes never been nasty until now And when he is he later gets almost ashamed hes done it. Like he tells me hes not a naughty boy and not to tell anyone what he did.
I wouldn't say he needs punishing. You've got a lovely adorable playful little boy. With the greatest respect. What do you want a robot. Some children are more fidgety than others. My dd was really playful at 4. It never occurred to me. That it was naughty behavior that needed disciplining. It's what kids do, kids play. Just like all baby animals.
Does he do any of the things he threatens in the list above? If he doesn't act on them, then why do you care? I would engage him in play e.g. 'I will hit you' growling, I would respond with 'Oh no I am really scared you will hurt me' whimpering.
If he jumps on the sofa, ask him to jump on the bed or the trampoline instead.
If he doesn't put his shoes on for nursery he isn't allowed to ride his scooter or bike up and since the hassle usually makes us late then we don't have time to stop and look at things he can't run ahead or anything he needs to hold my hand and we walk straight there no talking to dogs or finding sticks. If the other child is at soft play I wouldn't take them home I would give him time out at the soft play or the other consequence would be she gets a kinder egg after lunch he doesn't.
I sound like some kind of kid hater its not like that at all just now DS is being super moany and wanting everything his cousin has I'm mostly just ignoring it and telling her not to give in. I've already told him that if he snatches from her he's not getting a treat at the shop later when I think he's getting close to snatching I'm reminding him what will happen to keep it in his mind.
Your example of the growling thing it would depend how it was said DS likes to be the hunk and often says he's going o smash me I know this is just playing so I would just play along but if I felt that he genuinely wanted to hurt me I think that would need to be dealt with. If DS does get a punishment I make it totally clear before hand I don't like what your are doing, I want you to stop and do xyz if you don't this is what will happen, once it's all over I quickly run over why he was in trouble that I know he's a really good boy and next time we will do it properly and then we can all be happy together kisses cudles and its over never to be spoken of again.
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