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Here we go again. How do you deal with a very stubborn 4yo?

(26 Posts)
Pitchounette Thu 02-Jul-09 21:03:43

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baskingseals Thu 02-Jul-09 21:15:27

What exactly is your definition of what needs to be done? Could some of these be safely left undone? How much free time do you have together? Are you comfortable with letting him take control? eg, to get my 22m ds to brush his teeth I let him brush mine - really pleasant experience!, but it works. Would you feel comfortable doing something like that?

Pitchounette Thu 02-Jul-09 21:28:12

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baskingseals Thu 02-Jul-09 21:33:00

I'm really trying to think here - not easy. He does sound really funny though, a real charecter as they say. Could he perhapes get in the car with no shoes on and then you do it when you get to school? Choose your battles?

Pitchounette Thu 02-Jul-09 21:40:14

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chickers Thu 02-Jul-09 21:47:25

He is doing it to see how far he can push you and when you are tired and worn out (like me with 3 kids) its easy for him to get to you.

If you can and I know its hard (but it works for my son) go over board with praise for good behaviour, activities he has done however little ie: saying please, thankyou, tidying up toys show him and tell how well he has done. My son's little chest literally puffs up when I do this.
When he is naughty give him 1 warning and say that if he does it again you will give him time out on his own ie: naughty step.
The best bit of advice is BE CONSISTENT AND ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH!!!
If he knows that you mean business then he will stop pushing you.
When I started this with my son he thought it was a big joke all the time and just carried on playing up. he soon got the message when my other kids got to go to the park with their dad and he stayed to clean the bathroom with me!!
Good Luck- just remember its all for your attention.

Pitchounette Thu 02-Jul-09 22:04:16

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Pitchounette Thu 02-Jul-09 22:05:49

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childrensservant Thu 02-Jul-09 22:22:20

Hey - I have a DD2 just the same. Drives me INSANE angry.
She is 4 too!!! Due to start school etc etc.....
Afaid I can't advise, other than to stay calm (I use medication!!)
I tend to ignore her alot, and to say her behaviour makes her look like a baby. (mean but it does work sometimes).blush
Nightmare to get out the house sometimes I agree. I also threaten to drive off without her, start the car up etc( blush again!).
Good luck to you I say. grin

Pitchounette Fri 03-Jul-09 09:51:35

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Pitchounette Fri 03-Jul-09 09:53:34

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nimnom Fri 03-Jul-09 10:02:37

My ds2 is nearly 4 and exactly the same. They tell me every day that he is an angel at nursery which makes it even worse. Roll on January when he starts school!grin

Pitchounette Fri 03-Jul-09 10:05:32

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childrensservant Fri 03-Jul-09 12:10:59

Mine has an authority problem. Total lack of repect for adults. She has the dudious honour of getting herself expelled from a creche for temper tantrums. Also had phone calls home from day nursery and pre-school.
DS1 is an angel, and has good manners and is respectful. How can you loose so much parenting control in the space of 3 yrs??

smee Fri 03-Jul-09 12:54:25

Pitchounette have you tried removing yourself? Not always practical, but it works with my DS. So if he's being horrendous, I say okay I'll go and do x,y,z when you're ready to stop come and tell me and I'll come back. Drives him bonkers, but it does work. I go into my little work room and shut the door on him. I think it's because I'm not engaging with it, so there's no argument.

childrensservant Fri 03-Jul-09 13:19:40

duBious honour

childrensservant Fri 03-Jul-09 13:29:19

Pitchounette - are our children related? They sound very similar. I have to keep changing the way I (try to) deal with it, as after a few weeks of one method, it stops being effective. I am currently trying "talk and listen" As soon as she kicks off, I ask her if we have a problem and she talks while I listen, and then we swap over. This can stop a huge tantrum and keep her in a state where you can engage with her. I'm sure you know what it's like when they have 'gone' - nothing can get their attention, and mine is often too physical to leave unattended.

Pitchounette Fri 03-Jul-09 13:33:37

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Pitchounette Fri 03-Jul-09 13:39:53

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alana39 Fri 03-Jul-09 14:00:22

Pitchounette I have DS2 who is 4 and still has screaming fits on way to school / when asked to do something he doesn't like etc. He has also never responded to rewards / threats / naughty steps or anything. Not sure this will be very helpful, as I don't think we have found a solution (although being completely consistent and repeating calmly that I will only talk to him when he calms down has helped me deal with it, if not helped stop the behaviour). But the only thing that has recently caused him to stop in his tracks is when I take a toy he is holding at the time and put it in a clear plastic box on top of cupboard / wardrobes / shelves. It seems to distract him just enough from whatever is the problem to focussing on how to get the toy back (BEHAVE YOURSELF grin) and it works. Sometimes.

Can I just vent and say he won't bloody wear most of his clothes for no reason whatsoever so the 2 acceptable T shirts are forever in the washing machine. When did 4 year old boys care about this stuff?????? Sorry.

childrensservant Fri 03-Jul-09 14:00:35

I can really sympathise Pitch. Mine crawled round a shopping centre once screaming (age nearly 4) and the LOOKS I got! Only one person came up to me to offer support. I really think peolpe must think we're doing something awful to our children. WE ARE NOT. We just have determined little people. Just think how successful they'll prob be in later life. grin

Pitchounette Fri 03-Jul-09 14:09:29

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plimple Fri 03-Jul-09 14:09:32

Did you stop at the time and explain why DS1 needed to keep his hat on? Did DS2 have a hat?
Did you ask DS1 if he could have the hat making it clear that if he said no then that was the answer full stop? e.g. you listen to ds2s request and deal with it sensibly, but if the answer is no, it is no.
Does he like being carried? If not can you say "If you continue screaming about the hat I shall have to carry you" If he does can you suggest that you really wanted to give him a piggy back to school, but you can't carry a screaming child.
You kind of need a perpetual artillery of bribes and constraints so you can give a choice. The choice always has to be 2 options you are happy with though and a tantrum is making a choice for the constraint/negative option.
Have you tried setting time challenges? e.g. I wonder if you can get your shoes on in less than 10 seconds? On your marks...

ilikesunshine Fri 03-Jul-09 14:28:19

I think you have to keep trying different things until you find THE thing that will work with your son. DS1, 4, is going through the same thing - wouldn't respond to bribery, punishment, naughty step etc. Just recently I have withdrawn all treats and put a star chart on the wall. When he gets 5 stars for good behaviour, he gets to choose a treat. For some reason this seems to be working - no idea why, but I think you just need to hone in to the thing you know makes your son tick. Easier said than done though... it's so exasperating isn't it.

childrensservant Fri 03-Jul-09 20:04:54

Hmmm, explaining things has no effect on mine. I do tend to pick up and carry rugby ball style quite a lot. Mine is quite small and petite though.

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