Help! My daughter is 4 and thinks she is boss of the house!

Rebecca - posted on 11/20/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My daughter in the last couple months has started this stage where she thinks she is the boss of the house. It doesnt matter how much I talk to her or sternly tell her she is NOT the boss and that she has to listen to me NOT the other way around or how many times I put her in the corner or take toys away or anything like that she is "Little Miss Attitude"!!! Any suggestions????????

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Heather - posted on 11/28/2009

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One of the things that I have seen done (by a friend) that worked well, she cleaned EVERYTHING out of her daughter's room. All she was left with was her mattress and bed linens. All of her clothes, toys, bed frame, books were removed from her room and she had to earn those things back through respect and behaving. My friends daughter had just turned 5 when this occurred. Anytime her attitude begins to go badly they remind her of the room.

Stacy - posted on 11/29/2009

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My daughter has been that same way since she could talk. Myself and the rest of the family have had to learn not to give in to her all the time. I give my kids a point system, and their behavior is one of the points they get. If I only have to warn them once a day to behave, or use manners, they get a point at the end of that day. When I talk to my daughter, I do not repeat myself anymore. when I put her in time out, I tell her why she is going there, and that is it. I do not fight with her, or try to reason or explain myself to her. If she throws a fit while in time out, I ignore it. I use use to try to reason with her, and explain myself, but all it did is allow her to think she can controll me, think she is the boss, and make me extreamly fustrated. Don't let her wear you down, stick to your guns, let her know you are the boss, but with out the yelling and fighting. You will feel less stressed, and she will feel less out of controll. Good-Luck!

Holly - posted on 11/21/2009

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My daughter was the same. She actually used the words "no I'm the boss" I agree with others just keep plugging away. We did start telling our daughter that she was the boss of herself. That the choices she made would have consiquences so she was the boss of her own actions.

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Antonia - posted on 03/03/2014

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I'm struggling with my 4 year old also! Nothing works for her so still thinks she can tell me what she's doing and when. My dr told me to tell her no and put her in her room but she always comes out so I switched the lock she she couldn't get out so she started throwing anything and everything in her room at the door!! I tell her all she has to do is calm down and say sorry and she can come out but she won't she just repeats over an over what she wants! All in that terrible bloody murder child scream.. Please help!! I'm going to lose my mind!

Lee-ann - posted on 11/30/2009

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my daughter is the same shes been like it since she was 1 an half, me an my husband used to have to ask her if we could go outside for a smoke an if she said no and we went on out she would scream the house down. shes not as bad now thank god

AMBER - posted on 11/28/2009

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HMMM SOUNDS LIKE SHE IS IN A CONTROL STAGE. WHAT I DO IS GIVE MY SON 2 CHOICES WHEN HE ACTS OUT EX. I NEED U 2 GO PUT UR P.J.S ON OR GO BRUSH UR TEETH U PICK WHAT U WANT 2 DO 1ST I SAY UR CHOICE BUT IN YOUR CASE MAYBE U CAN BE THE BOSS OF WHAT U WANT 2 DO FIRST. I HAD A VERRRRY BAD ATTITUDE GROWING UP I DONT THINK THEY WILL NEVER LET ME LIVE IT DOWN BUT NOW I AM 4 SURE THE MOST RESPECTABLE/RESPONSIBLE SIBLING OUT OF US 5 KIDS.

Shauna - posted on 11/27/2009

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When you figure out a solution, PLEASE let me know. My son (4) is the king around here...he thinks. It's making me crazy!

Shonene - posted on 11/27/2009

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Ok, I KNOW I am going to get a lot of flack about this (see my post on my 5 year old and seperation anxiety). I love the Dog Whisperer: Calm, controlled, self-confident. Makes the pack calm submissive! I try to use this same technique with my two children. I say if you argue with them, it implies a choice. No argument, NO CHOICE. Therefore, if she tests your authority with her bossiness, you respond by NOT responding. You control the situation with body language and tone.
NOW, I have a situation where my 5 year old is "silently" in control of my home...LOL. Through her own seperation anxiety and the refusal to be anywhere in the house without my husband or myself.
So if this tactic works for you, LET ME KNOW! I will check back for a reply......*I am inserting this post with the UTMOST humor*...I find handling all these parenting situations with an open mind and humor help just a little.

Deana - posted on 11/27/2009

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I think all girls are like that my daughter will soon be 7 and her attitude and bossiness started around the age of 3 and it hasnt stopped lol.... I just give her rules and consequences and she is getting a little better.

CORINNE - posted on 11/27/2009

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Hi, I know what you are going through. My daughter is now 9 and we had the same problem. It is a stage and you have to understand that she is finding her independence. She is exploring her boundaries. But she is a child and you are the adult/parent. She looks to you for guidance, an example of how she is suppose to behave. Children need to know the rules. You have to be firm but patient. Don't go into long explanations, they don't have the attention span or the comprehension. Make it simple, 'I am the mother and I know what is best for you period. Sometimes you just have to say 'Because I said so'. You could also make a game out of it, to get your point across. Good luck and hang in there, your daughter will respect you for giving her good rules to follow and for setting a good example in all that you do. It is hard but well worth it! I know. My daughter is a good-natured kid,respects others and does very well in school, she also is helpful and attentive to her elders. Hope I was able to help you. Corinne R. Constable

Rebecca - posted on 11/27/2009

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Thank you all sooo very much !!!!!! This has all helped very much! I have been doing all of this things and will continue to do so. It is so comforting and a huge relief to know that I am not alone! Thank you again!

Nicole - posted on 11/23/2009

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The best advice I have ever received is from a book "No More Back Talk". It seems like we address this same thing over and over- only it is getting further apart. I talk very quietly, and send them to a part of the house I am not in, and I begin to have fun- without them. If we are in the car, I put them on ignore, and I RELISH my joy. I try very hard not to yell anymore_ this seems to give them permission to engage! As though they are on equal ground!!! I AM THE ADULT!!!!! If you can get your hands on the book, there is some really good advice... as single parents, we should get every bit of the respect we work for!!

Claire - posted on 11/23/2009

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i just read a reply on here which made me giggle, if i told my four year old that he was the boss and to make his own food and get ,me some too he bloody well would and make a right mess of it too lol even if it meant climbin up cabinets or standing on books.i think it all depends individually how independent the child is with that one:P



although your daughter sounds just like my 4 and a half year old son lol he thinks he rules the roost. it got so much for me im actually now seeking professional, behaviour help from a qualified nurse. all she keeps advising me,is be persistent...dont give in.... and there will be concequences but you must stick at them even if you cant be bothered .theres no use giving in because then the child will feel like his/hers in control all the time.

Crystal - posted on 11/23/2009

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Really? My daughter thinks she is too. lol. You said you take toys away? Are you giving them back? Make her earn them. Don't just take them for 5 minutes and say ok, here ya go. Tell her that she has to be good and be nice to earn her toys. Or maybe if she wants to be boss let her. i did that with my daughter once. She asked me to fix her something to eat and I said "But YOU are the boss and the grown up, YOU get your cereal and get me some too." lol She looked up at the cabinets and then to the cereal WAAY out of reach. And she decided that she didn't want to be a grown up yet. So I fixed her food and we talked about why she has to listen to mommy and daddy..

Or you can tell her that she has to clean the house. No cartoons, no toys, no ANYTHING until the house is clean and that might change her tune. Hope the ideas help. Good Luck!!

Angie - posted on 11/21/2009

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4 year olds are tough. I think the Fabulous Fours are worse than the Terrible Two's because children can communicate at this age. The other ladies are right, keep plugging away. She will soon learn that she is NOT the boss of the house - you and your husband are!!

Kim - posted on 11/21/2009

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My only advice is don't give in. Children are far more perceptive than given credit and will manipulate any situation to their benefit no matter how good a child they are. If she sees even the slightest weakness in you it may become worse or atleast last longer.

Rebecca - posted on 11/21/2009

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That definately does help knowing I'm not alone. I was beginning to wonder if I was doing something wrong as this is my 1 and only child. Thank you!!!!

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My little boy seems to be going through this stage too. Finding it difficult as he has previously been a very easy child. At the moment he is refusing his evening meal as he "wants weetabix again" and doesn't want what's on offer. I'm hoping that learning that ther are consequences will work? Not much help but hope you feel better that you are not alone! Also if she is still at playgroup rather than school, they are suddenly the biggest and oldest which seems to go to their head!

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