How to handle my 4-year-old's "follower" personality.

Amber - posted on 11/06/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

280

17

7

My son is four and just started JK this year. I was concerned abou him being a follower, and always wanting to do what other kids are doing, and I was totally right. In every other aspect he is awesome at school, but when another kid [or a few other kids] is doing something bad, he joins right in! He even volunteered to go to the office because another kid went and he wanted to go too, even though the teacher explained that it's not a good thing to be sent to the office. I'm concerned about this, especially as he gets older and boys will be boys...I don't want him getting into bad shit and turning into a bad kid because he wants to be like everyone else! AH!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Candace - posted on 11/16/2010

20

0

0

I don't agree about it being a phase, or to ignore it right now. If you wait until he is older, than it's going to be just that much more difficult. I'm sure you know that by now your son has a very distinct personality all his own, and that it has been developing since the day he was born. This is what I suggest. Start letting him make his own choices with little stuff. For example, Let him pick out what he's going to wear in the morning. This shirt, or this one? These pants or those? Do this with as much stuff as you can. Milk or water, Bath or shower, this story or that one.

If he's following , it may be that he is so used to being told what to do without any choices that he simply continues this with his playmates. Praise and reward good decisions. Allow him to take natural consequences for poor ones. If he gets in trouble at school, let him know that he will be disciplined at home as well. But the best advice I can give you is to let him make his own decisions about little stuff, thus teaching him how to make decisions about bigger stuff. I learned this through a parenting model called "Love and Logic" parenting. I have been trying to use this model as much as possible with my own daughter, who is 7. As a result, my daughter is supremely independent, she has children following HER, rather than the other way around, and we work very hard to impress upon her the importance of her setting a good example for other kids. Also, talk to your child's teacher about your concerns. Ask him/her what they would suggest in regards to helping your son make better decisions regarding his behavior, and who he spends his time with.

Amber - posted on 11/17/2010

280

17

7

hey thanks guys :) i tried taking the discipline home and it worked. he got in trouble at school, he got grounded from his computer game for a week. he hasn't gotten in trouble at school since. i already let him make all his won decisions so that isn't the problem, it's just the person he is which is fine with me, there's nothing wrong with having a "follower" personality, as long as he knows that there is a right & wrong time to do what everyone else is doing. he understands good choices and bad choices and i always reward his good behavior so i'm sure that has nothing to do with it, but again, thanks :)

Candy - posted on 11/17/2010

649

2

171

I have to say I have always let mine choose things from shirt to wear to the milk they drink. My youngest still will follow her sister. So i ask her first and make her decide before her sister does.I really think he is just trying new things. I do agree with if he gets in trouble at school he should get in trouble at home.

Stephanie - posted on 11/17/2010

7

7

0

I just asked my son if "Johnny" was in time out or him after he followed kids making bad choices (making it clear that he would be the one suffering the consequences). I also taught him that if he isn't sure what to do, he should ask himself if he would do it if Mommy was watching. I also let his teacher know that there was an issue there and to keep an eye on him when he was around the worst offenders when it came to trouble-making at school. You have to be consistent with rules, consequences, and positive reinforcement all the time or it won't be effective.

Tiffany - posted on 11/10/2010

12

44

0

role play with him! make up situations that can come up with school and help him learn what his "instead" options are! practice like you're his classmates, they love to pretend and it will help better than your telling him not to do what the do.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

9 Comments

View replies by

Maricelis - posted on 11/20/2010

19

10

0

I think that a part of it is that its a phase but you don't want to allow that phase to grow into it being something he will always do. I also agree with one of the other moms in that you may want to start allowing him to make some choices on the smaller scale of his daily routine, as time passes graduating from really small decisions to slightly more important ones. And letting him reep the benefits of making good decisions but also understanding and "dealing" with the conseqenced of making the bad decisions.
But as always remember to breath and be patient. Hang in there.

Alisha - posted on 11/18/2010

735

10

39

All kids are followers to some extent. They are still learning about the world so will do what others do (good or bad). You have to instruct him on which is the right way. I wouldn't be too concerned since he is only 4 years old, but do let him know he need to think about what others are doing before he joins in. Yes he will copy others because that's what children do, he is just getting in the mode of what school is like so it will take time to adjust, all you can do is teach him the right way and how to make good choices.

Amanda - posted on 11/10/2010

668

16

35

I think it's probably just a phase. My 4 yr old daughter was like that too for about 6mnths! She would follow my oldest her big brother and want to do everything he did, she would copy everyone around her and always want to do what everyone else was doing good or bad. I would just consistantly explain to her right and wrong decisions and the consequences that go with. She eventually got the hang of it and is now becoming more independent. Good luck and hang in there!!

Candy - posted on 11/06/2010

649

2

171

Right now I wouldnt. worry. Just keep an eye on it. Right now he is trying out new personalities and ideas. When he is older and is still following the crowd then I would worry.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms