My 4 year old refuses to listen to me and tells me Im not the boss?

Amber - posted on 07/06/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have noticed that both of my boys are on this not wanting to listen to anything I say. When I ask them to do something they ignore and then when they are in trouble they tell me that they hate me and I am not the boss... I have tried time out and sitting down with them explaining things to them but nothing seems to phase them

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Jennifer - posted on 07/06/2010

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I have some similar troubles with my nearly-three- yo.
When she doesn't listen, I tell her, "You can do it, or I can help you, and you won't like it if I help you" (meaning I will physically go over and help her do whatever it is I asked her to do - sometimes hand-over-hand) If she still refuses, I count DOWN from 3. (You can use 5) If you count down, there is a definite stopping point - nowhere to go after 1. If she reaches 1 without a response she goes to the time-out chair. After time-out she has to tell me why she was there and (sometimes) what she can do differently next time before returning to her activity. If she is in time-out for refusal to do something, she still has to do it after time-out. Getting time-out is NOT an excuse for not doing what is asked of her.
It's very hard, but try not to show any emotion. They are learning to express themselves and have found power in pushing your buttons. Just tell them, "That's OK, I love you" (or something similar)
With time-out - be consistent and try not to show emotion. Be matter-of-fact. "You chose to (behavior) so you chose time-out" Tell them "That's the rule" and use the rule for why they face the consequences (not just because Mommy said so).
Hope this helps. Hang in there and know they don't really mean the hurtful things they say.

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Bridget - posted on 07/07/2010

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My son is 3 almost 4 and we have the not wonting to listen problem sometimes. We will tell him to do something he gets 1 warning if he doesnt do it within 2 minutes. after that he gets a poppin has to do what we told him too and he gets time out. If he repeats the problem we take away things (tv, 4 wheeler, ect)

Shanon - posted on 07/07/2010

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My four year old does the samething. I take things away for her and then when there is something she whats to do i tell her no bc she dont do what i what her to do. it help sometimes and then other times it do even bother her.

Majaliwa - posted on 07/06/2010

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Couple of thoughts:
1. a whipping every now and then is necessary when things like time out and talking don't work

2. don't give them options. don't ask them to do anything - tell them. For example, don't say "do you want to go take a bath now?" - instead say "it's time to take a bath, who wants to go first?" so that they realize "taking a bath" is NOT an option - the only option is who will go first.

3. try to engage dad to support you in your authority.

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