Arguing 4 year old

Jamie - posted on 12/13/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 4 year old argues with everything I say, in fact we end up arguing all the time with me getting mad at him for not listening. He refuses to listen to what I say and when he does he argues with me. Is this a stage or does someone have some suggestions on winning an argument with a 4 year old!

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Julie - posted on 12/15/2009

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My four year old is definitely at this stage, and its a really challenge not to get sucked in to the fighting. So I am constantly reminding myself that listening is a learned behavior. At this age all they want is our attention, and due to the building independence my child is trying out his opinions or trying to do things his way, so I listen to him, and ask him, then I offer suggestion, a different way and ask him if this works too?? it has become much easier to deal with him when I am not screaming and yelling, or his father, this frustrates me more that anything. Hope this helps.

Mary Gail - posted on 04/17/2011

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Your son does not have any boundaries with you. He needs to understand you are the parent, and he is the child. You need to tell him the ramifications of his actions, and if he does something, he needs to be called down on it. I was a single Mom of a son for 12 years - from age 18 months to 14. I knew if I didn't get the upper hand when he was little that I would never get it. I would bust his bottom if I had to get his attention. It's why God put so much cushion back there to start with, plus everyone knows this is where little boy's brains are - haha! Seriously, I had a little yellow/black paddle and would use it when I had to do it which was not too often. Once he understood that I meant business but that I loved him with every breath in my body, he learned to respect me and understand his boundaries. Good luck!

Katie - posted on 12/16/2009

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I have a 3 year old . and when he starts back talking me I give him a warning and tell him to do what I say and if he doesn't then he get's a time out.. He knows not to talk back to me. I respect him and he respect me and we get along pretty good for the most part. You could try that the timeouts. so you both can have space and breath and come back to him and explain why he had a timeout and there are rules to go by. Good luck sweetie.

Dearne - posted on 12/16/2009

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Hi Jamie,
He is testing your rules tell him how it is and make it happen. Explain nicely why he can not have want he wants. If he still argues tell him what the consequenes will be then follow through if he does not.

Michelle - posted on 12/15/2009

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Absolutely yes! Apparently 4 year olds know everything, and we don't! By having both of you yelling and arguing is not doing either of you any good. Many kids continue to carry on if we the parents are adding fuel to the fire. Of course don't allow your child to walk over you and be rude to you. But if it is over something that isn't really important difuse the situation by having a normal range voice and change the subject. It isn't a matter of winning the argument as such. By you getting frustrated is just upsetting yourself, and not achieving any desired result. The best way I have found is for both of you to calm down. And after 30 minutes or a couple of hours down the track, discuss with your child calmly what you were previously tallking about, and hopefully you are then able to work it out. Sometimes kids just start something to see what sort of reaction they will get from us, good or bad.

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Roxy - posted on 03/01/2012

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I do not have much problem with my son and arguing. When he does not like something that I have to say or he does not want to do what I am telling him, he may try to argue with me but I stop him before he gets started. I tell him that I am the adult and that he needs to listen and if he does not listen that I will take away his favorite toy.

At first it was just easy to argue with him but once I realized that was getting me no where and that I arguing with a 4 year old, it changed and since I have stopped arguing with him and in forced what I say I am going to do if argues with me it has pretty much stopped.

Kevlyn - posted on 12/14/2009

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I am having the same problem with my 3 1/2 year old... She thinks she is right about everything, she can do what she wants, and she doesn't have to listen to anyone... Everything I say seems to be wrong and nothing I have tryed is working... I'm about to go crazy.... The only person she listens to is my mom and she only listens to her half the time.... I just hope this is a stage and she comes out of it quick and I hope my other two DO NOT go through it if it is just a stage!!!! lol

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Do not allow yourself to argue with him. It turns in to a power struggle. I would send him to his room immediately and tell him that he can come out when he is ready to talk normally with you. If he comes out and isn't ready to listen then he has to go back to his room. If you are in public count to 3 and he has to stop arguing before you get to 3 or he loses a special privilege or toy. Use a firm but calm voice and look directly at him when you are talking. When we get upset and raise our voice we are allowing them to win. He needs to know that you are the boss and it's disrespectful to argue with adults. Good luck.

Jamie - posted on 12/14/2009

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Thank you everybody for your suggestions. I guess arguing with him isn't helping (doesn't help I like to argue with people myself) so I guess I will start following some of your suggestions.

Sarah - posted on 12/14/2009

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personally i dont have a child that age but i did help alot with raising my neice and nephew-i found that doing ur best not to argue with them really ticks them off-they want u to argue with them but will soon give up. when u get angry and fight back with them u then make the situation ur problem....it needs to be their problem and theirs alone so then they are more inclined to stop that behaviour because its only them that they are affecting. u culd try putting them in their room for 4 mins and fully ignoring them if they scream-pretend u cant hear them,go in and ask if they ready to listen-if they arnt or say they are but dont follow through then repeat the bedroom process. doesnt work on all kids but its worth a shot and if u strapped for time it really sucks coz u will tend to give in.i know its a long process and it doesnt work over night but one day it will all click into place. pudding blackmail can work also-if its something they love that they risk losing then they will put a bit more effort into working on their behaviour. hope it starts to ease up 4 u

Taneshia - posted on 12/13/2009

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my 5 year old is the same way! everything I say he says the opposite and will go on and on and on. i usually end up frustrated or mad too, i usually have to tell him look this is what it is and if you keep on ( i will take away something he like or time out) and that usually works for me. when he does its not in a mean tone so i think it may just be a stage. my advice dont argue, sometimes i even just say ok you're right now what and he cant think of anything else lol.

Bridget - posted on 12/13/2009

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I think it is probably a stage. I say that because I am currently dealing with the same thing and my daughter is 4 months shy of turning 4. It's like all of a sudden she has a "know it all" attitude and everything I say is ridiculous. I've only been going through it for a few weeks & it's already driving me crazy. I don't have any suggestions but I'll be watching this post for advice! Good luck!

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