Discipline for 4 Year old? Whats appropriate?

Smom2boys - posted on 09/27/2016 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 year old son and also a 3 year old son. My oldest has been acting out pretty bad lately and its starting to concern me and his teachers at daycare. They told me hes been yelling at the teachers and not listening and hitting other kids. I talked to him about hitting other kids I explained to him that its not nice to hit other people and he wouldn't like it if another child hit him. I also explain how yelling at his teachers isn't very nice and it hurts their feelings. He just laughs at me when I tell him these things. I don't want to really discipline him since hes only 4. Is there any other ways or types of discipline you moms out there use that would be helpful for me? I am a single mom and my two sons don't know their father at all I been raising them since my youngest was a baby. However I have been with someone who is a father himself and wants to help. Hes also tried talking to my son and he ignores him. Any help or advice would be great. thanks

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Sarah - posted on 09/27/2016

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At 4 the discipline should really happen at the time of the behavior. He is a bit young to connect; I did this during school so now I lose this. He may be ready, you can try it and see how it works. Tell him if you hear that he misbehaves during school, then he loses: TV time, special snack, computer, whatever?
Another option is to try positive reinforcement in the short term. Tell him every day he gets a "green light" from the teacher, he gets a token. Poker chips are cheap and work well visually. Once he earns 3, 5, 10 (you choose) he gets a treat. Something simple, like pizza for dinner, or an extra 30 minutes of screen time, something he really likes. The problem with doing this is kids are very smart and will start "upping the ante" quickly. What he received for 5 tokens he will soon want for only 2. It can hep, but you have to use it short term and work toward changing the overall behavior. Lots and lots of positive reinforcement will help.

Michelle - posted on 09/27/2016

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Spanking won't help since all that will do is show him that he can hit people!
The OP is trying to get him to STOP hitting people.
What does daycare do when he is disruptive and hitting? Do they have a time out corner or something similar?
He needs to be removed from the situation immediately, not later when you pick him up.

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Rebecca - posted on 09/30/2016

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I have four children, and my youngest is 7. He has been the most challenging for me to discipline. But he usually acts out and misbehaves when he is missing something from his daily life-affection, attention, sleep, food, playtime, friends. I try (with not always great success) to anticipate my kids' needs and keep those things really consistent for them. It usually helps.

But I also ask the kids (even when they were as young as 4) why they do something like hitting or yelling. I think you may be surprised that kids as young as 4 can describe the feelings that he is experiencing when he hits.

I wish you the very best.

Sarah - posted on 09/27/2016

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He laughs at you because he has no respect for you. Talking in a short and simple way is good, but if there are no consequences to his actions why should he listen. He is laughing because it is just that. Really discipline should have been going on since he was 18 months old. So at 4 yrs old yes he is more than ready. If you had been disciplining since 18 months then a firm talking to at age 4 yrs would be probably all you would need to do. Since you have not done that leg work it is going to be harder and more challenging now. He will most likely throw a fit or not listen. You need to be consistent and follow through.

Jodi - posted on 09/27/2016

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Really? You don't want to "discipline him" Here's the thing - discipline is about teaching and lifelong behaviour management. If you don't have consistent education and discipline right from a young age, I assure you, you can't just start it when they are 12. I find it almost laughable that someone would say "I don't want to really discipline him"......that's what leads to the nightmare teenagers I teach. Children need clear and consistent consequences (and no, I am not talking about spanking). They need to learn right from wrong, and "talking" to them is not a consequence to their behaviour. I agree with the others p- loss of TV time or some other privilege. Maybe a reward at the end of the week, such as going to the park, if you get positive reports from his teachers. There are many ways you can discipline, but just sitting him down and talking is really not going to work in the long term.

Ev - posted on 09/27/2016

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{ I talked to him about hitting other kids I explained to him that its not nice to hit other people and he wouldn't like it if another child hit him. I also explain how yelling at his teachers isn't very nice and it hurts their feelings. He just laughs at me when I tell him these things.}
----These things need to be addressed the moment they happen. He needs to have constant and consistent consequences.

{ I don't want to really discipline him since hes only 4.}
-----You do not want to do discipline because of his age? You need to quite thinking this way because if you do not start to teach him acceptable behaviors.

{ Is there any other ways or types of discipline you moms out there use that would be helpful for me? I am a single mom and my two sons don't know their father at all I been raising them since my youngest was a baby. However I have been with someone who is a father himself and wants to help. Hes also tried talking to my son and he ignores him. Any help or advice would be great. thanks}
-----You need to use time out, take away a privilege or something. By not doing so gives him the message that he can do these things and others with not being held accountable for it. It does not matter if you are a single mom or not. You need to get this under control or your 3 year old is going to be doing the same things as the 4 year old. Also, the guy you are seeing is not the father so what he does and says is not going to matter to a kid. It is your child and you need to get that child under control!

[deleted account]

they put them in a corner or a naughty step usually,,,a sort of form of isolation,,,sounds like he is jealous

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