discipline ideas for a 3 and 4 year old .

Heidi - posted on 10/01/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old and I am having some probems with disciplining them. They are testing me like crazy to see what they can get away with until I reach my breaking point. I need some ideas on disciplining them instead of spanking them and Yelling at them any advice would be helpful thanks.


Ariana - posted on 10/02/2012




I would say completely stop spanking and yelling, that only makes kids act out more.

I would find out exactly what behaviors they're doing. Possibly make a behavior log for a week or two and find out exactly what types of things they're doing. Once you do that target the worst behaviors and work from there.

It's easier if you ask about a specific behavior that can be worked on. Natural consequences work fairly well. If you throw a toy it gets taken away for the day, if you don't brush your teeth you don't get sugary snacks. If they refuse to do something, like refuse to pick up their toys or something, you can let it go but when they ultimately ask for something (can I watch tv, can I have a treat, can we go to the park etc.) tell them Yes, as soon as you pick your toys up (or whatever).

For other instances, like hitting, you can give them a time-out. If they're throwing a tantrum you can send them to their room.

Once again I would log what the main behavior issues are and work on maybe two of the biggest or most important ones. So things like hitting, or yelling at you are (or whatever is happening) are more important to correct then not brushing their teeth.

At this age they are going to test you and you need to show them how to control themselves, which starts with you controlling yourself. If they do something and you turn to yelling and spanking it looks to them like you've lost control of the situation and they don't learn how to keep control of themselves.

If you still continue to have major difficulties controlling them I would try to join a parenting class or group or possibly find a family councellor who could give you some advice on how to handle them. There are a lot of resources out there that can help.

Good luck!

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