how do i decipline my 4 year old niece

Samantha - posted on 07/06/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




how do I discipline my 4 year old niece when spanking her and yelling at her and grounding her don't work anymore? she is so out of control her mother and I and our family just don't know what to do anymore. please someone help us asap we really really need it so bad.


Angela - posted on 07/06/2013




She's not your child - you certainly shouldn't be administering physical punishment! Yelling only develops into a contest where the child will be committed to trying to yell louder. As for "grounding" - how do you ground a 4 year old? She's not a teenager! She shouldn't be going out anyway without adult supervision!

Striking/spanking and shouting are lazy parenting. Of course, you're not the parent anyway but perhaps the parents aren't too motivated to do much about her - hence she's like this.

I would suggest "time out" - and please do not say this doesn't work - you need to be consistent with it and the first dozen or more times the child will do her best to ignore the time out instruction and go about her business as usual. Indeed the first few times you do it with her, it's going to be more of a punishment for the adult supervising her than for her, herself. But if you stick it out consistently, she will eventually get the message.

Set a timer and make it one minute for each year of the child's age. You can even break it down to 5 seconds for each month of her age to make it more accurate (so a child aged 4 years and 4 months gets 4 minutes & 20 seconds!) providing you have a timer that does this. Set a ticking, kitchen timer and have it near the child's time out spot. Set your own cell phone for the same time so if you're elsewhere in the home you know when the time out has ended. Time out doesn't mean fun time playing with a toy or watching TV or anything. It's aimless staring into space!

Some parents might make the child do chores or something in the home. I would not advise this unless it's to clean up a mess made by the child in deliberate vandalism and disregard. Kids do chores to earn cash or simply to do their share around the home in which they live so there may be mixed messages in carrying out tasks.

Remember, things will get harder before the child gets the message of the discipline. But she will understand eventually. Good luck.


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Samantha - posted on 07/07/2013




ok thats y im trying to help her mother out and i will let her know your opions thank you so much especially you angela barker

Michelle - posted on 07/06/2013




You shouldn't be doing the discipline, it should be her Mother.
Maybe the Mother should look into some parenting courses to help find different ways of discipline.
Having many people discipline is just confusing for the child.

You also haven't said what she is doing. "Out of control" isn't specific enough for us to help.

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