How to tame a wild child without breaking her spirit?

Kylie-maree - posted on 06/30/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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How can we put a stop to my 4 year old's destructive and abusive behaviour. When asked to do something, such as pick up her toys or get ready for a shower she will respond with a NO or by blowing a raspberry. When she is told no she will have an enormous tantrum including hitting us and screaming. Have tried time outs, reward charts, only recognising and praising good behaviour...you name it! There are times when she is loving and caring and empathic to others and times when she hits and hurts and screams...the tantrums are increasing, our tolerance levels are decreasing....Please help!?!

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Louise - posted on 07/01/2012

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This is a control issue. She is getting her own way by having these tantrums so you have to stamp down on them hard. You will not break her spirit but gain her respect. I have a spirited daughter of 3.5 and although she is a challenge I am winning the war! What I do is give her 5 minutes warning that we are going for a bath so she has 5 minutes before tidy up time. I warn her again at 2 minutes and then she tidies up, no fuss because she knows it is going to happen whether she has a hissy fit or not. To begin with she did have tantrums but just ignore them completely and continue to tidy up. If she hits you this is anther matter. Very firmly hold both her arms down by her sides and say no firmly "we do not hit". When she has calmed down talk to her about hitting and that you will not have it. Tell her is she wants to talk to you about something she should use her words and not lash out.

If you take control of situations, like giving time structure, you should avoid these tantrums once she knows that no matter how much she pushes you, it is gong to happen any way.

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Kylie-maree - posted on 07/01/2012

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Thanks Louise. I agree I often feel I am fighting her for control! The tantrums involve screaming and calling us names and we try to ignore as much as we can but feel sorry for the neighbours!

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