can anyone help me with handling a 4year old who either argues everything I say or just blatantly ignores me??? Please Help!!!

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[deleted account]

I have a 6 yr old who is going through this again..  I have to do this myself.



 



Don't ask if it is something you want\need done.  TELL.   Do not ask more than twice without following through with some time out.  



 



Try to use a reward chart with stickers.



 



If it is something like bath refusal or apathy towards dinner...try to bring in some choices..like ...."would you like a green plate or the purple plate?" or "do you want a pink towel or a blue towel?"  it give them a sense of power.



 



Also very important.  Look up "the family virtues guide"  excellent book.  



If your child is being quiet....praise them...they will get a buz and be eager to please you more often.   Same with other behaviour..  If they are waiting...say "wow I notice how very patient you are being...thank you" with a smile....that reinforces good behaviour and works wonders!!!  

Eleanor - posted on 03/03/2009

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Quoting Theresa:

can anyone help me with handling a 4year old who either argues everything I say or just blatantly ignores me??? Please Help!!!




You may have heard that it takes two to argue.  I think the child is testing you. You need a plan of action when this occurs.  Stay calm, refuse to be drawn into an arguement,  Be firm and if the child does not listen or ignores you , then you may need to have a time out in a quiet place.  You may need to change your behavior to change hers.  The more you react, and respond in a negative way, reinforces her negative behavior. 



 



 

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Annette - posted on 08/04/2011

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I'm in the same boat half the time. As a few of the others said, it's when I feed the fire that things go South LOL

He's trying to get that power-kick and it WORKS too much! I get angry or annoyed and then start the power struggles and then it's a battle rather than the calm, assertive, matter of fact "It's time to clean up"...then start cleaning up and maybe give some motivation. I still haven't figured out how to get this to happen without some form of threat, BUT the most important thing is to be calm and detached from it...NOT invested in ego.



Frankly though, the notion of saying "your attitude is unacceptable...and now I will spank you" is hypocritical...and I don't think the "I'm the mom, you are the child" thing is valid..because that's basically condescending and authoritarian...two things I don't think equal a healthy and compassionate child. My opinion...but everything I have read supports the notion of being calm, collected and modeling the best possible behavior you can as often as you can. If YOU slip up (loose your temper, hit, yell, anything THEY should not be doing...) then you should model appology, kindness, ammends. Make it an opportunity to teach respect through respect.

THAT has worked REALLY well for me.



At present, my 3.5 year old is just as likely to say "Mommy, I'm sorry I was fresh" as he is to say "GO AWAY" but he is learning to express his feelings and I simply have to direct him toward the most appropriate ones...as tempting as it is to punish hitting and yelling...he is usually REACTING to energy I have created...or expressing a state of distress in himself (tired, hungry, over stimulated, etc...)

Marie-Helene - posted on 03/04/2009

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We are currently using a method called 1,2,3 Magic. It's easy and there are DVDs and books about it probably available in your local library or google it! Works quite well at home and in my classroom (grade 2)! Good luck

Andrea - posted on 03/04/2009

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I have been going through that with my 3 year old.  We made a chore chart yesterday and most of the things on it were behavioural.   Like, get up in the morning without complaining/happy face.  Get dressed (he was taking his clothes off before the chart).  Brush your teeth.  Take a bath. Pick up toys. Go to bed without crying.   After a week of getting stars on his chart every day he got to get a toy.  Next time we will go to a movie or a special place.  zoo.  something like that.  It doesn't have to be material but he has responded very well to the idea.  He loved making the chart with me too. 



He has daily things on his chart and then extra things he can do to earn more stars.  It's been a very fun and different week for us.



Good luck and God Bless.

Blake - posted on 03/04/2009

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Are you willing to read? Are you willing to work at it? Try Dr. Kevin Lehman's book "Have a New Kid by Friday".

Mary Ann - posted on 03/04/2009

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if you all are pickup up toys,,,, make a game of it.... sing a song... I use to sing a song with my son.... Pick them up put them away..., fun for today and tommorw ....we will play....



 



sounds silly put they like it!!!!

Mary Ann - posted on 03/04/2009

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take away something that he really likes... for a day.... tell him you will do that 1 warning then do it....

Pauline - posted on 03/04/2009

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Welcome to 4!  My son just turned 5 and it is mostly getting better, but it has been a long haul.  My methods have been to cut off arguing at the beginning.  Be very firm and do not give in to repeated requests or unrelenting arguments.  I would encourage reasonable negotiation and there is a difference.  If she can come up with an alternative that is reasonable.  I would definately be clear about expectations and consequences for breaking the rules.

Kerri - posted on 03/04/2009

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My son (4 1/2) is  constantly oppositional lately. It seems to come and go in cycles though. I will definitely be looking for the book recommendation that was posted here!!!

Michele - posted on 03/04/2009

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I have a 4-year old who was a perfect little angel up until my daughter was born about a month ago. She loves her little sister, but I think she was jealous of the attention. My sister-in-law offered to take her off our hands for a week, since she lives up north, and that seemed to do the trick. I think they just need some one-on-one attention, so maybe even just a couple outings with just your daughter might work. I also make sure that every time the baby is pacified, I ask my daughter what she wants to do.

Emma - posted on 03/04/2009

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Quoting Eleanor:



Quoting Theresa:

can anyone help me with handling a 4year old who either argues everything I say or just blatantly ignores me??? Please Help!!!







You may have heard that it takes two to argue.  I think the child is testing you. You need a plan of action when this occurs.  Stay calm, refuse to be drawn into an arguement,  Be firm and if the child does not listen or ignores you , then you may need to have a time out in a quiet place.  You may need to change your behavior to change hers.  The more you react, and respond in a negative way, reinforces her negative behavior. 






 



 





I couldn't agree more with the lady above, try not react to her bad behaviour. I found timeouts were the only solution to my four year old (now nearly 6) acting out. First time he was on the stairs and then any other misbehaving meant going to his room with the door shut. It was a slow process but it did work, just stick to it and she will soon learn that her bahaviour is unacceptable and there are consequences. The other key thing is if you have a partner they need carry out the same punishments or she will start playing you off against each other.

Emma - posted on 03/04/2009

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Quoting Eleanor:



Quoting Theresa:

can anyone help me with handling a 4year old who either argues everything I say or just blatantly ignores me??? Please Help!!!







You may have heard that it takes two to argue.  I think the child is testing you. You need a plan of action when this occurs.  Stay calm, refuse to be drawn into an arguement,  Be firm and if the child does not listen or ignores you , then you may need to have a time out in a quiet place.  You may need to change your behavior to change hers.  The more you react, and respond in a negative way, reinforces her negative behavior. 






 



 





I couldn't agree more with the lady above, try not react to her bad behaviour. I found timeouts were the only solution to my four year old (now nearly 6) acting out. First time he was on the stairs and then any other misbehaving meant going to his room with the door shut. It was a slow process but it did work, just stick to it and she will soon learn that her bahaviour is unacceptable and there are consequences. The other key thing is if you have a partner they need carry out the same punishments or she will start playing you off against each other.

Sarah - posted on 03/04/2009

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my advice would be to choose your battles wisely, is it always necessary for your 4 year old to answer you immediatly EVERY time??. i ask myself some questions when eliza ignores me:

is she engrossed in what she is doing? is her attention elsewhere? stop the TV,etc this will get her attention!

can she hear me? if she has a cold she might not be able to hear the same!?

Never forget praise..........praise praise praise, but only for good stuff,like manners etc

i could go on forever....sometimes we need to give them a break too or it seems like you are forever shouting at them,

Penni - posted on 03/04/2009

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We have just started this behavior programme with my three girls all with different behaviours. Its called 1,2,3 magic. you sit down with your children and tell them what will hapopen so they know. say your child hits you or someone else its an instant 3 go to your bedroom for 4mins(depend on age 1min per year of life) if dont go put them in room or time out with out speaking they hate it. whinning argues count with your fingers thats a 1 for arguing, still arging after five seconds hold up number two finger and say thats 2 say nothing esle they still arguing after another 5seconds say right thats 3 go to your room thats 4mintues time out. Say nothing as they love it when you arguy with them. they have to stay in time out for there full thime if they come out the clock starts again. then you tell them there time is up,. And you wipe the slate clean. Dont menchen the behavour again. If they through there toys agound their room leave it for a few weeks then help her tidy it. If she has to hunt for her favourite toy thats the price she has to pay for distroying her room. But if she does trash her room take out things that might harm her until she stops trashing her room. My daughter trashed her room the other night and when she had to go to bed her matress was on the floor. She told me it was on the floor I said well you stuck it there you will have to sleep there. Later she came out to say she wants her matress on her bed I told well you can do it and she did. I havent needed t put her in time out since to see if she will do it again.

Thomas W. Phelan.Ph.D. came up with this from bring up his on kids. He has videos Hes so funny.Theres a wed site on the back of the dvd its www.parentmagic.com

Nicole - posted on 03/03/2009

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you should get a book, "1 2 3, Magic" I can't remember the author right off, but it was a great help to me when my boys started becoming challenging. It's very easy to read and work with. Hope this helps! Good Luck

[deleted account]

Quoting Theresa:

can anyone help me with handling a 4year old who either argues everything I say or just blatantly ignores me??? Please Help!!!



You are the mom and the one in charge.  You have conditioned your little one to talk back and not listen to you and now you have to try to retrain her.  You can!!!  It is not to late. 



 



Each time my two year old talks back to me, I have her come to me.  I tell her that the way she spoke to me was inappropriate and rude and I am not ok with that.  I spank her for her bad attitude.  Then I have her say it again in an appropriate way.  (I ask her to pick up her toys.  She responds with, " No, I don't want to.  Or ignores me.  I have her come sit on my lap and I calmly tell her, "That was not the right way to respond to me.  When mommy tells you to do something, you do it the first time without hesitating.  I am going to spank you for your disobedience.  Now lets try it again.  Pick up your toys."   I quickly say, "Yes, mommy.  I will do that!"  And then I have her say it back.  Each time I ask her to do something I model the right words and tone and work with her to respond that way.  Now she is so polite.



Two Books that I would totally recommend are "To Train Up A Child" by Michael and Debi Pearl and Shepherding a Childs Heart.  They have really given me a lot of good ideas to use with my children.

[deleted account]

You could try asserting at this early age that you are THE MOM and they are the CHILD and MOM is in charge and arguing and ignoring are inacceptable behaviors. Create consequences for these behaviors. I did this with my kids and it does work.

[deleted account]

We are going through the same thing with our three year old. We have found that consistency is the key. If we even let things slip once, we're done for. For example, if we want our son to put his toys away, I set the timer for him for 10 minutes, and tell him that any toys that aren't put away go in a separate bin for the remainder of the week and he can get them back on Saturday. Once chance, and one chance only. We have found a book called "Setting Limits with your Strong Willed Child" VERY helpful. Best of luck, its amazing how such a little body can make you see RED!!!!!

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