What to do with a 4 year old that doesn't listen to her parents?

CHRISTINA - posted on 02/26/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I have a niece that's four years old and is out of control. She doesn't listen at all, they have to tell her more than five times in order for her to obey her parents. My sister and her husband are desperate in need for advice, they are afraid that if she is 4 and acting like this than imagine when she's older. Please help, any advice will help

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Ashley - posted on 02/26/2009

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OKAY...trust me I have a 4 yr old and she doesn't always listen either...the thing that the parents have to remember is CONSISTENCY...I honestly can't say it enough!!!! CONSISTENCY!!! Also the parents NEED to FOLLOW THROUGH. If they say don't do it or your in timeout...the next time she does it no matter what they are doing or where they are, PUT HER IN TIMEOUT!!! Do it EVERYTIME and she will get the picture that they mean business. Some people want to let children run the home, the parents should be the only ones ruling that roost!! I give my daughter 2 chances to get it right and on the 3rd time she goes to timeout or bed or yes, even gets a spanken. Also the parents need to be on the same level with punishments and tons of communication is needed. Also if the parents disagree about the punishment, then they need to either turn around a whisper it so she can't hear or leave the room so she can't see or just wait till after so they can discuss what to do the next time. UNITY is everything.

1. CONSISTENCY

2. FOLLOW THROUGH

3. COMMUNICATION

4. UNITY

I wish them the best of luck!!!!

Gina - posted on 04/02/2013

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I have a 4 yr. old little girl and she will b soooo good and then just switch up, and wen she switches up let me tell u she could drive u to drink. I'm trying to stay calm talk nice,ask her why are you doing this. I will warn her that if she doesn't stop wat she's doing she will b spanked. So as any other parent I don't want it to come to me putting my hands on her, so after oh about the 50th warning ill finally spank her and ya she cries but she gets right over it. Wen I do spank her, I don't hit her hard, I mean I will make it sting a little but I really aim to hurt her feelings. That must sound so mean. So please help me.

Thank you,
Gina.

Monica - posted on 02/26/2009

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I have a 14 year old that did the same thing at that age.  I had to set some serious boundaries and stick with them.  Be realistic about your discipline and follow through. These girls are smart and if they know you will keep your end of the deal, they will straighten up.   My daughter and I were invited to a Mom/girl birthday party at this age and she was terrible.  I warned her two times that if she didn't straighten up she wasn't going.  Well, she got in trouble and I ended up going by myself (after all, I was invited too).  She stayed home with dad and it made a huge impression!

Crystal - posted on 02/26/2009

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I know it's old-fashoned, but spank her butt!  Just once to get her attention and let her know you're serious.  If there's never a consequence for not listening then she'll keep doing whatever she wants.  Take her toys away from her, make her go to bed early, don't give her a snack or treat.  There has to be some kind of diciplin in the household, her parents can't keep telling her things over and over.  Maybe put her in some kind of day care or preschool so she can interact with other kids and see for herself how they listen.

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Alfred - posted on 01/20/2014

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we have a four year old and a 2 year old, both never spent more than 5 months at a stretch with me, live with their mummy and grandparents, now they have come for good, both go to play school. now the problem, the 4 year is very attached to me and really gets upset and starts to howl and cry when I leave for work or even to use the restroom. he just doesn't trust me I would come back.

his mother blames me for giving into him on occasions, like I let him play with the IPAD or watch his favourite peppa pig when am leaving home, but last few days it's just hell, so I spanked both, lest I feel more miserable than them.

how do I build this trust with the 4 year old first , the 2 does not really create a scene when I leave.

can't give my name here. am known to many from were I am, (country)

User - posted on 02/26/2009

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It is quite normal for a 4 yr old to test the authority in their lives. I teach 4 yr olds all day long..I know what you are talking about. At this age they are trying to let you know that they are no longer a "baby". They want to assert themselves or be "big". Start  giving her responsibilities to make her feel like a big girl. Setting the table, helping with laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. explain that being a big helper means acting like a big girl. Even adults have rules that we have to follow. If we don't follow them there are consequences. Take away special activities when she is disobedient. The important part is to explain why it isbeing taken away. Allow the things to be earned back based on good behavior.  Treat charts work too.

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I'm sure your niece's parents are frustrated at this point. Sounds like a power struggle. They need to remain calm and firm because showing their frustration gives the child power. If they want a resource to help I highly suggest 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12. It's by Thomas Phelan. I am a teacher of young children and know a lot of parents that swear by it. There is a book as well as a video. Barnes and Noble should carry it. Good luck!

Danielle - posted on 02/26/2009

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There is a great book to read called Dare to Disiplin. I read and it and followed the advice and it worked for my son who has what they call a strong personality.

Reesha - posted on 02/26/2009

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My soon to be 5 year old is the same. But what works best is a reward system make a star chart with either stickers or where she can draw the stars (my daughter loves to make them herself). If she doesn't behave take them away and make her earn them back. For one reason or another this really works with my daughter over many other things. Also if that doesn't work make reasonable consequences that are easy for mom and dad to follow through with. If they are unreasonable they will not follow through and the child will change the behavior.

Brittany - posted on 02/26/2009

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I agree. Follow through with your threats. If you don't, they just become a habit and the kids don't believe you so they don't care what you threaten.

Michelle - posted on 02/26/2009

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I have a 5 year old that is very difficult also. It will take time. But for the mean time the parents have to be strict and should go by the rules. They need to go to the little one's level to know whats going on. When talking to her the parents should sit with her on her level explain in a calm voice whats going on and its best to ask whats wrong. Sometimes its just temper tantrums that they insists on something and we immidiately say no. It time to explain to her why we are saying no. But at the same time have to be firm. Make a reward system. Less crying more listening means more gifts. I had spoiled my 5 year old and now it is taking its toll. It was hard for me especially I have a sick son. But so far she is slowly changing... but it takes time, constant reminder and a TON of patience because toddlers like them are on the testing ground. If you give in to their demands it will be too late. They have to start now.



Good luck!

Crystal - posted on 02/26/2009

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I now how they feel...my four year old is about to turn 5 and she has the same problem.  I have been told that the terrible twos are nothing compared to a strong willed 4-5 year old.  She is very smart and that makes difficult to know just how to discipline her.  I know that in time she will grow out of this, but it is very hard to wait.  Hope this helps, if just to let you know that she is not alone.



-Crystal



 



 



Quoting CHRISTINA:

What to do with a 4 year old that doesn't listen to her parents?

I have a niece that's four years old and is out of control. She doesn't listen at all, they have to tell her more than five times in order for her to obey her parents. My sister and her husband are desperate in need for advice, they are afraid that if she is 4 and acting like this than imagine when she's older. Please help, any advice will help





 

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