Is my four year old son normal?

Abby - posted on 04/06/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )




I have a four year old son who is giving me and his teachers lots of problems. He is a sweet child and very loving and thoughtful but, he refuses to listen to anyone, he can't sit still, he isn't interested in doing his work at school and he is very, very aggressive with his twin sister. I'm out of ideas with how to handle him. Nothing I've tried works. Is this kind of behavior normal for a four year old boy?


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Sarah - posted on 05/09/2014




Hi in regards to one of your posts about your little boy being aggressive and hyper mine is exactly the same an now coursing trouble at nursery so I'm intrigued on what natural methods u use to calm him down ? Cheers Sarah :)

Aimee - posted on 04/12/2011




if i was u i would take him to the docs as it sounds like autisum and for the aggressive behaviour then use the naughty step put there name on it and they have 2 sit there for a min of there age and they have to stop there for that many mins if they move put them back and start the clock again and when they have done there time on the chair then go over to them and get them to tellu why u have put them there if they say no then tell them why and then get them to say sorry and have a hug and kiss but keep doin this every time he gets aggressive and it shows him that u are not goin to put up with that behaviour. use stickers on a chart every time he is good if he has all stickers for 1 day give him a little treat if good for a whole week then get him a bit bigger treat hope this helps good luck keep up with plenty of praise and disapline usin the chair it does take time but does work

Amanda - posted on 04/11/2011




omg i am going through the same thing now with my son.. He may just need more one on one time make sure you dont yell at him try to redirect his behavior to more positve things before he gets out of hand. I have started talking and asking my son questions about his misbehavior and he is calming down. You are not alone but maybe you should have him tested in a year for adhd I have been giving my son natural stuff to mellow him and he is listening more and not so hyper. Email me and will tell you more good luck

Nikki - posted on 04/06/2011




Boys do get a boost of testosterone around the age of four, which can lead to aggressive behaviours in some. So it is relatively normal for some children. What matters is how your handling the situation.

You need to be consistent with your discipline, I would avoid smacking or spanking because you want to role model appropriate behaviours. If you smack him your sending mixed messages.

A reward chart might work well, sit down and discuss exactly what happens with the rewards and make a big deal when he receives a reward.

How are his language skills? Sometimes children who have difficulty with aggressive behaviours also have trouble with communication. So it's important to teach him how to problem solve and use language to get his needs met.

Give him lots of positive attention and ignore small negative behaviours that don't harm anyone or anything. Children will seek any kind of attention, so if your only offering positive they generally will change their behaviours to please you and seek the positive attention.

Give him a little control, when you want him to do something instead of saying "can you brush your teeth now?" say 'when you brush your teeth then you can play" Give him LOTS of praise when he follows directions, also when you ask him something get down to his level to get his attention and get eye contact before you speak. Sometimes children don't listen because there are more pressing things capturing their attention.

Have a consequence for serious negative behaviour like hurting his sister. Take away a favourite toy for an hour etc. Make sure you discuss what the consequences will be and if possible give him a warning before things get to the point that you need to use the threat. If he stops after the warning, once again give him lots of praise for listening.

Redirect his behaviour, if you think he is starting to get rough, capture his attention with something new and quieter. Stop the behaviour before it occurs.

If things get worse or don't improve after you implement consistent discipline I would consult a behavioural specialist.

Good luck

Laura - posted on 04/06/2011




Have your pediatrician refer him. He may have a chemical imbalance. If he does, try other methods of control before you decide to medicate him. I was medicated for ADD/ADHD/Depression from age 4 to 11. It made me very sick. And did some damage to my kidneys and bladder. Granted I'm fine, I was a handful but my mom didn't have time to deal with me, she just wanted to push me off and work all the time. I was too challenging for her I guess. My 4 yr old son is the same way. Outside activity is best. Sports anything outside! Stay away from bad cartoons. PBS Kids, Sprout, NickJR and even the baby channel are the safest to have on. Other cartoons are interpreted the wrong way and some are just what they show. My son was put into a program from 1 1/2 to 3 yrs old to help him. ARC was the program. Is anyone mean to him? Past or present? At school or friend's house? Bullies? Positve reinforcement is good. But make sure that when you put your foot down, it stays down. Challenging kids are very smart. Very smart. Also, be careful on how you do it. Don't go overboard with yelling. He will learn to ignore you. Pick `your battles. Don't sweat the small stuff. The more you play into it, over every little thing, the smarter he gets. Such as, everytime he does something naughty, little or big, he gets attention, negative or not. Attention is attention. Hope this helps. I know what you are going through. Experience. I went through it growing up and now
i'm dealing with it. Granted I'm not like my mom though. I'm trying to help him withouot meds and I can kind of relate to how he feels. I was bullied ALOT in school and that played a huge factor for me too. But that is not the case with my son. He's never been in school! Boredom is my son's problem I think. He has no friends. It's just mommy daddy and baby brother. You need to find out which one it is with your son. Best of luck. Oh, this is not normal behaviour!lol

Dara - posted on 04/06/2011




As a four year old, I don't believe many kids are emotionally and socially ready for school, so I would personally be patient with him and work on those listening skills. Is he acting out because he doesn't understand teh school work? A little confidence fostered by extra work with mom and dad and lots of praise might help you there. Give him rewards for those behaviors you want to encourage, and discipline for the ones you don't want him displaying. The key for me was always consistency. If I let them get away with it even once, it is just that much harder to stop them from doing it in the future. No four year old I have ever met can sit still, and they are at a developmental point where they want to do their own thing - assert their independence. Thus the not listening. Again, praises and rewards when he does listen, and discipline when he doesn't. The only thing I would be worried about is his aggression. I've never had to deal with aggressive kids at that age, so I'm not entirely sure what you should do about it except to discipline him every single time he does it. I use the "naughty chair", where if they display a behavior they get a warning, if they don't stop they sit on the chair for one minute per year of age. Sometimes it feels like my kids are sitting on the chair for days on end, but after a short time, they get it. They don't want to be removed from the play time or whatever they are doing, and usually a warning will do it after the consistent consequence is established.

I really hope you figure out something that works for you! I can only imagine what two four year olds are like. Hopefully this is just a phase that will pass...I know my 6 yo had some listening challenges at that age too, and it was frustrating but it passed.

Medic - posted on 04/06/2011




I would say mostly no. My son is four and his issue with school is that he is bored because he knows it. He does his work then just day dreams. He is a bit mouthy but that is just the age but he is easily directable. We have a behavior chart and depending how he chooses to act that day depends on what he gets to play with.

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