My 4 year old is mean how do I break him of that?

Christi - posted on 07/23/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )




My Son has a habit of fighting and being mean to other ppl. I try to break him of it by putting him in time outs and spankins but nothing is working. HELP!!!


Stefanie - posted on 07/24/2009




When I hear stories like this from parents it makes me think of an old Japanese parable:

"One day the Sun and the Wind decided to have a contest. The Wind stated, "I will make that man take off his coat!" and the Sun responded, "Well I think I'll be able to get him to remove his coat!" The Wind blew and blew as hard and violently as it could but the man just clutched ever more tightly to his coat. Finally the Wind gave up. When it was the Suns turn it shined as brightly as it could and exuded nothing but warm rays of sunshine. Within minutes the man shed his coat."

Try fighting fire with water rather than fire.

Tiffany - posted on 07/23/2009




I tell my daughter that we do not put our hands on other people. I get to her level and tell her to "look into my eyeballs" when I am speaking to her. I ask her questions that she must answer... i.e."we don't hit, right?" and she must respond. She must also go to the person and tell them she is sorry. Sometimes I even have to put her in timeouts again, and again, and again until SHE makes the decision that that is not where she wants to spend her day. It is exhausting, embarrassing at times, and really very unfun, but at some point I think they start to understand. My daughter used to hit more, not because of modeling, but because kids of this age have a hard time communicating and get very frustrated very easily. It is easier to hit than it is to communicate if you think of it from a little ones mind. I therefore try to communicate with my child, and ask her, and guide her to communicate as well. I wish you luck, I know how tiring it can be when your kiddo acts out, and you don't always know what to do.

Kylie - posted on 07/23/2009




children model what they see. I'd stop spanking as your teaching him its OK to hit others when they upset you. try redirection and 2 minuet time outs.. as soon as he hurts or goes to hurt, pick him straight up and remove him from the children. If he lashes out at adults get down on his level and say Owch thats not nice! then stoke his arm softly say see ahhh this is nice. watch him closely and when he is being gentle and kind give him lots of praise. positive reinforcement goes a long way with 2 year olds. Good luck:)


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Kate CP - posted on 07/24/2009




I never thought that spanking or swatting for a hitting or anger problem was a good idea. It sounds like he's having a hard time expressing his anger in a healthy way. Start giving him words to label his anger. When you're angry or frustrated say so: "Mommy is SO angry right now! ARG!" and make a face and show him it's okay to be angry. It's NOT okay to be violent. No more spankings. You're sending him mixed signals.

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