I need help.

Lynette - posted on 02/24/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 4 old had been a very behaved child up until his brother was born this past July. It went down hill from there. He had become selfish and took a lot of steps back and decided he wasn't potty trained anymore.

We thought we had worked with him and have gotten him out of his little phase by showing him we loved him just as much as his brother, we put him in preschool so he could be with kids his own age and make friends. He had started doing really really well.

Then about a month ago he's started ignoring us completely, he won't clean his room, he back talks, he says when i cook it is disgusting and will only eat lunchables. He is good if we go out places with family or friends, it is just at home I've tried everything I can think of but nothing is working... it's just like he is shutting us out. My husband has been laid off and is starting back at a full time job next week so I won't have him to help as much anymore and I need to know what to do... I love my little boy so much and I want him to know that, but I don't know how much more i can take of his backtalking, and rude comments.

And I feel completely embarrassed because he decided it was a good idea to expose himself in preschool yesterday. We explained to him what his body parts are and that he is to not do stuff like that.

Please help me.

and sorry if this is jumbled... I'm on lack of sleep because his brother is teething.


Jennifer - posted on 02/26/2012




Bad behavior commands attention. Regardless we do not allow our guy to back talk, it's room reflection time until he is calmed down and ready to say sorry.

Our guy started to milk it like crazy then we had another baby!

I came out and said I understand your feeling left out with the baby. When you were a baby you had allll our attention that baby doesn't get.

Eating well he eats whats on his plate or nothing. Make things that can sit for a while.

He's calling the shots at the moment. Yes when he is behaving give him props. I make sure to take time with him when the baby is sleeping. him time even 20 minutes helps

My husband wonders if from your sons perspective is that you bring in a new child then send him to school, he knows your both alone during the time he is at school that he feels replaced. Have you talked to him about this?

Hope some of this helps

mother of 4


View replies by

Sandra - posted on 04/02/2012




I would think It's just a phase. My daughter does almost the same things at the same age. It is frustrating but part of thier personalitys and age. :)gooddluck

Lynette - posted on 03/05/2012




Yes we did. I think he was just having a bad couple of weeks. because shortly after I posted this I sat him down and had a talk with him. We are still having a little trouble cleaning his room, but he has stopped talking back and he will eat when I cook.

Thank you everyone for help. We have been really rewarding him for good behavior, and he gets consequences for bad.

I think he was just having a bad couple of weeks, but we will see for sure this week since my husband starts back to work full time.

Crystal - posted on 03/03/2012




Have you tried having some alone time with him and your husband? Get a babysitter/family to watch the baby so he's feeling like he can have your undivided attention?

Brittney - posted on 02/24/2012




He may have picked these things up from preschool.


Keep your composure. Don't overreact to your child's mouthing off or get into a power struggle over his choice of words or his tone. And, of course, never respond in kind. The best way to teach your preschooler to speak respectfully is to do so yourself. Tell him, "I think you can find a much better way to say that." A knee-jerk "Don't you talk to me that way, you bad boy, on the other hand, won't set a very good example, and will add to his frustration.

Turn a deaf ear. If your preschooler's turned nasty, don't negotiate, compromise, or even discuss his opinion with him, which will only reinforce the behavior. If, for instance, you're sharing a lively game of Twister and he spits out, "I did not fall down, you dummy!" tell him that you won't play with him unless he talks nicely. If he continues to sass, make good on your promise and end the game immediately (no more chances, and no more discussion). Leave the room, and tell him, "We'll talk when you're ready to be nice."

Of course, you can't exactly abandon your child in the checkout line if he tries to sass you into buying a candy bar. When faced with public back talk, don't be intimidated into being a pushover (or a taskmaster, for that matter). Briefly and calmly let your preschooler know that being nasty — no matter where or when — doesn't cut it. Find a quiet spot and tell him that if he does it again, there will be a consequence: missing his favorite TV show, say, or skipping the post-shopping trip to the playground you'd planned. Showing your child that you respect yourself too much to be treated this way will both model respect and earn it.

Offer choices. If your preschooler has some say-so during the course of his day, he's less likely to feel the need to assert himself in offensive ways. So give him plenty of opportunity to make choices for himself. "Would you like to wear your green sweater or your red sweatshirt today?" or "Would you rather go to the park or the library this afternoon?" or "Do you want pasta or chicken nuggets for dinner?" Be sure to offer acceptable choices, and respect the ones he makes. Don't give your child a choice between ice cream and fresh fruit for dessert if you know that you're really trying to steer him toward the fruit and that ice cream isn't a choice you can live with.

Draw the line. Make sure your child understands what is — and isn't — okay to say. So if the word "yuck" is verboten at the dinner table, or if you don't appreciate his responding to an earnest explanation with a huffy "I know that!" make that clear. Tell him, "We don't talk that way. Please speak to me nicely." "It's vital to set limits during the preschool years," says Wade Horn, a clinical psychologist in Gaithersburg, Maryland. "If you don't, you're inviting defiance."

Also teach your child that he doesn't have to give voice to every thought that runs through his head. Grandma doesn't need to be told, however innocently, that her pie is runny, and the bagger at the grocery store doesn't need to hear from your preschooler that he could stand to lose a little weight.

Get behind the back talk. When your preschooler verbally lashes out, let him know that you care about his feelings, even if you don't approve of the way he's expressing them. Acknowledging his emotions — "Boy, you sound really angry about this"— often takes the wind out of a child's sails, because it removes you from the adversarial role. If you can get past his tone, you can focus on the message he's trying to convey. "Are you mad because you have to stop coloring to pick up your socks?" If he can talk about it calmly, try to come up with a compromise you both can live with. Perhaps he can finish the drawing he's working on, then put his socks in the laundry basket, for instance.

More often than not, though, you'll need to save the soul-searching sessions for later. It's best to work on the deeper issues involved in back talk well after tempers have cooled, so revisit the subject when you can hash it out in a more level-headed way. "I know you get angry when I ask you to pick up after yourself, but you didn't need to call me 'stupid.' Can you think of a better way to say what you feel?"

Focus on solutions. You may discover — in your child's calmer, more polite moments — the real reasons behind his defiant outbursts. Maybe he gets angry about cleaning up because you always ask when he's in the middle of something. If so, offer to give him a five-minute warning the next time you need him to do his chores. Perhaps he gets out of bed every night not because "It's a stupid bed!" but because he's afraid of the shadows moving across the wall. In that case, buy him a flashlight to keep on his nightstand, or install window shades to block the spooky shadows. If you keep an eye on your goal — harmony and mutual respect — you'll be better able to keep your cool when your preschooler mouths off.

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