HOW SHOULD YOU DECIPLINE A FOUR YEAR OLD ?

Melissa - posted on 04/19/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

44

14

0

nothing is working , taking away privileges ie tv, treats, toys, etc. time outs i am not sure they are working either . He looks for attention good or bad 24 /7 . I think he is just doing bad things cause no punishment matters to him . His behaviour is escalating !

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Roma - posted on 05/02/2011

5

0

0

Attention = need for communication.
Help him with the right words to express his thoughts, feelings, expression and actions. "Punishing" to him means "find another way to communicate or ask for attention", which he is doing already! Try this:
1. Label : Ask him to label the feeling with a word. For eg: I am "mad". If he needs help with words to describe his feelings, help him out. For eg. I think you are "mad", yes?
Once he identifies it, you're on your way.
2. Validate: Validate his feelings with words like "I understand that you must be mad" or "I would have felt mad too".
3. TOUCH! rub his arm, touch his hand, or give him a HUG... and now...
4. Resolve. For eg. "I understand that you are mad and that's okay but you should speak politely or keep your hands to yourself etc etc.

Another example:
"When you behave like that I don't know what you're feeling and trying to say. I need your help so that I can help you".

If you need to build his emotional intelligence vocabulary, choose an appropriate book from www.toolsofgrowth.com
and read it to him before bedtime. Building a child's emotional intelligence helps communication skills, and helps accelerate their IQ! Check out the "Research" tab.
Hope this helps! In Joy!
roma@toolsofgrowth.com

Mandy - posted on 04/30/2011

13

10

1

Make good behaviour a Great thing for him. Find a Jar and use something like little balls or stars to fill the jar. When he is GOOD give him a token to put in the jar. Tell him if he fills the jar you and him will do something fun together. What ever it is let him pick it and have controll on that. You have to do what ever it is with in reason. If you are unable to reward him the way he would like then give him 2 options right off the bat so you can have a bit of controll on the out come of what he picks :D When he is bad take one of the tokens away from the jar and place him in time out after a least one worning. Take the token out after the time out has happened and you explain to him why he went to time out.This way he can see that time out is not funny or a good thing. To him any and all attention is good so this will help him see that when you get punished real things are taken away from him. Ofcorse when starting the jar it is always best to help him along to good behavior so the jar can fill a bit easy the first time. So he can have a reward and see that this is a good way for you to take notice to him. I Have done this and my 4 year old niece has done so well with this as she is the same way.. When picking my battels I choose them wisely lol as so this way not each thing she is doing is exactly a bad thing. (FYI) Hope this wll help

Shannintipton - posted on 04/27/2011

36,025

50

681

Hi Melissa,
I am not good at this, but I have the same problem. I have asked this question on CoM and the most common responses were pick a punishment and stick with it. Dont give them multiple warnings. One maybe two and then follow threw. It will take some time but it will work after a little while. At least that is the advise that I was given. Like I said I am going threw the same thing and it does seem to be getting better. Just a thought and good luck{:+)

Toni - posted on 04/22/2011

443

20

76

When he is behaving bad, ignore him. If he is doing something dangerous, pick him up and move him somewhere else that is not dangerous, but dont look at him, dont speak to him. When he does behave good, give him lots of attention and love.
This way is a little slow and frustrating, but I have found it worked the best on my son.
He will soon learn that behaving badly does not give him any attention at all, good or bad, but good behaviour will give him lots of kisses and hugs.
Hope this has helped

Roma - posted on 05/03/2011

5

0

0

Nice idea, Katy. How about calling it the "Thinking Chair", where you think about what you have done. After say four minutes (age of child, I like that!) you take the opportunity to talk about what you "thought" about on your "thinking chair". This then becomes a platform for an emerging positive solution AND encourages communication. What do you think?

13 Comments

View replies by

Bailey - posted on 09/11/2014

11

0

2

Whatever you do, no spanking, you will just confuse your child even more.It's just not the right answer. Ty getting down to his level. Try getting on your knees and calmly telling him that you will take away his toys if he does not stop hitting, or doing whatever it is that he is doing bad. BUT! Make sure you and him are making eye contact the whole time. Make sure he is listening. Be Stearn but not mean or rude. Let your child now that you are serious. Don't lose your patience. This may take a few times to work but trust me, this has worked with so many parents with the same issues as you. Calmly tell him that yo will be taking away his beloved toy if he does not stop. Make sure he is getting the attention a child needs, because yes, a lot of children act out this way due to lack of attention. But be sure you are not spoiling the child. Their is a huge difference. Good luck, and remember not to lose your patience! :)

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2011

270

5

54

I thought that was from Super Nanny, espcially the "one minute to each year" concept. I think it would work IF we had Super Nanny there to teach US lol. But it's usually harder when we're doing it ourselves. I tried it, but I am a single parent and now there's two of them, so it's kind of a learning process for me as the odds are not in my favor lol.
But if he is doing it for the attention, I liked Toni's idea, integrated with some of the others. I have had to sit down with my child and "talk it out" after her time outs but five minutes later it's like she forgets. SO, lately I have found something that she cares about a LOT. I know you said taking away priviledges don't seem to work (although combining it with no attention for bad behavior, one warning and straight to time out might serve a better outcome) but my 5 year old daughter has been going with her "daddy" on the weekends and every other Friday her uncle keeps her and her two cousins. If she misbehaves or is not listening, I remind her that I don't have to let her go. This is just my personal situation, but find something that he loves (whether it's the park, pool, or even "mommy time" or "daddy time") and use it as a reward at the end of the week that he can aspire to....maybe have a chart like a ladder with the chosen "activity" on the top and each rung represents a day of good behavior (within means, after all, he is a child) and if he gets to the top he gets that reward. I don't know if I'm making any sense lol it's just an idea. Wish you the best of luck.

Roma - posted on 05/03/2011

5

0

0

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Katy, my Friend, if we listen closely, to our hearts, our own parental instinct, we will have served our purpose as parents. Let's introduce this "thinking" concept, one child at a time and start making a difference today. Let's share our experiences and our dialogue, as we are doing today and we will teach beyond.
In Joy!

Katy - posted on 05/03/2011

22

73

6

Thanks for the idea, Roma! I must admit, much to my chagrin, we had used that term from either "Nanny 9-1-1" or "Super Nanny" on network television. If only life mirrored the success those women have, albeit fictitiously through so-called reality television. Perhaps we'll introduce the "thinking" concept instead.

Katy - posted on 05/03/2011

22

73

6

I agree with Roma, but we still resort to using the "naughty chair." It usually works because he doesn't get attention while he's sitting in the chair. He's there four minutes, one for each year, but he'll go back if he continues to misbehave. It gives him the cool down time so that we can talk about it at the end of his time out.

Constance - posted on 04/30/2011

2,651

24

146

Melissa I agree with Mandy. Also set five of the most important rules. Like no hitting..... then post them on the wall right where he can always see them. To give him more ways to earn little balls or what ever you choose to use. Give him some responsibilities like start teaching him how to make his bed in the morning, let him put the silverware away, set the table with some help,of course picking up his messes, help put the laundry in the washer and dryer. Once he sees that it is good behavior is what gets him a reward he will end up doing eveything you ask about 85% of the time.

Melissa - posted on 04/30/2011

44

14

0

Yeah time out right away after one warning is what I learned but I still find him acting out sometimes with not listening after he has been told not to do something . I'm trying to teach him rules . In life we all have to follow rules :) or there is a big consequence.

Christy - posted on 04/22/2011

2,218

41

438

Is he at preschool? Or daycare? Maybe something is going on there that he is learning or stressed about. If not maybe get him more socialized with other kids his age. My son is in Pre K and is about to be 4 and I am going through similar issues. It is very frustrating. He is high maintenance, though (like his mom, LOL). What works for me is if I told him we were going to McDonalds or to the park and he acts bad, we don't go. This has improved his behavior somewhat but not entirely.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms