My 4 year old won't listen

Trish - posted on 10/30/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )




PLease tell me my almost 4 yr old is going through a phase???? It is causing such a rift between my husband and I, not to mention I'm so stressed out and upset about this. Here's the deal - he really is a sweet boy overall. I am a working mom and he goes to preschool (of course he's a gem there all day). When we get home at night he'll play for a bit and we try to all eat at the table together (so important). Then we do baths and play some more. OOPS forgot to mention I have a 2 yr old daughter as well. When I ask Jackson to do something ie. pick up your toys, he gets really nasty. He'll yell then I try to stay calm. I try to make a race out of it, or we;ll do it together. He may throw the toy, he'll yell at me, I put him in time-out and he will laugh right at me. Just yesterday we reintroduced the time-out spot and behavior charts. We all sat as a family and talked about the spot and what behaviors will cause you to sit, and how to stay out. About 10 min. after he would not get changed and I was talking so nicely to him, he finally got changed then got very nasty, I told him if he continued to talk nasty he would have to sit in time-out. He talked nasty so I wanted to follow throug, i put him in time-out. He said I don't care I'll keep getting out. I told him I would keep bringing him back. It started off badly - then got worse. As I was putting him back for the 4th time - he hit me in the face. I was extremely upset. Then my husband FLIPPED OUT - he got so angry and mad. It just made matters escalate. My son get very nervous...I think the laughing is a defense mechanism. My husband was beside himeself that my little son hit me. His freaking out made everyone even more upset, then we started arguing. It was a MESS to say the least. My husband is not proud of himself for the screaming and freaking out, I'm upset that I let me kids be part of that behavior. Please Please Please any advice would be welcomed.

My husband is only child - he did not have any experience with children. I am a teacher - so he thinks and will call me a know-it-all when I try to explain why I think Jackson is acting the way he does. We have had a long talk about this. I told him I'm learning right along with him.

I appreciate the help ladies!!!!!


[deleted account]

I have a strong willed daughter who behaved like that at 2, 3, 4...and now 7. The problem is that I can't find a way that my husband and I agree on things when it comes to parenting in someways. I thought Sarah's post was very helpful. Before this behaviour continous, sit with your husband and put some rules straight and be together on everything. That's what we did and now a lot of things has changed drastically. Do remember however that you cannot fight with him on everything. If he is anything like my daughter then your whole day will be one battle after another.

Sarah - posted on 10/30/2013




My guess is he is testing the rules to see what you will do and if you will follow through with what you said. Kids will test and continue to 15 yr old still does to this day. A couple things I would say.....keep with the time outs. Give ONE warning....if he continues then you take him to time out. Briefly state why he is there. Set the timer for 4 mins. Then go on with whatever you are doing (cooking dinner, playing with the 2 yr old,etc) Make sure time out spot is not by the TV, toys, or anything that can become a toy at that time. While he is in time out DO NOT interact with him. If he gets out before the 4 mins are say just take him and put him back in the time out spot and reset the timer for 4 mins. You keep doing this.....DO NOT REACT TO ANYTHING HE IS DOING.....laughing, even hitting.....those are distractions from the time out and he is trying to get you to react. If you react it then becomes a game that he has now won. If you don't react it continues to be a discipline for an action he did or did not do. You keep putting him back in the time out spot until he sits for the whole 4 mins. Once that has completed then briefly state why he was in time out. He is going to test it. At first the time outs are going to be challenging. But if you stick with it and don't feed into his things it will work.

Another thing to do is find what he values. For my 15 yr old it is money and the car, for my 12 yr old it is gum. Use what he values as a tool. My kids can earn more by doing extra things or going above and beyond, but they can also lose it by breaking the rules. With this tool be VERY careful you don't use it as a threat! It is very easy to say if you don't listen you will lose _____. You also do not want to use this for everything he does right or wrong. Sometimes just saying "good job", and giving a hug for doing something right is good. And sometimes a time-out is a better solution to the issue at hand then taking the valued thing away.

A REALLY good book to read or even training to do is call Love and Logic By Foster Cline and Jim Fey. If you would need CEU's for your teaching the Love and Logic training will count for CEU's.

Caroline - posted on 10/30/2013




Have you ever put his nose in the corner?? mine is 3 1/2, and when he gets really bad ie...hitting or throwing things, i stand him with his nose in the corner....he does not stay in there very well, so i stand behind him and tell him why he is there over and over, once he stops struggling, i tell him he needs to say sorry and not do it again or else he is going back into the corner. he gives me a hug and works with him, but i know all children are different.


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Palakb - posted on 10/30/2013




I can understand the situation..every family i think goes through such a phase some time or other...When my kid , 3 yrs, doesnt follow my instructions ..i tell him that I will do that job, and I will win, you(my son) are going to loose, I ask him again and again that do you(my son) like to be a looser?? this makes him run and finish the work. when he misbehaves, i explain him nicely, sometimes it works, if doesnt, i tell him that I will become sad because of him, he doesnt like to make us sad, so he stops, sometimes even emotional blackmailing doesnt work, then I say that you will get this-this thing(something dat he really likes to eat, go , watch or do) if you will stop misbehaving, if even this doesnt work , i have to say him that if he will not stop misbehaving police man will come to pick him up, i show him some car coming from far away and say police is inside dat car!! Immediate distraction to some other thing at the moment of tantrums and misbehaviour also works gud. gud luck. god bless all.

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