My 4 year old daughter talks back to me all the time how do I get it to stop?

Colette - posted on 04/04/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )




I know this is an age where behavior is a tough thing to battle. But there is a battle over EVERYTHING. If she misses part of a T.V. show she gets upset and says she needs it to start over and if I don't do it she throws a major fit. I take T.V. away and she stops. Any time I tell her to do anything she talks back and says no. It's a constant battle to get her to do much of anything that the other children do willingly. Any time out or taking things away that I've tried does not work. She shows it does not bother her and continues. The easiest things to get her to do is take a bath and go to bed. Everything is is always an issue. How can I get somewhere with this?


Donna - posted on 04/05/2011




This is normal behaviour, and amost everyone goes through it. I don't think there ar any right or wrong ways to manage it, but whatever you do you have to be consistent about it.
I am great at punishing, but not always so good at positive stuff, and this shows as Mattie is often really unmanagable just to get attention from me.
Find things she likes to gain or have and use them both ways. TV is a great one for this, but also park trips and other activities, as these usually come with the added bonus of your attention. Give and take away, but really only in that order as she needs to know what she is gaining and missing quite clearly. Reward charts and giving 3 strikes and you are out (for sayng no) could be useful.
I have said all this good parenting stuff, but admit that the step, the threat of a hot bottom and/or bed are the most common things that end up happening!
Our current pressure point is food....
Do take solace in the fact that it is a developmental stage and they do get over it and learn to pick their battles rather than say no indiscriminately! This may occur sometime between now and hell freezing over (actually about 6 for my eldest :-))
Good luck, and remember to count to ten and that you can also take a timeout yourself!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/06/2011




Our oldest daughter turned 5 on Monday and we have been having the same issue. I have found only one way to effectively combat this in a way that she does a 360.

Usually when she is giving me back talk or attitude we get in a power struggle and I am just as stubborn as she..if not more. It can turn into a battle with her talking back and me getting VERY annoyed, stressed and upset...I am super pregnant and just do not have the patience I normally would.

I have been trying to take the higer road and teach her to as well by saying ..okay I'm sorry you are feeling frustrated ..I am too and we aren't being very kind to one another...let's start over? and she will almost always agree then we Hug.

I think the key is the hug because children her age are just starting to learn about words like "I'm sorry" having feeling behind them. They need the actually feeling in addition to the words.


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Fiona - posted on 04/05/2011




I agree with Morgan, as a mum in similar situation as yours with a 3 1/2 yr old girl shouting and screaming at me, major tantrums over the slightest thing and copying bad behaviour of older teenage half siblings ( which left a lot to be desired) to tell truth.
I am in the middle of a Triple P course which helps with good insight into child behaviour especially bad and useful coping stragies in dealing with them.It's based round positive parenting approach of lavish praise of good behaviour and real consequences for bad behaviour.This approach is slowly working with my Holly, so would highly recommend if it is run in your area.
Any child love praise and attention and will do anything for it whether good or bad, and if you only focus on the bad then it will continue as she will think that's what it takes to get your attntion.As most behaviour either good or bad is learnt as a pattern even if you don't realise it at the time.
As a mum in the middle of retraining a youngster's behaviour i recommend putting on an imaginary tin hat and get to war on her behaviour, and expect some right doozy battles as they will happen, but stay consistant and dont give an inch or she'll take a mile.
With my girl i give excessive praise if i catch her doing good ( nice playing, good listening ,tidying away etc) but if she misbehaves there a real punishments of time outs or such like. I always tell her " that i love herr but it's whatever bad behaviour that i dont like so she gets whatever punishment is appropiate for her misbehaviour". That way she knows that i still love her and why she is being punished not being left unsure as to why she is being punished.
Good luck with your little girl,stick with it, it goes get easier as it does work as my Holly is starting to respond to this program but as i've said its a working progress.

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