Need help with DEFIANT 4 year old!!

Ellie - posted on 03/28/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )




Hi Everyone

I'm hoping this is the right place to get help disciplining my defiant almost 4 year old step son.

Every day from the moment we wake up , till the moment he goes to sleep it is a consent battle that we never win.

At at meals he needs to stay in a strapped booster seat or he will run away we have tried teaching him but thinks it's funny , he eats some and throws food all over the place he also will not use a fork or spoon .

When were not eating ever 5 minutes i'm telling him not to hit my daughter his older step sibling who is almost 7. ( There almost the same size he's big she's small for her age). If he's not hitting he's biting,spitting,pulling hair ,scratching,jumping on , calling names, throwing things at her and us.

We have tried correcting it with teaching him empathy.. he will laugh at us and hit us again.
Time out don't work he screams bloody murder getting us noise complaints our doctor said let him scream it out ... that lasted 2 hours we gave up.

We were told by a behavioral program that quiet bedroom time instead of time out will help with his door shut. We tried he freaks out hits and kicks the door , leave the door open he will scream at the door crack.

Daycare is about ready to kick him out , jk will not take him next year and i cannot seem to correct this defiance. I've been trying for 2 years with no success. The doctors think that he has adhd and odd but will not medicate him until he is in grade 1. HE wont even be able to start school because he refuses to potty train he will come out of his room smile and say Mom i messed in my pants clean it up . I have tried to make himself clean it up and it didn't faze him in the slightest.

Please help me i'm so loss and i'm getting tired of living every day in a consent battle!


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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/02/2016




If dad isn't involved with discipline, he NEEDS TO BE.

The kid has you over a barrel, and you continue to give in, which is why he continues the behaviour. Be consistent, even if you think it's killing you to do so. When he throws a fit, he goes into time out. Each time he screams, hollors, or leaves the time out area, it starts ALL over again, at 4 minutes.

Praise when he's being good, and doing what he should. Apply consequences EACH and every time he isn't.

Raye - posted on 04/01/2016




What is the father doing to help correct the behavior? It's HIS kid. It seems the father needs to be more involved, and the kid needs immediate and consistent consequences for his behavior. Avoid argument and negotiation by keeping the rules simple and never making an exception.

If he starts throwing food, take it away. He doesn't get anything else until the next snack/meal time (then he gets the same food as he was throwing until an acceptable amount is eaten). Make sure you have a set schedule for meals and snacks, so he's hungry at meal times and has more incentive to eat rather then play with the food.

Self feeding should have been happening since he was around 2. If he tries to use utensils, but is messy, then let him be messy (unless it's the mess that upsets him, then help keep him clean). As long as he's using the utensils, then praise him for trying to be a big boy.

With the hitting and disrespectful behavior, you need to teach him it won't be tolerated. Period. Don't scream or make a big reaction. Instead, tell him that's not nice behavior and he must sit in time-out or alone in his room for at least 4 minutes... after that only IF he's ready to play nice is he allowed to rejoin the family. The next time he hits, etc. he gets another 4 minutes. You will probably have to do it 50 times a day, but be consistent and do it every time. If he's throwing things, take them away and don't give them back. If there's nothing around for him to grab, there's nothing for him to throw.

With the potty training, again, don't give him any big reaction if he messes himself. If he tries to use the potty, then be excited and praise him. If he goes in his pants, then say "let's clean up the little baby", then quietly clean him up. If he makes a fuss about you calling him a baby, then calmly say that only babies mess their pants, big boys use the potty. Maybe later you can sit down with him and talk to him about why he doesn't want to use the potty. Maybe there's an underlying fear that you can address.

Even if he has ADHD or ODD, you need to keep consistent with rules and consequences. Make sure you're making a conscious effort to catch him being good and praising him for it. Make sure both kids are getting some one-on-one time with both parents and family time with everyone together.

Dove - posted on 04/01/2016




Is he in continuous therapy? Which doctors 'think' he has adhd and odd? Has he actually been fully evaluated by a child psychologist? It definitely sounds like you guys need a lot more help than you are getting. I'd be asking for a referral to someone actually willing to work WITH this child at least on a weekly basis until things start to improve.

Amy - posted on 04/01/2016




Hello Ellie,
It seems that you are on the right track with your step child and in the end prayerfully continued consistency will help out. I found this article that might be helpful,, but I will be praying for you and your family. In the meantime have you found some local mommy support groups? I think connecting with other mom's locally would be a great avenue for sharing , getting ideas and finding support. I will be praying for you!

Ellie - posted on 03/28/2016




Full time he lives with us ... his mother calls once a month and that's about it.

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