Submit a question to our community and get an answer from real people.
Submit

my four year old is out of control

I have a child who will be four in October he is off the wall he doesn't listen and I fine myself losing patients a lot I don't want to be mean to him but I feel the only time he listens to me is when I yell at him what can I do to make things easier on both of us?

Report as

I'm not a psychologist, nor a child behaviorist. From what you have shared with us, I can make this assertion. Children at this age are just learning about boundaries. What sort of behavior is going to get them the most attention and what is it that pleases and displeases you. They aren't really sure which is better at the moment. Their attention span is short. If you spend time with him when he is doing something good, he will feel/see you are pleased. When he does something you aren't satisfied with, repercussions should be made. He responds when you yell. In his brain, attention! When he is good, his brain, no attention. Try time-outs. This way when he's bad, he won't be getting attention and when he is playing with blocks and you are sitting with him , he will be getting attention. You could also consider having his hearing checked.I wish kids came with instructions! :) :) Good Luck!

Helpful (9) Fun (1) Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
Great answer Merlin. Star for you
Report as
Add a comment...

Are the rules? Are there consequences for breaking the rules?

Helpful (4) Fun (1) Thanks for voting Comments (5)
Report as
rules and punishments don't seen to bother him I can tell him not to do something ten times and he will still go do it or put him in time out only for him to do the same thing he got in trouble for when he get out of time out
Report as
Time out isn't punishment.
Report as
^ yes, it is a punishment. It does work if used properly.
Report as
Not in my home. Loss of privileges, choices, toys, perks, those are punishments.
Report as
Those work too if used correctly.
Report as
Add a comment...
HeatherSyl

Call your pediatrician. Your child should be examined, and psychological counseling may be needed for the family.
At 4 years a child should want to imitate others in the family. Something went wrong.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (8)
Report as
he is on a waiting list for behavior therapy with a psychologists
Report as
HeatherSyl
Way to go Mom. In this modern age God knows what could be going wrong. If My child was properly diagnosed, His struggle through life wouldn't be so severe. He has an Autistic spectrum disorder, and we missed the clues.
Report as
@HeatherSyl, that's why I try to help share awareness of Asperger's Syndrome. People are not as aware of High-Functioning Autism. It makes it harder for the person with Autism to live and learn with their condition. Hearing all of the different things people have to say about it, makes it even more confusing.
Report as
HeatherSyl
Thank you Skilletfan. I just got done with my neighborhood fund drive, and proudly display my blue porch light year round.
Report as
HeatherSyl
Oddly most of the comments are for discipline.
With an autistic child, discipline doesn't work, and is interpreted as punishing the innocent.
Healthy 4 year children are not capable of bad behavior. The normal is to imitate the adults.
Report as
Growing up, I never needed much "punishment". My mom would send me to my room, then a little while later tell me not to do it again. That worked well for me. It's hard to remember, but kids are just kids. If anything, they are the most innocent ones on this earth. Growing up with Aspergers has been less difficult, with parents like mine. My mom even went as far as homeschooling me.

My mom and I have tried getting a group for others with Aspergers together, but we couldn't find very many people in our area to participate. And, there aren't any groups that are already in our area.
Report as
HeatherSyl
Don't know which part of the country you are in. Perhaps the following link can get you started.
https://www.google.com/#fp=ece303f9a3bf8e22&q=Asperger%20groups&safe=active
Report as
Thank you. I live in Maine. The only groups (other than Autism Society Of Maine) we can find, are only for parents of people with Aspergers.
Report as
Add a comment...

When I was growing up, "rearing children" wasn't just an expression.

Helpful (6) Fun (4) Thanks for voting Comments (3)
Report as
Yep, it was also a target.
Report as
and my father never missed..haha
Report as
Mine neither.
Report as
Add a comment...
bradahh

Sounds like you need to discipline him. By what you're saying it doesn't sound like he respects you because of the lack of discipline.

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...
Dakota_Roddy1998

Need's a big butt woopen. Straighten out. Get his attitude up ;)

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
A four-year-old does not need a "butt woopen". There are people in this world who probably do deserve to be hit by someone over twice their strength and size for the terrible things they've done, but not children.
Report as
Add a comment...

Your child doesn't need counseling, your child needs discipline. If you don't believe in spanking, then use time outs. But either way, if there's no discipline, then he isn't going to listen to a word you say, and he's going to continue to misbehave.
Some people might laugh at this, but I've actually learned a lot from watching Supernanny. You should watch a few episodes- she really knows what she's doing.

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (2)
Report as
big fan of super nanny and I have spanked him and have been consistant with it I've tried all the tricks
Report as
Hm. I know that sometimes when a child is out of control and nothing is working, that there can be a physical issue going on, like maybe he's in some kind of pain. I'd say take him to a few different doctors before deciding on counseling.
Report as
Add a comment...

Your problem is telling repeatedly and yelling. All that shows him is you aren't in control. Explain there are new rules. You will tell him something twice and then you wi spank him. Unemotionally with a firm hand.
Remember to mean what you say, most parents worry about keeping promises of goodies when they shod be worried about keeping promises of discipline.

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (8)
Report as
Hurting kids isn't a good approach to anything. Pain IS pain.
Report as
Hi boo! I like the "keeping promises of descipline." Good advice and word usage. As we both know from working with animals,..." consistency is always the best policy!" :)
Report as
discipline, sorry for the spelling error. :(
Report as
Skillet, a quick pain on the bottom is better than going on verbally and non stop. That approach leads to children learning to ignore and parents getting frustrated and hurting children. A swat on the butt or two should never be " the last resort" but the first. Less stress on parent and child. For some reason we've moved away from this most successful technique.
Report as
Hey Merlin, consistency is best for critters and people, you're right!
Report as
Indeed boo, indeed.:)
I know he's lacking in certain areas. However, if I looked that good, I wouldn't want to sweat either, let alone get my mane and tail messed up with a chance of a blemish. Where's my blanket? Where's my eye protection ?... No flies for me, thank you! Haha! :)
Report as
Lol
Report as
Boo, you got this one right as far as I'm concerned !
Report as
Add a comment...

I'm glad you are taking him to a child psychologist. There are some things people just can't control, even if they wanted to.

s.elleann is right about the show "Supernanny". You should have a direct (and sometimes different) approach to each specific issue. What exactly is he doing to misbehave?

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (4)
Report as
it could be something simple like don't touch my cigarettes and it seems like what ever I say he does the exact oposite
Report as
HeatherSyl
Your child is grabbing your smokes simply to imitate you. Smoking is interpreted as something good and normal.
Perhaps it's time to quit.
Once again, it looks like you are on the correct path. Visiting a counselor for a few sessions will probably solve a lot of issues. Sounds like your child is quite healthy, just curious.
Report as
Make sure he realizes what he is doing wrong is not listening to you. He may think the only reason why you are mad is because he touching your cigarettes, and can't think of a reason why he shouldn't be able to. The point is you told him not to do something and he did it anyway.

If it's with cigarettes, you should move them in a place where he can't reach. With other things like computers, radios, or cell phones, sometimes they are curious. You may just have to explain it to them a little, and it will no longer be interesting to them.
Report as
Hey, I don't know if you will read this, but it's worth a shot.... I've recently found out about a disorder called Pathological Demand Avoidance. Perhaps you could look into it.
Report as
Add a comment...

Try a sticker chart method of rewarding good behavior. While you want to be firm, you also want positive reinforcement for good behavior. Come up with a variety of categories for him to be "good" in (eating, cleaning up, listening to directions etc). When he does well in that category, give him a sticker. When he has 6 stickers (or whatever #) treat him to something fun (educational or meaningful- not just a candy bar).

Also, have clear rules and clear consequences for breaking those rules. Make it clear to him that he is choosing the consequence. For instance if he refuses to pick up toys (throwing them etc) make it clear that he can choose either a sticker or a time out- but that HE is choosing- not you.

Always try to make sure that you are leaving ego out of it. You are not punishing him because you are angry, offended or out of spite, but because he has to learn that he cannot behave that way. Make it clear to him (as best you can a 4 year old) that your job as a parent is to raise a responsible and healthy adult- he has to learn that he cannot always get his way, throw toys, be disrespectful.

It's not an easy thing. It's hard and it takes time.

Helpful (2) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

I will forewarn that my comments reflect a Christian worldview. That said, I will also forewarn that you are in a window of opportunity at age 4 that you will never have again. That is the window of discipline (not punishment). Discipline may include spanking with a wooden spoon, but it means so much more than that. My wife and I are leading a dozen or so 20 and 30 year old parents of young children through some excellent material. I would highly recommend you find a group of parents who are undoubtedly going through the same things.

From the Christian worldview, a child has the DNA of self-centeredness. If not addressed at age 4, you do not want to think about age 14. It is your choice; you and your spouse are the parents and have a God-given responsibility to parent. The Bible has plenty of practical advice. I hope you can find an older couple who have been through the stages of parenting to guide you in wisdom and love.

"The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." Proverbs

http://paultripp.com/articles/posts/happy-child-easy-life
www.gciweb.org

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (12)
Report as
I meant to add some hope. Helping a 4-year learn self-control will make being the parent of a 14-year old a delight.

As Proverbs truly says, we have experienced it, "Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart."
Report as
Free audio and notes from parenting seminar at www.gciweb.org

Report as
I highly doubt the Bible says to hit kids with wooden spoons.
Report as
Nope, nor does it say anything about hitting a baseball, driving a car, wearing jeans, etc etc. So your logic (or lack thereof) escapes me.

The instrument mentioned in Proverbs is a "rod." The Hebrew word denotes several synonyms for a rod, including a "branch", or as my own father called it, a "switch."

A short answer on Ask is not meant to be a complete treatise any topic. In the same way, perhaps I do not understand your point...

Exercising love and self-control on the part of the parent is clear Biblical teaching; and as stated already, the object is not punishment or to harm a child.
Report as
I know many things people do are not following what the Bible says. But, jeans, baseball, and cars are not things that involve hurting others (other than when accidents happen or cars are misused to hurt someone). Religious or not, nobody should be hurting their kids (or anyone for that matter). Teaching self-control doesn't have to involve causing pain. Pain is the worse thing on earth, yet people try to use it for "positive" reasons. However, people (like you) think it's good, because that's what their parents did to them. It just takes one generation in a family to stop it.
Report as
I see you missed my point.

How many times do we have to state that the Bible's approach to parenting and the use of a rod, when necessary, for disciplinary purposes is not for harming children?

When used with instruction and love, it is proven to be effective; very effective...in my own life as a son...and as a father.

Besides, to argue that pain can never be positive is simply uninformed. Without pain, we would not survive. Pain is a great teacher. How many times does a child touch a hot dish? How many doctors refuse to perform surgery because it will be painful.

It is very similar with discipline. A little pain now brings eventual healing.

One person's bad experience does not negate truth.
Report as
Yes, pain by touching something hot will show someone not to touch a hot stove. But, whatever the child did didn't cause the pain from a wooden spoon; the parent did. The parent is the one causing the pain. Do you really not see the difference?

What you are saying is that pain is a good form of punishment because it will "teach them a lesson".

What it really teaches them is that to have control and respect from someone (or to teach someone how to have respect and self-control) you must hurt them, and show you have more pysical strength. Don't you see how wrong that is? That is what you are doing to a child much smaller than you. It makes me sick.

You say it's "not for harming children". Do you realize hurting someone is harming them?

I was never spanked or hurt as a child, and I have much respect for others (including my parents). If my parents actually did ever spank me, I wouldn't have as good of a relationship with them.
Report as
I accept your personal experience. That does not negate the truth that many children are not as compliant.
Some children will try to put their finger in an electrical outlet after being told 'no'.
A little slap on the hand or bottom communicates 'NO' this is not acceptable. It can be as simple as that. The association of some pain is a training technique that works great for many children.

A parent who would rather risk their child's innocent yet childish behavior that is unhealthy or dangerous is, in my opinion doing much more harm to them that a simple swat.

It is not accepted in any other field to accept one person's anecdotal experience and make that the rule, when there are millions of exceptions, such as the parent of the 4-year old begging for advice that works. The advice I gave has worked for generations without damaging the child.
Report as
First of all, hitting a child as hard as you can with a wooden spoon is not a "little slap".

If your child is not old enough to understand that they shouldn't put their fingers in electrical outlets, you need to keep a better eye on them. You can even buy protectors to put in the outlets, so children will be safe around them. If they are old enough to understand what electrical outlets do, you could try explaining the power electricity has; instead of just saying "don't do that".

Leaving marks on a child IS damaging in many ways. It's easly taken way too far, as well. The only reason why people have done it for generations is because their parents did it to them. Like I said, it just takes one generation to realize it is wrong.
Report as
I will not try to reason with someone who ignores my words and misquotes me, and takes me out of context. Did you learn that as a child? Really, you have not made a valid point since you started.
Report as
I am not saying special circumstances (physical, mental, emotional) will not warrant more or less or different types of discipline.
Report as
It looks like this is one of those situations where we'll just have to agree to disagree. I just can't believe so many people think that causing pain is the best idea.
Report as
Add a comment...

SP@NKY SP@NKY!!! You have to discipline your child!! He needs to know what he did is wrong, whether that's through sp@nking, taking away privileges, and timeouts, it needs to be done! You need to be the parent.

Helpful (4) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (2)
Report as
No "SP@NKY SP@NKY" is nessesary
Report as
*necessary when taking care of children.

Sorry, I'm still getting use to this phone.
Report as
Add a comment...

A really good spanking works wonders. You have to be consistent with it. It won't be long before you see a big change for the better. Kids want and need boundaries. If you love them, you discipline them. Start now or you won't have any control at all in the teen years, that are so important to their futures. Good luck!

Helpful (5) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
There is no need to hurt someone, especially a child half your size, to "teach them a lesson". There's no such thing as "a good spanking"; what you are saying is a "good choosing to hurt a child". You don't hurt someone because you love them in any situation. The thought of hitting someone "to teach them a lesson" and saying that you have to it because you love them doesn't even sound right.

Do you really think that parents who hurt their kids have full control over them all the time when they are teenagers? If you do, your teenagers must have you believing everything they want you to.

You see, kids do not think like adults do. They don't even think with the same part of their brain (nor are their brains fully developed). They think with much more emotion, so they act with more emotion. As they get older, they will begin to think more logically about things. There's no reason for an adult to hurt a child in attempt to speed the maturing process up.

As I mentioned about teenagers, teenagers also are not fully developed. They will begin to think for themselves, and want their "independence". With that said, what parents want is probably one of the last things on their mind. You can't stop a teenager from that "independence" stage in life.
Report as
Add a comment...

I know a lot of people are against this. If you want it in his brain to establish it isn't good. SPANK HIM. Never wait to spank when you are upset. My oldest is 16. Her whole life I may have spanked her less then 6 times. When I tell my kids,"you don't want me to tell you again do you?" They know there is no more telling. I don't count and I don't mess around. When they get older, I never have to spank, my words are enough. But at that age, if there is no consequences, and you are not consistent, then they will run you, instead of you running them.

Helpful (6) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (15)
Report as
Great answer! I love it ;)
People nowadays seem to not use enough discipline. In countries like Norway, they've even made spankings against the law! It's crazy!
Report as
It is crazy. Never left a mark. And you can't be upset, then it could go to far. Just a couple of hard swats, look and attitude lets them know you mean business.
Report as
My answer got removed :(
All i said was that she needed to use discipline!
Report as
Tell Eric. If it wasn't against guidelines.
Report as
Great answer!! I'd say the same thing.
Report as
Oh wow! My answer reappeared!
Report as
Don't you go nuts when there are kids having temper tantrums in public and mom goes, "I'm not going to tell you again!" "Did you hear me?" "One.. Two... I mean it now! One... Two"
I want to spank the parent!!
Report as
Why spank the parent? They're just being a good parent.
Report as
Why? They're just being a good parent.
Report as
because, they warnings. Kids will push as much as you let them. Like me, just wait till we get to the car. They will stop cause they know what happens. Moms, what she is talking about, basically have no control over the kids. Its the same kind of mom that is asking this question, Newjorgensen.
Report as
Oh never mind. I didn't realize boo said out in public lol!
Report as
Then, of course, wait for the car
Report as
Newjorgenson, when you have kids, a lot later in your life! :-) Cause I know how old you are I had to add that. You don't count, you warn, give what you are going to do, then action. Example... If you do that again im going to spank you. Then they do it again, maybe next day even. You don't warn again, cause then they think they can get away with it. You spank with no warning. You followed through with the threat and mean business. Kids thrive on structure, and consistency. Im telling you, I don't have to spank my kids cause ive established I mean business. I don't have to worry about how my kids will act at a store, or at any event. I always get compliments on how my kids act, well behaved they are.
Report as
Yes i have 6 siblings and my mom counts to three before she spanks anyone.
My mom also gets compliments on how well behaved we are in public. But not at home lol!
Report as
I don't count. Notice the kids will always wait till the end?
Report as
Add a comment...

Sorry, you might not like this but DISCIPLINE!!!! SPANKINGS!!!! The child needs a lot more discipline. You need to show him who's the parent around the house!

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

If you say something once and it's not done you do not yell a second time you go to the child and make it happen then and there. It's called understanding the consequences of their actions. They can then predict with complete accuracy that they will no longer get away with anything.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

Discipline him consistently. If he continues, make the punishments worse every time, like taking away a sweet, a favorite toy, then take away play time by putting them in a room with no toys to think about what he did. Dont hit or scream at your child or he will begin to think that that is normal and will do the same.

Helpful (1) Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

Mine was the same way. They grow out of it.


http://www.ask.com/answers/509821081/what-is-the-best-yacon-syrup

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (1)
Report as
What does that have to do with kids?
Report as
Add a comment...
Do you have an answer?
Answer this question...
Did you mean?
Login or Join the Community to answer
Popular Searches