Parenting

Defiant 4 Y/O

My son just turned 4 8 days ago, and for the last 5 days or so he has been extremely bossy, does not listen to a word I say, when we went grocery shopping he got mad because I didn't buy him something and he cried the entire time and then when we were getting ready to leave he ran out the door! LUCKILY he stopped right outside the door and didn't run into traffic! He has never acted like this! I also had my 17 month old with me who was being really good. He then fights me getting in the car wouldn't sit still in his seat and screamed the whole way home! He had me so upset that I actually left my wallet in the buggy! Something I'm always checking to make sure I have with me. The next day my DH was off work and we took him to the movies for the new Monsters Inc that he has been so excited for. Well he wanted to sit in the very front and we don't like sitting in the front so we asked him to pick a different seat, and he did and then he still ended up freaking out to the point we took him outside and told him we were going to leave and he said he was acting that way because he's hungry so DH went and bought popcorn for him, he never ate it but he did calm down (though he had to be on my lap the whole time) Then when I realized I didn't have my wallet, DH went with me and DS to get it from the store (Thank God someone turned it in) and he showed DH exactly what he put me through the day before by acting out and screaming. I try to put him in his room like a time out but he just sits at the gate and screams his head off. It doesn't help. I've tried talking and reasoning, we've even tried spanking but it doesn't even phase him! I'm really just at a loss. Idk what to do with him anymore. I feel like I'm losing my mind anymore. 
Daisypath - (fpox)Lilypie - (cr8G)  Lilypie - (jTpT)Lilypie - (LZoT)
Started Dating DH 09/03/2009 Married 07/01/2011 
Surprise BFP 10/18/2008 EDD 06/19/2009 DS #1 Born 06/16/2009
TTC #2 12/2010 BFP 05/15/2011 EDD 01/09/2012 DS #2 Born 01/11/2012
DH adopted DS #1 06/25/2012
TTC #3 06/2013 BFP 02/19/2014 EDD 10/30/2014 DS #3 Born 10/10/2014



Re: Defiant 4 Y/O

  • I don't have a 4 YO yet, but does he act out around the same time every day?  He said he was hungry so maybe he's acting out because of hunger?  He sounds hangry.  Maybe he's bored?  Does he get out and burn off some energy? IDK.  GL.

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  • image Mrs.adambabycakes:
    I don't have a 4 YO yet, but does he act out around the same time every day?  He said he was hungry so maybe he's acting out because of hunger?  He sounds hangry.  Maybe he's bored?  Does he get out and burn off some energy? IDK.  GL.

    No it's just random, could happen anytime and could be more than once in a day. & like I said he didn't even end up eating the pop corn and I think it was just an excuse. He loves to play with his brother they're always into something, mostly out in the yard on their swing set. Idk what's going on with him. I'm hoping his doctor will be able to help at his appointment in a couple weeks.  

    Daisypath - (fpox)Lilypie - (cr8G)  Lilypie - (jTpT)Lilypie - (LZoT)
    Started Dating DH 09/03/2009 Married 07/01/2011 
    Surprise BFP 10/18/2008 EDD 06/19/2009 DS #1 Born 06/16/2009
    TTC #2 12/2010 BFP 05/15/2011 EDD 01/09/2012 DS #2 Born 01/11/2012
    DH adopted DS #1 06/25/2012
    TTC #3 06/2013 BFP 02/19/2014 EDD 10/30/2014 DS #3 Born 10/10/2014



  • I would have let my kid pick the seat. That's not a battle worth fighting.

    if he wanted something in the grocery store I would have given him the choice between two healthy snacks of his choice.

    i think the key to managing preschoolers while keeping some level of sanity intact is pick your battles and don't get into power struggles or you'll spend your days fighting. Instead of saying stop doing x, offer a brief explanation and give him a choice between two different things to do for good measure. I find if you choose your words wisely it can help diffuse most situations that could quickly escalate. Make him feel empowered over as much of his environment as you can so the non negotiable stuff he won't battle as much. 

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  • Is he proud of being 4 and therefore "big"? Mine is. I put most of her new behaviors off to a combination of excitement and lack of sleep from the birthday parties and whatnot, and a feeling of being "big".

    We have renegotiated a few rules and it has gotten better...ish. She had decided somehow, despite being told otherwise, that when she was 4 she was big enough to skip naptime at home. But she was giving me a hard time at bedtime too, threatening me...not even kidding, shitlike "If you don't sing another song to me, I am going to run away and never come home"... So I talked to the school and they agreed to let her skip naptime as long as she can work quietly, and she and I made a contract up and brainstormed solutions and everything, end result being that I will sing one more song every night but the. She has to go to bed without fighting, and if she doesn't then she will have to take a nap at school. Largely because she was staying up an hour or more and she really needed the nap!

    I think feeling like a big kid and staying up at naptime and also the problem solving brainstorming and contract made her feel really mature, and that's just what she was needing.

    Also, I feel like we tend to clamp down on rules harder around birthdays, thinking, "She's 4 now, she should be doing that without help/arguing/whatever", without realizing it's a time of transition for them too and they need to feel supported. They need to feel powerful, like they are being heard. So find ways to help that happen by relaxing some rules or some interpretations of rules rather than clamping tighter. At least for my kiddo, clamping down is usually a disaster.

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  • Can you try giving him your expectations and possible consequences before each activity?

    "We are going into the movie theater now. Mommy is going to find us a seat and we all need to sit quietly or we'll have to leave."

    I think kids go through boundary testing phases. It can sometimes help if you let them know up front that whining isn't going to accomplish anything for them.

    Home alone & get an ominous phone call?  GET THE HELL OUT!
    Don't run around like an idiot locking doors.
    The killer is already inside laughing at your dumb ass.


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  • We also started an allowance. Gave her a feeling of power and tamed the mineosaur beast.

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  • We've always made consequences very clear. A lot of "maybe next time we can do that or you can have that but only if you behave and do not throw a fit." She gets one warning, with the consequences listed if she doesn't stop the behavior, and then consequences if the behavior continues. We talk about why the behavior isn't okay after she either stops it or she gets done with time out or the consequence.

    She's five and has had her arguing moments, but for the most part I ignore it when she's trying to get her way and just reiterate what she should be doing, letting her know if she doesn't do what she's asked what the consequences will be.

    There have been a couple situations where she's had to cry it out in nap time, but after she realized throwing a fit means naptime and no attention, she knocked it off really quick.

    We also have a good jar and bad jar with marbles, so when she's very good and listens when she's told to stop something or has a good day or does something nice, she puts marbles from the bad jar to good jar. When she is bad, she has to move marbles from good to bad. When the good jar is full, she gets to pick a fun thing to do, like go to the zoo.
     
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  • image pandaglitter:
    We also have a good jar and bad jar with marbles, so when she's very good and listens when she's told to stop something or has a good day or does something nice, she puts marbles from the bad jar to good jar. When she is bad, she has to move marbles from good to bad. When the good jar is full, she gets to pick a fun thing to do, like go to the zoo.

     

    I really like this idea, I think it might be something that he would like. I'll probably try it. Thanks to everyone for the responses, we have made 4 up to be a big deal since it's the year he starts pre school. So he could be thinking that he's not 3 anymore and can do whatever he pleases. I'll have to figure out a way to handle this and negotiate. 

    Daisypath - (fpox)Lilypie - (cr8G)  Lilypie - (jTpT)Lilypie - (LZoT)
    Started Dating DH 09/03/2009 Married 07/01/2011 
    Surprise BFP 10/18/2008 EDD 06/19/2009 DS #1 Born 06/16/2009
    TTC #2 12/2010 BFP 05/15/2011 EDD 01/09/2012 DS #2 Born 01/11/2012
    DH adopted DS #1 06/25/2012
    TTC #3 06/2013 BFP 02/19/2014 EDD 10/30/2014 DS #3 Born 10/10/2014



  • I may get flamed but I would ignore his azz. Sounds like you all give in to his whims to diffuse the situation but it doesn't diffuse. I would have no taken him to the movies or bought the popcorn. Just seems like you are rewardiing bad behavior. I would let him scream at the gate with no worries until he calmed himself down.

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  • Yep, around 2 weeks before DS's 4th birthday, the outright defiance came.

    Nothing...no ignoring, no timeouts, no providing options, no snacks/juice, not even me picking battles would smoothe the behavior into a more rational conversation.  It was tough!

     

    However a month later, there isn't a sign of it anywhere.  I hunkered down in the house a lot just to minimize the battles for all of us, and like a storm it just disappeared.

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  • These are some really great suggestions, especially thinking to explain things ahead of time and what the consequences are if there's any misbehaviour.  I'm stockpiling these ideas away in my head in anticipation of DD getting to that stage.

    I also plan on making an effort to notice and reward good behaviour.  Does your son ever do anything "good" without being asked/told to do, that you could praise him for?  I just wonder if pre-emptively recognizing his good behaviour will better encourage him to quit the naughty stuff.

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