Disagree w/ how to discipline 4 year old

IN a nut shell, how do you work through parenting differences with your spouse?
And, how do you tame your 4 year olds behavior?

If you want to read my long-winded situation...

I have a 4 and 2 year old, this post is about my 4 year old who is beautiful, super smart, kind, loving, caring, and stubborn.  As she ages she becomes more bossy, more stubborn and not a great listener.  She IS responsive to time out in the short term but the behvaior(s) continue in the long term. To be honest, she has been acting like a brat and very fresh.  This has progressively been getting worse since about 3.5 years old.

She will tell me straight up "NO" for not wanting to wear something, not wanting to eat something, or having to brush her teeth.  It is in a very fresh tone beyond a simple "no" and lets see how mom reacts. She says it as if her "No" IS the answer or way we will operate.  She is overly emotional too and every bump or bruise ends in an over-the-top tamtrum of how hurt she is. She doesn't deal with change well either. If I change her night time routine at all she melts down. She tries to tell me how long I need to lay with her in bed, that I need to close my eyes, and need to give her X number of hugs...a bit OCD with her nighttime routine.

I wil say I haven't stuck to my guns as much as I should but my husband put pressure on me to follow through with time out, not rewarding after a certain behavior etc. I struggle with how much of her toddler behvaior should be ignored and understood as being a toddler and how much we should respond to and provide a consequence to.

This evening my daughter didn't want to eat her dinner (she finally did after a consequence was given - no play after dinner); then she didn't want to come inside after my husband instructed her too over and over.  Then after bath she wanted to dress herself - I popped my head in to check on her and she very nasty said "don't look at me". Then she stubbed her toe and hand a total meltdown.

My husband went in her room and told her to get into bed that Mommy wasn't putting her to sleep and he didn't care if she threw up - she was satying in  that room and she was to no longer act this way and that the "party was over" - LIKE SHE KNEW WHAT THAT MEANT???

I am very mad at my husband for how he handled it although I did not go into her room because he said I had to stand firm with him...although I disagree w/ his approach I think it is more confusing for kids when dad's say one thing and mom says the other.

So point it - do you have problems with your spouse on not seeing eye-to-eye on responses to such behavior?

Have you experienced such behavior and how have you positively dealth with it?

Re: Disagree w/ how to discipline 4 year old

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    3JTMom3JTMom member
    Can you and your DH go out and discuss parenting and discipline and come up with a plan of action? Talk about how your daughter responds and the best way to deal with her specifically? Sometimes a plan of action can become your best tool. Here is an article on strong willed toddlers. You are so correct, it is important to for you and DH to be on the same page. If not, your smart LO will figure out how to use you against each other. Be consistent, be calm model the behavior you want from her. Hugs mama!
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    niknak1208niknak1208 member
    edited June 2015
    This sooooo sounds like us. My son is 6 and he's our strong willed child. Quite honestly, I feel like it's a combination of being spoiled and not following thru with discipline. ( in our case). Our kids are the only grandkids on both sides. They have three sets of grandparents because my parents are divorced. ALL sets spoil the crap out of them. Literall my mom comes over and it's candy and juice and toys. We go to my dads and it's bags full of crap they've bought them. We go to my in laws and they aren't as bad but they still get ice cream or treats or whatever.

    So now DS seems to
    Think that anytime we go anywhere he should get a toy. Anytime we tell him no.. Doesn't matter what it's about.. He throws a fit. He's sassy mouthed. All I hear lately is I don't care and whatever and you're not the boss etc. Drives me insane!!

    What works best for us is taking away something he really wants. So we often take his iPad from him. He misbehaves. Ipad goes up and he knows it.

    I'm not q great a disciplinarian. DH is much more consistent. I tend to get flustered because I have ten million things going on all the time. I tend to cave in more often too. DH gets mad because he thinks I don't support him. I get mad because I think DH is too harsh.

    It's tough. For sure.
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    LC122LC122 member
    So, first rule of parenting: Don't Negotiate With Terrors.
    If you make a rule, you have to stick to it Consistently. So, be careful what rules you make. Don't get yourself into a power struggle you can't win (especially the bodily function ones - eating, pottying, sleeping, etc.). You set the safe, acceptable parameters for your child to live within.

    As for the disagreements with your husband... It sounds like he just reaches a threshold at which point he is fed up and explodes. That is not good for anyone involved. You might want to research some parenting techniques and tools to figure out what your personal parenting philosophy is and why and then have a discussion with him about why you feel the way you do about things.
    There are plenty of books that explain how having some empathy for your child can diffuse their tantrums; how just listening to their troubles and making them feel heard can make them want to cooperate with you. You don't want to reach the point where you've broken your child's spirit for the sake of "winning" an argument. Congrats, you won against a toddler, you know?
    "How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk" is geared a little more toward older kids, but I think it has some skills and techniques that are very applicable to the toddler set. Conscious Discipline is another philosophy that is even being employed in schools by teachers and taught to parents of those students.

    A big problem for a lot of parents is that we grew up with parents who employed a series of ineffective tools or we get "old school" advice from non-parents and it just isn't helpful. There are ways to stop the time-outs, stop the yelling, and have kids who will listen and help out because they feel like a valued part of the family (aren't they?) instead of a nuisance always being told what to do.

    Good Luck OP.
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