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Unread 06-24-2008, 03:31 AM   #1
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Default Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

I need some advice on how to handle my out of control four year old. I have an 11 year old, I never had these problems with him (he’s very moldable). My four year olds pediatrician calls it middle child syndrome (I swear there is a syndrome for everything). Some of the things he does are… To put it lightly, he is very ruff with other children especially my oldest. He doesn’t share. He doesn’t listen and he talks back really bad. I fear he has bulling tendencies. He starts pre-school this September and I already feel bad for his teacher. He is a very stubborn child he argues with me, I never would accept this from any of my children, but like I said my four year old is out of control. One thing that really concerns me is… One time my husband was watching a war movie and someone got shot (it was pretty gory (yes, I yelled at my husband for having it on)), well my four year laughed. This can’t be normal. I never let my children watch stuff like that, I always have children channels on.
I love him with all my heart as I do with all three of my children. I love on him all the time, because I don’t want him to feel like the middle child. He is my and my husbands’ first child together and my husband spoils him and lets him get away with murder (we also have a 2 yr old daughter who will be three soon, my husband also has an 11 yr old from a previous marriage). I am the disciplinarian. As children we were always spanked when we were bad and now it seems as though it is un-acceptable to spank your child. Time out is so hard to do with him but I attempt it. How do I help him? Does anyone else have these problems? Is this normal behavior from a “middle child”? I want to hear all opinions even if it criticism, I want to hear it.
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Unread 06-24-2008, 07:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

al four of my children were differant at that age, im not sure its middle child syndrome, but there is allways a noticable diferance from the behaviour from my two oldest and my youngest two being the two oldest were from previous relationship

getting your hubby to help with time outs and agreeng on things that are sutable ,children mimick behaviour thats around them,
a reward chart might help, other than that i dont have any other sugestions
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Unread 06-24-2008, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

I recommend picking up a copy of "the explosive child" by Ross Green. Every child is unique. Some children are stronger willed and less able to control reations to frustrations etc. Temperment plays a role. Your son sounds a lot like my son when he was little. We used behavior charts & positive rewards. We used natural consequences whenever possible .. for example, if he threw the lunch sandwich across the room in a fit of anger .. no lunch. And guess who gets to now clean up.

This is likely to be a long haul of consistent application of natural consequences, specific behavior charts with appropriate positive rewards. Don't give up - your son is worth it and all your efforts will result in a well behaved young man.

Another item to keep in mind is that sometimes a child with learning difficulties take longer to learn a lesson. So don't expect to just give a lecture one time and your son will behave. Expect to repeat repeat repeat - always from the viewpoint that he is not doing this on purpose. But he must change.

Once your son begins pre-school, be sure to stay in touch with his pre-school teachers and share any behavior concerns you have with them. If the preschool is part of your public education system they can arrange for testing as well as behavior support services that can really help.

Hang in there !!
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Unread 06-24-2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

I'll have to pick that book up, there are LOTS concernig behavior that the usual discipline actions are not working. When he was about 2 and learning to communicate, he would get frustrated when I didn't understand him, so he would throw his whole body back and his head would slam on the ground hard. I was so worried about him, every method did not work from discipline to holding him. Finally I ignored this behavior (wouldn't even look at him when he did this) and he stopped (go figure). Our school system does have a pre-school program five days a week (half days of course). I also heard of a book that's called "Parenting with out screaming" (or something of that nature). I find myself yelling a lot, and I don't like it, it's ineffective anyway, but my natural instinct. Has anyone read this and is it worth picking up?

Thank you for your suggestions I will definetly put them into action.
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Unread 06-25-2008, 06:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

First you've got to get hubby on the same page. Present a united front. Why had time out not worked? He's already given you a key to his discipline, you've learned that if you ignore his outbursts he'll stop. When he misbehaves, you put him in time out with and explanation and set the timer. If he gets up, you put him back without saying anything except "time out starts over." Don't argue with him, you're the parent, what you say goes. Tone of voice has a lot to do with it.

My nephew is a little %#@&#!. He's the youngest of six children so he was babied from day one. He doesn't misbehave in my house nor when I'm at his, Auntie loves you, but doesn't play that game. My sister in law asks "why does he listen to you?" Because I don't give him the choice not to. I praise good behavior and when I tell him to pick up his toys he does. Then he gets to pick the book he wants me to read to him. When he thinks the attention has gone to one of his brothers and sisters and he decides to wack one of them in the head, on the step.
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Unread 06-26-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

When my son was four he was also out of control. There were temper tantrums every single night at bedtime and I was afraid of my anger when he misbehaved. His behavior was awful but I did not want to spank him, especially out of anger. I went to a child psychologist who spent some time with him and a lot of time with me and my husband teaching us how to parent a difficult child. I guess we sought this help for about a year.

It turned out my son has ADHD. We wound up using a system of positive behavior rewards system to get through the rough patches. He has never been an easy kid, but now he is 22 and a wonderful, talented, competent young man

Please seek help outside the family. It is so hard to manage these things without support, because as mothers we only want what's best and we put such pressure on ourselves. When we have not been parented ourselves in a kind and respectful way, it's so hard to find a way to parent our children.

Best of luck.

Peace


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Unread 06-26-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

I know, there were no guidelines when we were brought up. We got beatings, and that's just how it was. Even up until the time I was sixteen if we missed behaved we got the belt. I think I turned out fine I would never say I was abused. When my children were young (as some of them still are very young). I would smack them on the hand. One time I caught myself; I smacked my son on the bottom and said don't hit your sister, keep your hands to yourself, meanwhile I just contradicted myself. More and more you hear not to spank your kids, and that's the only way we were taught so what the heck do we do? I asked my pediatrician and she said one minute of time out for how ever old the child is. I basically have to sit next to my son when I put him in timeout because he won't stop trying to get up. I don't want to spank them, I don't like yelling (it doesn't faze them in the least bit), time outs doesn't seem very effective. I do use positive reinforcement (but there are very limited circumstances). I want to do the right thing and more and more I'm starting to think that spanking is not right. I spoke to a friend of mine that works for DYFS and she said that spanking is aloud as long as you are in control and you use an open hand not an object or a fist (obviously), but still I wonder. I hope now one thinks I'm a monster I'm want to parent my child the right way and if there are truly negative effects from beating or spanking your children then I don't want to use that method of discipline.

Thanks for all of your responses they are all very good suggestions.
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Unread 06-26-2008, 06:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

Spanking and beating are two completely different things in my opinion. Spanking has been a useful tool in raising my own children. I like MissCharlotte never spanked my children when I was angry. They were reserved for serious offenses that could result in harm. My eldest, for example, got his first spanking when he was 3 and ran out in traffic.
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Unread 06-26-2008, 10:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

I must say I've never gotten angry at my children maybe a little mad but not out of control angry. It takes A LOT to get me angry, I have a lot of patience especially when it comes to children. When I do spank it's usually one or two smacks on the hand or bottom, but I mostly use time outs. My 11 year old gets grounding and it's very effective with him. I have not found an effective form of discipline for my 4 year old. Although I got a lot of good ideas from this forum.
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Unread 06-27-2008, 12:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Disciplining, out of control 4 yr old.

I use mainly time outs with my daughter. I believe its OK to spank as long as you are not doing it from anger and frusteration and only for disapline.

Something you might want to try though time consuming. Take everything out of your sons room and store it where he can not get it. Every toy, extra, fun thing. Leave only the necessary items like the bed, blankets, ect. As time goes by with good behavior he can earn back his stuff as well as lose it again with misbehavior.

What ever disaplin you choose stick to the set consequences you set. If you give in even once you teach him if I push long and hard enough I will get my way. So If he is in time out for four minets even if it takes four hours to accomplish it stick to it. It does get easier over time.

also look for outside help like parent aid program, or help me grow.
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