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Four Year old trapped in a Two Year old body!!!!

I'm very proud of him, don't get me wrong. He's very advanced for his age and smarter then any other kid I know. In fact, I know 4 and 5 year olds who have worse phenetics and less logic and reasoning then my son. He will talk to me using big words, voice changes, full sentences (grammaticly correct ones!) and knows about things I didn't even realize he knew!!!

So my question is, do i discipline him as a 2 year old or a 4 year old? "No no" doesn't NEARLY cut it. He needs to know WHY he can't have it, WHEN he CAN have it, WHAT he CAN have... etc. He needs more then a "no no.. not for you" type response. However, I see stuff about not spanking a two year old, redirection, and time outs and I know first hand those "toddler disciplines" just don't work with him...

Any options? A balance? P.S. he's very strong willed and resourceful.. a lethal combination!


Asked by livn4hevn at 3:55 PM on Jan. 8, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 11 (622 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • seems like everyone has the right idea. (I hate reading something and not answering because then I feel like your concern isnt important to me.)

    My now 14 year old was tested at 3 and tested on a 6 year old level! He has now passed his grade and is taking 9 grade classes in 8th grade (our school wont let him skip a grade, they dont let any child skip until 11th grade).

    Keep up with his smarts. Keep him active with learning. Explain things to him, thats how they learn. My almost two year old wont take NO for anything! He says why all of the time, although I think he gets it from his older brothers, I dont think he really knows what Why is! Its hard having three boys so far apart because the younger ones think its ok to do what the older one does (off topic)

    Just explain why, if that doesnt work then take items away... toys, movies, etc.

    Answer by threeBoysMommy at 9:22 AM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • If he is asking for Whys and How Comes and won't accept No, then you need to give him short explalnations. And don't hesitate to use that dreaded "Because I'm the adult and I make the rules" cope-out. Sometimes, that's all you can do. Otherwise, you will get sucked into endless rounds of negotiation for the next 16 years.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:43 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Having a 4 year old who is on a 7 year old level....speak to him on his level. You know what he can understand, so give it to him.

    I can reason with my 4 year old as you could a 7 year old (the developmental ped and psychologist were very impressed) and if I "dummy down" (so to speak) to his age level he absolutely HATES it and tells me he's not a baby.


    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:41 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • I had the same problem. My son was so advanced I always gave him reasons for the whys but as he grew it is getting worse. he is 13 and he questions everything. why? do I really need to? I don't see the poiont in tht? erggggg drives me crazy

    Answer by Lyndall at 6:04 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • You should try talking to him if youre not a beleiver of spanking or the hand smacking. Every kid is different my sons 4 and i have to scream at him to get it sometimes. Believe me it makes me feel horrible when i do but if thats how you have to be then thats how you have to be. you should just try different things and see what works for you

    Answer by coolmom89 at 6:11 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • you treat him his age (developmentally) It is a balance too though although I understand the WHY (it helps them make sense of the world and its rules etc ) there are times when he needs to learn to simply accept your response and/or follow your direction for safeties sake. SO explain that to him and I give my kids honest answers... can I have it? no why? b/c its too early, not healthy, don't have $, not appropiate etc. when? I don't know.
    BTW, time out works at 4+ too but I would not necessarily use it for questions unless you have a code phrase etc. that lets him know that questions are not okay right now -- just do it.
    yes, a balance is the answer. balance for yo and him

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 8:10 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Your strong willed comment made me laugh because in the parenting section of every bookstore there is a bunch of books called parenting the strong willed child or other variations. I have not personally read those specific books and their philosophy. I do not personally use spanking but I do use time ins and that means sitting down on his level, holding him, and explaining why something can or cannot be at the moment. I clearly spell out the consequence of what will happen if (say for example) he deliberately goes into the kitchen to get a cookie off the table when I told him not to. Then punishment is implemented. I'm sort of creative with punishments. I believe they should teach a lesson and fit the situation. So with the cookie example, cont...


    Answer by frogdawg at 8:54 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • cont..I would not allow him to eat the rest of the cookie and he would help me pack the cookies up and put them in a place where he can't get them. Then I would explain, calmly, I told you we were not to have any more cookies until after nap. Now you cannot have any cookies for snack. This may be followed with an okay, a cry, or a tantrum. Just hold firm. It is a natural consequence. Lesson learned: if mom says no cookies then if I sneak one that means no cookies at all if I don't wait. It may take a few times to get the message. But spanking takes time too. So the situation boils down to is finding how to actually teach something with the punishment.

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:57 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • There's a book called the strong willed child...check amazon...I'm sure you can get if for cheap...

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:04 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Talk to him on a level he understands, discipline on a level appropriate for his age.

    Answer by tracylynnr67 at 1:13 AM on Jan. 9, 2009