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Disciplining your 4 yr old

what works for you and your children??? im at my wits end with her right now. ive done everything i can think of from spanking, time outs, taking things away and nothing seems to be affectingher! shes not minding me at all, its driving me crazy!!!!! any suggestions would be much appreciated?

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Asked by rachel216 at 7:02 PM on Dec. 5, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 21 (11,479 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • LOL, I have a 4 year old granddaughter too. I was just noticing that the behavior is changing so much these days. I think this is when they really start testing their independence. I'd start with some rules... thoroughly explain them to her... I would actually do a chore chart-- something that can make her feel like her good behavior is really helping YOU out. Maybe a reward or treat at the end of the week depending on the behavior.

    I know it's trying for you and you want to get angry, but trust me, at that age, they really can understand... they're just testing you.

    Answer by m-avi at 7:21 PM on Dec. 5, 2012

  • pick one thing and stick to it for about two weeks. it allows her brain to comprehend that mommy will be consistent.
    IMO- spanking is more for "jump starting" the brain. Things like running into traffic (safety issues), vulgar language (blatant disrespect) not for stuff like just ignoring parents.

    So if you say time to clean up the toys, decide if that's a time out issue or losing toys issue and then stick to it for a while, KWIM?

    Answer by feralxat at 7:23 PM on Dec. 5, 2012

  • 4 year olds are a challenge!

    My dd just turned 5, but we're still working with her. Time outs are our friends. Spanking never worked, so whenever she acts up, she gets sent to her room where 75% she throws a fit. She can have tantrums there all she wants to, but she's not coming out till she calms down and apologizes.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 7:43 PM on Dec. 5, 2012

  • When we have tried ALL other methods and nothing is working we use the invisible chair for 3 minutes. Believe it or not my DD was doing this at the age of 3. We started with holding it for 1 min and gradually worked up. If the but hits the floor then the timer starts over. BTW this inflicts some muscular pain that reminds them of why they got in trouble and what they want to avoid in the future.

    This works at my house and may not at yours. I have a VERY stubborn child.

    Answer by coala at 11:24 PM on Dec. 5, 2012

  • testing you!
    The best for me was always the time out chair - far away from everybody, the tv, anything that would take their mind off of why they were being punished.
    The other would be time out chair in the corner - sounds harsh, but after a couple of times it works.

    Answer by madmueller at 11:26 PM on Dec. 5, 2012

  • I have 4 year old twins.
    What works for us is connection-oriented parenting, or discipline that is relationship-focused. People who feel good generally are flexible & cooperative. Rigid & oppositional behavior indicates bad feelings inside. (It's in this way that all behaviors are "acting out" feelings, or inner states. Delightful behaviors "act out" feelings of connection, closeness, joy & satisfaction. Problematic behaviors "act out" feelings of disconnect, isolation, hurt, loneliness, alienation & frustration.) How we respond to those behaviors--whether we focus solely on stopping the behaviors or whether we respond with mindfulness of the underlying causes & needs--contributes to more negative feelings OR more connection.

    I find that responding to my children in ways that promote good feelings (so they are feeling understood & valued, taken seriously) goes a long way to increasing their cooperation & listening. BIG time!

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:01 AM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • This is mostly a matter of connecting first....really getting oriented to the child's validity (oriented to why a behavior is happening, or not always "WHY" as much as knowing THAT it's happening for a valid reason) and responding with that fully in mind. This means that you are connecting first. Your responses will tend to be more constructive & less reactive. Connecting to a child (in spite of your own frustration & strong reactions to the behavior or tone of voice) means that you are bringing more empathy & acceptance into your interactions. This is what helps a child "feel understood" (which increases feelings of value, of mattering, of closeness.)
    When you focus on responding to problems in ways that build the relationship (rather than undermining it), you are helping to create a sense of being on a "team," which is what generates natural cooperation.
    Showing empathy/understanding for problematic behaviors and also making

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:25 AM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • space for the feelings that come up in response to the limits I set, are 2 practices that have been extremely helpful to me.

    Reasonable limits that protect people/property, honor your personal limitations (not willing or able to do/allow/provide something), or reflect reality (they're sick & can't go to the bday party, a rainstorm ruined your plans, the banana broke, or other disappointments or upsetting circumstances) are important & valid. But it isn't "wrong" to have feelings in response to a limit. If we can recognize our children's upsets as an emotional process of 1)struggling to make things go their way, 2)failing in that effort, and then 3)grieving a real loss, we are (finally) letting them have their feelings.

    This shift goes a long way to decreasing their overall frustration load, which is significant when you realize that the frustration children routinely carry contributes to much of their off-track behavior!

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:44 AM on Dec. 6, 2012

  • ok thank you guys!! this helps soo much!!! :))))

    Comment by rachel216 (original poster) at 9:03 PM on Dec. 7, 2012

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