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Wild, Agressive 4 year old....

My 4 year old is sweet, and smart, but if something doesn't go his way, he starts whining, and throwing a fit, which escalates into screaming, throwing things, hitting the other kids & the dog, breaking toys, ect.. I have 6 kids, ages 2, 3, 4, 8, 8, & 9... and he is the only one who shows any signs of aggression when he gets angry (his father, which is no longer in the picture, also has abusive-anger issues). It is getting to the point where he is out of control, and is inconsolable, when he gets scolded for even the smallest things... we have tried every form of punishment/reward system I can think of. timeouts, spanking, rewards for good behavior, ect.. I just don't know what to do. here is an example of his behavior... He is kicking around a big ball in the house, I ask him to stop, and explain why we cant kick balls in the house. he gives me a dirty look, and starts screaming "BUT I WANT TO!!!" and I stand up, and start walking towards him, and he runs away screaming at me, so I send him to his room, where he screams, and throws big toys at the door, then comes out, and starts hitting, screaming at the other kids, & the dog, so I send him back & sometimes have to stand outside his door to keep him in... when I think he has calmed down, I go try to talk to him. He also starts fights & argues with everyone over the sillyiest things, which leads to more kicking & hitting.. I am constantly dealing with his little brothers coming to me crying because he clobbers them for no reason. I don't know what else to do... he is becoming a danger to himself and the other kids.

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Asked by sarahlu at 12:09 PM on Jun. 26, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 14 (1,504 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Could be many things such as he may require more attention that he isn't getting, could be his diet including a sensitivity to food dyes which I have had the same problem with my Son. He would bounce off the wall, become agitated & upset when he drank juices (juicy Juice) fruit punch with red & blue dyes. Once eliminated his personality calmed. Can you spend time with just him at least once a week? Maybe that will calm him. Maybe there is too much mayhem in the house & he can't handle it so he responds the only way he can by acting out. Instead of yelling & spanking show him individual attention. Make him feel worthy & helpful. Make him your little buddy by helping you. If he feels like he is part of a team then he will comply better. You need to look at this as an outsider & see the big picture. He needs you. Do it now or else you will have bigger problems later.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 12:21 PM on Jun. 26, 2013

  • Have you talked to your doctor?
    I believe you might want to look into counseling as well. He has lost his father and Misses him and maybe in some way is trying subconsciously to bring his presence back some how. I have no idea but it is possible and you and he can not handle this alone. The more trauma he causes within the family the more problems you will have in the future. I will tell you that in a very deep place he is hurting. Remember, like all little boys that age, they want to be just like their daddy.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:43 PM on Jun. 26, 2013

  • What are your rewards? They have to be something he'll want to work towards not something you think is appropriate if it's not working. Have you tried cutting out sugars, soda and things like that?

    Answer by neva_eva_always at 1:01 PM on Jun. 26, 2013

  • He is right in the middle of the group and chances are good that he needs more individual attention. Many times kids go for the negative attention if they do not get enough positive attention. Each child should have some one on one time with each parent to know they are valued and loved. It is so hard to do, I realize, but invaluable for them. You also might look at some books from your library on parenting a strong willed child. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 2:12 PM on Jun. 26, 2013

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