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I need help my 3 1/2 year old is totally acting out. My husband and I have know idea how to get it under control. He back talks, throws things, and just flat out doesn't listen. What can we do??

Back talking, throwing things, not listening, and just plain out of control. We have tried taken things (toys) away from him. We have tried doing the reward system where if he behaves or has a good day at school it gets to pick out a toy that he can get back. We are at a total loss. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Feb. 22, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (5)
  • My 3 1/2 year old started doing the same things. I started putting her in nose and toes time outs. Instead of just sitting him down in a chair or swatting his bum have him stand on a wall that is distractionfree. Tell him to press his nose against it and his toes agaist the floor bord. hands to his sides and stand behind him to correct him if he moves. Of course if he freaks out and wont do it at all hold him and sit in a chair for his time out till he learns to sit still then try the nose and toes idea...

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:27 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Time outs have worked good for my son. When he turned three he apparently thought he ran the show. Talking back was a big one, he would say " your not the boss of me" and throwing things, and hitting his sisters. We also do the "nose and toes" time outs, although this is the first I have heard of that name(very cute). When we first started putting him in the corner I had to stand behind him and keep putting him back in the corner until he got the picture ( i counted 27 times ) I had to do that for a week. It took a lot of patience but it was well worth it. Now when he misbehaves we just tell him to march himself to the corner and he goes unassisted and serves his "time". When he comes out, he tells us what he did wrong and will correct the behavior ( p.u what he threw, apologize to sis, etc.) Continue to use positive reinforcment when the behaviors are good.Stick it out, time goes quick.good luck.

    Answer by Fairytalemomof3 at 5:13 AM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • Well my son is 4 fixing to be 5 but we started this about a year or so ago and he is the same way except when you get on to him he would throw his self down, kick, scream, hollar, throw things, hit things, hit people & it didn't matter what kind of punishment you did nothing helped. He would scream for 2 & 3 hours at a time. Finally about 2 months ago after going to counseling & trying different things - they have diagnosed him with bi-polar. He can't help it and so we had to put him on medicine to try and control it. It is helping some but there is still a lot of anger issues that we try to deal with. All I can say is maybe try counseling or something. Try something different b/c you will drive yourself crazy not doing anything.

    Answer by momwifelove at 9:38 AM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • Couple of different ways of looking at this - first, what are the triggers for this behavior? Sounds like it's recent - so has anything at home changed. Have you considered allergies (food, pet, other) - they can cause children to act out aggressively. Does your son get a lot of physical playtime or other physical outlets for his energy? Try offering him some good focused physical activity, like kicking or throwing balls or beanbags (inside/outside). When he talks back, tell him calmly that we don't say "xxx", but he can say "yyy" and give him the appropriate words and tone to use - have him repeat and, if necessary, practice. If he refused, then give him think time/time out until he can speak respectfully. If he throws something that he is not supposed to, remove it immediately and tell him he can have it back ONLY after he has shown he can make good choices. Remain calm and consistent with all discipline.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:52 AM on Feb. 23, 2009

  • cont...also, do you or your husband do anything different when he acts out? He may be trying to meet an unexpressed need (aka getting your attention, but in a way that HE needs it) and this is how he has found to do it - look at your reactions and see if you can offer him the same sort of attention (focused, physical, etc...) in a positive way to help reduce the number of outbursts.

    All in all, I would go with ensuring he gets enough physical activity and helping him practice the expected behavior. Physical repetition is good, and so is verbal. Also, you might also consider time-outs a little differently - if he's very physically active, rather than having him do nothing, give him a very specific "task" to perform during time out - like throwing beanbags against the wall as hard as he can, or hitting a pillow until his energy is all out...give him a focus for his energy. Good luck!

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:56 AM on Feb. 23, 2009

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