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My 4 yr old won't listen and back talks! What should I do????

My son will not listen. He throws fits and cries like a baby until he gets what he wants. He's in headstart and everyday he gets a stick pulled for not listening and back talking( saying he doesn't want to). I don't know what to do. I've tried getting down to his level and talking to him and asking him why. I've tried time-outs, corner, taking his favorite things away. His teachers and I also have tried positive things to, you know like congradulating, praising, treating him. Please somebody help me because this has been going on for 3 months straight and I don't know what to do!

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Asked by punkbaby172006 at 7:57 PM on Feb. 25, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (11)
  • Me i would spank my kid for that--but thats me. -- Did this start just all of a sudden? --It's strange that he would just all of a sudden start talking back and throwing fits, especially if they aren't rewarded.

    Answer by Lanasmom at 8:08 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • No the fit throwing has been going on for a year but the talking back and getting into alot of trouble at school has been going on for about 3-4 months now. We have tried the spanking thing twice and it didn't work.

    Answer by punkbaby172006 at 8:13 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • He continues to throw a fit bvecause as you said "until he gets what he wants" If you give him what he wants you just reinforced for him that the tantrum DOES work. You ignore tantrums..walk away. REFUSE, everytime, to give him what he wants. Have the teacher have a place he can be removed to if throwing a fit. Backtalk..he must be punshed. Heres an idea. Make a chart that lists all the things he is resposible for. Getting dressed, shoes, teeth, pick up toys, set table...whatever those things are. Everyday he does one of those things he earns a chip(poker chips work great for this) To watch tv he needs XYZ number of chips, playing outside...XYZ number of priviledges. He must be able to earn enough so that he has a few to save if he wants. Make a list of 'rewards" he can exchange chips for. Like 4 chips to go to the park, so many chips for a new toy or book of certa9in dollar amount, cont's

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:46 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Cont's our big reward was 20 chips for tenting out back with Dad. My severely ADHD son did excellent with this system and earned Dad tenting out at least 6 times. You must be consistant, rewards must be paid immediately and you have to stick with it. BTW we used an empty peanut butter jar for him to keep chips. If you have multiple kids doing this..then one color for each.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:48 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Have you ever really gotten furious? No parent enjoys getting furious at their kid but sometimes getting really mad coupled with a time out or spank and a complete refusal to give him what he wants, will work. Whatever you do, don't give in. You think it's a problem now, it'll get worse if you eventually give him what he wants. Do something drastic to make a point.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:01 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • Yes, this sounds frustrating. I always think a kid needs your love the most when they are acting unlovable!

    Great parenting books on
    .How to talk so your kids will listen,
    1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children,
    Setting Limits for Strong Willed Child,
    Love & Logic for Practical Parenting....

    cut and paste this link and see what you like best

    A parent can never have too much information.

    Answer by momjs at 11:29 PM on Feb. 25, 2009

  • i send my kids to their rooms and let them throw the fit all tehy want when they are done we talk about what happened and why they did that and what to do next time something like it happens (ei ask for help, tell an adult about something that happened) It seems like your biggest problem is not sticking to one punishment if you change them all the time it becomes a game. but if they know what to expect then its a real punishment because they don't want it. I would also try to think about what happened around the time this started because there is normally a reason how ever small. For my 3 year old he started acting out like that , because daddy left for a trip and was gone a really long time.

    Answer by ladyheather900 at 12:16 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • Well, I am a Nanny 911 believer. I have been using her techniques way before the show was even thought of and they work. First problem.....he throws fits UNTIL he gets his way.....DON'T GIVE IN! Make a House Rules Chart and one of the rules will be 1. NO fits 2. NO back talk 3. NO being unkind or disrespectful to well as other Rules. If he violates the rules, you take him to the chart, read it to him and tell him this is his one warning, next time it's time out. Every action has a reaction / consequence be it good or bad. Make a new House Rule that if he goes all day at HeadStart without getting his stick pulled that he'll get a marble to put in his marble jar and when he gets 10 marbles (or however many) he gets to do his special thing (agree what that will be when making the new House Rules Chart), that way he can see his good behavior and "feel" it's consequence. Main thing is be consistent (cont)


    Answer by blessed5x at 1:24 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • (cont)....consistency is the key but always remain calm and in control. Right now he is in control and is manipulating you very well. You need to put a stop to this right away and be consistent in your discipline. NEVER negotiate with a child, you are the parents and he will obey the House Rules or their will be punishments. There will also be rewards for good behavior and that is something that also teaches goal orientation and doing what is right to strive for something you want....! Hugs mama, parenting is a full time exhausting job, but so rewarding if done right!


    Answer by blessed5x at 1:27 AM on Feb. 26, 2009

  • see that's the thing I DON'T GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS! Second off we have tried different methods. They start off good and he behaves right. after so long he doesn't care anymore about the rules or the punishment. that's why we have tried different things. Cuz eventually he doesn't care if he gets timeouts, corner, or a spanking. He deals with it and then 2 mins. later you can ask him why he did that and does he know why he got whatever punishment it was and he says no i didn't do anything or i don't remember. He even went as far as saying his spankings don't hurt so it doesn't bother him to get one.

    Answer by punkbaby172006 at 4:23 PM on Feb. 26, 2009

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