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What do I do about an argumentative 4-year-old?

I have a pretty good relationship with my new 4 year old stepson, but recently he has begun testing me in this very irritating way. He argues with me about everything and tells me I'm wrong. Today in the grocery store, he made a big deal about the bread being on top of my purse, and I told him it was fine, because there wasn't anything in my purse that would get squished, but he wanted to make an argument of it. "Yes, there is stuff in there that will get squished". Today he asked his dad when Easter was and when he answered, he said, Linda is wrong, she said it is April, but it's Easter. This is constant and he has begun to become rude. If I ignore it, it seems to get worse. He finds something to argue about several times a day. Am I making too big a deal of this?

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exhaustedinChas

Asked by exhaustedinChas at 8:09 PM on Apr. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Sounds like he may be having a little trouble adjusting to his new stepmom. That is a big adjustment for a child. Just don't argue back at ALL, it feeds into it. It should die down as he gets more comfortable with you. GL!!
    pamelajqs

    Answer by pamelajqs at 8:13 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • NO TO ME YOU ARE NOT WHAT I WOULD DO IS EVERYTIME HE GETS SMART OR RUNS TO HIS DAD AFTER YOU HAVE DONE TOLD HIM SOMETHING THEN TRY TIME OUT OR TAKING AN IMPORTANT TOY FOR AWHILE I HAD TO BUT THE TIME OUT STARTED WORKING FOR ME BUT IF YOUR HUSBAND SAYS SOMETHING I WOULD TELL HIM HE HAS TO HELP AND TEACH HIM JUST BECAUSE HE IS YOUR STEPSON YOU ARE STILL HIS MOM
    brianna77

    Answer by brianna77 at 8:15 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • I should have mentioned. His mother is deceased. I have been in the picture for two years (since he was 2).
    exhaustedinChas

    Answer by exhaustedinChas at 8:36 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • i dont think it has anything to do with you being the stepmom. i think kids just go thru that phase. heaven help me, my 2 1/2 year old is doing it now. i think she just does it to get a rise out of me. maybe thats what your boy is up to. i usually just ignore it or pick back at her. she hates getting a taste of her own medicine.
    mama_moonsong

    Answer by mama_moonsong at 9:11 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • A phase, and yes the more you give attention to it, the more he will continue. He has learned that everyone has a limit and if he goes just a little bit longer, you will give in and say something to him. If you want to get rid of a behavior of this type, you MUST IGNORE and not get into an argument. The reason that it seems to get worse when you ignore it is because he notices you ignoring him and has to "UP THE ANTI" or do something more or worse since what he was doing does not get your attention. Keep on staying calm so he doesn't get a thrill out of making you upset. Tell him something once and then DO NOT respond! Stay consistent and it will stop.
    LovetoTeach247

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 10:54 PM on Apr. 6, 2009

  • Stop arguing with the kid. Did you ever think he could be getting it from you. LOL You tell him the sky is blue and he says no, it's red, you say ok, it's red. You know it's blue, he knows it's blue, and tada no argument. Us adults try to control everything and we know everything. They listen to us, I promise. He know you are right and wants a rise out of you. Good luck!
    Amber115

    Answer by Amber115 at 1:21 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • My son is turning 4 in May and is like this. I hink it is just a phase. All kids want to try and assert themselves. It is in their mind that they are right all the time.
    For me I would say the sky is blue today. and he would turn around and say no it is white (because of a few clouds). I think it is fine and he will grow out of it. Just make sure that you and daddy are on the same page with discipline and how to help him with this time. If you guys are not on the same page....he will be doing that running to daddy thing for a long time.
    Good Luck
    Christiansmom17

    Answer by Christiansmom17 at 10:52 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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