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What do you do when your 4 year old says no or a negative thing to everything you say?

I find that my son is an angel but sometimes he really throws his attitude in there. I ask him a question and automatically says no. I make him say no thank you if it's appropriate but I feel like I'm on him every second every time he gives me an attitude. Does anyone ever just walk away? I know he's testing his boundaries but when I've had a hard day I just don't feel like dealing with it. It's not often that I don't deal with it but is it ok to just walk away and leave the fight for another time?

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Asked by aidansmom111804 at 10:24 PM on Jun. 16, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • tell him he can't talk to his mommy that way it's a no no and put him in a corner or time out

    Answer by looovemybabies at 10:29 PM on Jun. 16, 2009

  • I don't have a toddler (yet), but i have been a professional nanny before. I have read that to help with the negative response, never ask a yes or no question. Instead phrase it in a form that you can't say "no" to. Also you can try the "time out" method for adults. Meaning, take a time out from him if you can, even if its just for five minutes it may help and he will see that the negative attitude isn't getting him the attention he wants! Hope this helps!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:30 PM on Jun. 16, 2009

  • I tell my kids "you don't talk to me like that". Then I tell them they need to apologize to me for speaking disrespectfully. If they refuse to apologize they get a time-out. I do ignore them sometimes to diffuse the attitude, but if they don't stop and are looking for a boundary from me, I give it to them.

    Answer by oregonmom22 at 12:44 AM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • If no is a legitimate answer to a question, then how is that giving you attitude. If you don't want "no" to be an option, then like the above PP said, don't ask a yes or no question - offer choices or phrase it so that the answer will be more in line with your expectation.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 1:38 AM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • i put her in her room and tell her she can come out when she's ready to talk to me nicely. i don't speak to her like that, and i expect the same in return.

    Answer by jcsmummy at 2:13 AM on Jun. 17, 2009

  • You have to be consistent with discipline and rewards, even when you are tired.

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:44 PM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • my 3 1/2 yr old is very well behaved but also has attitude and says no. I have no clue how to cure it, I hope its a phase!!

    Answer by ladysylpher at 1:49 PM on Jun. 29, 2009

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