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Discipline suggestions for a 3yr and 4yr old

My DD is getting ready to turn 5 and my DS is getting ready to turn 4. They are to the point I would almost call them out of control. Which is completely my fault, but I want to try and turn things around before they get into school this fall or before I lose my sanity (whichever occurs first).

Here are some specific areas that I would like your suggestions on how to discipline...

Throwing things?
Damaging property? (Writing on walls, tearing up books, etc)
Fighting with each other?
- Fighting over a toy gets the toy time out
Getting into things they shouldn’t (we just moved and they are opening boxes and scattering around everything, plus they are sneaking into the fridge, and ruining all the dvds trying to put them in)?
- I know you are going to say that I should be watching the and I do, but the second I turn around or go to the bathroom or start fixing dinner they go nuts.
Continued in first answer slot

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:51 AM on Nov. 7, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (14)
  • Jumping/Climbing on furntiture?
    Back talk? (No you go to your room)
    Running from me in parking lots?
    Wandering too far ahead of me while walking to the park or in stores?
    Lying? ( The biggest problem is the I didn’t do it he/she did it)

    BTW- Spanking is not an option. Not that I want to discuss whether it is right or not, I can't spank because I have found that I can not contorl myself and I don't want to chance of hurting my children.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:52 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Be consistent!! They are old enough to know what is expected. My 2 and 3 year old only get told ONE time to stop, share, obey, whatever it is. I make sure I have their attention before correcting them. Then, if they do not respond the FIRST time they are immediately disciplined. They do not get warnings. The only exception is if it is something new that I am asking them to do or not do. I make sure I explain or show them what I want. Then they get a reminder of their punishment if they do not obey.

    This helps me be more patient because I give them time to respond, but also expect obedience. I don't scream and yell repeatedly and lose my temper because I've told them a million times. They. Also know what I expect and don't "push" me, because they won't get repeated warnings and mommy yelling before she gets mad.

    Answer by micheledo at 9:05 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • choices and consequences chart. If you do such behavior mark it off that if was done and the consequence will be there. also put a rewards chart if they make thier bed brush teeth ext. It may take a while to work but it will. Be consistant. That's so important. I try to stress that to everyone. It's so much easier not to follow a schedule and not to follow threw with what you said but you have to do it. Sometimes i want to go off my schedule but i know if i do i am letting my children AKA monsters down! So i always do my best to follow through with what i say i am goin to do wether it is positive or negative. Good luck.

    Answer by Mrs.Oriaku at 9:08 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • I just wanted to add that isn't what I do all the time! It is what I strive for!! I can't tell you the times I feel like I am losing control of my responses and the kids are wild - then I realize I am yelling at them over and over again. I have gotten lazy and don't want to get over their and deal with it the first time they misbehave. I get more diligent and respond the first time and things start going a lot better.

    I don't really have specific suggestions for each problem you are having, but I hope that is helpful.

    Answer by micheledo at 9:08 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Just in general, I would start looking at natural consequences. They throw something- they need to go pick it up. They make a mess- they pick it up. They draw on the walls- they clean it off.

    As for fighting with each other, unless one of them is just sitting there taking it from the other, they both need to be seperated and either given a chore or put on their beds for whatever length of time.

    When my 4yo can't speak nicely (tantrums, talking back, being rude) he loses the right to talk. He's told not to open his mouth again until he can speak nicely. Its annoying to inforce, but he pulls himself together.

    Whenever we're in a parking lot, everyone has to be holding onto the cart (or mom or dad) and if they can't control themselves in the store, they get the same restriction.

    Considering the amount of big issues you have happening I have a couple more recommendations (cont)

    Answer by IrishMommaC at 9:09 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • (continued)

    (1) Make sure you are praising appropriate behavior. Let them know what you appreciate too! I'm not above bribary in many cases (OK, everyone behaves at the store, and we'll get donuts!)

    (2) Pick a couple things to focus on for the first couple weeks. Which of those many behaviors are giving you the most grief? Instituting all of these things at once may make you crazy. Plus, chances are that your kids are going to rebel against new rules/consequences for a bit and really test your limits. Add a new rule as you have a grip on the ones you're already enforcing.

    (3) It sounds like your kids couple probably really use some more adult directed/ scheduled time. Maybe after lunch they need to sit and look at books for however long or color- just in general pick a quiet, one person, activity. Or maybe its time for a walk after dinner. Or even just everyone sitting at the table coloring at some point.

    Answer by IrishMommaC at 9:15 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • i like and agree to everything irishmama says

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:21 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Time Out!!!!! 1minute per age.

    Answer by KaRaBaSsEtT at 9:48 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • I suggest the book Love & Limits by Elizabeth Crary. She has a website called Star Parenting. Here is a good chart you can print out and put on the fridge.

    Answer by Gailll at 9:51 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

  • Sounds like normal kid stuff to me. I would take away things they like and make them clean up whatever they destroy. I'm glad you do not spank! I'm not sure, but maybe if you spend special time alone with each one they might change as well.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 10:39 AM on Nov. 7, 2009

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