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Does anyone have any advise for helping a 4yr old control temper?

We have been trying to do the stop and breathe method but he is starting pre-k this fall and I dont want him to have these issues there. He is use to other kids but he has an older brother and cousin who are very bossy to him and so of course he is to his friend who just turned 4. He also is alittle high strung and gets agrivated pretty easy and will yell. So any advise would be great! Thanks

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Asked by mom2wy at 5:13 PM on Jun. 26, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 10 (449 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • This is what's working with my almost-4 year old's temper. I have him go to his room or a quiet chair and he needs to sit there until he can 'get happy'. This has done wonders to teach him to control his emotions. It takes him less and less time to calm down and put a smile on his face with each time, sometimes he even gets happy before he makes it to the time out spot.

    Answer by luvmycutebaby at 5:17 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Great that is a wonderful idea! We have tried time outs we have tried ignoring him and the breathing and none of them seem to work. He will be 5 in Sept. and has been doing these since he was around 3. And gradually gotten worse. The breathing use to work for him but not as much lately! I know he gets worse when he is tired so that is when he has to take a nap. I am hoping that pre-k will help him out alot!

    Comment by mom2wy (original poster) at 5:36 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • For my daughter, most of the time we can get her to calm down by trying to get her to talk about it. When we see her getting upset, we pull her aside and ask her how she is feeling. We have worked with getting her to explain that she is frustrated or angry or whatever. Then we ask her why she feels that way. Next we try to come up with a solution together. Usually by the time we have had this conversation she is calmed down and can go back to playing. It's not perfect and doesn't always work, but it does most of the time and if nothing else, it removes her from the situation for a little while.

    Answer by mupt02 at 9:31 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • I play the "FREEZE" game with my dd...When she gets upset I yell in a silly voice "freeze" (which she does because she thinks its funny) and that gives me the opportunity to talk to her about how she is feeling. It doesn't ALWAYS work but it might be something to try! GOOD LUCK!


    Answer by momofone072506 at 11:19 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Most of all show him that YOU are secure, confident, and calm... he will learn the most by watching you and the other role models in his life.

    Answer by AlleyK at 12:08 AM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • When my son was this age (now 7) he would get SO MAD at his transformers that he would start to loose it! So I said that when we are that angry with something we set down, take a break. When our " angry monky" goes away we try the toy again. If we get mad again then we put it away untill we are happy and the "angry monky goes back to the angry jungle". I told him when people are very angry sometimes we don't think the right way. We might have an accident and then break the toy. All because we were not thinking the best way. The best way is think when we are happy.
    I also encouraged him when he was really mad at me to color/ draw it out until he felt he could TALK like a big boy and not yell, scream, throw a fit. What about the other boys not bossing him so much?

    Answer by 1nglmom3 at 4:55 AM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • catching the tantrum early is very important, and then remaining consisitant in what ever choice you make to deal with it. It may be any of what the mom's suggested above, but do it. If you start something and then stop or just let the behavior go he will not know when rules will be inforced so he will continue to have his tantrum... constantly checking to see if the rule is still there. You might also ask him what he should do if he starts to tantrum..i.e. go to his room, time out chair. Make him a part of his own solution, but again follow through.

    Answer by gammiej at 7:13 AM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • I would get an evaluation from an Occupational Therapist. I would not assume that school will fix this. Our son is similarly "high strung" and quick to anger; after a couple of months his behavior at home improved to the extent he wasn't having daily tantrums, but his behavior at school continued to be a problem. We did find that magnesium suppliments took the edge off his most high strung behavior.

    Sensory Processing Disorder Checklist


    Answer by happytexasCM at 10:17 AM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • We have found that physical activity helps. A punching bag does wonders, but running laps works okay too. Afterwards, my kids find it much easier to talk about the problem.

    Answer by cedailey at 11:45 AM on Jun. 27, 2010

  • my kid was like that in pre k. after 1st semester she was just like the other kids. it takes awhile for some kids to adjust or he could have medical probs. my kid actually had sever arthritis & after we got it taken care of she started acting better.

    Answer by mrsary at 3:19 PM on Jun. 27, 2010

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