Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

2 Bumps

How to discipline a four year old.

I spanked, but felt too bad afterwards. I've used the timeout approach, but still felt bad. She told daddy that mommy is mean sometimes, but I'm really just disciplining. I really don't want her to be mean, so when I catch her being mean, I tell her and it looks like I hurt her feelings. How can I tell her and show her that being mean is not cool when it looks like I'm being mean to her? I don't want her to grow up as a mean girl. she's only four by the way.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 9:36 PM on Oct. 21, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (5)
  • I put mine in Tae Kwon Do class and I haven't had a problem. I know that sounds like I'm dumping my child on to someone else to deal with her behavior, but we take the classes together and it's unreal how children learn respect and honor - you don't need to discipline.

    Answer by at 9:50 PM on Oct. 21, 2010

  • My children hate having privileges taken away from them, so we have turned just about everything except using the bathroom, eating, and sleeping into a privilege so there are PLENTY of things that we can threaten to take away from them to get the behavior that we want. I too try to stay away from spanking, but only because I am heavy handed so I'm afraid of hurting them.

    Answer by JourneyToANewMe at 10:08 PM on Oct. 21, 2010

  • It sounds like daddy needs to help since you are the one that is bearing the guilt of the discipliner. I used to be a child care teacher and discipline was never a problem for me and I had quite a number of "bad seeds." There are a few "rules" I followed that might be helpful:

    -never accuse her of doing something that you aren't positive she did(who knows she may be innocent it might be important that she knows that you are giving her the benefit of the doubt)
    -the punishment should always fit the crime (time out just doesn't work for some kids I usually used just to come up with the actual consequence)
    -stick to your guns(It's so easy to cave but if you show character so will she and this where dad comes in)
    -be the example(make sure she sees you doing the right thing!! You can't be perfect but you can try.)

    Hope this helps:)
    *time out rule is 1 min each yr ex. 4yr old=4 min

    Answer by lizardgirl at 10:19 PM on Oct. 21, 2010

  • OMG I forgot something so important!

    Praise her when she does the right thing. My son gets a huge smile on his face and does a little dance every time I say "good job." It makes him want to do good over and over. It's amazing how such a little thing goes such a long way.

    Answer by lizardgirl at 10:25 PM on Oct. 21, 2010

  • My daughter is 4 and I am learning what a manipulator she really is lol. By that I mean she will tell me I have broken her heart when she gets into trouble or that daddy scares her when he yells. The truth is, she is trying to see what she can get away with and if she can make us feel guilty for getting after her. I struggle with the guilt thing too, but I am learning that it's ok for her to be mad at me for a while if it means that she learned something. Stick to your guns and try to remember your role as a mom is to raise her to be a responsible person who will be able to follow rules and make it in in the real world. If you are discipling out of love, its ok for her to have hurt feelings. She will thank you later in life for caring enough to discipline her. Remember, you are her mom first, friend second. Sometimes the friend part has to go away for a while.


    Answer by lovebugs_mom at 1:03 AM on Oct. 22, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.