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what am i doing wrong?

i have a 4 year old daughter. for the most part, shes pretty well behaved. but lately, i feel like shes listening to everyone but me. her teachers at school say shes the most well behaved kid in her class. shes good at her grandparents house, and when shes just with her dad. but when its just she and i, sometimes , more so lately, she doesn't want to listen. like today she poured her chocolate milk in my orange juice when i was in the bathroom, and didn't say anything about it. i told her its not nice to do that. and told her to go to her room, and she said, no. so i told her if she didn't go to her room, she would get spanked, and she hit me. so i put her in her room, and spanked her(not hard) and told her to stay in there until i said it was ok to come out. things like this happen almost everyday. and i'm tired of it. what can i do to make her listen to me more?

Answer Question

Asked by julianasprotege at 5:51 PM on Nov. 15, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 4 (37 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • She's testing you.. Be consistent with your discipline. I don't think you're doing anything wrong.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 5:54 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • It seems like you back up what you say so i don't think that would be the issue, It could possibly be that she has seen some of her friends do or say that to their mother, Or it could be the way an older kid is talking to or around her. Or it could just be one of those phases. I hope this helped you in someway. Good Luck and stay strong

    Answer by toriturtle at 5:56 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • She's got your number. She knows she can get away with things with you that she knows she would not be able to get away with anybody else. When you say you didn't spank her hard, you reveal a lot about the problem. Discipline has to hurt. There have to be painful consequences for acts of disobedience and disrespect. Children are very wise, and she has already figured out who the softy is, and she is taking full advantage. This will continue until such time as you decide you will not be disobeyed nor disrespected and that what you say goes and when you decide to make the consequences just a wee bit more painful.

    Answer by NannyB. at 6:16 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • to nanny b, i spanked her hard enough for her to know she was in trouble, but not enough to hurt her. i said it wasn't too hard before, i don't want people thinking i beat my kid. i definitely don't think i'm a softy on her. i really don't know why she isn't listening lately.

    Comment by julianasprotege (original poster) at 6:27 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • Try withholding her favorite thing for punishment. It is her "currency" which is the thing that is most important to her. Every child has a "currency".. Give her a warning that it wil be withheld and then follow through if you need to. Be consistent. Also, make sure she is getting enough one on one time with you and your SO. Praise her when she does things right and make sure she knows she is special and loved.

    Answer by elizabr at 6:45 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • Wow sorry but punishment does not have to hurt - take away some privileges. A favorite toy, television time, or make her drink water for the whole day. I am sorry I am not for or against spanking every parent has to come to their own conclusion, but my DD is very well behaved and I don't spank so you do not have to hurt your child to get them to behave. I have found that explaining and privileges really help behavior, it is also what all of my child psych classes recommended.

    Answer by daisysrdeadly at 8:36 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • Keep punishing her...its rough but if you back down before she does you just have to start over. Its like the bedtime battle they have to end up and bed and stay put no matter how long it takes.

    Answer by Iamasinglemom99 at 9:51 PM on Nov. 15, 2010

  • I have the same problem with my almost 4 yr old son. Seems like he tests me all day long, some days worse than others. He also takes advantage when I'm in the middle of doing something with his 5 mo old sister. Sometimes he gets his butt spanked and more often than not he gets toys or tv turned off (which he hates) or I'll send him to his room. He hates being away from all the action so that usually helps. He also gets time outs for 3 min standing in a corner. I find that consistency helps cause the next time when I give him a warning he usually stops.

    Answer by mindi6103 at 1:31 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • She's's the age. Testing you, testing limitations, the whole nine yards. My daughter will be 4 in February and is already starting this phase. It's trying on the nerves but just be consistent in your punishments =)

    Answer by mainemusicmaker at 5:47 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

  • This is totally normal. They always test the one they love the hardest. It is because they feel safest with you. I have experienced this with my oldest son as well. You are not doing anything wrong. What you need to focus on is 3 or 4 serious rules with consistent consequences (mine are: listen, cooperate and be nice). Everything else IGNORE. They are doing it to make you react so if you do not react you are taking their power away. Also, ensure you praise them when they do a good job. I pretend to present my son with an award at bedtime if he keeps my face "smiling" all day. His award is an extra story at bedtime. He has been so nice to me lately saying "mommy allow me to help you make lunch"....I just give him a giant smile and he lights up. Do not get me wrong, he still tests me, and I still have to try very hard not to get upset, but it has gotten a lot better. Hang in there!!!

    Answer by jeroneka at 11:43 AM on Nov. 16, 2010

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