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Naughty 4 yr old around Christmas

Hi! I have a 4 yr old who just doesn't seem to listen. He likes to think he makes the rules and after multiple attempts to disapline- it just doesn't seem to get better. The worst part is- its the week of Christmas and I've tried the whole 'I'm calling Santa' 'youre getting nothing' etc. It doesn't change much. I mean, it will work for like 15 minutes and hes back at it again. I do have to say though- he's better than most kids I know, however, this age seems to be a difficult one. Any advice? Do I give him everything we've already bought? Is there a similar situation and solution you've found to work for you?

Answers are much appreciated! Thanks!

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Asked by Momof3Ts061011 at 3:09 PM on Dec. 20, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I have the same problem.

    Answer by jessicadestiney at 3:10 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • i find that when my 4 year old is misbehaving she's either hungry, tired or bored. if i get her engaged in something entertaining she does a total 180. and yes, i would give him everything you bought. it's unfair to take away one of his Christmas gifts, imo. they were purchased for him out of love, not out of good behavior.

    Answer by tnm786 at 3:20 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • True. I would have a very hard time not giving him the things I bought him. I just don't want to seem like I'm not following through when I remind him that 'Santa is watching'. I would hope he is not bored considering were watching a new 'friend' today (my co-workers 3.5 yr old daughter). Its just so hard because hes typically a really good kid- but when hes not good hes really really bad. He has such an attitude and back talks like none other. & I do punish him- time outs, talking to's, even spankings if I have to. But hes at that age where it doesn't seem to make a difference. Oh man. Boys. I grew up just me and my sister- so this whole boy thing is so new to me.

    Comment by Momof3Ts061011 (original poster) at 4:00 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • maybe he was showing out today because of the new friend. negative attention is still attention to them :) and im sure the talking back and attitude is perfectly normal. i have the same problem with my 4 year old daughter and it was much, much worse when she was 3. it has gotten better but we still have our days. i grew up an only child so im new to the whole kids thing and siblings thing (i have 3 girls) in general lol! just be consistent and stick to your guns, take something else away that he really enjoys, like a favorite toy or night time show. explain why you're taking it away and that he can have it back when he wants to listen and be nice. dont worry, you're doing fine :)

    Answer by tnm786 at 5:23 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • I think there are other ways to discipline other than using Santa as a means to getting him to listen. I would suggest sending him to his room until he has thought about what he's done wrong, for a set period of time, and after actually explaining to him what you don't like that he is doing. You have to do it in a tone of voice like you are upset with his actions.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 5:52 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • Don't link the Christmas gifts with discipline. I think Christmas gifts should be unconditional.

    Each child has a "currency" which is THE most important thing to them. We used to take that away for an appropriate length of time as punishment. It won't necessarily be a toy. My youngest used to LOVE watching the trash truck. So, occasionally we would say he would not be allowed to watch it. Zero in on what makes him tick. Be Consistent!! Don't threaten something unless you really will do it. Like saying "you will never watch TV again". That is unrealistic and not something you can follow through on.

    Lastly, make sure they get enough one on one time with you and your SO. Plus praise when they do things right. This, along with positive reinforcement, goes a long way to making them feel special and lessen tensions. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 7:47 PM on Dec. 20, 2010

  • i have a 3 yr old and hes not the worst but he is in the acting up stage .

    Answer by honesty33 at 5:32 PM on Dec. 21, 2010

  • I think part of the behavior that we all are seeing right now could be due to the excitement of the season. Before I had my daughter I taught school and the kids were off the walls at this time of the year. Hang in there....It will get better soon!

    Answer by jennifer9607 at 9:06 PM on Dec. 21, 2010

  • He was really good yesterday and today so far. I think he's on overload with the season- and possibly had lack of sleep since he hadn't had a nap the day before. Thank you all for your advise! Kids are sooooo difficult sometimes- and since I'm a full time working mommy, I never know if I'm doing things correctly because I'm not with him all day to see how he is/isn't.

    Thanks again!

    Comment by Momof3Ts061011 (original poster) at 11:13 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

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