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not listening and talking back

My 4 year old (almost 5) is becoming the handful...I have tried spankings, time outs, so far not working. We have a problem with her demanding everything, saying no everytime we ask her to do something, and just simply not listening...what can I do? Anyone else have this problem?

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Asked by ELC at 4:02 PM on Nov. 12, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Start taking toys and privledges away. Dont give in when she throws a crying or yelling fit and if she does do that, Do your best to ignore it. Giving the child attention for bad behavior only renforces the idea.

    Answer by vbruno at 4:22 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • i have the same problem.nothing works yet, i am at a complete loss.

    Answer by jbirchard at 4:34 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • My son is only 3.5 y/o but does this AND it gets so bad (his tantrums) we have had ppl call the POLICE for possible ABUSE in public (were just watching him throw the fit!) Our pedi said it is a Neuro "thing" and defiance is the "main part." We are now trying to now necessarily "reason" with him, but "if you won't do XXYY, THEN YYZZ gets taken away/turned off. So if he won't help to put his socks on (this mornings argument) then he gets NO "Oswald." Meaning the TV is OFF and does NOT come back on. Tell him 2 times and on #3, it GOES OFF! It seems to work pretty well, but when he gets "hyper" and running around, THEN it turns into a "were going outside and you HAVE TO RUN!" Making him "run it off" seems to not be a real "punishment," per se, but it seems to wear him down and THEN, he seems to be ready to listen and "comply."

    Answer by ShawnaLT1 at 5:10 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • Punishment just shows your child you love her CONDITIONALLY. Obviously something isnt right with her and she is acting this way to show you how she feels.

    If she refuses to do something then do it but dont get mad at her. Continue to show her love as you would if she was being good. This will not reinforce her bad behaviour but will show her you love her unconditionally. Later on in your daily routine..after you have read a bedtime story or something you could just discuss her behaviour.

    Has anything changed recently to make maybe feel upset? Try to see if you can find a cause.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:42 PM on Nov. 12, 2008


    She probably is trying to show you how she feels - sometimes this type of beahviour is a result of a child feeling upset. I read that book and it really helped me change things around.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:44 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • Since her brother came around 2 years ago, I know it has been hard on her...he likes to be center of attention and is into things all the time so he takes up alot of my time. We start her in preschool tomorrow, so I am hoping time away from her bro will help. I try to remain calm as much as I can, but you know we all have those moments where we are tired too.

    Answer by ELC at 7:38 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • Oh, I was thinking of doing like a chore chart and giving her $$ when she does it and taking $$ away when she is bad, do you think that would help with the behavior??

    Answer by ELC at 7:40 PM on Nov. 12, 2008

  • imo i wouldnt give a 4 yr old money....maybe you can make a chart and each day she is good she gets a sticker and you can give an extra sticker whenever you feel she deserves it and when she gets 10 stickers she gets a toy....i would take her to the store before you start the chart and let her pick something small ex. barbie, book, etc....and she has to earn it...keep it somewhere that she can see it so its a constant reminder of what shes working on good behavior and choices for....she wont get it until she has 10 stickers....i would do 10 stickers for awhile and then go to 15 and so on....

    Answer by Aubreysmommy1 at 7:49 AM on Nov. 13, 2008

  • I decided to try having 2 jars and when she is good she puts a penny in the other jar, when bad she puts 2 pennies back in the orignal jar...I will let you know how this works! Thanks for the advice, I decided not to pay her.

    Answer by ELC at 4:26 PM on Nov. 14, 2008

  • We count down from 5 to get our son to do what he was told. It works most of the time. We explain to him that if he doesn't listen and we get to 1 then he has to go to time out. I agree that money wouldn't be a good solution. A gold star or other sticker might be more of a motivator for a child. My son loves getting them in preschool! We are still having trouble disiplining (sp?)- goes with the age I think! Just know you are not alone!

    Answer by ThePhotoFairy at 9:49 PM on Nov. 17, 2008

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