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I'm at a loss...discipline for my 4 yo son

So, I have a 4 year old son, and I don't know what to do anymore. He is CONSTANTLY talking back and won't listen to me or my partner in anything that we say. When we finally do put him in the corner, he's there for 20+ mins because he will not listen to what we tell him to do, and he screams at the top of his lungs.
Any advice on what to do? I could REALLY use the help.

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Asked by GothicChk52 at 10:08 AM on Feb. 6, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 14 (1,398 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Four years old? time limit is FOUR minutes max. He doesn't understand what you want him to reflect on while there anyway so 20 min is overkill and ineffective which makes him angry so he acts out again. Bottom line is you are creating your own problem. When he acts out, stop and address it then. When he talks back just tell him that's not a nice way to talk to someone. Keep it simple. Listen to him when he does speak. Usually small children act out bc they feel they are not being given undivided attention. Give him that. He may not listen to your partner bc he's jealous. Feel his frustration at being 4 and big people aren't listening to him. Just stop that 20 nonsense. That's punishment for being 4 not discipline. It won't work. Show the child by example how to act. Right now he only sees a big bully and that's frustrating him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:16 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I would sit him down and have a serious talk with him. Make him look at your eyes when talking. If the time out isn't working you might try taking away his "currency" which is THE most important thing to them. We used to take that away for an appropriate length of time as punishment.  Each child has something that is super important to them.  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 them 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. Also, make sure he gets enough one on one time with you and your SO. Plus praise when he does things right


    Answer by elizabr at 10:18 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I was told to leave him there until he listens and does what he's supposed to do by many people. I know the time limit is four minutes, but that's when he stays there like he's supposed to. He is NOT.

    As for my partner, she's been here for more than 5 months now. He's not jealous. He loves her to death. I know that, but he just won't listen to either of us.

    Comment by GothicChk52 (original poster) at 10:20 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Thanks, Liz. I have tried that. The problem is that his father does that WAY too much. It just doesn't work anymore. I tell him that if he doesn't listen, I'll take away a toy, and he looks at me and says "take it away. I don't want it." It's SOOO ineffective. The only thing I can think of is a spanking, but i'm WAY against that. Plus, he gets that at his fathers as well. I REALLY want to not let him go over there anymore, but I can't do that until I get parenting time taken away, which I'm in the process of doing.

    Comment by GothicChk52 (original poster) at 10:23 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I know what you are saying but really give it some thought about his "currency". Each child has one and it could be something very unique. You might read books on raising a strong willed child. Dobson has written one and there are others. Go to a good book store and browse through them or the library. Wish I had more ideas. GL hug

    Answer by elizabr at 10:35 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • Thanks. I'll see what I can do, but I'm just not sure what it is. Maybe try taking away his favorite cartoon or something....idk.

    Comment by GothicChk52 (original poster) at 10:39 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • I think it might have alot to do with attention. Maybe set aside an alloted amount of time that its just you and him, allow him to pick the activity.
    GL :0)

    Answer by skyisbluenow at 11:09 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • i know 4 might be a little young for this but i have heard of having a jar and for each time period (like 1/2 an hour or maybe less) that he is well behaved, you put a stone or something in the jar. at the end of the day you count the stones and depending of how many he has, get gets something special. like he can watch a movie, or get a special story.


    Answer by happy-go-lucky at 11:19 AM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • my little man has a behavior chart, and mind you we deal with the same thing.. he listens worse than a rock sometimes, :), and he loves to get the magnets put on and he straightens up when they get taken away... it seems to be the only way we can convince him to listen. he gets reward at the end of it, maybe a small toy, a special thing, gets to stay up a little later, etc

    Answer by BrandonBearsMom at 12:54 PM on Feb. 6, 2011

  • hmm...that actually sounds like a good idea, brandon and happy. Maybe I can find something around the house to make it with....doubt it...but I can try. :) Thanks guys.

    Comment by GothicChk52 (original poster) at 1:47 PM on Feb. 6, 2011

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