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How can I get my 4 year old out the door in the morning, when there is no time for negotiation?

She is old enough now to fight when I try to help her get dressed, brush her teeth, and put her shoes on. Usually there is no time to talk her through the situation or wait it out. Time out does not work, and when I try too hard, she hits and bites me. AHHH! I don't know what to do.

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Asked by Jesika611 at 11:38 AM on Mar. 17, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • She needs to be told what the rules r and what the consequences will be if she does not follow them.,

    Answer by dancer at 11:40 AM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • You need to get a grip & be the parent! No child of mine would EVER get away with hitting and/or biting me! If you doing it all is just beyond you, give her a time limit to do it herself. Let her know that if she doesn't do it herself you WILL do it for her. When you are ready to leave & she isn't ready & won't let you do it, take her out the door "as is".

    Answer by specialwingz at 11:43 AM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • The night before have her pick out her clothes so she feels like she had a choice. At 4 atleast for my kids the hitting and bighting didnt continue till 4. Tell her on the morning she dosent get ready and causes you problems she will be going to bed early or dosent get something she likes to do set up a chart for her everyday she does good put a sticker and a week of smileys she gets a small toy or something she likes.

    Answer by okmommy08 at 11:45 AM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • This is a true story..A woman I work with was having this exact same difficulty with her youngest child. Out of complete frustration she picked up the child BUTT NAKED, put her in the car, in her carseat, and took her to the daycare provider. The child had to walk in the daycare naked except for the coat she was wearing. Mom handed the provider the clothing, the child never again resisted gettng ready in the morning. In this case it worked, not saying its the answer for anyone else, but it worked for her.

    Answer by meooma at 11:47 AM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • I know it is weird, but this is what I do. I get my son dressed while he is still sleeping. I carry him to the bathroom and he wakes up right before he pees. Then he brushes his teeth while he is still groggy. I don't need to feed him breakfast because he eats at daycare.

    Answer by mompam at 11:47 AM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • She hits and bites you? Please, she's the child and you are the parent, if you don't get a grip on it now, it will continue into something you cannot handle. At four years old, you can handle that child. Make her go to bed 30 minutes early every night. Wake her up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Have her get in that bathroom and brush her teeth, pee, wash her face and whatever else she needs to do before going to daycare. If she has an attitude, drop down to her level, look her in her eyes and let her know that she will cooperate and she will behave this morning. You have to change something in your parenting to hold this child accountable for her actions. Remember, these little kids do grow up into teenagers and that's a whole different story in its own.

    Answer by mom2mybabes at 12:10 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • The hitting and biting require disciple (of your choosing, but consistent and firm). As for getting dressed, at 4 she should have some control and that's probably what she's fighting for. Put 2 complete outfits out the night before (matching shoes, socks, everything) and in the morning allow her to choose 1 and begin to dress herself while you are dressing. You can make it a game, by setting a timer and seeing which one of you can get dressed the fastest. Allow her to brush her own teeth while you are brushing yours and to choose how she wants to wear her hair. She's a big girl now and she's ready for some responsibility.

    Answer by Kimedbs at 12:19 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • Hitting and biting have got to stop. She is much too old for that behavior. (Barring some issue I wouldn't be aware of.)

    DD is 4. We select her clothes for the next day, together, the night before. I make sure the top and bottoms match, but she has lots of input. She independently selects socks and shoes 'cause I don't really care if they match.

    A time limit with a firm understanding that we will "help" if she doesn't get it done works well to keep her on time. However, you might consider if you are allowing adequate time. It does take a 4-year-old a bit longer to do things than what it would take you to do them. So, consider if she really does need more time, if so, bedtime is earlier to allow rising time to be earlier.

    Beyond that, have you discussed with her the reason behind her behaviors? Does she dislike where she is going?

    Answer by Mom2Just1Kiddo at 12:40 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • I think I understand your frustration. When you are trying to rush out the door to make it to a meeting at work by 8:30 b/c some male coworkers who are lucky enough to have stay-at-home wives to care for everything decide to schedule it, you really don't have time to be negotiating, displining, or making sure your children are being independent (i.e. like dressing themselves). YOu barely have time to brush your teeth and get yourself dressed. This is what I do with my 3 year-old, I give her a heads up either the night before or the morning of, that she needs to be a speedy cheetah like Mommy. If mommy is late to work, i get in trouble and get sent to a timeout. The guilt works about 70% of the time. The other 30% I used the good old fashion stern voice with a twist - I still give her choice "cooperate with me or you are on your own" she usually cooperates. I like the naked idea the other mom suggests. Awesome!

    Answer by Olivia4116 at 12:46 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • I have a little one in the "funny fours" too. It can get stressful in the morning. I have started the star chart up again. She is my "morning helper" and her job is to help me by listening really well and getting ready quickly. If she does that, she gets a star on her chart. When it is full, we go toy shopping . . . .

    It seems to be working, for now . . . .


    Answer by ImaginationMama at 12:50 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

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