At 4 he's over the temper tantrum stage but he also doesn't have all the words to express his frustration so he resorted to covering his ears. I recognized that and since it was the first time he's done that instead of resorting straight to punishing him I decided to talk to him about it.
I told him it was disrespectful and rude to cover his ears and I didn't want to see him do that again.
He asked me if I was mad at him and I told him I wasn't but that I was disappointed in him and then when on to explain that when he's upset he needs to use his words just like he can't bite or stick his tongue out when he's mad he can't cover his ears either.
Again he asked if I was mad at him and I told him no that I was disappointed though and that was the end of our discussion.
Well a couple days later he was playing at his friends house and his mom picked him up earlier than he wanted so he got upset and told her he was disappointed in her and he wanted to stay longer.
He didn't quite use it correctly but he's learning and he didn't act out....he used his words.
His mom told me about it the next day and we both laughed about it and I explained where he got the word from. She of course wasn't upset.
Well I later retold the complete story to my dad because I thought it was amusing and he wasn't in the least bit amused and said that talking like that to an adult is disrespectful and had I or my brother talked like that as kids we would've been popped.
Am I missing something? I really don't see what he said was disrespectful. He is still learning how to express his feelings rather than act out.....like a typical 4 year old and it was a new word he was trying out. It wasn't a curse word, so I'm not seeing how it warrants a punishment.