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Schedule for 4 year old

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM
  • 3 Replies

I was looking for some ideas on what would be a good schedule for an active four year old boy.  I really think he might need some structure.  I take him to karate and they except him to sit a be quite for about mins. and he just won't.  He also has other kids around him talking or touching him.  I try and get him to listen to me and sit quietly but he just won't.  I feel like pulling out my hair. I am going nuts.  At home he has a hard time listening to me or leaving his sister alone and she is 8months old.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Any desciple ideas or activites to keep him busy.  He neeeds to be kept busy at all times and will not take a nap or lay down for quiet time.  I have tried time outs and they seem to have lost there effect on him.  Please help. I am going crazy.  Also all he ever says is tht he wants to play.  When we go out to hte store all he asyas is that he wants to play and has to touch evertyhing on the shelves so I put him in thte shopping cart and then he proceeds to touch everything in the cart and play with it.  Usally smashing it together.  what tricks to do you guys use when out shopping with little ones to keep them occupied. 

by on Nov. 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM
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Katenemsmom
by on Nov. 10, 2009 at 12:24 AM

Sounds like he is a normal four year old boy.  You need to start planning more activities for him and give him some jobs. 

Some Ideas:

When you go shopping, give him a list of things to find.  Bring along a small shopping cart that he can push and carry a few items. 

 Carry snacks inside your purse to keep little hands occupied.  Our first stop at Target is always to the snack shop for some popcorn.   

Visit a park before Karate class, get those wiggles out.

Start going to story time at your local library.  Its a great introduction to sitting still and listening.

Find him some friends and start making playdates. 

I am a big fan of Supernanny.  Check out her website and start watching the show. 


Waycross48
by on Nov. 11, 2009 at 12:41 AM

Hi, from Nana Judy!  You may not want to hear this but it sounds like this is more of a discipline problem than anything else.  A four year old NEEDS a rest time each day and you need to enforce it.  Tell him he does NOT have to go to sleep, but he must lay down QUIETLY for at least 1/2 an hour.  I'll bet you that if you enforce it, you will find that he will actually go to sleep.  But, at least make him lay down and rest.  I did this with my grandson at this age.  He wouldn't always go to sleep for naptime so we began having "time out" (not in the punishment sense but for resting).  I emphasized that he did not have to go to sleep but he did have to lay down.  He was like a different person when he got up.  But, much of his behavior sounds like discipline problems.  You have to set some rules and guidelines and STICK TO THEM.  That's the most important thing of all when it comes to discipline - being consistent.  If you're not going to follow through with a threat - DON'T DO IT!  Kids know when we are serious and they know just how far they can go and how to push our buttons - don't think they don't.  Four year olds are active, but they are also old enough to behave themselves and be taught what is acceptable behavior in your household; especially when it comes to aggrivating his sister.  That is OFF LIMITS!!!  Now about him not being able to behave and control himself.  He is old enough to control his behavior - he just has not been taught how or you have not forced him to do it. (I'm NOT trying to make you feel bad here), but if you don't do something now - it's going to affect him in preschool and other situations in his life.  It's already affecting him in his Karate classes.  At karate - make him sit with YOU - not the other children, until he can control himself, if he can't control himself then he'll have to continue sitting with you.  If he still won't behave after you've warned him - don't say another word about it - just take him home. PERIOD!!!!  He has to learn that you mean business when you say something.  THIS is where most parents fall short - they yell, they threaten, but they don't DO anything.  It takes ten times yelling at them, warning them, before any move is made to enfoce the rule.  This cannot happen!!! That's why it's so important for you to be consistent with his discipline.  His behavior toward his sister is VERY important and believe me - I KNOW what I'm talking about here.  We went through this with my grandson who was 2 1/2 when my granddaughter was born.  He was extremely jealous of her.  This could be a part of his problem - the new baby.  Another BIG issue is this - at 4 years old - he is old enough to entertain himself for at least a part of playtime.  You should expect that of him at this age.  One thing that I've done which works well for me is to get them busy with a project and when he thoroughly engaged in the activity - walk away.   He should play by himself for at least half an hour.  Exactly "what" he plays is dependent on his particular interests but it's important for him to learn to entertain himself.  This is one of those things that is as important as a child learning to soothe himself to sleep at night.  When he's pulling on you or begging for your attention- you need to make him stop and realize that he cannot have all of your attention but you are going to have to help him learn to play on his own. I suspect that as an only child, you probably played with him most of the time and he's just not ever had to play on his own very much.  But, now that the baby is here - both of your lives have changed.  I know from my own experience and my 50 years of childcare, that a part of his behavior problems stem from the new baby in the family.  My grandchildren are 6 and 9 now and they are STILL jealous of each other.  But, now they have learned to compromise.  But, your immediate problem is teaching you son that he has to modify his behavior.  Rest assured that it won't be easy.  He's had four years of being "top dog" in the family and he's not going to take kindly to changes.  Seriously,  you do need to get his behavior under control.  Any time his actions get out of control - DEAL WITH IT RIGHT NOW!!  You do need to realize that he does NOT need to be entertained or be "playing" every minute of the day.  He DOES need to learn to control HIMSELF, but he can't do it without your help.  This is going to be trial and error so go with the flow - but DON'T allow him to break the rules. You need to establish whatever rules you think are necessary and STICK WITH IT.  As far as his behavior while shopping - that's just unacceptable for him to act this way.  Put him IN the basket and put your shopping items on the bottom if you can.  If not, put HIM in the basket seat and put the baby (and seat) in the basket part.  That might work better.  The overall goal here is to control his behavior.  As he learns to behave - you can allow him ore freedom but until he does - this will be the plan.  After four years of being the one and only - it's not going to happen overnight.  You'll have to work on it but BE CONSISTENT.  Remember, you're doing this for HIM as well as the rest of the family.  If you ever hope to have a peaceful life with a child who is not demanding all of your attention - then it's time to re-train him and modify his behavior. I wish you the very best.  God Bless you and feel free to email me if you would like to (Jumeaujs1@aol.com)  Nana Judy  ps. one final note - if all of this behavior modification does not work or you are having a serious problem dealing with him other than regular discipline problems - he may be have ADHD.  I know many people want to say their kids have this disorder when it's nothing more than a discipline issue.  You will have to be the one to determine if there is something more going on here.

ry22dance
by Bronze Member on Nov. 11, 2009 at 1:22 PM

 He can play by himself for awhile.  He has never needed me to allwyas play with him.  He has never been an only child.  We lived with my DH's parents, sister and his cousin for the last four years.  She is 6years old.  He can sit outside and play with play dough for hours by himself, but it's when he gets done playing with it that he want's somthing else to do immeditaely.   What are some good rules?  I have told him to keep his hands to himself, taken away toys for not cleaning them up, but he just goes on to play with other toys and doesn't care about the mising ones.

Quoting Waycross48:

Hi, from Nana Judy!  You may not want to hear this but it sounds like this is more of a discipline problem than anything else.  A four year old NEEDS a rest time each day and you need to enforce it.  Tell him he does NOT have to go to sleep, but he must lay down QUIETLY for at least 1/2 an hour.  I'll bet you that if you enforce it, you will find that he will actually go to sleep.  But, at least make him lay down and rest.  I did this with my grandson at this age.  He wouldn't always go to sleep for naptime so we began having "time out" (not in the punishment sense but for resting).  I emphasized that he did not have to go to sleep but he did have to lay down.  He was like a different person when he got up.  But, much of his behavior sounds like discipline problems.  You have to set some rules and guidelines and STICK TO THEM.  That's the most important thing of all when it comes to discipline - being consistent.  If you're not going to follow through with a threat - DON'T DO IT!  Kids know when we are serious and they know just how far they can go and how to push our buttons - don't think they don't.  Four year olds are active, but they are also old enough to behave themselves and be taught what is acceptable behavior in your household; especially when it comes to aggrivating his sister.  That is OFF LIMITS!!!  Now about him not being able to behave and control himself.  He is old enough to control his behavior - he just has not been taught how or you have not forced him to do it. (I'm NOT trying to make you feel bad here), but if you don't do something now - it's going to affect him in preschool and other situations in his life.  It's already affecting him in his Karate classes.  At karate - make him sit with YOU - not the other children, until he can control himself, if he can't control himself then he'll have to continue sitting with you.  If he still won't behave after you've warned him - don't say another word about it - just take him home. PERIOD!!!!  He has to learn that you mean business when you say something.  THIS is where most parents fall short - they yell, they threaten, but they don't DO anything.  It takes ten times yelling at them, warning them, before any move is made to enfoce the rule.  This cannot happen!!! That's why it's so important for you to be consistent with his discipline.  His behavior toward his sister is VERY important and believe me - I KNOW what I'm talking about here.  We went through this with my grandson who was 2 1/2 when my granddaughter was born.  He was extremely jealous of her.  This could be a part of his problem - the new baby.  Another BIG issue is this - at 4 years old - he is old enough to entertain himself for at least a part of playtime.  You should expect that of him at this age.  One thing that I've done which works well for me is to get them busy with a project and when he thoroughly engaged in the activity - walk away.   He should play by himself for at least half an hour.  Exactly "what" he plays is dependent on his particular interests but it's important for him to learn to entertain himself.  This is one of those things that is as important as a child learning to soothe himself to sleep at night.  When he's pulling on you or begging for your attention- you need to make him stop and realize that he cannot have all of your attention but you are going to have to help him learn to play on his own. I suspect that as an only child, you probably played with him most of the time and he's just not ever had to play on his own very much.  But, now that the baby is here - both of your lives have changed.  I know from my own experience and my 50 years of childcare, that a part of his behavior problems stem from the new baby in the family.  My grandchildren are 6 and 9 now and they are STILL jealous of each other.  But, now they have learned to compromise.  But, your immediate problem is teaching you son that he has to modify his behavior.  Rest assured that it won't be easy.  He's had four years of being "top dog" in the family and he's not going to take kindly to changes.  Seriously,  you do need to get his behavior under control.  Any time his actions get out of control - DEAL WITH IT RIGHT NOW!!  You do need to realize that he does NOT need to be entertained or be "playing" every minute of the day.  He DOES need to learn to control HIMSELF, but he can't do it without your help.  This is going to be trial and error so go with the flow - but DON'T allow him to break the rules. You need to establish whatever rules you think are necessary and STICK WITH IT.  As far as his behavior while shopping - that's just unacceptable for him to act this way.  Put him IN the basket and put your shopping items on the bottom if you can.  If not, put HIM in the basket seat and put the baby (and seat) in the basket part.  That might work better.  The overall goal here is to control his behavior.  As he learns to behave - you can allow him ore freedom but until he does - this will be the plan.  After four years of being the one and only - it's not going to happen overnight.  You'll have to work on it but BE CONSISTENT.  Remember, you're doing this for HIM as well as the rest of the family.  If you ever hope to have a peaceful life with a child who is not demanding all of your attention - then it's time to re-train him and modify his behavior. I wish you the very best.  God Bless you and feel free to email me if you would like to (Jumeaujs1@aol.com)  Nana Judy  ps. one final note - if all of this behavior modification does not work or you are having a serious problem dealing with him other than regular discipline problems - he may be have ADHD.  I know many people want to say their kids have this disorder when it's nothing more than a discipline issue.  You will have to be the one to determine if there is something more going on here.


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