19 answers

4-Year-old Out of Control at Dr.

I am so upset. My 4-year-old ran around the Dr. office. He would not stay in the room. He even kept opening the door that led to the hallway outside. He was making loud sounds and poking me. He hurt my eye. I was trying to hold onto him and he was giggling and thrashing like a maniac. I could not hear the Dr. I told him I expected him to sit quietly at the office or play with the toys quietly. This happens every time we go. His other siblings were there, too. The timing had to work that way this time. If he is alone he is not so bad. Today when we got home he had a time-out, and I talked about how upset I was with his behavior in the car. He cried the whole way home.

Why is he a total brat at the office? He does this at my Dr. too, or the bank, etc. It's not that he is scared of the Dr. or anything. Anything that is not TOTALLY kid centered, like Chuck E. Cheese, he is a total brat and I cannot control him. I cannot take him anywhere, but I have a life to live trying to raise my family. I do have to take him to appts. every now and then. He is worse than the baby.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

for one you have no control over him as you said, and guess what mom...HE KNOWS THAT. you need to start setting HARSH ground rules and find a way to make him literally afraid of getting in trouble.

maybe start a reward/punishment system, however, find something that works soon because it'll just get worse and worse if you don't nip it in the bud NOW...

1 mom found this helpful

I think the key to resolving this behavior is to talk before the appointments or anywhere he acts like this about what you expect from him. Before you even take him out of the car tell him what you expect and don't expect and then what the consequences are if he does not behave.

This sounds to good to be true to work, but it really does work.

More Answers

for one you have no control over him as you said, and guess what mom...HE KNOWS THAT. you need to start setting HARSH ground rules and find a way to make him literally afraid of getting in trouble.

maybe start a reward/punishment system, however, find something that works soon because it'll just get worse and worse if you don't nip it in the bud NOW...

1 mom found this helpful

I hate long waits at the doctor's office! I would do jumping jacks with my kids or sing silly action songs (I'm a Little Teapot). If that didn't work, I'd tell them that I didn't think they could hop on one leg 10 times in a row. They'd say something like, "That's so easy!" I'd say, "Really? Prove it." After they did one leg, I'd exclaim shock and ask if they could do the other leg. Usually by that time, the doctor would come in.

As they got older, we'd play the "Quiet Game." See who could stay quiet the longest - whomever lasted the longest would get a prize (sugarless gum or a sucker - always have some in my purse). I'd say, "One, Two, Three - QUIET!" And we'd all be quiet. Sometimes I'd burp or do something silly, which would make everyone laugh and then we'd have to start over! "One, Two, Three - QUIET!"

When we were out and about - the threat of going home immediately would be hanging over their heads. They knew this because I would tell them exactly what would happen to them if they got out of line on the drive over to where ever we were going. I would make them promise to behave. Also, we would review how we behave at the bank or store or restaurant or doctor's office. If we couldn't leave immediately if they acted up, they knew that they would go to their room for the rest of the day and only come out for meals and bathroom breaks.

You know, I only had to do that to one kid once (I have 3) and no one else even dares to step a toe out of line when we're out. They so know better now. They act up at home, and that's where it should happen.

I mean what I say and I say what I mean. No empty threats. Be consistent and be firm.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

4 is a difficult age, no? I am finding it incredibly frustrating at times too!

Here's what works for us: I set brief, clear expectations ahead of time (like 10-15 minutes before we head out the door to the appt), and I make sure he can repeat the rules back to me. We call this "following the rules". And I praise him like crazy for good behavior, and give him reminders of, "Oh, that's not following the rules" kind of statements. (for the record, I also learn to let a lot of things go - like if they're crawling on the floor at the dr's office, ew, but fine....wash hands when you get home, and baths before bed, etc) Then when we get home, following great behavior, we make another big deal out of it - we tell daddy, call grandma, etc, depending on the event.

If I have to, I will excuse myself from the doctor, and set him in a time out immediately. I might also ask him to sit outside the door (with it open) to remove his "audience" so that I can talk to the doctor w/o interruption.

I know that when I try to "control" my kids, it almost always backfires on me. But, when I give them two choices (both directed toward the result I am aiming for), it actually gives the "control" back to them. For example - You can wear your blue shoes, or your tennis shoes. You can walk there, or I can carry you. You can sit in the chair quietly, or you can sit in the hallway quietly. You can stay in this play area, or you can come back to the table and sit. And I follow it up with, "You have a choice". And on and on....yes, it's exhausting, but it (mostly) gets me the results I want without too much resistance from my boys. It puts the responsibility of their behavior on them, and shows them (natural) consequences when needed.

Maybe when things are calm, and you're just hanging out at home with nowhere to go, you could talk about good behavior, and what helps Mommy, and what the rules are when out of the house.

Good luck, Mama & hang in there!

When my children were that age, I had them carry little backpacks filled with toys, coloring books and crayons so that they will have something to occupy their time while they waited for me to finish doing my adult-centered things. If they still acted up, even with having these great things to do/play with, then they would get the naughty corner for 4-minutes. My children have always know, that there are naughty corners wherever we are in the world. These things worked for me. Perhaps they will work for you as well.

Dear J.,
It sounds like your son needs clear and consistent discipline. I imagine that you notice the terrible behavior more at appts and such because it is more embarrassing there than at Chuck E Cheese. He will do whatever he can get away with. Does he ever have consequences for his behavior? There is no good reason why an otherwise healthy child cannot act with self-control and respect in any setting. The responsiblity to teach him this lands squarely on your shoulders. It is very hard but necessary work. It pays off hugely once you start to see the fruit of the hours you have invested in disciplning and shepherding your children.

I think the key to resolving this behavior is to talk before the appointments or anywhere he acts like this about what you expect from him. Before you even take him out of the car tell him what you expect and don't expect and then what the consequences are if he does not behave.

This sounds to good to be true to work, but it really does work.

Did you speak to him about his behavior and discipline him when you got home? There needs to be consequences for this type of behavior or he'll never learn. Have you tried time outs? What about taking away his TV time? Looking at your previous posts that is what he seems to treasure the most. I know you mention that YOU need the TV time as well so that you can get breaks but I would take it away from him (next time) anyway. I'm sure it will only take 1-2 times for him to know that you mean business. Speak to him before going out and explain how you expect him to behave and what the consequences for not behaving will be. Then enforce them.

Now the other things I think you need to consider, and maybe you already have, are the following ...

1.) was he tired?
2.) was he hungry?
3.) was he bored?

It's is difficult to get even the most behaved child to behave under those circumstances. Make sure he has adequate rest, isn't hungry (bring a snack), and maybe bring some items along to keep him entertained.

I found this link which as cute ideas to keep the little ones happy & entertained at the doctors office.

http://learningdevelopmentactivities.blogspot.com/2010/01...

It's hard to say, not knowing your son, but if he seems perfectly normal andf age-appropriate at other times, I'd work with him with a child therapist. If he has other behavior quirks or is developmentally behind, I'd have him evaluated for delays and autism. My doctor daughter was terrified of needles (weird, huh?) and gave me huge problems at the doctor's, but you said he's not fearful.

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