A.V. asks from San Antonio, TX on May 07, 2008
How Can I Discipline My 4 Year Old Son
I need some advice on how i can dicipline my 4 year old son. Every time he dose something wrong and I get after him he throws a tantrum and throws himself on the floor or trys to hit my 3 year old or me. I don't know what to do because i have tried putting him in the corner or punsh him and he thinks he can do what ever he want.
1 mom found this helpful
M.P. answers from Houston on May 08, 2008
I have a 13 year old and when I put my 4 year old's toys in time out my older one remembers me doing the same thing to him. So every time he threw a toy or object that item got the time out instead. That way he wasn't in time out all the time. When it was really bad, they had to stand in a corner and face the wall for every minute of their age. Also, to get them to clean up their messes we sing the clean up song. If that don't work I throw their toys away. My 4 year old always runs when I say "ok, what's going in the trash?"
L.W. answers from Austin on May 08, 2008
There is a book (cassette) called "123 Magic" that I used on my daughter when she was little. I have two older sons that were very difficult to manage and time out would not work. You should be able to find it at amazon. It took a couple times of listening through it and trying it out on my daughter, but she almost never throws tantrums any more. Whatever you decide to do, consistancy is the key. Just be calm and what ever you decide over and over until he gets it. Teaching them early is the key to not having to dealing with much bigger problems as they get older. I know I did everything wrong with my boys who are 25 and 23 and I am learning how to do them right with my daughter. Good luck.
C.S. answers from Victoria on May 08, 2008
My son is a trantrum thrower too. I created a new house rule, which states if you need to throw a tantrum, then you have to go to your room to do it because nobody else wants to hear it. This allows the child the freedom to express himself, but doesn't subject anyone else to it. They know that when they stop crying and can control themselves they are more than welcomed to come and joine the rest of the house. My son is now two and when he starts with the tantrum, I just have to ask, "Do you need to go to your room?" and he immediately stops crying and says, "nope, I'm good." Then he runs off to go play or do whatever. Hope this helps for you. I stopped the control issue of it by letting him know he could do it, but I did control where he did it and then he chooses on his own if he acts that way or not. Mostly not, but there are days when he apparently needs a good cry. Hope this helps you. I have a daughter who is 3 and I know she helps him to have a tantrum a lot of the time. Siblings.... I see your are close in age too, so that maybe what is happening too.
D.T. answers from San Antonio on May 08, 2008
When it come to tantrums the thing to do is ingore them. The child only throws one because he know he will get some sort of attenetion. I now it will be hard to do, but when he starts just calmly walk way and keep yourself busy. At first he my follow you and want attention, but if you have him in time out calmly pick him up and put him back. Tell with with a firm voice that time out is not over and go back to what you are doing. In time he will understand that he is not getting any attentention from his tantrums. Good luck
S.S. answers from San Antonio on May 08, 2008
Get the book "Parenting With Love and Logic." If you don't get the book, you can go out to their Web site, where they have tons of helpful information. www.loveandlogic.com
The Love and Logic philosophy (also used by many school districts) helps kids learn to evaluate choices and make their own decisions. It's as effective on toddlers as it is on adults. Most kids who throw tantrums do it as an emotional response to something in their lives that they feel is out of their control. Our jobs as parents is not to "control" our kids, it is to help them see the choices they have in front of them, and the consequences or results of each choice. This foundation for decision making helps kids gain self-confidence and the ability to make the right choices as they get older and more independent from their parents.
Young kids don't have the emotional maturity or the vocabulary to let us know what they are thinking and feeling, so tantrums and attention-getting behavior are typical emotional responses. When my kids whine or throw tantrums, I tell them in a calm voice that we will continue talking (or whatever we were doing) when they have finished. Then I walk away. If they haven't come to me within a minute or two, I will check on them and remind them that I am ready to talk when they are. Then I walk away again. They can keep crying and screaming - that is one of their choices. But when they see that I'm not responding to it, and more importantly, they're not getting what they want, they usually come around pretty quickly.
Kids sometimes make "wrong" choices. We have to let them do that and give them the chance to see for themselves why it was a bad choice - no lectures, no "I told you so." Only then will they be able to see what the "good" choices are, because they learn that it is up to them to make the choice.
A.W. answers from Houston on May 08, 2008
Having taught 4 year olds for years (and raising 3 of my own), I hwve found that every child has something they like and do not want to be separated from...for instance, one child loved to be around lots of people, so separating them helped eliminate the undesirable behavior. Maybe it is a special toy, tv, whatever. Use that as the correcting tool. Second, remove yourself and the other children from the "fit"...tell him when he is done he may join you and the rest of the family but you all don't have to be present for his tantrums. All are different and require different means of building up and redirecting when things are not going the right way. Good luck...it is definitely worth all the effort.
K.K. answers from Houston on May 07, 2008
With children this age I believe that the techniques used on the show Supernanny are right on. They key is consistency. Give him one warning and then put him in time out for 4 minutes every time he tantrums. Reward days when he does not have a tantrum. Don't give up, it will pass if you handle it calmly and consistently. Don't let him get you upset, be calm and just put him back in time out if he gets out. Good luck!
L.S. answers from Houston on May 08, 2008
Watch Super Nanny: exceelent advice, she is wonderful. I think she comes on tonight on one of the prime stations
K.C. answers from Houston on May 08, 2008
I know it may sound strange but you may try and give him a baby doll to take care of. Show him how to love it and put it to sleep. When my son was younger he use to have fits and hit people but I noticed how he use to play with his sisters dolls and thats where I got the idea. Soon afterwards he got his own doll and started taking care of her and those fits went away. dont get me wrong my son still acts up but nowhere near what he use to. I hope this helps.
R.L. answers from Houston on May 07, 2008
I agree consistency is key! If you threaten a punishment you HAVE to follow through.
A great book is Parenting For The Strong Willed Child. It has some great techiniques and it is perfect for your sons age. It was reccomended to us by a child psychiatrist, and it did wonders.