15 answers

How Do I Get My 4 Year Old to Listen?

My son is 4 years old. I can't get him to listen to me at all. He tells me no, screams at me, and hits me. No disciplinning or rewarding has worked. I have no idea what to do.

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Hello K. H.
I have a daughter 5 and a son who is 9 and this works on both but I had to keep doing it until they knew I was serious. I count to 5 and before I started it they looked at me like I was crazy. I kept with it and now it works everywhere. I can do it all over the place and if they dont listen for some reason than I take away a favorite thing they have and it gets their attention. By the time I get to 3 and they dont listen they know they are going to loose a privelidge. It should work.

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Hi K., I have a 4 1/2 year old girl and we were having the same issues you are having with your son. She was great acting in her Nursery School and with other people, she just misbehaved at home. I finially had enough and asked her why she was doing the things she was doing and she said that we didn't listen to her. I wasn't that we were listening to her, it was that she was having a hard time communicating to us what she really wanted. She's a very smart little girl and she knew exactly what she wanted, but sometimes had a hard time putting it in to words so her father and I could understand her. We started to take more time to understand what she wanted from us and would repeat what she asked us to make sure that we actually knew what she wanted. Things are getting better and she is starting to misbehave less. On the occasions that she does misbehave now we take things away for a day or so depending on what she has done. We give her time outs when she speaks to us in a manner that is not exceptable and we sit down with her and have her explain to us why she thinks she go the time out. I have recently found out that giving her the silent treatment really works with her when she is yelling at me or hitting me. She really doesn't like the silent treatment. I hope this helps you, good luck with your son. Congratulations on your twins.

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hi, i HAVE TWO BOYS THAT ARE 6 YEARS APART AND WHEN MY YOUNGEST WAS BORN MY OLDEST ACTTED OUT IN THE SAME WAY JUST TO GET ATTENTION. I FOUND THAT IF I SET TIME APART TO DO SOMETHING FUN WITH HIM WHENEVER I COULD IT MADE HIM FEEL IMPORTANT. I EVEN FOUND THAT LETTING HIM HELP OUT WITH HIS BROTHER HELPED. SOMETIMES IT WAS A SIMPLE GAME OR 5 EXTRA MINS. OF CUDDLING. GIVE IT A TRY IT MIGHT WORK FOR YOU TO.

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The key is consistency. If something doesn't work right away, you have to try and stick to it. I have a 4 year old as well and had the same problem. What I chose to do was pick one punishment for each bad behavior and keep it that way. For example, if I get a bad report from his teacher, then he cannot play his video games for the night. If he yells at us, then he loses his Spongebob show for the night, etc. Just keep it consistent...good luck!

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i know this all to well.... some of it maybe due to having new siblings and setting time for just him is very important. also affirming what he is saying helps so he knows you are listening to him and hearing what he is saying. helping him understand consquences to his actions is important and following thru on them.... and trust me it can get hard in the beginning but you need to stick to your guns and having a place to sit and think about what he is doing is important. its hard so good luck and the book by adele/faber is really good to get ideas.. you have to adapt it to his age but thats easy...

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Hello K. H.
I have a daughter 5 and a son who is 9 and this works on both but I had to keep doing it until they knew I was serious. I count to 5 and before I started it they looked at me like I was crazy. I kept with it and now it works everywhere. I can do it all over the place and if they dont listen for some reason than I take away a favorite thing they have and it gets their attention. By the time I get to 3 and they dont listen they know they are going to loose a privelidge. It should work.

1 mom found this helpful

I know you've tried everything, but make sure you are consistant with it, when you are disiplineing him. I dont know it all, but I myself have 3 kids,6,3,and 2, so I know how hard it is, but they'll get tired of what ever punishment you set for them if it takes up to much of their time; what works for me with all three of my kids is standing in the corner, facing the wall, they are also not allowed to touch the wall, trust me they'll feel it, they will cry and scream that their tired, but they have to know that if they do not listern, they will go in that corner, and the longer they cry and screm is the longer they'll stay there; when they finnally stop their madness, they have an extra 5 to 10 min in the corner, then when they come out, I tell them why they were in the corner, and if they do it again thats were they will be, Hopefully it work for you, just be consistant.
If u get some time, let me know how it goes, ok
But remember it takes time.

1 mom found this helpful

That book How to talk so kids will listen is great-they even have seminars at the family center.. It works wonders

P.

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I had a serious problem with my ex husbands kids...and though they were older than yours when i came into the relationship they had some EXTREME behavorial issues... They would very often refuse to listen, call me vicious names, and even at times hit me;hard. Their father used spanking as a way to disaplin(excuce my spelling) his kids and i refused to use that for a while... much to my dismay when all my efforts failed in other venues, I had to resort to if you hit me i will hit you back, they had left me no choice... eventually through spending time with them, and showing them that there were ther options to expressing their anger those episodes got less and less. and we started to develope a working relationship where they listed(most of the time) to what i was saying and i LISTENED to what they were saying(that was key) What I'm trying to say, is that maybe, being four and not really knowing how to express fealing of anger, jealosy, or neglect, that acting out is the only way he knows how to tell you that something is wrong. I don't know what you have tried but perhaps setting aside a time of day especially for him, perhaps when the twins are asleep. it could be as simple as watching a movie together, making cookies, playing a game whether it be make believe or with a favorite toy that requires 2 players. and LISTEN to what he saysand in some occasions what he DOESN'T say. even at 4 i'm sure he talks as much as he's able. Perhaps after an incident such as this give hima time out and then before letting him leave the corner, talk with him. Say I know You are mad/angry at mommy; tell my what you are angry about. Being only four this may take a While for him to get used to or even really express(i'm not sure what a 4 year old's verbal abbilities are). But perhaps if you can incourage him to talk maybe that will help. I know it helped me in the long run. but it WILL take plenty of TIME.

Good Luck, I hoped this helped
-N.

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