4-Year Old Argueing!!!!

Updated on April 18, 2007
S.B. asks from Bedias, TX
6 answers

My 4 year old stepson argues about EVERYTHING!!!! He argues about stuff he has no idea about.
Like when we were at my parents and he argued with my mom about a toy being broke. He has never played with this toy and had no idea about it. Sometimes I think he is argueing just to hear himself talk, but it is driving me crazy. And yesterday I went and watched him at his daycare without him knowing I was there and I saw him argueing with the teacher when she told him to do something or when he got in trouble. I have tried to talk to him about this and I have put him in time out and grounded him from playing outside or for riding his bike for a week and nothing is working. I know that I started argueing with my mom when I was pre-teen but 4 years old!!! What do I do?

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answers from Sherman on

I am a mother of 4 children of my own and 3 step-children. 2 of my boys could argue with a wall starting at a very young age. Each child ,just like adults, are different. Some are arguementitive and some are passive,some talk loudly and some quietly. Believe me I know it's irritating but you just have to find the tactic that works best for your child. Grounding seemed to work best for my boys. God only knows I tried everything. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

I'm not a professional by any means, I'm just a mom!
This kid has suffered a traumatic experience by being separated from his mother or whoever was taking care of him before you got him, so my advice is that you and your hubby need to exercise a lot patience and guidance (preferebly with professional help) for him to unlearned the old ways of life & problem solving, conflict, resposibility and self steem issues...if he's four I don't wanna know what will be like as a teenager.
Your step son is a byproduct of selfish adults that married because they were in love, but couldn't love each other because they were married. Adults haven't learned or care to learned that kids are the ones that pay for our mistakes and selfishness.
Love this child as if it was your very own and build his self steem, this kid is crying out for help and I'm afraid this is deeper that you can see at the surface, help him please!



answers from Houston on

My first question is : do you fight back? Cause if you dont ignore it, it will get worse. I know it sounds easy and trust I know its very nerve wrecking But I have a 5,3,2 yr olds.. All they do is fight and fuss. With me and each other. Also m you need to sit down with his dad and see were you stand on punishment. Even thiugh hes only 4 this change is tough for him too. I hope Ive helped a little....C.



answers from Tyler on

I don't have first hand experience with this except from my arguing as a child myself. The result to my arguing with my mom just got me slapped in the mouth if she got tired of hearing it. What I WOULD suggest is talking to your husband and seeing what he thinks about his son's arguing and also to see where you stand in punishing him. Then I would be very strict with him about arguing and not allow him to get away with it...PERIOD, whether you're at the store, park, or home. If it's a case where he knows whats going on and has an opinion, then I would allow him to express himself, and then put your foot down about what is and what will be. Also, don't forget to acknowledge his feelings so that he doesn't feel like he doesn't matter. I hope this helps.



answers from Houston on

To begin with you need to figure out why he argues. Does he do it for the attention?, control?, power? Then you need to find times when he is not being argumentative and make a big deal of it. If he asks for a tv show and you tell him no and he finds something else to do without an argument hug him and say something like"what a big guy you are, you did not argue with me when I told you no. I really like it when you act this way. How about a high five?" You are rewarding his appropriate behavior and giving the reward of your attention and a high five. I would have hidden treats (walmart has hot wheels for 97 cents and they are great for little boys) and when he has a whole day without arguing give him one and say "you went a whole day without arguing, this is for your appropriate behavior" You are then going to be able to stretch out the time between rewards as needed. Consistency is the key. If you change your expectations one time you will probably have to start over because then he knows that if he tries harder, he can break you down.
Okay if that doesn't work, what I will tell you to do may make it worse before it gets better. If you do this consistently it will work. First, he may not understand what arguing is. When he does it, you need to say "Son, this is arguing and it is not appropriate. When you are ready to talk without arguing then we can talk." Then stop responding to him until he stops. IF this causes other behaviors then he will get the consequences appropriate to the behavior. If he truly does not seem to understand, then record his voice when he does it. You can then play it back for him to let him hear himself and hear what arguing is. Or perhaps you and dad can show him with some play acting what he is doing. Sit him down at the table and do a play with dad being him. Then you and dad can sit down and tell him that he needs to act appropriately.

don't know if that helps but I hope it will.



answers from Longview on

I am not sure about the degree of effectiveness for a 4 yr old.

But this is what I did with my teenagers (4 of them) and it worked great with them.

Rules --argue about them is not an option. You may state your opinion in 2 sentences or so. You may state the reasons for your opinion in about 2 sentences. But that should all take you about 5 minutes. AFter that my ears are closed so no use talking.

I will consider your words because you may have some valid points.

I will give you my opinion and reasons in the same length of time and words--so we don't get sick of each other. ; )

Then all discussion is closed. If I have decided to change the rule after thinking about it for a few hours, I will let you know. But you dont' ask me, you don't bring it up again, and you don't throw any fits of any kind.

This teaches them how to talk about things, how to be patient, how to present their case, and makes a peaceful household.

If they cannot close their mouth after the alloted time they are told to go to their room. (had one like that) In the bedroom they can talk all they want, but there is no one to discuss it with and mine was very social. He hated to sit there arguing with a blank wall. LOL He would rather get it under control and learn how to be with the family and enjoy our time together rather than arguing.

But in order for this to work you have to let them have their time of thoughts without interruption. And they have to learn to hear you speak without interruption. Questions are allowed but only a few....nothing to drag out things.

Good luck

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