Does anyone have advice on how to deal with a 4-year old who calls his parents and his little brother names?
He knows not to say certain words like "stupid" or "dumb," so instead he has made up bad words. For instance, if he's angry at his little brother for taking away a toy, he'll say, "You Funk!" Or if he's mad at me because I tell him it's time to pick up his toys and go upstairs to bed, he'll say, "You Stupor!" He sometimes hits, too (us and his brother).
I don't like his attitude, though I know he needs to let off steam. We've tried time-outs, taking TV away, etc.
Should we just ignore this? Are there better ways to deal with it than we've tried so far?
Four year olds (although they'd rather you didn't think so) are old enough to learn that name-calling and hitting - especially of parents - is NOT allowed. And no, I do not think it should be tolerated.
In my house, saying "I'm mad at you, Mommy" or "I'm REALLY mad at you, Mommy" or even yelling it was okay at that age. Hitting Mommy or calling Mommy a name was NOT okay. If they felt the need to hit or name call, they were welcome to go to their rooms and hit their beds all they wanted. I would offer that option while walking them to a bedroom. If the behavior continued, consequences were immediate. Time-out with a timer and in a room by themselves was usually enough.
Toys that caused siblings to fight often got extended time-outs, too!
I also wouldn't fall for the made-up name trick. Mine tried that, too. Despite the fact that he changes it to "stupor", you're still being called stupid. I wasn't willing to accept that.
I have a 4 year old daughter. The couple of times that she tried to hit me earned her a butt popping with a trip to her room. After she calmed down, I would tell her that she is not allowed to hit me or anyone else. She has also tried calling names, in which I have also told her was not allowed. She will now vocalize when she is mad and why. It takes time and patience. Stick to your guns. Good Luck.
They can get fresh, can't they. The form of discipline that worked best with my kids (and still does) is to hit them where it hurts--and, I don't mean physically, I've never once spanked either of them. Whenever they have disobeyed and it was something I thought worth punishment, the punishment was two fold: I would remove a privilege and then put them to work. For example, at 4 years old it may have been my son would not have been allowed to watch Ninja Turtles that day and instead had to "work." At that age, it was usually washing a window with a rag and spray bottle. The window had to be washed by me later when he was out of sight, but that's not the point. I still use this as a punishment, my 13 year old girl lied a big one last week and as a punishment she had to miss the Friday night dance and instead wash all the doors upstairs. My Dad used slave labor and deprivation on us growing up, never once raised his voice or hand, and it worked pretty well on us. I think it's worked pretty well with my kids, as now I usually only have to invoke labor and deprivation every once in a great, great while, and it's been over two years since my son has had to wash a door or window for punishment.
See, the time-out thing never worked on me, because I would always sneak out of the chair and run off and hide (I was very stealthy). And since I lived at my grandma's house, she never let my mom lift a finger to me in punishment, so I got away with a lot.
I would first explain to them that their words are hurtful to you and your other kids and that they need to cool down (feel free to paraphrase). Use this method a few times, and if they still don't learn, then a little love tap on the bum will be good.
Hehe, go figure this - the membewho hates kids and doesn't want any is giving parenting advice. Can you not taste the irony?
Thanks for your help, everyone. I like the idea of putting him to work! And immediately taking away priveleges is also a good strategy.
However, I disagree with the person who says to spank. Is it appropriate to teach your kid not to hit by hitting them? I think not. I've never, ever raised my hand to my little boy and don't intend to. I was spanked as a kid, and it only served to make me afraid of my father.
I don't mean to laugh, but you sound like you are raising my son! He will be 4 in July, and is actually speech delayed, But he CAN call us Big Head, and tell me he is going to beat my Big Butt! Honestly I think they outgrow it, I used to have my nephew call everyone dirt (he was 4 and I was 13) He is 17 now and a great boy who doesn't say a mean thing to anyone!! Just ignore it. It will be a funny memory one day!!