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Old 09-10-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Defiant 4 year old

I need some advice/help with my 4 year old daughter. She is extremely smart, and I'm not just saying this because she's my daughter. She can already blend sounds and can count to 40 - yay! We are very proud of her! She draws in 3 point perspective, and this alone tells us that she must be advanced. She has always been exceptionally good with vocabulary, using correct words and enunciating very well from a young age.

Now, getting to the point, she is a very defiant child. She challenges us to no end, always saying "NO!" whenever we ask her to do something. The past two nights, she has refused to pee before bedtime, even though she knows this is one of the rules. She is the kind of child that gets very engrossed in projects and has a very difficult time transitioning from one task to the next.

Whenever we get together with our family, she loves playing with her twin four year old (older) male cousins. They are constantly tattling on her (ie. "Madeline hit me, Madeline won't stop poking me, Madeline is standing in front of the TV, Madeline took my toy"). I hate this! Tonight, she took a hammer and tried to hit one of the boys on the head. My husband became irrate, settled down, then asked her why she did this. She said she saw it on the show "Wow Wow Wubbzy", which is relatively calm! (We don't let her watch anything other than Nick Jr. or Sprout).

She doesn't respond to sticker charts or anything of that nature. We have tried...I feel like I should know what to do. She is the only child in her preschool class that does not always listen to the teacher - she prefers to do what SHE wants to do (I AM a teacher, and I tell her the importance of listening to the teacher and cooperating with others DAILY!)

What else can I do???
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

Oh Laura, I was actually coming on this board to post something similar. Maybe it is something in the PA water? (I am near Lancaster).

My 4 1/2 year old son has been awful lately. Ornery is how I describe him. He is also very smart and has a large vocabulary. But the last month has been a nightmare. He is also not listening. It is constant. He was outside without shoes on last night and my husband asked him to go inside and put some on. He said NO and ran into the back yard. He had a half hour tantrum because he wanted to take the vacuum handle out into the yard and play Star Wars with it. Seriously, he never had a tantrum that bad when he was 2 or 3!

We were out to dinner tonight and he didn't want to eat. We went to an amusement park last weekend and he didn't want to choose a ride. Hundreds of rides in the park and he wanted to look at games. We played one game and when he didn't win, he threw a fit. Tonight, at dinner, when he played a claw game at the restaurant, he didn't like the rubber duck he won and said something mean about it.

Seriously, I don't know if he is just a brat or if this is normal at their age. I know independence is their middle name at this age.

I don't think we spoil him. We punish by taking away his favorite toys. After the shoe incident, he lost all Wii privileges for the entire weekend. I told him he can start to earn back the privilege starting Monday.

My son does do well with sticker charts if it means he gets a toy at the end. He is very toy motivated. I really try my best not to buy him anything special unless he earns it. However, I don't even want to buy him toys. He doesn't deserve them.

I will say because I am a SAHM, that I do a lot with him. We have a zoo membership, museum memberships, we attend playgroup and indoor gym sessions. He goes to school and the teachers say nice things about him. However, I am aware he wants to do things on his terms. He refuses to participate in music class at school. If he doesn't get the instrument he wants, he will sulk and not participate.

I am afraid I don't have much advice, but I can totally relate to what you are going through. Perhaps this is all very normal. My son was really on my last nerve last night. I sent him to his room and got right up to his face with my finger and gave him a "what for." Seriously, all I could see was myself pulling down his pants and spanking him real good (I didn't), but I really wanted to!!!

At least we know we are not alone!!!
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Wink Re: Addressing defiant small children.

I think a lot of children go through this phase. My niece has an awful habit of saying naughty phrases to family, friends and strangers. It can be irritating at times, but I remind myself she is just a small child who partially doesn't know any better. React to their actions when necessary. Don't feed them attention or they'll do it more. (~_~)'* Simply ignoring them can sometimes be the best thing to do.

 
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

My girl was like this also. The NO continues (age 19), tatrums and defiance until about 6 1/2. Your child will be fine, you...pull out your hair.

Last edited by dee088; 09-11-2011 at 02:45 PM.

 
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

Is she being put into time out when she pulls these stunts with you?

I have a step daughter who is quite similar. She is 4 1/2 and very smart as well, but she has a nasty little attitude that I will not tolerate. She likes to say "NO", "leave me alone" and "shut up", none of which fly in my home. When she says "No" when asked to do something, I'll usually say "excuse me?" and if she says no again she is placed in time out. Now she's more respectful towards her father and I when she is here.

She recognizes that when she mouths off, she is faced with a punishment so in turn she changes her behavior to avoid punishment.

At her mothers on the other-hand, it's a completely different story.

Her mother allows her to act like that without having a consequence. So things get to be as bad as the 4 1/2 year old calling her mother an "a-hole" and telling her to "shut up" all the time.

Her and I clearly have two different parenting styles.

 
Old 10-09-2011, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

I have to laugh a little...it really is nice to know that you are not alone sometimes, been there...still there. My 4 is my third and she tends to be babied a little by her siblings. One of the hardest things to do is sit still - so a chair turned to a wall with a timer can help. But, she is still near the action, can her the TV, the older kids etc. Although she sometimes argues through the whole process. IF she can apologize and correct her action, she then can get down early, otherwise,it is a LONG 15 minutes and she has to go to her room by herself. She usually caves within 5 minutes. Plus a good stink eye can work wonders . GOOD LUCK!!!

 
Old 10-09-2011, 11:58 PM   #7
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

What ever punishment method needs to be constistant. You can not punish her one day and not the other.

 
Old 10-11-2011, 04:50 PM   #8
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by dee088 View Post
What ever punishment method needs to be constistant. You can not punish her one day and not the other.
I second this.

Kids will learn quite easily who the push-overs are and they WILL take full advantage of that person. Being consistent not only makes YOUR life easier when dealing with your child, it helps their future teachers, daycare providers, and even your child themselves. Children NEED consistency, and they NEED discipline.

 
Old 10-13-2011, 02:15 PM   #9
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Re: Defiant 4 year old

LauraLu, I think you should just lock the kid up in your closet until she's about 30....

Seriously, though, my 3 year old is my problem child now. It's so hard, because she is so darn cute, it's really hard to discipline her! But I'm learning from my mistakes.... S L O W L Y....

First thing I have had to do is crack down on her. I can't let anything go! I also have to be extra mean with her.... and by that, I mean I can't allow myself to be amused by anything she does when I'm disciplining her (that is so HARD, because right in the middle of a lecture, she'll say, "Mommy, I just love you so much!" and I'm like, "Oh, okay, here, have a cookie!".... it's BAD!).

She's such a sweet kid 99.9% of the time, but when she goes off, it's really REALLY ugly!

So the crack down meant that every single time there was any infraction, it was an automatic time out for her. And it had to be real time out, Supernanny style. With the walking her to the spot, telling her why she was there, and setting a timer for 3 minutes, where she would sit and nobody could talk to her during that time. Then after the timer beeped, I'd ask her why she was there, she'd tell me, she'd apologize, there were hugs, and we went on our way. The exceptions being, if she was screaming, I would give her ONE chance to stop, and then I stuck her outside on the back porch. I know, it's almost as horrible as putting her in the closet, but she got over it fast, and we only had to go out there once (my 5 year old probably clocked HOURS out on the porch at that age.... that kid is stubborn!).

Anyway, we did the crack down for a solid week, and she learned pretty fast that we have rules and the rules need to be followed or there would be consequences. Oh yeah, dad has to be on board, too, and occasionally he needs some extra coaching (but quietly so she doesn't hear, so dad keeps his authority!).

I don't have to be quite so strict with her now. I can let some things go. But when she starts to get too out of hand, I have to crack down on her again. We cycle every other month or so, I'd say.

Another thing I do is give her a choice. Like if she doesn't want to go potty, and she starts to throw a fit, her choice is this: Okay, you can either go potty like a big girl, or you can go potty kicking and screaming and with a pop on the hiney. Either way, you are going potty. Some things I just can't yield on, and going potty is one of them (for her health, for my laundry, and for my sanity!!!). It makes it an easy choice for her to make!

Does any of this help??? Don't forget, there's always the closet!

 
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