What can I possibly do to get my four year old child under control?
It has become absolutely ridiculous with the way he is acting. I have spoken with his doctor about his behavior and she even got to see how he was acting for herself. He set an example for himself right in the doctor's office. She told him to sit in the chair because it was not safe for him to be in the position he was in (sitting with his knees bent and feet up under him). He looked at her and simply said "no". She said, "okay, I will give you until the count of three to sit in the chair like I asked or you will have to stand." She counted to three and he still didn't listen. She made him stand. Also, just yesterday I took him to the grocery store and told him exactly what the doctor told me to tell him. "When we go in this store you will sit in the cart and not get out. If you choose to get out we will leave." Apparently it didn't work. As soon as we hit the produce he was out of the cart and running around and putting stuff in the cart that he wanted. I never did leave the store because I didn't have another day to do my shopping. It was so embarrassing. One lady actually asked me if he needed a doctor because of his behavior. When we are home I ask him to clean up his toys and he tells me he doesn't feel like it. I ask him to clean up a mess he has made with food or something and he tells me NO. Threatening and spanking do not work! I really need some help. I'm expecting another child and really want things to be nice and smooth around here. Someone please help me!
Parenting is one of the tough jobs around. You are right threatening and physical punishment often don't work.
Just as the doctor did you have to be willing to follow through with the consequence. If you tell your child that you will leave the store if they don't listen then you need to leave the store if they don't follow your instructions. By not following through with your words you are only teaching your son that his behaviors are okay.
You might also want to check out our parenting website at www.parenting.org for some additional ideas on how to work with your child.