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i0penattheclose
i0penatthec... asks:
Q:

my four year old is mean

I am in need of some help and advise. I have a four year old son who is just plain mean sometimes and very defiant. He is constantly telling me no to everything i ask, even simple little things like "please turn off the light" but its not like hes just saying no hes screaming no, and then tells me he hates me. everything has become such a challenge with him. if hes not telling me he hates me because of something i am telling him to do its him telling me that I hate him, sometimes he will say you dont love me, which is heartbreaking to hear. i just dont know what to do anymore, he seems so happy around everyone except me, he listens to others well but not me,and i want to be the best mother i can but this is really making it hard for me to communicate with my child. he will not listen to me unless its something that benefits him. it really worries me that someone his age is like this. please help!!
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Dr.Monika
May 9, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Behavioral issues in children can definitely be challenging.  A 4-year-old, like all chidden need discipline, an educational system that teaches them to function with the family and society.  Start with positive reinforcement, such as praises for positive things that your son does. At the same time, implement consequences for behaviors that you do not approve of and enforce them consistently.  Consistency is the key here.  Also, consider taking with a pediatric therapist who can help you in the management of your son's outburst.

Best regards.
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Additional Answers (2)

jplockot
jplockot writes:
Read The Strong Willed Child as well as anything you can find on Love & Logic.
At 4, a favorite word is still no, and then would do what I asked. Love and Logic, if he is screaming, you would calmly say, "Oh, no, I only listen to little boys who speak to me in a calm voice." and walk off.
My child tried the "I hate you." That stopped really quickly when I responded excitedly with a "YES! I'm doing my job wonderfully!", a fist pump, and walk off without acknowledging the reaction.
For, "You hate me!", respond with I'm sorry you feel that way, and then move on.

He acts that way around you because he is most comfortable WITH you. This was a hard one for me to realize. When he is uncomfortable, he doesn't know how to react. Hang in there. At this age he is still trying to figure out acceptable vs not acceptable as well as communicating feelings. It can be very frustrating for him
> 60 days ago

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ChiefLaughALot
ChiefLaughA... writes:
I wonder if part of the issue isn't in your third sentence "everything I ask". I don't "ask" my son to do things I tell him to do things. If when you say no it does not mean no at 2,3,4 it sure as heck ins't going to me no at 14,15,16.
He has the power at this point because you have given him the power. You need to take it back. How? Consequences. Tell him to make his bed (or whatever) and if the answer is "no" then an appropriate consequence. (sleep on a pallet on the floor until the bed is properly ready for sleeping) We have, for example, a rule in our home that the children are never to lock any doors (bedroom, bathroom etc) for safety reasons. They may close them but not lock them. One day our son (age 11) locked the bathroom door. Then he needed a bath towel. I could not get it to him because the door was locked. Result. Consequence for breaking a rule. The doorknob to his bathroom was removed and it took 3 weeks for me to find a suitable replacement that could not be locked. In the interim, there was nothing there to keep the door shut so if he happen to be in there and the dog opened the door, so sad for him. Another incident, the son said "no" when told to take all the garbage out. Consequense. All the garbage bags were loaded into his room. It got taken out rather quickly then. You want to be the best mother, stop being a door mat.
> 60 days ago

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