How to deal with an unruly 4 year old

Your 4-Year-Old's Challenging Behavior: Is This Typical?

how to deal with an unruly 4 year old

The Defiant Child - Akron Children's Hospital video

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Sign Up for Our Newsletter. Answer: Dear Amy, I want you to know that you are not alone. It seems that I am getting more and more questions similar to yours. I have a hunch what is going on, and you can help me test my theory if you are willing. My hunch is that your daughter is very intelligent and very strong-willed. I want you to know that I think a strong will is a positive thing.

And I often wonder, do all parents have such a hard time with their 4-year-olds? If you're in the same boat, you might feel certain that the "terrible twos" or the "threenager" stages are overshadowed by the ferocious fours. But the good news is, as your child makes the transition from toddler to preschooler to almost kindergarten student, you may be surprised by how grown-up your little one can be. It may appear that your child is constantly challenging you. As your child approaches kindergarten, they may be more likely to be aware of and agree to rules. It might not be something you like to think about as a parent, but sexuality is a part of life, no matter how old you are. The AAP has a helpful chart to break down exactly what's normal sexual behavior in children.

Getting your 3-year-old to behave can be a challenge. The trick is lying, not sharing, swearing -- develop an overall policy, but deal with each case as it arises.
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Getting your 3-year-old to behave can be a challenge. The trick is consistency and learning to pick your battles. Acting authoritative -- without becoming authoritarian -- isn't easy to do, especially in the heat of the moment. These techniques can help:. Pick your fights. Battle your 3-year-old over every bad behavior and you'll be at war all day.

Our son is a bright, happy, cheerful, and enthusiastic little boy who loves school, his friends and sisters. At best, he melts down, gets mad, and has a tantrum; at worst, he kicks and hits his incredibly tolerant older sister, us, and more recently, his friends. During these periods, it's almost impossible to talk to him. He knows that "whiners don't get what they want. Incidentally, he has never, ever been hit-- we have always tried to show him that we talk when we're angry, and that hitting is not ever an answer. He doesn't seem to believe us. But when he gets in these moods, there is no communicating with him.

November 13, I recently had a conversation with a concerned mum about disciplining her toddler. He is an energetic twenty-month old toddler who seems to have a one-track mind and certainly no love of discipline. He has one agenda; he'll do what he likes, especially when it comes to disciplining. Lack of discipline isn't a unique situation, nor is it exclusive to males or toddlers yet ironically, adults can be even more likely to exhibit this behaviour than toddlers!

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For Sarah, the problem is a little different. I believe that too often parents shy away from disciplining their children because it hurts them to watch their little ones become even more upset. There are few experiences more stressful—or more embarrassing—than having your child throw himself to the ground in the middle of a crowded store. But in the midst of all of these difficult years with your child, remember these two things: Bad behavior from children between the ages of two and six is completely normal—and as a parent, you have the ability to help your child learn how to begin to control him or herself. Helping your child through each phase of his life with loving discipline is an integral part of his development, a necessary requirement to help him grow into a healthy adolescent and beyond. I say this because I believe that too often parents shy away from disciplining their children because it hurts them to watch their little ones become even more upset. So the most important thing for you to do before you read any further is to acknowledge to yourself that discipline is not fun and rarely easy.

Disciplining a preschooler requires a combination of art and science. It also requires some serious agility. What worked last week may no longer be effective. Patience and consistency can be key to addressing behavior problems for your 3-, 4- , or 5-year-old. At the same time, you might need to use a little trial and error at times to see what discipline strategies are going to work best for your family. This quest for autonomy can present new parenting challenges in terms of behavior and discipline needs. And, your child might enjoy experimenting with new behaviors just to see how you'll respond.


  1. William F. says:

    Challenging 4-year-old behavior | Behavior and Discipline | Parenting Advice

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