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My advice would be to make sure you are firm and consistent. If those have always been the rules, keep it that way. He might be testing boundaries to make sure that even though life is changing with kindy etc. that home is still the same. As for hitting you- totally unacceptable and that should be the first & last time you allow it to happen. If he tries again hold his arms by his sides firmly, get down to his level, put on your best grumpy face & voice and tell him it is not ok to hit anyone ever.
My kids went off the rails in their behaviour a bit when they started school. Some of it might be hes overtired, after so much stimulation during the day. And if active probably starving hungry. That is if its happening after school only.
If its all the time now, he is probably copying the naughty kids in the classroom.
With my daughter "time out" worked well. I just put her in her room, instructions to go to bed, and any fun things removed from her so being in her bedroom was boring.
Taking away fun things I found to be the most effective discipline for all 4 kids.
I never denied them food as a punishment, because they are growing.
Good luck with it.
From someone that isn’t the OP
Stress? I know, he's 4 what are they stressing about? Kindy is a real 'fend for yourself' kind of place. They go from home or daycare where they don't need to fight for things they want to play with, or worry about kids pushing in in line for the water fountain or pushing in when waiting for a turn on the slide. There's 2 adults in a kindy class. They would not have noticed a change in him if they have only known him this year. There could be a few little bullies in the class and he tries so hard all day to stay out of their way that when he comes home it just all comes out. Try doing parent help in the class to work out the dynamics for yourself, who the dominant kids are and who your son plays with, if anyone. It will give you a better insight to whats happening and give you a bit more to discuss with the teachers.
I hate to say it, but it will probably only get worse as time goes on. My 5 year old son is in Prep now, and when he started Kindergarten he was doing exactly what your 4 year old is, and now he is in Prep, he is even more of an a**ehole! I think it's a combination of attitude, and picking things up from other children that are at the school. Also school is a time where they realise they are independent, so they really try and push the boundaries to see how far they can get with you. My son hasn't hit me or anyone else in the face, but he can be quite nasty to his younger sibling at times, when before school, he never was. From yelling, to pushing over, snatching toys etc.
Good luck and I hope it gets easier for both of us 😊
Don’t push him away, it will get worse. Fill his emotional cup, give him lots of you, try to connect to him. Best analogy I’ve heard is that kids treat you like the safety bar of a roller coaster. You get in and push it, test it, make sure it’s firm. He’s testing you to see if you’ll just let go and give up on him. But he needs you more than ever.
I’m going to copy this and keep it; suffering really trying testing behaviour at the moment and I’m losing it :( but I’m sure he’s just doing exactly this
Try a nap or quiet time after school. He may be overstimulated or tired. Try a "chore chart." He has a visual representaiton of what's expected, and you can set up a reward system. Start off with a small prize for daily completion of tasks (cookie, 15 mins screen time,...) then move up to a weekly, then monthly, reward like an outing or toy he's been wanting. Time out (5 mins) and a discissuon about why he acted that way and how it lales others feel when he hits or yells, after he's calmed down. Most kids go through this adjusting to school. The teachers say they are angels because they use up all thier good behavior in class and become wild animals and hooligans the minute they return home. It will level off and go back to normal. Until then, lots of rewards and praise for good behavior and consistent consequences for poor behavior.