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How to get a 4 year old to listen and do what he's told.

Ever since he started kinder he's picked up the worst behaviour and doesn't listen to a word I say. He's turned into the most incredible little shit I've ever seen. He's always been so so good. He won't eat anything we give him, he screams, doesn't ever do what he's told. Today he smacked me in the face because he asked to watch abc kids and I said no, not until he ate his fruit. Actually smacked me in the face. Is there a trick to get my good child back without smacking him in the face? I've tried talking to his kinder teachers a few times but they just say he's fine there and brush me off.


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Answers (8)

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.

 I don't deny him food. He just refuses to eat anything and demands cake and icecream which have both only ever been treat foods. And the last thing he needs right now is sugar. He's allowed to eat as much fruit as he wants between meals and meals are almost always healthy homemade stuff. I know he's exhausted but he just refuses to go to sleep until about 9pm. I just miss him. I don't even know this kid.
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 Oh I’m sorry to hear that. That’s so scary... as a mum of a 3 year old about to head to kinder I’m really terrified of this happening..
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 ^^^ Dont be too concerned just yet. They dont all turn into monsters. My oldest just started kinder and he has done the opposite. He's so responsible now. He definitely has his moments where he is testing his boundaries though.
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 Good to know! Only problem is he copies other kids entirely; being checked currently for being on the spectrum :( hard time and reading these posts makes me think it could head this way but I’m not going to think negatively yet he could be amazing.. but I’ll remember to check back here for help and these answers are smart and practical advice- thanks lovely ladies
From someone that isn’t the OP

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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 😊

 😭 I don't think I can deal with it. He doesn't have siblings to bully. Its just me that cops all of it.
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 Take good with you for him to eat in the car when you pick him up
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It's just a phase. Give him lots of cuddles and positive attention.

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.

 Great analogy !!
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

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 Yes and there is that theory that kids are naughtiest for their mum and its because they feel safe and secure to test their bountries. Yay for us 😉
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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.

I could of written this myself. My daughter is horrid now shes started school. Good to hear Im not alone