Need Help with a 4 year old's discipline

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Need Help with a 4 year old's discipline
3
Thu, 03-11-2004 - 3:25pm

I have a 4 year old DD who's developementally delayed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2004
Fri, 03-12-2004 - 10:04am
First I want to say that you have beautiful Children.

I too have a DD who is four, with Developmental Delays, she also functions at the same age level. We went through a similar situation with her hitting other children. It was so bad we couldnt go to the park or anywhere in public without having a behavior problem with her. I contacted an agency in our area that works with children that have behavior problems. They send someone to our house 3 days a week for 3 hours at a time to work with DD. She has gotten a little better, and I can say that she doesnt hit nearly as much as she used to. However, she still has some moments where she has bad days. I agree with you, I think that she is going through the terrible 2/3's and unfortunately people expect more from her because she is 4yrs old. But you have to keep reminding yourself that cognatively she is only 2-3 years old. Also, I always believed that my DD, knows that she gets a reaction, and attention from others as well as the people she hits when she did this. I have encouraged my DS to ignore her when she hits him ( its not easy) and she will eventually stop all together. It took a couple weeks, but she knows that she doesnt get a reaction out of him, so she no longer hits. It is unrealistic to encourage everyone in your DD life to ignore her when she has behaviors, so I dont know if that strategy will work for you. Another thing I tried to do was asses when she had bad days. Did she sleep well the night before? Is she hungry? Sometimes it is the simplest of things that can change the behaviors. We both know that we are not used to simple explanations for our children :) I wish you all the luck in the world, and just remember you are not alone.

Nancy
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2004
Tue, 03-16-2004 - 11:00pm
I remember when my dd was 4, her development and cognitive abilites were 2-3 yrs also. She is most likely acting out due to her mental age-terrible two's. I hate to say this, but it may last longer than most kids. Just something I've noticed with special needs kids. Don't discipline or punish her unless you can do it right away. She may not remember what she did wrong. Explain to babysitters, church leaders, etc. that she is acting her developmental age. Her therapists should already know this. They can work with you to help curb the behavior, by saying things like "I know you are angry, but you may NOT hit." "Are you angry/sad/frustrated right now? What can we do to make you feel better" Even if she doesn't understand what is being said, she will eventually learn alternatives to expressing herself. If she's able to understand time out or going to her room, are caregivers allowed to do that. Consistency between caregivers will help alot. My dd is 6 now. Her little sister is 2 and saw and/or was the target of her worst behavior. She is going through her terrible two's and is copying the behavior she saw as a baby. UGH! It's very frustrating on DH and I. We always say caring for a typically developing child when the oldest is special needs makes us feel like new parents all over again. You seem to be on the right track with her discipline, GL!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 03-17-2004 - 12:47pm

Thanks I really needed some reassurance today.