Not listening

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2008
Not listening
Tue, 06-25-2013 - 10:59pm

I am a single mom with a 22 month old and a almost 5 year old. I let my 4 year old bend the rules a little bit but he has a heck of a time listening and being respectful. He is mean to his bother or the dogs no hitting but he always has to be center of attention.  What is the best way to discipline a 4 year old?  I feel bad because he is so sensitive and doesnt let go or let things just roll off. His father is not around anymore so he really doesnt have male figure around.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 06-28-2013 - 11:19am
I'm having that problem lately with my just turned 6 year old, she's the middle child and she always has to have some attention. I do time outs, but those don't seem to be real effective any longer. I also take away privileges or things as another tactic as well as trying to lean towards the more positive reinforcement. If you catch them doing good things, like last night she decided she would fold the towels that I had left on the couch to fold later, I made sure to shower her with positive praise and tell her how happy I was that she helped out without being asked. We also did a positive jar during the school year, any day she didn't move her pin to yellow at school, if it stayed on green (a 4) or moved it up to a 5, I would put that many candies in a jar. When the jar was filled she got a special reward for it. This way she sees that doing good things, she will get more positive attention than doing things that will get her negative attention.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Thu, 06-27-2013 - 11:46am

Hi there,

Welcome to the board!  I can understand a bit what you are going through.  My 4 yr old son loves being the center of attention too- and does naughty things so that he gets that attention! The best thing I've found to work is time outs at this point.  Landon gets sent to his room when he just stops listening, and then we have a talk about it when his timeout is done.  I'm praying this is just a phase he's going through as it can be super frustrating!  Another thing that has worked well is offering some kind of "reward".  Be it a sticker or a small surprise, he tends to mind his manners/behavior when he knows there is something in it for him.  I usually save those types of rewards for when we are going out in public and/or when he's going to school.  It works pretty well.  Good luck to you and let us know how things are going!