Dealing with Four-Year-Old’s Character

I am struggling with several aspects of my almost five year old. Sometimes I feel like I think too much and should not worry about it and some days I just feel very frustrated, feeling like I don’t do enough for him, not knowing what to do, feel lonely and ignorant as a mother…anyway, here are my concerns: 1. He is very ‘contrary’ always saying no when I say yes, black when I say white, etc. etc. 2. Are sports important/necessary at this stage? We have tried several things (tennis lessons, basketball, running)and the only things he seems to care for are the snacks, he is not really interested in the sport itself, he doesn’t care about learning, playing it, he is only distracting himself and the other kids. 3. He has always been a good eater. Until now…I think it’s because he sees other kids at shool eating only sandwiches and junk food. Lately he REFUSES to eat all the fruits and vegetables that before he didn’t have a problem with. 4. He goes to a montessori school every day 9 am to 3 pm, he has always loved it…But there have been a few days lately (like today) that he says he doesn’t want to go…I struggle with the decision of what to say. One one hand I know it’s not a big deal to miss a day of school when you are 4, on the other hand I don’t want to teach him that is ok to miss your responsibilities. Sorry for the long email, I just feel very lost right know in my mothering journey.


Dear Parent,

I appreciate your questions. I cannot answer a list of questions in this setup.

I suggest you book yourself a session with me:

The general answer that may address partially all these issue is: Let go of control and trust your child to know himself and direct his own life. He knows what is best for himself (I don’t mean candy or TV, but choices that come from a free being.) When free, children run, climb, ride bikes and get sufficient amount of physical activities. They don’t need sports at any age. They need to move and be outdoors which they do on their own.

I do not recommend school at any age, but specially not at such a young age. Listen to your child and trust his choices. He knows himself best. 

Last point about your first question: There is no such a thing as a “contrary” child. Your child is your mirror. If he negates you, it means you negate him; you are saying ‘no’ to his choice. The better word, instead of “contrary” is: assertive. This is very good news that he knows what he wants and is not easily swayed by you. You will celebrate his self-direction when he stands for his own convictions away from home. He must start now. Read my book, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves, to learn how to raise your child such that he thrives and does well of his own free will, without power struggles.

I am clear that this response is not going to solve these issues. I hope this sheds some light in a new direction, and would be happy to help you in a phone session.

Warmly,  Naomi Aldort,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *