My 4 year old is the same I am really struggling with her at the moment. I have 2 other children...6 and 2 and I am 27 weeks pregnant. She is argumentative, steals my things and no matter what I seem to do she moans and whines I`m at my wits end.I don`t want to have to shout at her. How can I stop this? x
I am starting to think a lot of this behavior can't be "stopped," it has to be outgrown. You just take action as best you can and wait for it to get better. Regarding the moaning and whining, just tell her you don't understand. Or, if that's even too much, just ignore her.
The stealing. I'm not sure what to do with that. You've got quite a handful right now. I wonder if she does it to get attention. Maybe just ignore the stealing for awhile and see if it stops. I got a lot of parenting advice from a local parent education center. Their philosophy is the behaviors we ignore go away, the behaviors we comment on are reinforced and continue.
As far as argumentative, that's my son. He'll battle me for anything. Guess where he got that trait? I don't know if it's genetic or I've somehow taught it to him already. My dad didn't have very good parenting skills so I grew up battling him all the time (and rightly so.) My son rarely has a good reason to battle me. He just battles because that's who he is. So, it's my job to not battle him. If worst comes to worst, I walk away rather than battle. I give in. I look for a 3rd solution. (He wants A, I want B, What is solution number 3?) I just don't want him to grow up wondering why we fought all the time. I doubt if he'll realized it's intrinsic to his personality. Plus, it's just not nice to have a relationship based on fighting. He can only fight if I fight back. I think my attempts to avoid fighting with him have helped a lot. For the most part we now have a fairly mild-mannered relationship (with a bit of whining here and there.) What a great change it is to be able to say that instead of feeling overwhelmed by his behaviors.