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4 yo has no sense of integrity - Page 2

post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I feel like a total failure. I know he's only 4, but still.... He's generally very easy-going so I don't have lots of trouble with him not doing what I ask, but when he doesn't listen, it's like he doesn't get what the big deal is. It's like he does what we ask b/c he feels like it, not b/c we asked, and so when he DOESN'T feel like it, it's no big deal to just not do it. I'm ready to tear out my hair.


Natural and logical consequences are nothing new here. Yet, when consequences happen, he's all surprised and often devastated that something happened as a result of his not listening. But as scarring as all these consequences are to him at the moment, he doesn't EVER learn from them! It's like Groundhog's Day all over again. WTF am I doing wrong???? We are consistent. We warn him of the consequence ahead of time (after the first time he ignores us). We give him a warning, and then there's a consequence. It's so maddening that often we end up yelling, which I hate. But even when I'm calm, it doesn't matter. Same thing, every time....

I'll read through the rest of the thread tomorrow.  For now, I'll say that my youngest was just like this.  It was mind boggling how little got through.  It is better now, at 5.5.  Much better.  Not perfect but better.  Some kids just need more repetition than others.


That almost sounds like I'm brushing off your frustration.  Believe me, I am most definitely not.  If I had any patience to spare I would send it your way bbecause i know that feeling you get after you've mentioned something over and over and they still don't get it or act like they heard you or whatever.  Sigh........


post #22 of 22

I haven't read every response, but I would agree with the "Talk less, DO more" approach.  I really feel for you.   One of my sons was very similar from age 3-5.  We really had some power struggles.  So badly, that I feared he had oppositional defiance disorder!!


Here are a few things that worked for my ds:


1.  Remember to tell him what TO do more than what NOT to do.  For example, when you said "play away from the door" try to give him an idea of what he CAN do.  Like, "how about you play in the living room?"  Or distract him with an activity that happens to be located away from the door.  That will help get his mind off the door.


2.  How about rewarding the positive behavior to get him out of some of his bad habits of not listening?  Believe me, I really don't like to "train" kids like animals, but sometimes I think the kids need to get out of their ruts and habits of negativity.  When I ask my kids to do something, I like for them to respond to me so I know they heard me. I had to sit down and ask my kids to please let me know that you heard me by saying, "Yes, Mama!"  or for you it could be, OK or yes ma'am, or however you roll :)  So, first of all I would practice with my boys at a low-key, fun time.   play "MAMA SAYS."   You play simon-says with your ds and get him to practice listening and responding.  Make it fun.  Mama says, touch your nose.... yes, mama!  Mama says, run to the bathroom and back... yes, mama!  You get the idea.  I even do this when I want my boys to clean their room, I just insert "pick up three things."  You get the point...keep it light!    After we did this, I decided to keep it fun, so I would challenge my ds to have as many "yes mamas" as he could that day and I would give him a chocolate chip for every yes, mama (I know some people are going to hate this idea, but I was so desperate!)  I did this for a couple of days and once he really started doing better we didn't do it anymore and it helped get him in to a spirit of cooperation instead of being so obstinate.  We moved to a broader approach by giving him a sticker if he had a good listening day.




Finally, please don't think you failed your son.  He is only 4.  In a few years, you will see a 4 year old and think that they are SO little.  I know he seems like he's big and he's growing up, but he is NOT grown yet!  You have lots of time, mama, just don't give up.  Be consistent and faithful and it will pay off.


PS.  My now 5yo ds who gave me such hard days is now so joyful and helpful!



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