I've posted a couple of threads over the past few months about my 4yo and his behavior. Mostly the responses have supported that it's a developmental thing that he'll likely outgrow in a couple of years, that it's frustrating but normal for a 4yo.
I have posted about his seeming lack of ability to learn from natural and logical consequences. I have posted about how timeouts don't work. NOTHING works. The only good news is that basically he's a very good kid so there's not a ton of problems. But it bothers me....
He loves to play outside. We have very few rules about outside (no throwing toys into the pool/onto the roof/over the fence/into the thorny bushes where no one can get to the them, no throwing rocks/dirt, no ripping up the plants). He CANNOT be outside for more than minutes (and often far less) without breaking one of these rules and needing to come inside, where he's done for the day. You would think this consequence would make an impact, but it has not. He has not played outside in weeks b/c I can't have him out there unattended and I'm not willing to go out and sit in the heat and get eaten by mosquitoes just so he can throw rocks into the pool that I have to fish out later. The other day, he was out there with DH and came back in in less than 5 minutes for throwing a football into the pool while DH was standing there, telling him NOT to do it. (Yes, I use positive phrasing -- DH not so much.)
This is only one example. But he goes to preschool 3 days a week, so I talked to the teachers about it. They looked at me like I was nuts. He's a perfect kid. He helps the new kids find their way, shares the toys, shows compassion, and gets along with everyone. He is one big ball of positive energy and is really bright and helpful. No issues sharing (we have sharing/boundary violation problems at home with siblings), no issues with throwing things at inappropriate times, no issues with not listening to teachers' requests. Nothing.
So it can't be impulse control, b/c he controls himself quite well at school. Why does he think that consequences won't happen at home, and why doesn't it matter that they do? (And FTR, the home consequences are far, far worse than anything they'd do to him at school!)