Oppositional 4 year old!! How can I stay gentle in my parenting??
Also, try to read some books on emotional development at his age. If you understand where he is coming from, it becomes easier to discipline( and I mean gentle).
I agree too, consistency and firmness usually work eventually.
But what else is going on? Is he a child who likes to help and be with you, or is he usually obstinate and contrary? Is the opposition something new or have you been dealing with this for more than a year?
And, yes indeedy, intentional hurting is not an option. We say "People are not for hitting", "It's ok to be angry, it's not ok to hit." and "Let's talk about why you want to hurt me?" Mind you, if someone is hitting HIM, it's hard to separate that it's ok for him to BE hit, but not ok to hit others.
Is there a way to make a game of these things? Can you talk about them when he's not in the 'heat of battle'? I'd love to know more so that we can find the best solution for you...
here are a couple of good books to read
your 4 year old by Louise Ames Bates (or is it Louise Bates Ames)
the thing with 4 year olds are they are starting to get more independent. and you are in trouble if you have a super independent stubborn 4 year old.
the good news is they are very much into pleasing so you have to find their language. with dd if i made it sound like i needed her help she would jump at it. if i made a joke of it, even better.
hitting is normal at this age. make sure he isnt hitting because he is tired or hasnt had enough physical activity to get his energy out.
the 3 golden rules are still v. important - enough sleep, enough exercise and enough food in the belly.
what i love about the Louise Ames Bates books (they are a series) is that they explain what is going on and what is age appropriate for that age. now remember they were written in the 60s so while their explanations are excellent, their advice of what to do might not be the greatest.
it is helpful to know that fearsome fours is not the end of tough times. there is going to be another tough time between the ages of 5 and 7 - worse than you have ever seen before when conscience develops. then another one around 10 or 11. and then they hit the tweens.
for some reason i though parenting would get easier after the 3s. HAH!!!! the bonding has gotten deeper with each year, but the emotional and intensity and the independence has been hard.