Need guidance with disciplining a strong willed 4 year old - Mothering Forums
Special Needs Parenting > Need guidance with disciplining a strong willed 4 year old
Evelynmia'smom's Avatar Evelynmia'smom 09:21 AM 08-14-2012

Hi there...I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but I am looking for some feedback/guidance with disciplining my 4 year old. My DD has always been a challenge right from the beginning with reflux/colic. The past year and a half has been particularly difficult. I recently had her evaluated (a mini eval) and it turns out that she has mild ADD and language processing difficulties, specifically with pragmatic language, as well as motor planning challenges. The dr who evaluated her told me that she recommended speech therapy and that my dd's difficulties were very mild and that she would not qualify for state funding for her therapy. So, she is in speech therapy. However, it's her behaviour that is most worrisome to me. I have mentioned all of her behaviour issues to the therapists that have seen her and they don't seem to have any feedback. My husband and I are at a loss in terms of how to discipline her. Some examples of her behaviour include being aggressive towards younger children on the playground/beach etc., screaming and yelling at us if she doesn't get her way, pushing or hitting her younger sister (21 months), refusing to get dressed, get in the bath, eat etc. she seems angry alot. She also has several imaginary friends which we know is normal, however she talks about them to other kids who sometimes seem confused. When we are home she spends alot of time running back and forth in the living room almost obsessively whispering to herself. When we ask her what she is doing, she will say "I'm playing the little mermaid, etc."

 

When it is just the two of us she is a different child. I just took a trip with her alone for two days and she was very well behaved for me. As soon as we got home she was angry and lashing out at my husband and screaming and splashing at him because she didn't want to take a bath. Anyway, it's at the point where I am afraid to sign her up for any classes or bring her anywhere. School was a nightmare all last year and while it did seem to be a poor match with the teachers, I am afraid of this year going forward. Anyway, I'd love some feedback or guidance or any book recommendations etc.

 

Thanks!



RJ11's Avatar RJ11 08:08 PM 08-14-2012

My son has some similar issues and age 4 was the absolute WORST! Once he turned 5 he got much better and now at almost 6 he is even more reasonable. But still a lot of work! One thing that really worked for us was making a poster together of the HOUSE RULES. 1. No yelling or screaming 2. Do as you're asked... etc. We made SMILE the last rule just to try to keep it fun. For the first week or so when I would mention the rules he would say he was going to throw them in the garbage... it slowly got better and when he was out of line I would mention the rules and he would quiet down. This didn't solve everything but it truly did help. It's a long journey.

I totally understand about them misbehaving even more when both parents are present. Mine does that too. It's almost like he wants to see who is going to react more and maybe he can get us arguing over how to handle the situation. It's a power thing.

One book I read was 1,2,3 magic. It's OK. The best thing I took away from it was the 2 biggest discipline mistakes parents make is over reacting and too much explanation to the kid. Make it clear what's OK and what is not and that's that don't try to discuss it like you would with another adult - kids don't think that way.

Other ideas: clear daily routine, scheduled daily exercise, elimination diet to see if anything is contributing to moodiness and aggression - we eat no dairy or wheat 95% of the time, and schedule one on one time. Is it possible she has some sensory issues? "The Out of Sync Child" is a great book.

Best of luck!


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