My 4 year old is a control freak! - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > My 4 year old is a control freak!
french*girl's Avatar french*girl 05:34 PM 12-03-2003
HELP! My 4 year old dd has become so completely controlling I'm beginning to wonder if its beyond normal!! She is extremely bright but is so stubborn about wanting to do EVERYTHING by herself I would consider her "underdeveloped" in that area!

She is very capable and we let her do pretty much anything she can do - dress herself, open doors, flush her own stuff down, etc. BUT if we open the door because we were'nt thinking she completely loses it! She will either have a complete hitting, kicking meltdown or will run back, open the door again and shut it herself.

What really gets me annoyed is when she has asked for help and then when we help her she throws a huge a fit saying she wanted to do it by herself. Will this ever end? How do I approach it? How can I teach her that she can't always do EVERYTHING by herself?

mamaduck's Avatar mamaduck 06:57 PM 12-03-2003
Yes, perfectly normal for her age! It will pass. Here are some strategies I've used with varying success:


Matter of fact tone of voice, "Oh, I'm sorry, had you wanted to open the door by yourself? I didn't know that. Next time I'll try to remember that it is your turn."

Or

"You wanted to open the door yourself. I hear that you are dissapointed. You sound very frustrated."

With those 2 strategies, I might give him a chance to go back and do it over. But generally I just keep walking as if the situation has been resolved. He might wimper a little, but if I succeed in sounding unfrazled and matter of fact -- he usually concedes.

On the other hand -- I don't see it as a big deal if he wants to go back and open and close the door over again. Its only a minute out of our day, you know?


"Feel free to open the door for yourself. I would like to open it for myself this time."

Or

"Thank you for trying to be a big helper. I usually love having help. But today I would like a turn to do it *my*self! Even though I am big, sometimes I like to do things myself too! Remind me next time that it is your turn."


I also work hard on teaching my kids that its okay to ask for help. I do this by giving positive feedback when they do. "Great problem solving! You asked for help, which is a great way to get something done."
Marsupialmom's Avatar Marsupialmom 04:24 AM 12-05-2003
She sounds very normal!!!!!!!!!!!!

This phase only changes with the age. But it does get better, they can be reasoned with a lot more the older they get.
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