Defiant, angry 4 year old - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 12 Old 01-29-2015, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Defiant, angry 4 year old

I need some major help with my 4 year old DD. Our problems are not new, but at the moment things seem totally out of control. I'll start with an example: Over the weekend my 4 month old stopped sleeping in the swing, her only out of arms sleep. Now I'm in a difficult transition trying to get her to nap without me so my DD doesn't have to be alone so much. It's not going well and has been a rough week, especially housebound by snow. This morning I set up ODD with a show so I could give YDD a good nap. 10 minutes along ODD comes crashing through the door telling me there's a problem with her show. I tell her she can switch to the iPad, but I can't fix the TV right now. She starts to scream about how she neeeeeds her show. I tell her she needs to leave the room because the baby's trying to nap. She screams more (No, I CAN'T!! I'll only cry more if I can't watch my show!!!). Baby wakes up. DD says good, now you can help me. I say no, when you freak out over TV, TV time is over. She loses it, shrieking, hitting at me, etc. I turn off the TV and bring her to her room to escape the hitting. A few minutes later she's calmer and I go in to talk to her about how she may not come in the napping room unless it's an emergency, and about how being angry is okay, but she can't hurt people. She tests me with a hit. I leave. She smashes a toy with her foot and shrieks. Proceeds to be nasty/rude/irritating the rest of the morning. Tells me I started it because I turned off the TV, etc. Long story , but this is pretty much how she behaves lately. Constantly defiant and rude punctuated by epic tantrums. And wakes up the poor baby every. Single.time she tries to sleep. I feel like the world's worst mother. Apparently I've created a monster. Help!
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#2 of 12 Old 01-30-2015, 06:05 AM
 
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I'd give the Kazdin Method a try.

Quote:
The best way to eliminate an unwanted behavior is to build a strong alternative behavior in its place, what’s called the positive opposite of the unwanted behavior. The Kazdin Method® provides step-by-step instruction in how to do this under almost any conditions.
http://alankazdin.com/the-kazdin-met...test-of-wills/
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#3 of 12 Old 01-30-2015, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I actually have the book but have never implemented the full method. I do start seeing results just by deemphasizing negative behaviors and paying more attention to positives. I think her psyche is tied into mine very closely, and she can tell when I'm just weary of her constant issues. It helps me to see her in a more positive light. But when I read Kazdin, I worry that it's not deep enough. It seems like it may not make her feel heard. And for me, it doesn't address my feelings of why. Why is she so much less capable of handling herself than others her age? Why is she so sensitive? Why does she need to boss people around so much? Why does expect to be catered to above others? And why do I struggle so much to relate to her all the while she clings to me like a lifeboat?

In the end, I think we do need to try s method that will get us results quickly, because her behavior is very disruptive. I'm also looking at Nurtuted Heart. But in the long term, I think she needs something more, but I'm not sure how to approach that aspect of things.
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#4 of 12 Old 01-31-2015, 10:52 AM
 
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I suggest that you take note of the times when you don't think she is being heard. Later, not in the heat of the moment, encourage her to talk about what happened and hear her out then.
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#5 of 12 Old 02-06-2015, 04:55 PM
 
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What sorts of punishments do you use ?
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#6 of 12 Old 02-14-2015, 06:21 PM
 
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Is she in preschool at all? Sometimes being in preschool they can learn how to behave better both because the teachers can be very skilled at managing the kids' behaviours, and because the kids want to mimic the other kids behaviours and fit in. Plus it can give you some space from her.
Have you tried with the baby to half swaddle them in the swing? Swaddle their top but not the legs, put them in the swing, give them a pacifier and turn on the swing music?


Good luck- I hope things ease up for you! hugs.
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#7 of 12 Old 02-15-2015, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She's preschool 3 mornings per week, thank goodness. They were shocked when I asked if she was having problems at school. They say she's often a role model for the other children.

Unfortunately, the issues seem to be primarily between me and her, perhaps because I'm most inclined to address her behavior and I will admit to having a very low tolerance to normal kid behaviors like incessant chatter, spewing mess, "bratty" tones, rude talk, freaking out over "little" things. I know that I sometimes overstep and discipline her for my own comfort, making her feel overly controlled. Our behaviors definitely seem to fuel each other in a vicious circle. I try to remain calm and not add fuel to the fire, but at some point I crack and either yell or start "cracking down" by demanding many things in a row. It makes for a lot of inconsistency and probably some anxiety on her end, wondering which mommy I will be. I'm not sure how I can address her impulsive and emotional behaviors when I have not mastered mine. Obviously I think about this a lot I really want to make sure our relationship stays strong, and it makes me feel so sad when we go through periods of struggle like this.
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#8 of 12 Old 02-15-2015, 04:37 PM
 
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Well it is your right to want her to behave respectfully to you. It can be hard to find the right way to make that happen! How does your dh play into the family dynamic? Is he supportive of you?


I don't really have any answers, sorry! I have a 4 year old also. My dh helps a lot with the parenting so it gives me some relief. when I am with ds too much without breaks it gets stressful, so I am always grateful my dh is so involved and gives me space.


I guess the only thing I can suggest is for you to have clear boundaries for yourself about what you can accept from your daughter and not in terms of behavior. And when she is not behaving you don't have to feel guilty for wanting her to treat you with respect. The big question of course is how to make it happen so that she does. You can try to just have a big presence with your own self respect- a lot of conveying it is how you look and talk- make yourself big like a big mama animal- like in your way you look at her when you are discipline her- like, stand up tall, look her right in the eyes with a strong presence, and say "This behavior is NOT okay with me," and being kind of firm in that, as a way of respecting your own needs.
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#9 of 12 Old 02-16-2015, 10:12 AM
 
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I don't think it's unreasonable to keep a zero tolerance policy on real disrespect. Understanding their feelings and point of view is one thing, putting up with a rude way of expressing those feelings is another. I try to shut down the rude stuff right away with a sharp correction, then tell them how I need them to behave instead to get what they want, and what the consequences will be if they don't change it. I have the same stuff happen as yours when I'm trying to put the youngest down and my middle son (5) has a problem to come to me with. I do the same as you, offer an alternative and tell him I'd help soon as I can, but he needs to hush now and give me some time to get the baby down. A fit instead of cooperation means no more screen time, and I remind him as much beforehand. Mine actually get worse behavior after too long watching screens, their self control shuts down for a while afterwards. It's a process, I never found any quick fixes but they do grow in self control every year, despite a very strong will my oldest (8) has become rather mature about these things.
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#10 of 12 Old 02-16-2015, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post
Unfortunately, the issues seem to be primarily between me and her, perhaps because I'm most inclined to address her behavior and I will admit to having a very low tolerance to normal kid behaviors like incessant chatter, spewing mess, "bratty" tones, rude talk, freaking out over "little" things. I know that I sometimes overstep and discipline her for my own comfort, making her feel overly controlled. Our behaviors definitely seem to fuel each other in a vicious circle. I try to remain calm and not add fuel to the fire, but at some point I crack and either yell or start "cracking down" by demanding many things in a row. It makes for a lot of inconsistency and probably some anxiety on her end, wondering which mommy I will be. I'm not sure how I can address her impulsive and emotional behaviors when I have not mastered mine. Obviously I think about this a lot I really want to make sure our relationship stays strong, and it makes me feel so sad when we go through periods of struggle like this.
Sounds like you may be feeding something called the Parent-Child Coercive Cycle. You can learn about it here and decide for yourself:

http://www.pendletonpsych.com/doc/pa...cive-cycle.pdf

If that is what is happening, then there some suggestions on the web page as to how the parent can break this cycle using positive and/or gentle techniques.
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#11 of 12 Old 06-06-2015, 10:24 AM
 
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Newmamalizzy, just wondering how things have shaken out with your dd. I just posted a question about my 4yo's new, challenging behavior, when I came across your post here. Just like you, I have some deeper questions about why I'm meeting so much resistance. Any insight from the last few months to share?
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#12 of 12 Old 06-07-2015, 05:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post
I actually have the book but have never implemented the full method. I do start seeing results just by deemphasizing negative behaviors and paying more attention to positives. I think her psyche is tied into mine very closely, and she can tell when I'm just weary of her constant issues. It helps me to see her in a more positive light. But when I read Kazdin, I worry that it's not deep enough. It seems like it may not make her feel heard. And for me, it doesn't address my feelings of why. Why is she so much less capable of handling herself than others her age? Why is she so sensitive? Why does she need to boss people around so much? Why does expect to be catered to above others? And why do I struggle so much to relate to her all the while she clings to me like a lifeboat?

In the end, I think we do need to try s method that will get us results quickly, because her behavior is very disruptive. I'm also looking at Nurtuted Heart. But in the long term, I think she needs something more, but I'm not sure how to approach that aspect of things.
See:

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/chil...r_child/temp2/

Many of the things described in this post also seem to relate to temperament. NOt to drop another thing in your lap, but parenting strategies have to be adapted at times to the particular child's temperament. ONe of my children had very strong temperament traits,especially in the areas of sensitivity, intensity, etc. and I constantly had to adapt strategies to fit his temperament.

Also pay attention to your own temperament and how your child is similar and different from you. This can all contribute to the sense of drain or mothering exhaustion that can come from guiding one of our children over others.

We also possess these traits and yet they "look" different in young children, and we may lose patience with a child that has the very same trait we do (for example, poor adaptability), because we are anxious that they will struggle in the same way that we have. Does that make sense? I can give an example if I"m not making sense!!

 









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