My 4 Year Old Boy, How I Put The "Fear" In Him (Read All The Way To The End For The Lesson)
The Joys Of Being A Mother To A 4 Year Old Boy!
Ahhhhh, the joy that a beautiful baby boy brings into your life! From the moment he comes out, that indescribable feeling of holding your "little man," and the overwhelming feeling of love that takes over you. Having all of those feelings of wanting to keep him protected from all of the bad that is in the world. There is nothing that you wouldn't do for this beautiful little being.
And then one day.... he turns 4. "What the hell happened!?" "How COULD this have happened?" "What did I do wrong??" "I do nothing but try to love him, and all I get is this!?"
And all the while, he is in the background........
"NO MOMMY!" "I don't want to Mommy!" "But why Mommy?" "I farted Mommy!" "Why are you always screaming Mommy?" "But Daddy lets me... Mommy!" "I don't want to go to sleep....wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"
All of a sudden, it is harder than taking care of a newborn. The temper tantrums seem to be getting worse. It is getting harder to control him, as he only wants to argue. His behavior at times seems out of control. And we are left wondering, what we did wrong.
You Probably Didn't Do Anything Wrong, If You Are Reading This. Tending To A 4 Year Old Boys (sometimes aggressive) Behavior
I say this because if you took the time to look up information on your 4 year old, and their development, then you care. And as long as you care, then you must be trying. It is when people don't take the time to look for better ways, or for tips, that is when they most likely are doing things wrong.
I don't believe that there is any absolutely "right" way to train a child. What works for some, doesn't work for others. I think that most mothers could contribute a unique tip of their own, and together, we could come up with solutions for everyone.
I do believe, however, that the amount of attention that children get these days, is just not enough. We all are leading very busy lives, and are working long hours at our jobs, just to try to make ends meet. This means that the time that we do have with our children needs to be time well spent. I know that it is hard to come home from a long day at work, and still muster up enough energy to actually sit down and play with our children. But it is very important that we push ourselves to do it anyway.
Every day, your child needs some kind of personal attention from his or her parent(s). Even 15 minutes of undivided attention from you, (especially if he is used to getting none,) can make all of the difference in the world. I have personally tested this.
If I come home and spend just 15 minutes sitting down with my 4 year old, doing absolutely nothing but what he wants to do, then when the 15 minutes is up, and I get up and continue to do the housework or whatever it is that I need to get done, he will play the rest of evening pretty much on his own. Now, I do still talk to him while he is doing his thing. He asks me questions, and I try to always give him some kind of positive response. And I also sometimes will ask him questions about his day at preschool while I am cleaning up the house. They need this. They need the adult talk. They will have a much bigger vocabulary if you will just talk to them as if they were your "buddy." And they should be your buddy anyway.
Now, if I come home and immediately jump right into the house chores, or get on the computer or what have you, he will not leave me alone! He will not go off and play on his own, nor will he even be in a good mood to say the least. Children, especially 4 year olds, are craving your attention. Even though it seems at times that they are doing everything in their power to piss you off, they are only wanting some of your undivided attention. They love you, and they missed you all day. They just want a little of YOU.
When Things Get Out Of Hand
We all have our bad days. We have all "lost it" on our children at one time or another. No one is perfect, nor will they ever be. Children are very forgiving little beings. I think that even during those awful and chaotic days when it seems as if we are doing nothing but yelling at our kids, they still will feel the love so long as it's there. When you "mess up," and fly off the handle at your child, and you know that it was out of line, just remember that we are always training them. Some parents don't believe that they should ever apologize to their child. I don't agree with this. If they are out of line with another child, we expect them to apologize to that child, and to make up. Well, how can we expect them to know when to apologize for getting out of hand, if we don't show them.
As I said, we all lose it sometimes. Telling your child that you are sorry for yelling is the best thing you can do. Now, just to clarify something, I am not talking about when you are raising your voice to get them back into line. I am mainly talking about when you have taken your work day's stress out on them. I am so guilty of doing this. But, I do know how to apologize, and I believe that this is very important.
Don't think that you are bowing down to them if you have to say you are sorry. You are also teaching them that you are human just like them, and that you made a mistake. Be firm when you need to be, and also be sorry when you need to be. Keep in mind that your emotions are running 10 times stronger on your stressful days, and the typical "kid" things that they do, is going to get on your last nerve.
Now, onto teaching them a lesson....
Teaching The 4 Year Old Boy A Lesson That He Will Never Forget.
All 4 year olds crave routine. Whether you (or they) know it or not, they absolutely crave routine. If you have no routine, you will find that your children are misbehaving much more than a child with a routine. It is a must. And I believe that kids need a routine from the time that they are born. They should be waking up around the same time everyday, eating at the same times, and going to bed at the same time every night. They also need play time every single day. Play time with you, that is. And don't forget, even 15 minutes will make all the difference in the world.
Even with a well scheduled routine however, of course your 4 year old is going to act up. I am not going to claim to have the best answer for discipline, as I know that it is different with each child. I would like to share with you a story about my son and I, and how I put a little "fear" in him, thus teaching him a really good lesson. Read on, because this is good.
Let me start by saying that I believe that most adults today that are in and out of jail, were never actually taught ABOUT jail. I don't think they got attention, and if they did, it sure wasn't positive attention. Of course there are always other circumstances that may lead one to go to jail. It is just one of my biggest fears, even thinking about my son growing up, and doing something stupid, and me getting a call from him in the middle of the night to tell me that he has been locked up.
So, I, on a pretty consistent basis am telling my son, (when he is acting up) that he will force me to have to call the police, and have them take him to jail, if he doesn't straighten his act up. It usually works really good. He starts crying, and begging me to not call the police. It goes on for a while, and I just tell him, "well, you better start listening to Mommy, the police don't like when kids aren't listening to their parents!" And so on.....
On one particular day, I picked him up from preschool after I had had a really long day at the office. I was stressed out pretty bad, and I was doing everything in my power to not take it out on him. We were in the car, leaving the bank. My son was pissed off that the teller had not given him a sucker. And I mean to tell you he was livid. I was trying to explain to him that people working in the bank get very busy, and don't always have time to put a sucker in for the children. Well, he wasn't having it. He was in the back seat throwing a fit and crying and screaming, and just down right feeling sorry for himself.
As I was getting ready to pull out onto the main road, I saw a policeman going by, with his daughter in the backseat of his police car. I took this as the perfect opportunity. I told my son, "Oh my God! Do you see that little girl getting arrested?" He all of sudden got quiet.
"Such a shame," I said. "She looks like she's your age, and already going to go spend her life in jail."
My son then responds, "What did she do?"
As I replied back with, "Must have not been listening to her parents, and she must have been throwing a lot of fits."
He says back, "And they are taking her to jail?"
And of course I said, "Well yeah, I mean, I tell you how the cops don't like it when kids don't listen. That's what happens after a while, they can't deal with it anymore, and they have to take them away to somewhere that they will finally obey."
Of course my son all of a sudden is sitting up straight, and cranking his neck to see the little blonde head, being "taken away to jail."
And he then tells me, "Well, I'm not going to jail because I listen, and I'm a good boy. You will miss me if they take me away."
My son knows me very well mind you, and I think he was expecting me to tell him that I would never let anything happen to him. But I had to stay strong on this, and of course keep from laughing at the same time.
So I very matter-of-factly said back to him, "I would miss you son, but I have no control over the police coming to get you. Once they have been informed of the bad behavior, well, it's just over. You will have to go with them."
He of course vowed to be good forever.
Now, he has still thrown fits, and he has still acted up. But as soon as I remind him of the little blonde girl sitting in handcuffs in the backseat of that police car, let's just say our "fights" don't last quite as long anymore. I, "Put the Fear in Him."
If you can find the perfect opportunity such as this, take it! You will have all of the ammo you need, and a lot more peace in your life. Now Go Get 'em!
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