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4 Year Old Behavior-Wants to Control
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4 Year Old Behavior-Wants to Control

My grandaughter is 4 and very smart.  It seems that she can be sweet part of the time and then can just fly off the handle.  My son and his wife have tried different types of discipline, but are at their wits end.  She seems to direct her crying and hitting more at her mom who has become depressed over the situation.  And she knows that she has been bad.  I have noticed when asked for hugs and kisses when we say good bye that she very seldom gives us one and it is not just us.  She has a 4 year old cousin who is small for his age and she can play nice with him, but at times will act more like a mother to him.  This has been going on for about the past year.  Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
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154929_tn?1196191338
I have a 4 yr old son.  There are times that he also will get very angry and not want to communicate with you--if she is in school (pre) they are probably learning about emotions and she is trying to act them out and it is not clicking in her head that to be mad you still need to tell people what is wrong.  I had my son tell me the other day that he didn't love me anymore because I wouldn't play a fighting game with him (with his dinosaurs).  I said I didn't like fighting and I did not want to play-he said I don't love and I won't love you until I am old like Papa--I told him well I love you---ten minutes later he was back to saying he loved me--it is about control in their little world--we control so much of it they are trying to control what they can--just love them and keep trying.  Tell her mom it is not personally directed at her--she is the closest person to her and they just know how to push our buttons and get a reaction.
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Avatar_f_tn
She is most likely trying to see how far she can get and what effect her words have. It is a trial and error phase for her. The more reaction, the more she will try it. I would suggest to mom that she may want to be firm with how her daughter is allowed to talk (for example: "We don't say we hate each other in this house." but allow the feelings, "I understand that you are mad right now. It is ok to be mad." I would also let the little girl know that she has to have a place to "calm down and think" if she does do or say something inappropriate. I would not force hugs and kisses, but instead, I would ask her "what do you think it would be nice to do for Grandma and Grandpa?" You might find out that she would rather draw a picture to show her feelings rather than a forced hug. She'll come back around to the hugs eventually and her own creations (i.e. a picture) are just as meaningful and have been derived from her, so very special too. Also, always encourage good behavior as much as you can. Then she will want to get a reaction for the good behavior and the less desirable actions will die down.
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Avatar_f_tn
your problem doesnt seem too serious. i knwo that kids drive you up the wall at times, but thats their age. the more they yell and them ore you yell back at them, the more things get out of control. she can also be testing you at this age. do some reverse psychology. like for example, instead of punishing all the itme, keep her busy and show her how much nicer it is to be carying . as for her being mother like to her cousin, i see that as a positive. she knows shes older and bigger so she likes to express that. she has the right. show her how to watch over him and take care of her cousin that way. she sounds like she will be a leader in her life. alot of parents might not agree with me, but i dont like to pick the kids feathers too much cause i want them to have beautiful feathers when its time to fly. just pick your battles with her. she will listen.
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