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I need help with my 4 year old son PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!
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I need help with my 4 year old son PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!

I have a major problem right now. First of all, my 4 year old son is hitting me and his little sister all of the time. He is really angry. He will scream at me, and he acts like he is so frustrated he can't stand it. I am a mother of three, and I will try to comfort him when he feels upset, but sometimes I just don't know what to do. It has gotten to the point that sometimes, he will follow his little sister around, and just pinch her or just push her down constantly. She has even made comments to me that she didn't want to play with him because he makes her so nervous and upset. She loves him a lot, and he loves her a lot too, but I feel that maybe he is jealous of her or something and that is the reason he is doing this. He also is mimicking my husband and calling me bad names. I am in counseling and I am actually in the process of moving out. My husband has been emotionally abusive to me and the kids quite a bit. He is on Prozac and nerve pills, and I don't know if this makes him this way, but living with him is like being on a roller coaster everyday. I am not pointing fingers here, but I feel that a lot of my son's behavior is coming from the problems in our home. He screams at me, and then he will just walk up to me and hit me too. My husband spanks him quite a bit, and I feel that we should stop the spanking because our doctor said that it would only make him more aggressive, and I want my husband to not spank him when my son is with him when we split. I am a nursing student with a 14 year old son, who I feel that i haven't been able to give a lot of attention to here lately, also my 3 year old daughter who is very well behaved most of the time, and then my 4 year old son. I have been having a hard time concentrating on school here lately, but since I am moving out, I know that I will have to stay in school just to survive financially with my loans. I don't know what to do, and I feel so alone here. Please, does anyone have any ideas on how I can help my son emotionally???? I am so worried about him...I can't hardly take him to a lot of public places because he will have a lot of outbursts, and he has called me names in public before. I want him to be able to be a normal happy little boy, and I don't know what else to do. I have an appt. with a counselor on monday, the 30th of november, so I am hoping that she can help us, but i saw this website, and i need advise now....

Thanks,

Mom in Tennessee
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Avatar_n_tn
wow im so glad im not the only mom going through this. I have a 4 yr old who is way out of control Ive tried EVERYTHING under the sun to get him to listen and he doesnt. We live in a apartment and Im just waiting for the day someone comes to my door asking me "what are you doing to that child" When he cries it isnt a cry he SCREAMS like someone is hurting him its very nerve racking and im seriously losing my mind i have no idea what to do anymore please any help

Christina
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi,  you certainly have a lot going on right now.  I'm sure you are stressed, tired and in need of a break!  But we moms know those breaks are hard to come by.  When  you describe what has been going on around home lately, I think I can see why your son is so distraugt.  He probably has learned many behaviors including the yelling, screaming and acting aggressive by his father.  I don't know if you are a yeller too, but when the grown ups in the house do not have impulse control it is unlikely that the child will develop it.  So first of all, I think that you must remain calm with him at all times.  I'd bring any physical punishment such as spanking he receives to an end.  If a child is spanked----  it makes it more difficult to say----  don't hit.  I would attempt to give this child some choices.  That way he has some control over his life.  Do you want to wear this or this.  Do you want to play with this now or this now.  Do you want to walk by yourself RIGHT by my side or do you want to hold my  hand?  You can almost set up how you want him to act somewhere by giving him choices.  When they have control and feel like they've had input----  they are more apt to do what they are suppose to do (ie: not running off in the grocery store).  I have two boys that are fifteen months apart in age----  I've learned that while they love each other, they can drive each other nuts.  The "well behaved" one knows exactly how to bug her brother----  so understand that she most likely at times has a part in the process.  Plus it sets up a lifetime of low self esteem to always feel like you were not the "good" kid in the family.  It also becomes your family persona.  NOt good.  Supervision helps and by that I mean, taking some time to start a game with them.  Finish it if you have time----  but 15 to 20  minutes will start them off for a good half hour of play in which they should get along.  I learned that by doing it myself.  If I just let them go----  they are more apt to fight.  I like posative attention-----  praise him for ANYTHING he does well.  He may like this and try harder to get it.  Rewards work and this isn't toys or stuff----  but an activity he enjoys with you.  We also give coins to our kids when they do the right thing and they bank it-----  then they get to buy themselves something.  Very motivating them and we started this at 3 and 4 for my boys (they are now 4 and 5). I think it helps to role play how to work through being frustrated in an exagerated way so that he will see alternatives than hitting or shouting.  I would check some books out at the library about emotions to express with words how he feels-----  and there is a good book called "hands are not for hitting" which has a simple message kids get.  We tell our kids to use their wods all the time.  We also ask them to come to us before they "take care of business" themselves when there is a problem between them.  Often they can work it out themselves-----  but I would rather "help" than have someone hit.   At your kids age, you will need to do more helping.  They are still little.  They will have good and bad days-----  all kids do.  Make sure your son gets some physical activity EVERY day no matter how busy you are-----  it has a direct affect on behavior.  Lastly, remember that your little guy has had lots of change and more coming.  Your home has been stressful and is now in upheavel.  None of that is his fault.  Keep showing  him compassion and understand that he has had a LOT to deal with at 4.  Good luck-----  and try to get some rest for yourself!

For Christina,  what happens if you ignore your sons screaming.  Does it escalate or does he get bored with it.  He does sound more like he is looking for attention.  I would always remain calm.  I would never yell back.  Be quiet and talk to him after he calms down and tell him  you won't talk to  him when he is screaming like that.  And then don't talk to him.  He may decide it is not worth it if it doesn't result in all the attention it has been getting him.  Your neighbors can put up with it a little longer if it means it may come to an end soon.  by the way, 5 IS easier than 4 so there is hope around the corner.
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Great input specialmom, I echo all you have posted I think the family especially a Dad calling Mom names in front of the child ,needs the help more than the child ,You dont need help so much with the child as counselling within the home .
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank You i will try ignoring his screams and see what happends.

Christina
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973741_tn?1342346373
Good Christina,  It really helps to say the words "I will talk to you when you stop yelling and calm down and not until then."  "use your words".  Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for all of the advise. It does seem like you know what you are talking about. And by you raising two boys that close together, I'm sure you've had plenty of experiences raising them this far to give me the advise that you are giving me. I had never thought of some of the things that you are talking about here, so these ideas are great. You were talking about games to play with them, but what kind of games? Also, is there a website that I can get on to give me ideas? I am not very creative all the time, but I am a very motivated, happy person that would love to do this stuff if I knew what to do. I love the idea with the coins. That is a really great idea, and Chase really loves coins anyway. He is really into money right now. I will really read this message over today and try these things this afternoon when he gets home. The lady that made the posts about that the family needs couseling is right in one aspect, but some of Chase's problems started before my husband and I had problems, so I think that some of it may just be that he is a strong willed child, but I agree about the family counseling, but my husband has a history of mental illness, as does his entire family. Anyway, that is another whole blog in itself. I am mainly concerned with the well being of my kids right now, and my own mental health as well. I am in church, and I am praying for my family and my husband, but I feel that with things the way they are, there is no other choice but for me to leave. And yes, Chase does have a lot of things going on for a 4 year old to deal with, but I am there to support him and the other 2 every step of the way. Please stay in touch because I don't really have a lot of close friends here in my town since I am not working, and it's nice to talk to a mother with some good advise on the same wavelength for a change. Thanks,


Mom in Tennessee
  
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To Mom in Tennessee.  It CAN be hard to think of things day in and out to entertain little ones, but they love really basic things.  For example,  go to the store and spend about a buck and get a bag of pom poms.  You know those little fluffy things they sell at craft stores and the big mega stores . . .  anyway,  you can tell them to wait patiently (good practice) and close their eyes and then start hiding them.  Make it really obvious where they are and even in plain sight.  Then when it is all done, let them find the pom poms.  My kids could do that for hours at 3 and 4.  They love hide and seek (and here is a little hint, they hide where you can see them usually so you know where they are and what they are doing-----  take a couple minutes to yourself while you search calling out the whole time-----  I'm wondering where they are . . .they will think they are being really sneaky and you can pluck your eyebrows or something for a couple of minutes . . .don't tell my kids this trick),  take the pillows off your couch and play mouse and cheese----  with all the pillows on the floor they can crawl through the pillows looking for cheese.  For pretend games----  sit down with them.  Say you are playing animals with some plastic animals-----  start the game off and play WITH them talking with your animal and their imaginations will probably take off----  after about 15 minutes say----  I'll be right back.  Then come back in 10 to 15 minutes and they should still be playing nicely.  Try it.  It doesn't always work out that way but you will get a few breaks a day to do some dishes or something you need to do.  Make a triangle on the floor with the kids spread out and roll balls back and forth with them.  Set up some pans and throw balls (I should say TOSS) into the pans.  Outside, play chase-----  universal----  all kids love it!  Anyway, I will see if I can think of other ideas for you for a 3 and 4 year old.  I'll get back to you.  Take care!
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I want to comment on the "coin" idea someone mentioned.  I think that is a great idea, and is very similar to what I do with my first grade children.  I am a teacher and I know that it is hard for six year old children to listen to everything they are told.  I have a basket of tickets that I give out each day to children who are doing the right thing.  It doesn't have to be every time they are doing the right thing, but when I see someone doing something extra good I give them a ticket.  This works well if most of my class isn't behaving correctly and a few are.  This may work for your children.  The tickets are then turned in at the end of the week for special prizes out of different prize boxes.  Usually if a child has 15 tickets they can get something from a prize box that has Dollar Store kinds of things.  Stickers and candy are in the 1 ticket prize box, pencils, toy cars, used children magazines are in the 5 and 10 ticket box (depending on what it is).  I would suggest that you try this with the children that are old enough to understand what you are doing.  The tickets are available in huge rolls at Wal-Mart for under 5 dollars.  The great thing is- you don't ever really have to buy another roll of tickets- just keep reusing them!  I hope maybe this helped you, or will help you in the future!  Best of luck with your children.  
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks for all your info i believe this may help my 4 yr old son too!
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