My 4 year old is very strong willed, which is a good thing when they're older, but I have a dificult time with her now. I question if her behavior is normal? She doesn't listen to me at all. I have to push her to do anything. I've asked nice, demanded, rewarded her to do something, gave consequences, time out. I've tried everything. She doesn't ever seem remorseful or care what I think of her actions. It's her way and that's it. She talks back all the time and if you ask her why, it's always some off the wall reason that doesn't relate to the issues at hand. Nothing ever good enough. We'll surprise her and take her to places like chuckie cheese and she'll like it, than complain days later that we do nothing for her. I'll to crafts with her and one time I was cleaning up afterwards and she snuck behind my back found the sissors I put up and decided to cut all the cusions on the back of my couch. When confronted with it. She had no reason, or remorse over it. We've punished her by taking some things away for her to earn back and she doesn't care and it's been forever. These are the things that happen all the time. We set her down and ask her if she's upset. Do we make her mad. Is school making her mad. We try communicating with her to see if something in her life is making her act out, and it's always again some off the wall reason that doesn't even make sense or it's something we've asked her and she repeats what we said back because it sounds good to her. She's rude to people and doesn't listen. She acts older than what she is. I love her put I'm lost and feel helpless towards her. I'm not enjoying being around her because she doesn't listen to me and it's always a struggle with her. If I take her anywhere it's a fight to get her to leave, or to do what I need her to do. Does She have normal 4 year old behavior?????
No, your daughter is not displaying normal four-year-old behavior. Now, many children her age are oppositional at times, and do things their parents tell them not to do. But it is the degree of the behavior that is not within the normal spectrum with your daughter. One thing that will be important is to adjust your expectation about how much your daughter can explain herself or her motivations. She's answering your questions just the same way most four-year-olds do. They are not cognitively able to offer rationales for their behavior. The life of a four-year-old is pretty simple. They are predominantly self-centered, pleasure-seeking persons. When something gets in the way of their pleassure they do not like it and sometimes express their displeasure by way of stubborn, angry behavior. So, you'll help yourself avoid a lot of frustration by refraining from asking your daughter why she is doing something. It is literally a waste of time and effort to ask that question of a child of four. You do need to organize yourself about how to approach her behavior. Here's a plan for you, and please follow it religiously. Purchase , or obtain at your local library, the book SOS Help for Parents. The behavior management plan detailed in this very useful book is clear, practical, simple. Follow the plan consistently and you will see change.
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