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my four year old daughter is completely out of control


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daughter turned 4 in Sept shes potty trained and just started pre school so far so good but when it comes to home she is unbelievably out of control 98%of the time. I've tried spankings, toy removal, time out, all the way to EXTRA LARGE amounts of attention and love reaching. Even friends are amazed with no answers and they all have children of all ages. Im a single mom and live with grama and grampa which I'm sure doesn't help seein as thats supposed to be a place of extra cheating from grama n grampa and I know it's unfair to them also. One problem I know in this is my consistency, and my yelling. I give in way to easy and give her whatever she wants teyin to fill the missin father void because it was something that affected me largely Myself and my lil brother. I am so lost n SCARED on what to do. Her father and I just started talking again. Hes always been an every 8 month if that daddy, she doesnt even know him really but he says keep up with the corner ...he has two sons and is awesome with them. What to do...im about to take her to a psych..she tells me she hates me and wants me to die, her teacher says nip it now or one day when shes bigger than me she's gonna hurt me and my daughter listens to her very well...she says....they know my NO IS NO...well apparently mine doesn't and pushes me till I'm ready to lose it and all I can do is cry. I also just started church thats connected to her school hoping it will help.

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her teacher says nip it now or one day when shes bigger than me she's gonna hurt me and my daughter listens to her very well...she says....they know my NO IS NO...


that's the problem. Your daughter knows that all she has to do to get her way is hold out longer than you. You are letting yourself be conquered by a 4 year old for reasons that she does not know or care about. You need to start being consistent or you are setting her on a bad path for life.

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Oh, this is a good case to take to a child psychologist. If she minds for her teachers and other people but not for you, then she has learned what 'works' to manipulate you and is using it against you. And children have their own little personalities as we all do, and she may be very strong willed and stubborn as her fundamental personality.


So this is a good time for an intervention with a psychologist. Sometimes schools have free or low cost counseling, because what needs to happen is that you need to learn how to parent her in a way that breaks this behavior, so both of you need to go in for sessions together.


It also may be a problem living with grandma and grandpa if your daughter knows she can run to them and they'll support her misbehavior. Your parents need to fall in line and absolutely not indulge her or let her run to them when she is having a dispute with you. Your authority needs to be 100%, and not contradicted by other people spoiling your daughter or siding with her when you try to discipline her. So if your parents won't support you 100% in your attempts to get her under control, you may need to move out for your daughther's sake.


You also need to stop giving in. It is indeed a contest of wills with a child, and you have to be consistent and not give in because it is easier for you. Children are smart, and they learn what pushes their parent's buttons to get what they want, and she's learned if she screams and tells you she hates you and behaves badly, it gets your attention. You need to try to remain calm and consistent, and that will teach her that this doesn't work.


For example, if she screams, 'I hate you Mommy' you just say, 'that's your choice honey, but hating me isn't going to get you any ice cream, behaving will get you ice cream.' So you don't let her pull you off track from the real issues, that she is pummeling you emotionally to get what she wants from you. So her tactics need to stop working on you, and you must stop yelling etc. because that is just teaching her to do the same.


So get some books on parenting and handling difficult children and read them, and schedule an appointment with a child psychologist to help teach you techniques to both get her under control, and to get yourself under control. Once you're under control, you daughter will follow suit.


Also, just immediately STOP letting guilt over a 'missing father' color any of your interactions with your child. The truth is more children are raised in single parent households than in married couple households these days, so there is nothing unusual at all about your situation and feeling sorry for yourself or your daughter won't change anything at all. Her father is not the reason your child is out of control, it is your interaction with her and spoiling and giving in that is making her out of control. The presence or absence of her father is irrelevant to this behavior, and you need to get over that and just work to be stronger in yourself and your choices in terms of managing her, and not give and not yell. You need to learn other parenting techniques, and books and a child counselor can help with that.

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in my experience most kids behave pretty well for teachers, and outside people. it is in their home with their family that their true colours shows. i am a pre school teacher and it has happened plenty of times that the parents will tell me how difficult a particular child is at home, and i can hardly picture it as in school they behave so well.

in fact in this case i don't see the need for a child psychologist. the child has control over herself and knows what she is doing. if she was behaving bad for everyone and no one could get a handle on her THEN i would see a child psychologist. but this is not the case.


first of all i recommend you do a parenting course if possible. in the uk we have 'parenting plus' which is a fantastic course- hugely helpful

all yelling HAS to stop. yes that's hard. but you are showing her HOW to behave. and that is NOT the way you want her to behave. you need to be at your best as much as you can. when it gets extra hard, then you need to be even more better.



-CALM is the operative word here. stay calm, be firm.


-talk to her and discuss things after the bad behaviour.


-catch her during good behaviour and praise her. this is VERY important.


-spent quality time with her and have lots of positive experiences with her.


-IGNORE things that you can ignore, if you think they are being done for a reaction eg i hate you


-apologise when you do wrong. remember you want her to learn from you. this is how she will learn to apologise.


-get grandparents on board.


and remember, kids are different and are entitled to their own individual characters.


my son and daughter are so different. i could yell at my son, lose my temper and it wouldn't upset him. he would do as i say and then forget about it.

my daughter , on the other hand is far more volatile. if i yell at her, she'll yell back, she'll cry, she'll scream!! boy did i learn that i needed to change my ways......

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There is hope and there is help!


First off, just know that children often let loose at home because they know they are loved and they like to test the limits.


You will find success if you and the school and your parents all work as a team. Consistency is key.


I had a son that required every ounce of energy from me and his teachers when he was young and he is eighteen now and a gentle soul...so there is hope!


It just takes a lot of love, and sheer determination.


So, first off, I went to a parenting class that made a HUGE difference. It added some tools for me to be able to use when needed. The one I went to probably isn't offered in your area, but one called "Parenting with Love and Logic" probably is, and it is similar. Your parents need to go with you to it too.


You can buy the book that came with my parenting class and I highly recommend the approaches it offered. My son also told me he hated me and he wished he had never been born. I believe this book saved his and my life: link removed


It is called "Taking Charge" by Joanne Nordling. Get three copies- one for you daughter's teacher, one for you, and one for your parents. The approach for parenting is this- setting limits with love. Giving choices within boundaries you set. It helps to give choices, because it empowers the child, but in the end you get what you want too.


For example, if you want your child to wear a coat, you may have a power struggle about that. But if you say "Do you want to wear the red coat or the blue coat" then they get some choice but you get what you want- she wears a coat.


The yelling part- I have been there! It is very important that you find a way to be in control of your voice and your body- to model for your child how it is done. I know I know, easier said than done. But once you get some new parenting tools under your belt then you will not be as frustrated.


It will take time and patience and determination on your part.


The other thing we did was to go to a family counselor. We had her go to observe our child at school- extra expense, but so worth it. Then the counseling focused on behavioral goals for our son and parenting goals for each parent. Your parents should participate in the counseling too.


The last thing that is very important is to look at your environment and adjust as needed. Is your child getting enough sleep? School is very exhausting so they need an earlier bedtime to get the sleep they need. Aim for 11 hours for her. This is the single most effective adjustment we were able to make- a clear bedtime routine and consistent bedtime each and every night including weekends.


Take a look at her food intake- do sugary foods set her energy on overdrive? My son ended up being very sensitive to sugary foods so we made sure he had good protein intake which helped.


Please know that parenting is a difficult but rewarding job. And each year brings new challenges as your child develops but as she gets older, eventually it will not be so intense and then before you know it she will be grown and gone out of the house..

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Welcome to ENA. It sounds like you're doing your best and these issues aren't arising out of a lack of effort on your part. I applaude you for reaching out and trying to get advice. Most of this stuff is very common sense. It's easy to give parenting advice and it's extremely hard to actually put it into practise. So please talk to a professional who can actually sit you and your daughter down and help you get hands-on practise.

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I've tried spankings, toy removal, time out, all the way to EXTRA LARGE amounts of attention and love reaching.


One problem I know in this is my consistency, and my yelling. I give in way to easy and give her whatever she wants teyin to fill the missin father void because it was something that affected me largely Myself and my lil brother.


Your methods seem to be swinging from one extreme to another. You say that you realize you yell too much and are inconsistent, and that you give in to much. All of the things you listed have to stop.


I agree with those advising a parenting class. You may also want to look into counseling for yourself.


I work part-time with kids like your daughter (but a little older) in a residential setting and it's amazing how much better they behave when there is consistency and predictability. At home with their family, there was no dinnertime or bedtime, and everything was generally unpredictable (including their parents' behavior). She is looking to you to make her feel safe and she needs routine to do that.

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