How to deal with an aggressive 4 year old?

My son has been an angel up until now- this morning he woke me up with a packet of lollies, I said no son it’s too early and he threw them right at me and started screaming that he hates me etc etc. This is just a little snippet of our life lately. He has to have his way or no way. For some reason he always has to make a smart remark out of no where. I have been too gentle on him and now we are at a loss. How do I redeem myself and get my sweet little boy back? I’ve tried being gentle and I’ve tried being “mean”. Nothing is working so far. Help
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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. How to deal with an aggressive 4 year old?

He’d get those lollies back the same way he gave them to me. A child will do no more than you let them. Period.

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You need to take charge he needs to know you are the mother you’re not his best friend when it comes to discipline and if he acted like that I would have absolutely taken all of them and throw them in the trash he would get none of them or I put them up to where he couldn’t get them and he would have to earn them that is nothing more than a tantrum but if it’s a sudden change in his behavior there might be something that’s upsetting him if not it is just a tantrum I don’t know if you put him in the corner if you make him sit on a chair and set a timer or a slot on the back never hurts but you got a nip it now are you will not be able to handle him discipline is good done in the right way

Hello, be consistent with setting boundaries. As you se t new rules you will experience something called extinction bursts where his behavior will increase because you are setting new rules. Stick with your rules and being consistent and eventually after a while your child will settle into the rules and expectations. They are just going to increase their behavior to try and get their way still. Don’t give in. Discuss boundaries. Even have them sign a parent child contract of behavior. Good luck

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He’s four :woman_shrugging:t3: he’s learning and discovering boundaries. Stand firm. Don’t give in. Redirect him if possible.

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I have nothing helpful to add.

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Sit him down and ask him why he’s so angry lately. Let him know that it’s okay to be angry but it’s not okay to scream that he hates you. Explain that his words hurt. Sometimes they don’t even know why they’re feeling those big feelings and need help learning how to handle them.

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Being mean will more than likely make him more upset. You need a mutually respectful relationship. As hard as it is you need to keep redirecting & explaining. “I know you want to have candy right now but it is too early & will make your belly hurt. Let’s have a good breakfast & then if you still want a lollipop you can have one.”
“When you say you hate me, that makes me very sad. Hate is not a nice word to use. It’s okay to be mad at me. It is not okay to be mean to me. If you need go take some space, you can go to your room & take some space. If you need me, come get me. But please do not be mean to me.” Even walking him to his room & showing him things like coloring & other activities & saying “try playing this, it will help calm you down & make you feel better.” Redirection is key & making your son feel understood & supported is necessary.

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Bold. Or time out . Spankings if needed. Dont let him forget ur the parent

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My sons almost 4. And has been having tantrums from hell. He’s also been telling me “you don’t love me” and “i don’t love you” :pleading_face::broken_heart:

And letting him cry out the tantrum just lasts hours. So I hold him. I just hold him and rock him. It calms him down and he forgets why hes even mad. That takes about 15 minutes.

But nothing else actually worked for us. No time outs, no spanking on the butt (as much as i cringe at this. It does NOT work), just holding him (think cuddling) to get him to calm down. :woman_shrugging:t3:

Just one point.
It’s now or never. :blush:

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Consistency with boundaries and follow through with consequences. 100% of the time

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Wall sits. That’s what my kids do when they do this shit

He’s testing his boundaries and around that age hormones and growth spike. They get more attitude, smart assy, etc.

Remind yourself that he doesnt understand what he’s saying and being told ‘no’ can be really difficult at a young age.

Stick to your guns and try to guide him through it. Tell him the words he says are hurtful and mean. Give him verbal chances (example: I said to stop doing ____, if you can not listen, you’ll be in trouble), and after two of them put him in his room or take something away until he listens.

Acting out, yelling, etc are ways they get their anger and frustration out. Placing him in his room to get it out may be the solution. Tell him you guys can speak through it when he calms down.

Ask him why he gets so mad and mean. He wont be able to clearly formulate his feelings, so help him through it.

It certainly will pass.

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At 4 they are fighting for control and independence. They also are having a hard time understanding all the emotions going on in their heads. With my daughter I found what worked best was giving her the option of “Are you going to have a good day or bad day?” A good day means she will be happy and have fun. A bad day means she can sit by herself in her room and be miserable all on her own. She always picks the good day and tells me she will be a good girl and she is for the whole day

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Time outs. You have to be firm. Set boundaries

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You need to be consistent in whatever method you choose for discipline. If you keep switching it up it won’t work.

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4 yrs old saying that he hate you?! I wonder from where he got that

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Its a phase. Try to bear it.

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Our biggest line is it is okay to let yourself be angry and feel it but we don’t take it out on others with words or our bodies.

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Time to teach self discipline. He must learn that unacceptable behavior is NOT allowed. Good luck

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Ahh. The fearsome fours. Bold strong mama. Consistency is key

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It’s the F#%k you 4s!

Jokes aside firm and consistent! Time out, I do 1-2–3 count, explaining why at the end. Still struggle with my 8 and 5 year olds.

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Spank his ass and send him to his room! Being disrespectful to mom or dad is a BIG no no in our house.

Be serious and consistent! Lay down the law to him and do it now. When he’s older it will be too late. Boundaries and consequences will earn your respect.

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Very strict boundaries and consequences and stand by them only way in my mind

I would have picked up the lilies and thrown then all in the garbage

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Be consistent. No means no. Don’t change the rules be firm but gentle. Fit and tantrums get sent to his room until they are over. Then try again. 5 kids and 15 grandchildren, this works for me.

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This is developmentally normal.

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Be very strict. Don’t give in. Whatever you do. Or he’ll expect it every time. The tantrums will be horrid for awhile but after a few weeks they should settle down.

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Try to also word stuff different. Like tell him lets eat breakfast first and then see if we want a lolli. Cause just saying no outright can cause them to feel overwelmed

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Consistency. If he knows what to expect from you. He will know what to expect if you consistently enforce your rules. Do not even once give in.

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I think it’s the age. My son hit it around 4.5/5

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It may not be a phase. You need to do the Vanderbilt test you can find it online and then take him to see a psychiatrist. If there’s something wrong catch it early! Kindergarten is really hard!

Sounds like my 6 year old. He can be sweet when he wants to be but he has always had a little bit of an aggression side to him.

Most important part is to not participate in the tantrum. In other words, dont fly off the handle yourself. I wouldnt engage with him either. I would make sure he is in a safe space and wall away. And then talk about it later when he is calm.

This is normal at his stage in development. He’s testing his boundaries and independence. You need to be consistent so he can develop trust and security with you, which is the foundation for a child to feel secure with more independence. Your objective should be creating that safe container to test his boundaries, not trying to get him to act like he did at some other stage in development. Being mean or spanking him isn’t going to do anything constructive, it just demonstrates that you’re not able to regulate your emotions, and doesn’t teach him how to regulate his either, and it facilitates cracks in that foundation he needs as well.

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Everyone saying, “It’s a phase”, umm, none of mine acted like that. They’ve never said “I hate you”. So, if don’t know how that’s a phase bc I don’t know any moms dealing with that.
By “tried”, does that mean consistent for more than a week? Trying it once or twice won’t work. Find a punishment that hurts. No TV. Take this favorite toys. Timeout. Etc.
Be consistent. Every time he acts the fool, he gets punished. Period.
You created it, now you have to fix it BC if you don’t, you have bigger problems coming.

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I’m having the same issue with my 5 year old. Today after school he did not listen so I said no sweets and I’ve stuck by it.

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Your child is a reflection of you and who he is around. Set a good example so that he will learn from it and know how to express his feelings and frustration in a healthy way.

I am in the EXACT same position. So many people tell you to spank them or use some other form of punishment, and they just don’t understand our predicament at all. My daughter is 4, and they’re looking at an ADHD & ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) diagnosis. We’re currently in PCIT, Parent Child Interactive Therapy, and it’s working wonders. Feel free to message me with any questions, or if you need to vent. It’s extremely hard to pay under these conditions, in the number of people who feel that they know how to parent your child better than you do only makes it worse.

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Tsk tsk. Stand firm. Just tell him we dont start our breakfast with treats and snacks.
They are a reward for good behavior. Tell him he can have one after breakfast if he displays good behavior. Major emphasis on the GOOD BEHAVIOR.
keep mentioning you want your sweet boy back. Good luck.

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Next time don’t say a word and if he throws something at you again grab it throw it in the garbage and take him to his bedroom and tell him sit there until he is calms down then ask him why he thought his behavior was appropriate and if he gets mad again take him right back to his room and let him know that until he can talk to you calmly he will have to stay in his room and do nothing until he answers your question I did that to my kids and after the 3rd or 4th time they would finally be calmed down enough

When my three years old great grandson gets mad at me and start to throu a tantrum I ask him why is he doing that ,he said because I made him angry, I then explain to him that there is consequences for having a tantrum,but if we can talk out why he is angry and use words instead of tantrums, you will feel better,this works for me,he understands, what consequences are.he is rewarded for his good behavior,

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Consistent consequences for bad behavior

I’ve never seen so many of these posts about parents and their children acting up, HE WOULD BE STANDING IN A CORNER OR PUT IN A CHAIR, SOMETHING! YOU HAVE TO TEACH THEM RESPECT! Those lil talks dont seem to do the trick! He’s 4, STOP IT NOW before he’s 14 and running your house and the streets! IT STARTS AT HOME!!

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Does he watch TV or a tablet…like YouTube kids?y daughter started acting wild and mean and I found out it was one of the “shows” she was watching on YouTube kids. I blocked that show and a few others and her behavior changed drastically back into my nice child

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Stick him on the corner, works like a charm

My 7 year old daughter is like this

Be super strict and assertive till he realizes who is in control

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My son is acting the same way at times, his advocate told me to try to give him 2 choices, no more and no less, it makes them think they are in control when they get to chose when it’s really you taking control, also try to talk about feelings while he is feeling angry or sad or even happy. He has every right to be angry but he needs to use his words. It’s a daily struggle here too but I’ve slowly seen improvements. We are here for you… Don’t give up Mama, you’re doing great!

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Don’t participate or react to his bad behavior. I send my kids straight to their room by themselves and tell them they can come back when they’re ready to act right. Praise and respond to good behaviors. Corners and time outs work great too!

My girl is 2 and pretty much getting to this point. I comfort her and let her cry. When she throws a tantrum I carry on about my business she tantrums for 2 hours straight some days but she comes round. Don’t feed into it. Carry on with your day.

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He throws a fit after u tell him to stop or no about something and he don’t listen after one warning. Put him in a time out. Pick a spot in the house for a time out for him when its needed. Get on his level and look at him and explain. I told you no. If u keep throwing a fit I’m going to put u in time out. Give him that one warning. He doesn’t listen. Get on his level again and tell him I told u if u keep throwing a fit. U was going in time out. Take him there and tell him you are to sit here for 4 mins. Then walk away. If it happends again explain again why hes in time out and walk away. He keeps getting out after that just take him back with no communication. Til he finally gives up and does his time. It can take awhile til they get it. But it works. Hope this helps.

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You don’t have to be mean, but be consistent. Lay ground rules, don’t bend to his will. Try to talk to him and ask him why he’s upset - most of the time they act out when they don’t know how to communicate their feelings. Do NOT give in during a tantrum, instead wait until he’s calm, tell him why he can’t have whatever it is.

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Watch the nanny. But before…spank his bottom side and put his nose in a corner.

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I usually try to say no in a round about way… Yes! We can have a lolli with our lunch today! What a great idea! Let’s put them in a safe place so we don’t forget later… Etc. Works for my 3 yr old

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Consistency momma. No means no and time outs when needed. It’ll be hard start but there’s light at the end of the tunnel for sure. I’ve been through that stage. Consistency and state I told you no and you need to respect my rules.

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We created a “good boy chart” for my son at that age. He gets 3 strikes on the chart, after that, he gets tv taken away, then video games, then tv at bed time which is his ultimate thing he feels he HAS to have. It took about a week but it works wonders. He’s 7 now and we still use it.

Youve admitted youre part of the problem by being too lenient in the past…now you see the results
Whatever you choose to do for discipline must start now. Be calm and consistent but don’t let him continue to rule. You are the adult.

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I might get shit for this but when my kids are disrespectful and out of control, I spank their butts 🤷 my 6 year old has always been a difficult child but most of the time going to a timeout for 5minutes (usually standing in the corner) works super well but when it doesn’t she gets a spanking and it’s stops the behavior immediately. We talk it out afterwards because she WONT talk it out when she’s in one of her moods and we explain why that behavior isn’t okay. And overall I have super well behaved kids 🤷 but the moment we try to stop spanking and gently parent, the kids start acting like wild animals :lion: :tiger: :bear::rofl:

Same boat. I gave too many warnings without enough consequence and am dealing with a four year old trying to rule my house.

We’ve been using positive reinforcement for listening to mom, like, getting an ice cream or going out or doing a craft, and having serious backup when dad is home.
We do a bun swat and a timeout for four minutes if she wants to continue her bad behavior, by no means are we beating her, and she doesn’t start crying until her nose has been on the wall for a few moments.
I’ve been trying to be easier in other areas as well, like, choosing my battles. I try not to be as upset about some things and be consistent in my consequences for failure to follow the rules or listen.

It’s a struggle, but it’s important to get a wrangle on the behavior issues BEFORE they go to school or get big enough to physically harm you. :man_shrugging:

Best of luck!!

You have to be the mom tell him no put him in time put take things away make a chart system

Has he been sick lately? Please watch for signs of PANS/PANDAS if the behavioral changes stay or worsen.

4 year old testosterone surge. It’s normal. Itll pass

Bust that butt!!! Kids need to learn respect. That’s part of what’s wrong with society today ~ kids have no respect and feel entitled.
“Spare the rod, spoil the child” #facts

Oh! And before anyone comes at me with “child abuse” crap ~ I’m not saying beat your kid. They can learn discipline at an early age with the right guidance. A few smacks on their bottoms will not hurt them… their feelings ~ yes but physically, no.

You need to find a punishment that’s suitable for his age and behavior and use it. Also dont make empty threats. Never say you’re going to take something away or put him in a timeout and then not follow through it sets a bad example

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When you say no, you have to mean no. You don’t give in. You don’t have to be mean. When my youngest would throw himself down and have a tantrum, I would say, “Is that all you have? It’s not going to work. You acting like that will never get you what you want.” They have to figure out that there is nothing that will make you give in. Once a decision is made, they have to live with it. If they throw something at you, you have to let them know that it’s unacceptable and you are not ok with it. Each child will react differently to different forms of punishment, but across the board, you don’t give in. Otherwise, they will own you.

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Read the book 1 2 3 Magic. It was recommended to me by my pediatrician and has been affective for my 2 1/2 year old. Its for ages 2+. We tried redirecting, still do positive reinforment, praise (still do), emotional corner, gentle parenting, etc but nothing budged. His “terrible 2s” came around 16 months according to his pediatrician (I thought something was wrong with him :woozy_face:) but the book was a life changer once he turned 2. Since he speaks really well he would either try to negotiate with me, scream, throw huge fits or hit/throw. The break time for his age implemented in the book cut out all of that for us. Of coarse he still has tantrums but no hitting/ throwing and listens when in potential dangerous situations. The book lists alot of scenarios too so so far I haven’t felt stuck on what to do because it’s not solely based on break times. More so how to handle your emotions, the why’s, what constitutes a break time and why. Most times after I say, “that’s 1” he stops what he’s doing. Then praise him for listening and give him another option. Maybe it can help you too :heart:.

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No way it would be, don’t give in.

Make a chart and create a reward system.

Jessica Kitchen Messick read these comments

Where is this a normal phase? I have three children and they NEVER said I hate you or threw anything back at me or talked to me disrespectfully.

My oldest is now 24… she had one melt down at age two. I left my cart, snatched her up and took her to the car and had a stern talk with the craziest glare in my face… Never had that problem again!! Kids wanna act crazy I show them crazy and that’s that!

We have to be consistent in our boundaries and discipline. If you let small things slide they will test you with bigger things.
Consistency
Consistency
Consistency

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I feel you momma. I call my 4 year my sour patch kid cause hes back and forth. I wish I knew how to stop it

Terrible Twos were a breeze…now, the Fearsome Fours?? That’s a whole other kind of crazy!!

Hes just havinga surge of testosterone … i dont know why we all say terrible 2 lol 4 is way worse … it will pass mamma keep parenting the way u have with some firm boundaries and natural consequences u got this xxxxx

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Honestly when my 3 yr old gets really angry we will put him in his room till he comes out calm enough to talk. Bc if he’s aggravated and starts throwing stuff hitting ect It only gets me mad and I don’t like to spank my kids unless it’s necessary so sending him to his room let’s both myself and him calm down.

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This is the age where they really struggle with emotion and their independence. You just need to calmly explain to them why they can’t have it and stick to your guns mama. I know it’s hard. But you can do it. If you’d give in it’s just going to get harder and harder.

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No doubt you will get a lot of intelligent answers .

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Behavior doesn’t occur without reinforcement. Look up ABA and strategies. Good luck.

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Consistency with punishment and praise!

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Try “time out” maybe standing in a corner where there is no TV or toys! Follow through
so he learns you mean business.

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Consistency and not giving in to Tge tantrums

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Mix the gentle and mean. He’s still young, so he will need reminders, but you sit him down and you give him consequences for his behavior. You take what he enjoys… tablet, TV, privileges etc. Enforce both what he should do and what he shouldn’t do. For example, his behavior with the lollipops, when he threw them at you, screamed and said he hates you, you get up, take his hand, lead him to the trash, throw the lollipops away, then put him in a chair to sit until his attitude is done. If he gets up, you put him back in the chair. Or, you get up, trash the lollipops, then take his tablet or TV or whatever it is that he wants to do, while explaining to him that what you’re doing is because of how he acted and if he doesn’t want those consequences, he can’t have those kids of actions.

Take his toy’s away and trash what he throws at you.

How about an ass whooping :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Put the Lollies up. Tell him when his behavior is better he may get one if he asks politely, if he doesn’t then lock them up somewhere. Don’t let him use bad behavior to get what he wants.

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If you say you’re going to do something, for example:

Slide down the slide 1 more time, then it’s time to go,
2 more bites of food then you can eat cake,
1 more jump in the puddle then were done

FOLLOW THROUGH with it!!! Very important!
Kids at this age are starting to struggle with emotion. Best of luck!

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Don’t need to be mean but be consistent. You have entered the “little f-er 4s” I say that with love lol.

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Stick to your guns… don’t give in. Cause then he’s in control!! Good luck :crossed_fingers:t2:

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Be calm, Mom. It’s ok for kids to get angry. This will pass. I would try…“it’s ok to be angry, but you cannot throw or hit or hurt other people.” Be firm, but not angry. Show him how taking some deep breaths will help calm him. Time out if necessary. Wine also helps. For mom!

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children want someone to be in charge and will push the limits

Thats the problem today with kids when we were small and acted like that we got an old fashion smack on the ass and that woke us up

I think when a little one turns 4, everything changes. They become little adults and test every boundary. They will do this when it’s one on one, just your family, or strangers at a store. It’s can be very stressful, hurtful and embarrassing. But, you have to stand firm and let your “yes mean yes and your no mean no.” No matter who is around. You may feel guilty, sad or just feel like you are the worse parent. But, it works. He is getting close to school age and if this behavior isn’t adjusted, it may get worse when he learns new behaviors from other kids.
You will be so proud of yourself for being firm, when you see that he responds. Then give lots of cuddles and praise for any good behavior. It takes a village, so if others are around, let them know you are working on behavioral issues, so they can back you up. You just have to figure out what his weakness is and what you can use as leverage. Tv time, a certain toy, a favorite treat….it’s not easy but show him you mean business and his behavior is not acceptable. You got this mom!!:clap::purple_heart::baby:t2:

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Be consistent with discipline & authority. He is reaching the age where they test your limits.

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Timeout. Pay no attention to the bad behavior and set him in his room.

Consistency and rewarding good behavior. They say " I hate you" but they really don’t mean it. You can’t take it personally. Make sure you follow through. When my 4 year old is being mouthy, I say " this is your warning. Keep it up and you loose screen time." If he keeps going I follow through and he gets no screen time. Of course then he tries to escalate but then he looses something else. Or honestly sometimes I have sent my 10 year old to his room and tell him to stay there till he’s willing to talk nicely and not whine, cry or talk back. He takes the quite time to unwind and calm down and then we talk about it.

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My son does the same thing except he yells “you don’t love me” :woman_facepalming:t2: and I have to explain to him that what he is saying isn’t true, I love him, but now isn’t the right time, be a good boy, do as your asked and perhaps later we will both have a treat” it’s tough but you have to stick to your first answer otherwise he will grow up not respecting you.

A good smack on the behind will remind him to listen to mom! Now days parents are afraid to punish their kid.

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Where does a four year old learn the word hate and understand it’s meaning be careful with words around children No has to mean no

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