What discipline techniques work for you?

What discipline techniques do you use with your child? Mine just turned 4. He is very hyper 24/7, and we probably have a diagnosis coming. But he’s pretty aggressive. Lately, he’s been hitting me a lot and trying to bite me. He screams about just about everything. And throws a fit over everything. Everyone has become overwhelming lately. I’ve tried time out, the corner, sending to bed, spanking, ignoring him (to an extent), overly praising him when being right, etc. IDK what’s left. If anyone has any ideas to help us, please let me know. I’m drowning in life right now. I’m also a single mom. So have essentially no help. I’m having a hard enough time right now. If you don’t have something to say that’s going to help me, then please don’t comment. I don’t need to feel worse.


He is just testing you to see his boundaries…n I wouldn’t be so quick to say DX…u got this u r mom…be mom


Try a routine schedule as much as possible. Pick a firm way to handle issues and use it for a while with the routine. I have step child with TBI plus more issues and this is what the professionals say.


Well I don’t have any children but I do have a Neice And I will help raise her the way I treat my animals love and discipline without fear not like the way I grew up where there was always fear

Stick to a routine. I used a program called 123 Magic (you can get the book in your local library) and it was a God send. It is as much about retraining YOU as it is retraining your kid. If you use it, it will work.

Have him tested for ADHD and ODD, that’s how my daughter was. He will need schedule and structure, and must be firm at all times with him. He needs positive reinforcement. Good Luck, it will get better!

Everyone is always so quick to point out a diagnoses. That’s not up to you or strangers on the internet. It’s up to the doctors and specialists. From the sounds of it your child is simply acting like a child. He is pushing your buttons to test his boundaries. It’s a normal child thing. Parents need to start realizing we can’t have full control over our children. They aren’t meant to sit still for hours, or always be quiet and gentle. They’re meant to get dirty while exploring. They’re meant to get scrapes and bruises. Let them be little and explore as much as possible.

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I took my son to buy a bean bag to punch and throw himself on in his room. I allowed him to also climb door jams. My son and I would jog in our hallway but do fun jogs and just make him laugh and tire himself out. My son knew the time out chair buy this time and also gave me the screws to it at one time. Lol you just have to stick to your rules and don’t back down and say oh it didn’t work.
You cold go ol school and get a paint stick and smack his booty one good time and then when he gets to the point of hitting u, you could ask him if he wants that paint stick or is he going to shape up. My daughter is 21 and survived a wooden spoon smack once to the booty at 5. My son just needed to be directed on how to handle his feelers healthy

Sounds like my nephew. He’s always been super hyper and no discipline worked…My sister took him to a psychologist and he was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. The ODD I can’t remember what it stands for, but it explained why he was the way he was. She put him on meds for the adhd and his behavior has drastically changed…

Had to have a chuckle hear , as you just described my almost 4year old granddaughter a lot of the time…
Read Tara Mecas reply again .

So many kids will act this way with parents , but will be verging on Angelic when with other people .
Dean Martin also offered great advice

My daughter at 4 I could take her no where I’d warn her candy.is out of the question it’s no u dont need it but the minute were in the store shed flop to the floor screaming convulsing. I’d have to take her out go home your child is testing.u u have to set.boundries.if u really need advice go to your pediatrician advice on discipline actions they do.grow out of it eventually but right.now its challenging ask your doc is your best bet good luck

Diet change!! Start with red dyes… it worked wonders for my daughter and her outbursts and uncontrollable behavior!! Good luck mama, you will get thru this! :heart:

They have linked sleep deprivation with the same symptoms of adhd. So is he sleeping well. He could go to sleep at 8pm and not wake up till 7am, but if he tosses and turns could still be sleep deprivation. Its worth looking into. Otherwise routine helps being firm. Good luck wish you the best

I have four boys. Ages now,(20,17,13,11)They all have different personalities of course. Each one I had to use a different way of discipline. The best advice I could give you that I learned is to stay consistent. If it’s a rule today,it’s a rule tomorrow no matter what.


Ignore him take off his special things try an elimination diet it is very strict but good till you get him to your Gp paed the health food shop at Redbank May have some things he can take go have a chat to them very helpfully or chemist .Braer mace good calming Medicines

Be consistant and tell him you love him and cuddle him.Try not to lose your temper, tell him how it makes you feel when he hits you.However you decide to treat him stick with that way for a few weeks before changing it, children respond to consistency and routine.Its not easy but you can do it.

Take him out to a playground to tire him out. Bite him back just enough to show him it hurts. Be consistent with punishment and make sure you clean up his diet with healthy food.

All of these are good ideas. Try everything on the list. Combine everything together. Take him to a playground and tire home out. And he’ll sleep better. The only thing is you have to be consistent. THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT!! IT S allot of work but less than a month with the new routine. It takes 21 days to break a habit!!! Hard work for mom, but in the long run, it will pay off. Don’t give in, no is no . Have rewards for good behavior. The sticker plan works. I’ve used the charts for my children. They would be happy for putting there sticker on there chart. And at the end of the week, the kids are excited to get 5 when the sticker chart is full of stickers and of course the 5 dollars includes a ride to the store of choice. Remember 21 days. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the 21 days. But it paid off in the long run.

Have him tested for all the usual things like ADHD. But also have him tested for PANDA. As I understand it. The Strep. The Streptococcus virus can cause this behavior.

I wish you luck! I had many slip ups. Finally I got it. Even have a calm down time every night. In front of the TV. That worked for me. Make a temp bed soon the floor in front of the TV. And if you slip once in a while. Just be on time. Make it fun with them. And keep your head up. But try to do this. It might just work. Good luck.

I had 4 children and they all were very different with what they responded to as far as discipline. If u think there may potentially b a diagnosis coming then talk to his dr about it now. Also…i was diagnosed as hyperactive as a child about that age. This was late 70’s so not many med options othet than ritalin. My dr told my mother to give me half a cup of coffee in the morning. No sugar or creamer or anything…just some ice to cool it off. Caffeine works backward in kids. It settled down my hyperactivity and i didnt have to go on any meds.

Grandpa needs teach him he can not hit.

Following for advice

1 on 1 time might help.

Take him to the doctors see what they have to say I’m not a big fan of medication for children but it might be necessary also if he is hyper wear him out take him to an indoor play place and let him exhaust himself

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Following, this is my youngest, same age. His 2 older brothers get almost nothing from me bc he takes everything I have, every second of the day. Hes seeing a psychologist whom he loves but is still having a ton of issues

Don’t hit you’re child


Then expect him not to think it’s okay to hit you


Visual schedules might help so he knows what to expect is coming next…they work great with my son… there are no surprises that way

While medication does sometimes help, perhaps there are other starting points. I definitely agree with the above post about indoor play places to help wear him out. But I’d also consider therapeutic services with someone who specializes in kids. Unfortunately kids don’t necessarily know how to verbalize everything, even when they do get to the age they have more word usage. Perhaps someone can help identify what’s happening via therapy to give you suggestions to help

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You said you probably have a diagnosis coming which I take to mean ASD or ADD/ADHD. Look into sensory processing disorder first because it becomes more apparent or overwhelming for the child (and parent) around age four and mimics the other diagnoses. Sensory integration activities help. Get the book The Out-of-Sync Child and use the questionnaires. That book really helped me understand why my child behaves the way he does and find ways to diffuse that energy. We also have an OT who helps.


The diagnosis will determine what your next steps should be and you can at that point request support to manage behaviors/come up with a behavior plan that best suits his needs once you gain an understanding of his challenges. In the meantime, continue with consequences for actions and following through with things. Consistency is key for any child. Hang in there and good luck.

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I had a hyper one and we tired him out continuously. I mean we went on walks went to the park, he rode his bike up and down the street. I had to sit and play blocks with him. He needs lots of interaction with you so you can correct him and teach him appropriate social skills. He needs you A LOT!! Put the electronics away and interact with him all the time. That is what he needs and lots of physical activity.

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No commentaries please…
Our pediatrician mentioned once that you cannot legally wash your childs mouth out with soap, because it isn’t edible. However, hot sauce is. Out of my 5 kids, 1 LOVES hot sauce to this day. My youngest is 3 and he has only had it maybe 3x. (Put a dab on your fingertip and drag it along his tongue. Show him the bottle) I have one bottle at home and a small bottle in my purse. If he acts up at home or while we are out I just show him the bottle. He behaves immediately. Again, none of my kids hate spicy food, and one prefers it. This is no more cruel than spanking. It is edible and is an immediate response to negative behavior. I also follow with a little milk after the first minute or so.


Along with a diagnosis if he has one try cutting back on sugar that may help with the hyper activity and sticking to the discipline regardless of what route you choose.

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Also, if the biting is new, have him checked for an ear infection.

It sounds like you’re already going to take him to the Dr. for a diagnosis. In the meantime, have plenty of activities for him, coloring, glue sticks, pipe cleaners, colors, color books, etc. Also, be firm with your discipline. If he has a time out set a timer and make him sit there the whole time. I usually set it for their age so 4 minutes. Biting, if you can’t catch him before he bites you then when he does get down on his level, look him right in the eyes, put your hand firmly on his mouth and sternly say No, that hurts mommy. Some try a light bite back, others have used soap in the mouth. Whatever you choose be consistent and don’t give in. Kids are so smart and figure out right away how to get out of a discipline. Good luck.

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Cut out sugar, caffeine, anything that can make him more hyper. Like others have said do alot of things to tire him out do alot of activities with him and keep it mostly hands on if you can. Talk to your dr about it and maybe see if you can see about a behavioral therapist


I a haven’t taken the class myself but heard lots of good things about the Nurtured Heart Approach maybe worth looking into - I had done the 1 2 3 Magic which is a book you can get online or from the library for a kid with behavioral issues at the daycare center I worked at and it worked for him. I agree getting him in for an evaluation might be best then working with a behavioral specialist and get a plan together. I’m sorry your going through this. I’m not a fan of hurting or scaring my children into listening and believe there is usually-(wish I could underline this word) a better way but I have swatted on the butt before and I always end up with mom guilt. There’s a lot of info and different approaches out there for behavioral issues, I’m sure your pediatrician can recommend a few also

As a mother of 4 grown children just know this is a blimp in the big picture. I spanked one out of 4 kids for biting- disciplining (is not child abuse)your child teaches them acceptable boundaries and right from wrong. Just know it will pass and try to remain calm cuz they feed off our energy


Our son is now 13 years old. We went through the same thing. If he is already aggressive I would suggest not spanking him. I know we all have out breaking point but it’s going to make it worse for you in the end. Because hes going to continue hitting and eventually he will hit out of anger and make it worse for you. Since he is only 4 try a sticker chart. When my son was that age we did a sticker chart and then as long as he had 5 good days out of 7 days on the weekend he got to pick a fun activity or place to go. It helped alot. It gave him something to work towards every day. Also, you might put him in counseling. Our son was eventually diagnosed with add, adhd, and odd. And put on medication to help him. And it works. And honestly some of his behaviors if he does have one of these is not entirely his fault and probably needs to learn coping skills that a counselor could help with. But please don’t just ignore it please see a doctor and counselor because if you ignore it then it could get worse throughout the years

Consistency is key. My son has sensory processing disorder and requires a lot of explanations, consistent consequences, coping skills constantly retaught, a sensory diet (nothing to do with food ironically), and a lot of patience! Hopefully you’ll get a diagnosis soon and it will really help you to know which direction your little one needs.

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Our daughter was having behavioral issues. Turns out she wasn’t getting enough sleep. Since giving her melatonin gummies at night she’s been WAY better w tantrums etc. then we cut sugar and screen time. All have made a huge difference.

Yes my son had sensory integration and they have what’s called a fight or flight syndrome. There is a book that his occupational therapist had me read. The name of the book offended me at first I said not my child but infact when I read it I then learned why my child did alot of things and how to help him. Get some shaving cream let him/her play in it . Use different textures it helps also allow them to initiate touching someone first not them doin it. My son couldnt do loud noises . Certain smells he couldnt do or wear certain things like blue Jean’s it overloads them . It’s an overload to there senses and causes the fight or flight in them. Read the book out of sync child it is a life saver.

4yos are hyper. It’s part of their natural growth. It sounds more to me that he’s having difficulty expressing &, controling his emotions than being bad. Help him work out how he’s feeling. Punishment is only going to cause his anger to get worse. Remember he’s watching your behavior as a model for his. By spanking him you’re teaching him to react violently when others do things he doesn’t like. The hitting & biting are behaviors you directly taught him. Punishing him for behaving how you have is going to confuse him more.

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Have you looked into if he has sleep apnea/issues? Behavioral issues can also be a result of sleep problems.

If you need someone to talk to you can message me if you like. My son is on the autism spectrum with ASD ADHD OCD. I went through something very similar when he was very small. 6 now. You’ll have people giving you all sorts of advice. Some people have had success with changing diet. One of the things people say is caffeine makes them hyper. If a child has ADHD caffeine actually works opposite just saying. My son is only on melatonin for sleep. I’ve tried all different techniques my son is by no means perfect but if you just need a mom to vent to feel free to hit me up

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You can always give the calming timeout timer a try. And get him to help you make it so he’s involved and explain what it’s for. Xx

Also we couldnt spank him because what other children feel as pain is stronger in a child with sensory integration and caused it to really hurt and it sent him into sensory overload. Worth checking into . We had to do a brush technique all over his body 3xs a day. My son is now 11 and copes normally because of the therapy early on it got him adjusted . He wears Jean’s ge doesnt hit or run from loud noises and so on

Time out for four mins stand in corner

Not a dr here or any sort of expert but I was reading a post that a mother cut out Red Dye from her child diet and it helped quite a bit. The only problem is checking ingredients on EVERYTHING.

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Well you can wait for diagnosis and as you are waiting keep him busy. Coloring books, matching games, I-spy ECT… Sounds like he is in need of more sensory things but make sure you don’t sensory overload. My 6 year old has hemiaplegia cerebral palsy and static encephalopathy, she requires more sensory than my other 3 but also doesnt do well at my boys sports because of the noises and too many people. Research sensory and stuff it could really help with some behavioural issues. Also if needed you can see a behavioural counselor. With my daughter discipline at 4 was more of taking her from what she was doing wrong and putting her into doing something good, corrective behavior. If the corrective behaviour didnt work I would take her into her room where her fish tank (for sensory noise and look) was and we would sit and “recollect” ourselves and talk about the better choices we could make. We still do this and it has helped. It really goes off of you and how much patience you have. When and if you get a diagnosis of anything do lots of research so that you can help your child better. Ive been still doing research on everything and anything new for our daughter just to make sure I can continue helping her as she gets older. Good luck to you momma and remember to breathe because if you are upset they are upset.

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First of all, spanking a child is just teaching them that hitting is how you deal with problems so if you want him to stop hitting and biting you’re being counterproductive. It also creates a fear-based divide between parent and child and has proven to be ineffective at teaching the lesson you want to convey. There’s many other psychologically damaging links with spanking as well as other physical punishment techniques like putting soap or hot sauce in the mouth so please avoid those.

Second, cut out sugars, junk food, and dyes from the diet. That tends to help kids with behavioural issues.

Remember that he’s only 4. The brain doesn’t stop developing until 25 so he still had a long way to go. Fits usually stem from frustration and being unable to properly express what they want to say. The amygdala, which is in charge of emotion and stress, is not developed enough for him to properly analyze on its own. This is where you come in. You can’t reason with a child in the middle of a meltdown but you can diffuse the situation by sitting with them, remaining calm and saying things like “I can see you’re mad. You want to hit. I can’t allow you to hit me but I am here if you want to talk”. Simply just holding space and being the voice of reason does wonders for helping the child to learn how to communicate instead of react. Try time-in instead of time outs. Make a calming corner equipped with colouring pages, fluffy pillows, sensory bottle, posters with different emotions on them so you can help him to name what he’s feeling etc. Once the outburst subsides offer coping mechanism suggestions or redirections like “instead of biting lets blow bubbles”, “when we’re mad let’s pretend we’re a big dinosaur” etc.

This way of dealing with things will definitely test your patience, but if you keep telling yourself he’s not giving you a hard time, he’s HAVING a hard time, it helps to put yourself in his shoes so you can properly give him the support he needs.

For other positive discipline suggestions I recommend the group Gentle Parents Unite. There’s many single parents there going through the same.


Not sure where you live, but look up Strongest Families. They do free appts over the phone, and on your schedule. They are a great support and can help with all kinds of behaviour. All the best :heart:

Lort, my dd is 4.5 and it’s been freaking ROUGH. We don’t know what else to do either.

We had issues with both of our sons. Part of the problem was our parenting skills, part of the problem was diet, part of the problem was sleep habits, part of the problem was social, part of the problem was hereditary, and part of the problem was emotional/mental/physical disabilities/challenges/disorders.

My point is this: nobody is a perfect parent to a perfect child.

As human beings, we tend to mimmick our parents/mentors. We automatically revert to what we know … Meaning that when we become parents, we fall back on how our parents treated us as children. The problem is that society has changed the rules. The way our parents raised us was no longer acceptable when we had our children, and now the rules have progressively changed to where what was acceptable for our children is no longer acceptable for our grandchildren.

One of the counselors we had when our boys were young and struggling said something that impacted me. If you’re not comfortable with the form of discipline you use, you’re child will pick up on that vibe, and will not respond appropriately to the discipline.

My dad was a belt popping, back handing, put-you-down kind of parent. My mom was a guilt-inflicting make-you-horrible-for-surviving-birth kind of parent. I didn’t want to be either of those. But because I had no other role models, as parents, in my life, I had nothing else to fall back on. My husband’s parents raised my husband a little differently, but still used spankings and other forms of consequences for improper behavior.

Our kids were in therapy, along with us, for years, to try to learn how to be better parents and children. Medications were used for physical and mental disorders. Some worked, most didn’t.

The thing that finally worked for us was going through a very traumatic family crisis which forced us to move to a new environment, and pull together as a family for the common goal of survival. In other words, stuff got real, and all the other problems fell to the wayside. We got very close very quick, and became very supportive of each other.

The bottom line? You have to take a look at how you want to live your life, and simply not settle for anything less than your goals. You have to out your children first, but that doesn’t mean you spoil them or give into everything they want. Everything they think they want is not always what is best for them. It’s your job as parent to determine what is best for your child, then follow through with conviction and make it happen. The biggest problem I had as a parent was being too indecisive. When faced with several options, and several other people telling you that the option they endorse is the best, it’s easy to get confused and it creates a lot of stress to try to decide which option is best to choose. While you’re flip-flopping on what to decide, your child is undisciplined and just as frustrated as you are. Frustration in children manifests as anger, and it’s anger aimed at the parents who control their world.

Decide what type of parent you are, what type of parent you want to be, then follow through. You won’t always be right, but you will be consistent in your discipline, and love, for your child in


An extracurricular that uses up a lot of energy might be an idea. Maybe martial arts since there is some aggression. Martial arts will help him channel the aggression and be allowed to use it in a safe environment while teaching him the discipline not to use it elsewhere. And it will tucker him out at the same time using up tons of energy.

The best is put him in the corner each time he acts up…Worked wonders for us…

I took parenting classes offered in my community for free. I was able to take my son with me. I learned tools to become an engaged parent, I learned effective tools for disciplining. More importantly, I learned I wasn’t the only parent. I gained new friends that I could reach out too. Perhaps, checkout opportunities in your area regarding parenting classes.

Maybe try for time out sending him to your bed to lay down and using a weighted blanket? Make sure the room is cool though, otherwise it will just make him uncomfortable.

Mine is 7 and had this issue from when she was 6. Resorted to a sticker system. If they were mostly good, they get a sticker. After two weeks, if they have a sticker every day I’d take them to a special place of their choice (within reason). It’s worked well until this past month. Still working on it. Lol

Ever tried spraying his face with water? Only had to do it twice. Just kept the spray bottle near me. In public not so easy. See what the tests turn out.