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Old 03-31-2007, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities
3,570 posts, read 7,776,403 times
Reputation: 5973

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We are raising a 4 year old boy...or rather these days it seems he's raising us. Our frustration level that is. He will not listen to his mom. She tries and tries and finally gives up and then I hear "I need you! Please come help me". All I have to do is walk in the room and he immediately calms down (most of the time).

The other night here was the conversation I heard from downstairs.

Mom: "come on buddy, it's time to get jammies on"
4 year old: "come on buddy, it's time to get jammies on"

Mom: "Buddy, now come one"
4 year old: "Buddy, now come on"

Mom: (getting annoyed)
4 year old: "You're a poopie head!" (laughs and laughs)

Mom: "you do not talk to me like that. Now listen to me and let's get your jammies on"
4 year old: "Poopie, poopie, poopie head!" (laughs and laughs and begins running around).

I listen some more as I want my wife to take control of the situation as I don't want to step in all the time. Lack of control upstairs...I head up and help deal with the situation.

Background: as many of you know I was an at-home dad for 3 1/2 years...since my son was 9 months old I was the primary caregiver. I am now working again outside the home. My wife has worked 50 hour weeks and has recently begun working on the weekends (past month, including today) so he doesn't see her much. When she is at home he wants to cuddle with her and she's so exhausted, or has a migrane that she needs the bedroom to herself.

I believe this is a factor in the situation, but I'm not sure how to handle my son's attitude. I know boys will be boys. However boys need to learn at an early age to respect their moms and dads. I do not want an out-of-control teenager to contend with so that is why I'm dealing with it now.

I am tired of spanking him, time-outs and just being the overall bad guy who does all the punishing. My wife and I have discussed this topic to death...we're getting nowhere. Any input from you seasoned parents, aunts and uncles would be appreciated!

And let me say lastly, he is an angel (for the most part) at preschool and childcare. When we visit friends etc. he is a model son that everyone adores! And I'm glad for that, believe me!! But down time at home, whoa! Help please.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:49 AM
 
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 7,627,049 times
Reputation: 2236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier_guy View Post
We are raising a 4 year old boy...or rather these days it seems he's raising us. Our frustration level that is. He will not listen to his mom. She tries and tries and finally gives up and then I hear "I need you! Please come help me". All I have to do is walk in the room and he immediately calms down (most of the time).

The other night here was the conversation I heard from downstairs.

Mom: "come on buddy, it's time to get jammies on"
4 year old: "come on buddy, it's time to get jammies on"

Mom: "Buddy, now come one"
4 year old: "Buddy, now come on"

Mom: (getting annoyed)
4 year old: "You're a poopie head!" (laughs and laughs)

Mom: "you do not talk to me like that. Now listen to me and let's get your jammies on"
4 year old: "Poopie, poopie, poopie head!" (laughs and laughs and begins running around).

I listen some more as I want my wife to take control of the situation as I don't want to step in all the time. Lack of control upstairs...I head up and help deal with the situation.

Background: as many of you know I was an at-home dad for 3 1/2 years...since my son was 9 months old I was the primary caregiver. I am now working again outside the home. My wife has worked 50 hour weeks and has recently begun working on the weekends (past month, including today) so he doesn't see her much. When she is at home he wants to cuddle with her and she's so exhausted, or has a migrane that she needs the bedroom to herself.

I believe this is a factor in the situation, but I'm not sure how to handle my son's attitude. I know boys will be boys. However boys need to learn at an early age to respect their moms and dads. I do not want an out-of-control teenager to contend with so that is why I'm dealing with it now.

I am tired of spanking him, time-outs and just being the overall bad guy who does all the punishing. My wife and I have discussed this topic to death...we're getting nowhere. Any input from you seasoned parents, aunts and uncles would be appreciated!

And let me say lastly, he is an angel (for the most part) at preschool and childcare. When we visit friends etc. he is a model son that everyone adores! And I'm glad for that, believe me!! But down time at home, whoa! Help please.
OK I am a mom of two boys-one almost 7 and one almost 12. my oldest one has always been as perfect as a child could be (with some bumps). My yougnest one is a handful. Impulsive...hyper...they want to have him tested for ADHD (his private counselor, counselors at school, principal...), BUT, he does not show disrespect.

IMHO, your son mimicking your wife, calling her names, is highly disrespectful. And each time she calls for you, she shows that you are the only one iwth the power, and with the authority, so it will be that much harder to have your son start treating her properly.

And now I know that whatever I tell you will probably be disagreeded with, but like I said in another post, there really is no right or wrong answer...until it is tried and worked, and what may work for one child may not work for another...you have to exhaust all measures.

If my son dared to call me a name...I would march him right downstairs, probably by his ear or a piece of hair (sorry guys!) and put tabasco, pepper, SOMETHING (no soap, nothing not supposed to be IN a body) in his mouth. With nothing to wash it down. I have had to do that the few times I have had a fib to me, or a fresh comment...and that may be why i don't have to deal with disrespectful now from my younger...because I have nipped that crap immediately in the butt. I would also make sure that he knows the next time he does it, the dose will double, and if he wants to do it again...fine, but it will triple. I am not talking about spoonfuls mind you, he won't need spoonfuls! I put a dab on his tongue; a dab will do ya!

Does he cherish anything? Something special? I would take away whatever he cherishs, and then tell him very simply because he is only 4 (but they're smarter than you think!!) that you are the BOSS, he will do WHATEVER you say...and each time he defies, he will get soandso taken away, and not returned. If that means he has nothing in his room but a bed and a wall, so be it.

Plus, I might purposefully have aspecial night with movie, popcorn, ice-cream in the house...and if his behavior has not improved, he will not be allowed to do so.

BUT IT IS NOT YOU THAT DOES THIS! It is your wife!

And obviously spanking doesn't work, so stop. i tried that route too. I think it is all up to your wife.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,281 posts, read 9,277,556 times
Reputation: 10414
Your wife needs to step up to the plate and take hold of the situation. He already knows that when it's just him and mom he can get away with it. The more you step in and take over the more he is going to realise that Mom cannot control him.
Try a reward system. Everytime he does something good for Mom he gets to put a nickle in a glass jar ... BUT when he answers back or acts up then bye, bye a nickle.
You could also try a happy / sad face chart. If he gets seven happy faces in a week for listening to Mom then he gets a small reward.
Be firm with him, get down to his level and always ask for an apology after he comes out of time out.
Well, that's just the little I know from raising my son. It worked for me and he's now a very confident and respectful little chap.

Good luck and all the best
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:59 AM
 
Location: FL
1,943 posts, read 7,627,049 times
Reputation: 2236
Oh, and if he is still fighting his jammies...don't make her fight, she is not hte four year old. It is either she will have to cram it on his head, and that will be an awful scene, OR...she can change it around and say, no jammies? fine. no clothes though. he can sleep in his undies (make sure you have the air or heat on appropriately), but...if you want to go somewhere the next day, he is not allowed to be in clothing. Remember, he didn't want it?

I am not saying to do that, I know I will get flamed for that, but sometimes the only thing that will work is the extreme, especially if this behavior has been going on for a bit and not nipped in the beginning.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,552,497 times
Reputation: 14657
I tried the hot sauce trick on my boys. Did not take long brfore I was catching them drinking right out of the Trappeys or Durkee Red Hot bottle! Heck they were drinking A-1 Sauce as well.
I do know getting thumped upside the head with a spoon or fork worked on me and my brothers at the table. And Mom always swung a thin/skinny little womens belt..that cracked like a whip and stung like a bee. Dad had a big wide belt that had friction drag coefficiant factor of an anchor. We always prefered getting a whuppin from Dad.
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Old 03-31-2007, 11:03 AM
 
12,983 posts, read 12,572,221 times
Reputation: 19658
It seems pretty clear that this is a cry for attention. Usually the roles are reversed, and the dad is the one too tired, busy, etc. Remember that song 'Cat's in the Cradle' by Harry Chapin? If all the little guy wants to do is spend some time cuddling up with his mom, and she is too tired, it has got to be breaking his little heart. Since he can't really express this verbally, he is taking it out on her [so to speak] by being a little 'poopiehead' to her when she tries to be the parent. Maybe if your wife could just set aside a small amount of her time, just for the two of them every day-maybe to let him pick out a book for her to read for a few minutes, or do a puzzle, something quiet and relaxing for her. He could get to spend time with her and be settling down for the night simultaneously and it would give them a chance to do some bonding. Your son needs this time with his mom, no offense to you. By the sounds of things, you seem like a good, kind dad/person and the fact that he is well behaved when you go places with him is most certainly a reflection on your parenting skills thus far.

Last edited by fuzzymystic; 03-31-2007 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:17 PM
 
4,781 posts, read 1,930,601 times
Reputation: 4017
My children are (4 ) boy, (6) girl, (11) boy, (15) boy.

My house can get a little crazy.
This morning I didn't get to the phone in time. I thought I should call my 11 year old to see if it was him.
He spent the night with a friend.
I was just about to call him when I heard A voice from the back room.

Mom, Why are you calling me ?

shoot.... that is right he ended up not spending the night with his friend.
He came home last night around 8pm.
I'm not going gray yet, but man I think I am slowly loosing my mind sometimes.

My four year can get pretty hyper.
I have to be real consistent with him.
I look forward to reading this thread for tips.
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:32 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,508 posts, read 5,383,399 times
Reputation: 1418
Default Great thread

wow, so I am not alone? It's not just my kid?
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
3,570 posts, read 7,776,403 times
Reputation: 5973
Quote:
Originally Posted by tet tea View Post
Your wife needs to step up to the plate and take hold of the situation. He already knows that when it's just him and mom he can get away with it. The more you step in and take over the more he is going to realise that Mom cannot control him.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrshvo
If my son dared to call me a name...I would march him right downstairs, probably by his ear or a piece of hair (sorry guys!) and put tabasco, pepper, SOMETHING (no soap, nothing not supposed to be IN a body) in his mouth. With nothing to wash it down. I have had to do that the few times I have had a fib to me, or a fresh comment...and that may be why i don't have to deal with disrespectful now from my younger...because I have nipped that crap immediately in the butt. I would also make sure that he knows the next time he does it, the dose will double, and if he wants to do it again...fine, but it will triple. I am not talking about spoonfuls mind you, he won't need spoonfuls! I put a dab on his tongue; a dab will do ya!

Thanks for all of the helpful posts. Please keep them coming!! My wife came home earlier than expected this afternoon. We were all shocked she was home. Not a bad thing, just didn't expect her home 'til tonight. Anyway I told her about mrshvo's idea and she agreed with me that it was a good idea and we would do this together. She's not an advocate of tabasco sauce, but as I mentioned to mrshvo in a pm, my mom used to douse me with it regularly! I was a mouthy little kid (must be where my son inherited it from) .

And yes Tet T, I do agree that mom needs to step up more. It's a discussion that's been going on since the beginning of time. She is a wonderful mom and terrific wife, when she's here, both physically and mentally. She is more the career woman type whereas I am far from the career guy type. I have an excellent job and love what I do, but it does not define me as a man. I'm thankful that I have the ability to care for my kids and give them what their mom can't give them. It's still tough on all of us though. So I guess this is really a two-fold thread. Didn't start out that way, but seeming to become that.

We have already talked to our son and told him that if he calls us those names or disobeys mom (like described in OP) then it will be hot sauce time. Of course I would not use it just for any old reason...it would have to be serious. Just don't want anyone thinking I'm hurting my kids. Love them way too much!!
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:53 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,153,042 times
Reputation: 13176
I suppose I am more of a "choose your battles" type of parent.
A few practical questions:
Does your son get a lot of fresh air and exercise during the day?
I ask this not in an accusatory manner, it's just that this does seem to make a difference with kids and their need for rest.
What time is bedtime?
Is your son still taking afternoon naps?
Maybe it's time to give them up.
Being called a poopiehead, to me, is not the worst thing that could happen.
Making a big deal out of it, to me, exacerbates the situation and gives your child the power and attention he wants, plus a big emotional scene is not exactly conducive to sleep.
However, I agree that you, Hoosier Guy, should not be called in as Mr. Mean Guy the disciplinarian. Your wife needs to step it up a notch, which I know is hard when she's so tired, and I am sure your son picks up on this vulnerability.
Our kids are 17 and 23 now, so we're well out of bedtime battles.
We always had a fairly thorough, regular, routine: bath, brush teeth etc, jammies, story, kiss goodnight.
A little redirection never hurt, either.
Maybe instead of saying "It's time to get your jammies on" your wife could say "Okay, do you want the Spiderman jammies or the ones with the fire engines?"
This gives him power in a *positive* way.
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