How to Discipline a 4 Year Old Boy

How to Discipline a 4 Year Old Boy

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails may be true but how do you discipline a 4 year old boy?

Boys will be boys . . . and that means that boys will fill your favorite baking dish with worm pie, use your lipstick as war paint and find new and innovative ways to scare the daylights out of the cat. Yes. Boys can be very difficult and that goes double for four year old boys! While it’s certain that little boys can get into lots of mischief what isn’t so cut and dry is how to discipline a 4 year old boy. Is spanking too harsh? Are time outs enough? The questions are endless but with some guidance from the experts you can raise a well-balanced little guy who no longer pulls the heads off sister’s Barbie heads . . . well, at least not always.

Below are a few tips on how to discipline a 4 year old boy.

To spank or not to spank?

Though many of us grew up with hickory sticks we had to choose for ourselves, therapists say that corporal punishment can be damaging to a child’s fragile psyche. Family psychologists recommend that in lieu of spankings you explore the use of time outs and loss of certain privileges.

Reward good behavior

As the old adage goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. When it comes to how to discipline a 4 year old boy with success, incentive is imperative. Children this young are still learning the ropes of just how much they can get away with. Some people call this “bribing” but it’s actually a healthy reinforcement. Rewards actually give children real world experience. Be kind. Be a good worker. Be considerate . . . and get rewarded.

Explanations matter

After he plays archeologist in your prized roses you’ll probably want to do anything but understand why he dug 14 holes in the garden that took you all season to plant! But this is when it is important to ask your child why he did something you consider unacceptable. Then it is your turn to explain why you are upset. Keep things firm but kind. Explain why it frustrates you when he digs in your garden and use analogies he can understand.

Practice time out

Time out . . . sure it seems like a cliché, but if you stick with it this method will eventually work. If you aren’t seeing results it could be that you are using time out inconsistently or that you are leaving your child in time out for too long or too short a time. A good rule of thumb is one minute of time out for every year old your child is. If they get out of time out before time is up, you can start the time out over. If they stomp, yell or get angry . . . simply let them be. This is usually just a tactic to get your attention.

Speak with your doctor

How to discipline a 4 year old boy successfully will be different for every parent and every child because no two are alike. However, if your child is consistently acting out, being hyperactive beyond what seems normal for his age (keep in mind that 4 year olds have A LOT of energy and have been known to climb a fridge or two) then a visit to your doctor could be in order.

This is especially true if you also notice that your child is having trouble in school or having trouble socializing with other kids. They could have a form of ADD or ADHD that makes being still almost impossible for your child. It is also possible that your child is going through something emotionally. Many children today suffer from anxiety. In which case it may not be that you need to know how to discipline a 4 year old boy but instead you need to learn how to help him cope with his medical condition.

When it comes to how to discipline a 4 year old boy the going is sometimes tough. But if you stick it out and offer hugs along the way you’ll raise a little gentleman before your very eyes.

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