4 year old behaviour management
There are many practical 4 year old behaviour management techniques.
At 4 years old your child is developing a strong sense of independence, has grown both psychologically and mentally, and will understand the basic behavioural framework to express themselves
Sometimes, however, they start to seek more independence and have smarter ways of doing this they can come up against a brick wall.
They feel the urge to explore more and more but still have to be monitored closely to ensure that it’s safe to do so. This push and pull of independence, self-control and learning can cause friction that can spill over to disruptive behaviour.
Related: 4 Year Old Behaviour Getting Worse
Many 4 year olds have problems following simple commands as they are unwilling to cooperate. They can inflict harm to others, both verbally and physically as they are fighting to be heard over all the noise.
Other normal behaviours are:
- Interest in pleasing others
- Demanding and particular (“I want it this way”)
- More individuality and learning about themselves physically
- Knowing what is real and what is imaginary.
If your trying to figure out 4 year old behaviour management techniques here’s what you can do.
Effective 4 Year Old Behaviour Management Techniques
Staying calm is your first line of defence.
Children copy their parents and they do so on verbal and non-verbal levels. By keeping calm you are showing your child first hand that throwing tantrums is not the appropriate way to deal with feelings and that being calm can help solve the problem in the first place.
A house with a good structure and flexible framework for rules will be an easy house to manage. Children crave structure and flourish when they are aware of what going to happen next. It promotes self-control as your child can identify what is the right time to do what and where.
Promote Positive Behaviour
Always reinforce the good things your children do and ignore (as best as possible) the disruptive acts. Children are very smart and will try to get your attention one way or another.
If they get more attention from negative behaviour they will seek to continue doing it. Go over the top for the times that they follow your instructions and give them more attention when they are good.
Motivation is Key
Your child is at a crucial developmental stage where they are piecing together what it means to be rewarded and punished. If you go too heavy on the punishment side of things you may stifle growth.
Conversely going too heavy on the rewards side of things can promote unrealistic entitlement. Instead, motivate your child when they complete a difficult task (learning new words) or reach a milestone (potty training). A great way to do this is through a rewards chart with stickers and stars to promote good behaviour.
Time Outs Work
Time outs are a very effective way to discipline children and work especially well in older children. Try to stick to the rule of thumb of 1 min per age.
So a 4-year-old would be sent to a 4-minute time out. Keep the time out zone away from other siblings or stimulating activities and ensure you explain to them why they had to go to the time out zone and what is expected of them next time.
Take Away Toys!
IF your child still is pushing your buttons and you feel that the other methods aren’t working then you can begin to remove privileges to encourage positive behaviour. Less TV time, Shorter Bath Times, taking away toys and cancelling playtime work well.
When to seek medical expert advice from a trained paediatrician:
- If you notice any developmental or cognitive disorders
- If you’ve tried another technique’s over several months and you still don’t see any signs of improvement
- If your child shows extreme isolation from you or his friends
Remember you know your child better than anyone else so try and work through the problems first before seeking additional help. You child is going through developmentally changes so make sure that this behaviour isn’t a normal phase of his learning cycle