Jan 2, 2009

Help With Preschool Bad Behavior

Since tuning four in November, my son has been trying out some new tactics:

  • Arguing
  • Back talk
  • Mocking
  • Lying
  • Stalling
  • Ignoring

The ways I would handle this when he was a toddler,
are not working very well now.
I’m loosing my temper too often and inadvertently
reinforcing the behavior.
When I was met with tears before, I could distract him with a fun activity or change of scenery.
Now attempts to change the subject are met with defiance, demands and back talk! My requests, even for things he likes to do are either ignored or flat out denied.

Intellectually, I know he is trying to exert his independence. I also think he is trying to gain a sense of belonging by establishing control of his environment. However, when I’m tired or in a rush, I sometimes run out of patience and become angry. Of course that leaves us both feeling bad about ourselves.

So I went looking for help and found a great book!
How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will, Too! by Sal Severe PH.D. gives you easy to implement suggestions on avoiding power struggles. Dr. Severe’s philosophy is that children’s behavior often reflects that of their parents.

I can see this with my own son when he mirrors my reactions to things. When I argue, yell and stomp around angry, he learns that he can do it too. At first I would hear him get angry at his toys or the dog, but now he uses it on me.

It’s going to take a great deal of work and self control on my part to learn new ways of communicating with my son, but it’s up to me to work this out now before his behaviors became permanent lessons and I have raised a child without boundaries or self control.

If your being faced with a stubborn, defiant preschooler who is bordering on become a deliberate misbehaver, give this book a read. I think you will find it very helpful!


kim* said...

I took the behavior class thru Vanguard University and oh man it so helped me see alot that i would have never known...

something you might want to do is...i know this is such a preschool teacher thing to do BUT

you can make a little paper chain hanging off something and write something nice that one does put the childs, fathers, whoevers name in it and what they did maybe with a drawing or with words...have your fmaily and friends do the same and dont tell the person just write what you see they are doing nice. your son will look at it and ask you whos name is there or on a quiet say you can read them with your son...

TiLT said...

We are going through the same thing here...thanks for the book info :)

Nodin's Nest said...

Kim: Thanks for the idea, could be fun!
Tilt: It's so hard to know how to respond to him sometimes, I'm finding the tips in the book helpful.

Leah said...

Thanks for the book info!!!

Finleypotamus said...

Thanks for the info on the book.

Mirela said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



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