Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingGrade-Schooler · 11 months ago

How can I get my 4.5 year old to behave in school?!?!?

My 4 and a half year old boy is starting to act up in school. He's even being defiant at home. Currently he is a single child with a baby sister on the way. His father is barely in the picture and I'm sure that is rough on him. My boyfriend now (the new babies father) has been great and really stepped in as a father figure to my son. He's hard on my son but what father isn't. In school they have the red yellow and green light method and often he is coming home on red. He either can't sit still, is disruptive, or lately even worse things like pulling hair and he even bit a kid on the arm! He used to be a sweet kid and I have never had an issue with him being mean. I don't understand what is going on with him. I have tried bribes like if he gets green stickers all week he gets to go to Fun fore all (lile Chuckie cheese) or if he doesn't get a sticker he gets his iPad or video games taken away. I am clueless. I have no idea how to handle this. I am open to all ideas 


To update his home life is as stable as it can be. I was with his bio dad for 8yrs. He cheated multiple times b4 we planned to get married. The relationship failed &he moved to another state. I have been with the new fiance for 2 solid years and he has been more of a father than his bio dad ever was. This is not be whoring around. If anything his home life has gotten better since the new man in his life.

Update 2:

I would like to add I strongly feel this has nothing to do w/ the new baby. He ALWAYS says how excited he is for "his baby" to be here. He loves helping pick stuff out for her. We include him in everything we do. I am leaning more towards he is bored and not challenged in school which is causing him to act out.

15 Answers

  • LizB
    Lv 7
    11 months ago
    Favourite answer

    You seem overly focused on his behavior and not focused enough on *why* he's suddenly acting out. If the problem is emotional turmoil or an undiagnosed behavioral disorder (like ADHD), then bribes and sticker charts aren't going to do anything. You need to take him to his pediatrician, thoroughly describe the changes in his behavior that have concerned you, and let the pediatrician refer you to the appropriate specialist. And you need to start addressing this NOW before baby sister arrives, otherwise your son may start directing his pent-up negative emotions toward the baby and ruin their chances of having a good sibling relationship forever.

    Also, your partner needs to be at ALL of these appointments. You say he's "hard" on your son, but what you and he think is discipline may instead be parenting techniques that are not age-appropriate, and are ignoring your son's emotional needs. A 4 year old needs to parented, not trained. 

  • 10 months ago

    The rewards are great but try getting him into therarpy

  • 10 months ago

    Hope this is helpful

    10 Simple Ways to Improve Behavior: Home and School

  • 11 months ago

    Stop bribing, start listening.

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  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    You need to really make sure he doesn't feel unimportant with a new baby on the way. It can cause all kinds of behavioral problems if they feel jealous or abandoned.

  • 11 months ago

    You seem to lack a ton of self-awareness here!

    Your son is acting up because his life is changing a lot! In the past 2 years he has dealt with his father walking out on him, a new guy coming into his life, another sibling and on top of that starting a new school.

    I think what he needs is counselling, a healthy way to cope.

  • 11 months ago

    beat him daily with a stick

    Source(s): oof ouch my bones
  • Tulip
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    Well aren't you the wonderful mother building a stable home for your child with all that crap you've cooked up for him.

  • Anonymous
    11 months ago

    You need to take a Parent Effectiveness Training course.

    And you need to create a more stable life for him.    Dad comes and goes, temporary bf is "hard on him", a half-sibling on the way so now you will a single mother of two...

    Your kid doesn't know which side is up and what's coming next.   Under the circumstances, I'm guessing your child feels insecure/angry and doesn't know how to process or even verbalize those feelings.   Acting out can be a way of trying to control his world and make sure that things are consistent.    For example, even though he knows it's wrong to pull someone's hair, he may find it comforting to know that someone cries or he gets in trouble EVERY SINGLE TIME.  

    Parenting Effectiveness Training could really help you gain the skills you need.

    Your healthcare provider is someone you could bounce this off of, but I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that your child needs pills or is ill right off the bat.   I'd look at your own parenting skills and life choices first.  

    No one comes out of the womb knowing how to be an effective parent.  These skills are learned.   You don't have them.  You need to seek them out. 

  • 11 months ago

    There is so much in your post that could be the issue. I would strongly encourage you to consider professional counseling and test for learning challenges.  Below are some observations:

    1.  Every kid is unique.  Your son may not be "ready" for the structure of the classroom or school level.  That doesn't mean anything is wrong, just that he may need another year of preschool or pre-k.

    2.  Your son's father has basically abandoned him, you are in a different relationship, and a new baby is on the way.  All of that is threatening to a child.  Your son may be acting out because he is afraid you and your boyfriend will love the new baby better and he'll be rejected by you just like he was rejected by his bio dad.  

    3. Bribes don't work.  Read the book, Have a New Kid by Friday or Love and Logic. Calmly communicate behavioral expectations that are age-appropriate along with the consequence for misbehavior.  That consequence should be a natural consequences rather than a physical or other punishment.  For example, if you throw your toys, the toys go away.  Then you calmly ignore tantrums and impose consequences.  When kids see a behavior isn't getting them what they want, they will change that behavior. Right now the acting out is getting him the attention he craves.

    4.  It's possible your son has vision or hearing issues or learning challenges that frustrate him. The only ay to knows to have him tested.  If you generally think this isn't the case, then you an wait to see if family counseling and simply talking to your son about why he acts out is fine. 

  • Linda
    Lv 7
    11 months ago

    Your son may have ADHD and should be tested for this. There are medications and diets to help kids with this common problem. 

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