Why does our four years old child behave like our boss?
Q: I have a 4 year old son. He is very active, intelligent with sharp grasping and observation skills. He is doing very well in studies. Apart from all these positive attributes, his most negative characteristic is his aggressiveness. When he gets into that mode he becomes the most notorious kid. He speaks very rudely and his behavior is somewhat violent at times. He behaves like a dictator and wants us to follow the way he wants. The day starts from getting up in the morning and getting ready for school is a big project for all three of us (me, my wife and my son). I try to wake him up well in advance and try to make the atmosphere as cool as possible so that he does not get annoyed by any means. If everything goes fine then it’s ok, else from brushing the teeth till the time he finally gets ready he keeps crying and shouting for no reason and in between when he goes out of control he gets a little thrashing, which we normally avoid. Once he gets ready for school, he becomes quiet. What I have felt is that he gets bored very fast, though we try to keep him busy through whatever he likes - puzzles, video games, drawing, coloring, playing keyboard, but after sometime he gets bored with everything and starts getting irritated and then shouts. My wife is totally left out to behave like his slave. She cannot meet people outside, she cannot work in the kitchen, if somebody comes to our place she cannot speak to them without his consent and if she dares to speak, he starts interfering. She cannot even attend any phone calls, we have to see the TV channel which he likes watching. If we dare change the channel, the whole drama starts. In a nutshell he is the BOSS. We know he is our own child and we have to put in to improve him, but he becomes completely disobedient and aggressive. What should we do?
A:In just 4 years you have managed to make your angelic son into a tyrant!
Of course, there are genetic traits which influence the child's personality. These should be helped to develop in socially acceptable ways.The large part of how a child behaves is controlled by his parents.. You have allowed him to get his way in everything and he has begun to feel powerful.This is not only unpleasant for you, but bad for him.
You should tell him that you too have rights to see the TV shows you wish and that it is all a matter of accommodation of everyone's needs.You will talk to your friends when they come in and he must agree to be isolated for a short time if he makes a problem.
Start rewarding him when he does things right. Tell him that he will get a surprise treat if he is cheerful when getting ready in the mornings. Put up a board on his wall with dates and days of the week and every time he obeys a rule, put up a silver or gold star. (After three or four months, this may become unnecessary).
You must be firm and consistent in the rules you make, but once made keep them. He will throw a tantrum, but it can be ignored. Gradually he will realize that you mean business and that it is nicer to go by your rules. All this will take time and patience. But it is very important for the child's future mental health, not to be the BOSS, but to be a loving member of the family.