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Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingToddler & Preschooler · 2 months ago

How do i deal with my girlfriends 4 year old son?

Me and my girlfriend have been daying for around a year, we recently moved in together and things have been hard for me living with her son. He is 4 and seems to have very bad behavior issues. Every moring he wakes up at 730am and wont stop shouting from his room til someone walks up and turns his tv on. Every night he crys and screams about going to bed. He stomps his feet and screams when ever he doesnt get his way. We live in a upstairs appartment and the neighbors complain often about how loud he is. He is defiant about literally everything me or his moms ask him to do(get ready for bed, brush teeth, sit down for dinner ect) he makes a scene every time we are at the grocery store or out to dinner. His dad isnt around so i try and be there as much as possible and he loves to spend time with me but he doesn’t respect me at all. He doesnt listen to me or his mother and we are both have had it with him. I dont know if i can take it much longer im stressed all the time lately what should we do to fix his behavior?

10 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    As he is not your son, unless your girlfriend asks for your input there's not a lot you can do. I suggest you talk to your girlfriend and explain how it's affecting you and your relationship. If she's open to discussing it and working together top find a solution great. If she doesn't want you involved or is defensive it may be best just to walk away from the relationship as it's not best for you

  • 2 months ago

    Dose it have life insurance.If so kill it.If not make it go "missing".Or a good old belt

  • 2 months ago

    With a belt of the back side

    He can't scream about the TV is its take out of the room and he can only watch TV during set hours in the living room and only for an hour a two a day and no more. They make special devices that attach to the power cord that a child can't take off so they can't turn the TV off or on 

    If he cries and whines about bed then he gets put to bed and you walk away. No coddling no nothing 

    he throws fits due to you allowing it. A belt to the back side will cure this 

    he will sit down for dinner if you MAKE him. Either he sits and eats what he is served or he gets nothing at all and has to go hungry until next meal time 

  • 2 months ago

    This is why you need to be very careful when it comes to dating women who have children, you are now finding yourself because of your own doing, it a very problematic situation.

    The issue here is two fold, 1) Your girlfriend doesn't have any good discipline over her son 2) He resents you for trying to take on the role of his father, when in reality you have only been dating her for a year. 

    Issue #1 and how to rectify it- 

    1- He's 4 years old, he does NOT need a tv in his room, period! That tv needs to come out, he is far too young, and its too much of a distraction for him when he is supposed to be sleeping. There is a tv in the living room, and he can use it when his mother tells him its ok too, and it at 4 years old it should only be used for very limited parts of the day.

    2- The bedtime thing is turning into an un-necessary battle, one in which your girlfriend is allowing to happen, the blame lies soley on her! He is given a bed time (7:30pm example) and hes given a choice either he walks to bed on his own or hes dragged to bed. At bed time, he is put into bed, he is given a glass of water, and lights go out. Let him scream/hollar, once he realises he's not getting the attention he is looking for, he will quickly tire himself out and go to sleep. 

    3- Dinner time- Again your girlfriend is turning it into an un-neccessary battle here! Its so simple, he is told what time dinner is, and he is given a choice, he either a) eats what is put in front of him or b) it gets tossed, and he is taken to bed right away. He will quickly learn to not put up a fight, he will learn that when its dinner time, its time to eat, not time to battle his mother.

    4- When hes at the grocery store- If he acts up? Simple, he is removed from the store, and is escorted straight to his bedroom,and he stays there until he's calmed down. Then his mother (not you), is the one to tell him his behaviour will not be tolerated, and he won't be going with her to the store until HE can show her he can behave properly in public.

    As I have said here, your girlfriend is spineless when it comes to him, she does NOT know how to deal with him, and that's pretty ******* sad given she's his sole parent and doesn't know a thing about it. She needs to learn real quick and real fast to STOP giving her son negative attention, to stop giving him control, to stop engaging with him in self destructive behaviour. She instead needs to learn much better coping mechanisms when it comes to him.

    As for you? You need to learn real quick and real fast, that you are NOT his father, and the more you try to act like it, the more you will push him away. You want his respect? You need to earn it, right now you are his mothers girlfriend, that's it, that's where the line in the sand is. If you want to be his father? Thats a discussion you need to have  with your girlfriend, and more importantly her son, if both agree, then it is the time to change the roles... until then learn your spot.

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  • 2 months ago

    You both need to do some reading about how to care for a child. He should NOT be left screaming at 7/;30 i the morning or parked in front of a TV just because you want to sleep late. At 4, he's capable of some reasoning. All kids that age fight about going to bed. You don't argue with him or shout at him. I know one child who responded well when she was told that if she went to bed and stayed there, her door would be left open so she could hear her parents in the living room- she hated being isolated. Another was told that if he went to bed, the next day he could watch his favorite half hour tv show (this doesn't work if you have him in front of the tv all the time anyway.) You have to find what he cares about. When he makes a scene in the grocery store, one of you takes him out to the car and sits there while the other does the shopping. If you're out to eat, you both get up, pick him up and leave. When he finds out that the fun stops when he acts up, he'll stop acting up. 

    There's a reason parents are bigger than children. Not to hit them- that just makes it worse. But to pick them up (quietly and calmly) and take them where you want them to be. This child is in just as much distress as you are. He doesn't understand what's going on or why he's acting the way he is. He's just in pain, and trying whatever he can to make things bearable. 

  • 2 months ago

    You need to understand what he does is working for him.

    Mom has not been on task and he has to go to extremes to get attention.

    No one has taken the time to teach him words to use. 

    No one has given him a consistent schedule with rules.

    You both need to come together for a new plan. 

    He needs to be enrolled in preschool and mom needs parenting classes.

    Nothing will change until she starts parenting.

    A better schedule for him, outside play time, bath time, more listening and structure he could be an amazing kid.

    Overall his problems are from mom not stepping up to the plate so id be asking what she wants.

    I'd hold of on marriage. 

    I'd want to see if she will step up to the plate.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You and your girlfriend need to agree on a method for dealing with this and you BOTH need to stick to the plan.  You can't be doing different things or the child will learn which one of you they can manipulate to get their way.  If one of you starts to discipline the child - the other one CAN NOT INTERFERE or stop it or the child learns that the other parent has no authority.  (the exception would be if stopping true abuse due to the parent being too angry and overdoing it)   If you disagree on a punishment - it should be discussed privately without the child knowing.  So - make a plan.  Agree on what BOTH of you will do - and then BOTH do it.

    The first thing is to pay attention to how you talk to this child when you want him to do something.  Never yell - yelling doesn't help anything.  But, never plead or "whine".  As soon as your "please stop doing that" sounds like whining or pleading, you have lost all authority with the child.  (I have heard this many times in stores with parents who are trying to control a child that is obviously completely out of control - they sound like the are begging the child to stop instead of TELLING the child to stop.)  Have a FIRM voice.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  DO NOT give in once you have set a rule.  For example - he shouts until the TV gets turned on.  You make a rule - if you shout for the TV - then you get NO TV for the whole day.  If the child learns that shouting for the TV to be turned on means NO TV - he will stop.  Sure, you might have a day full of tantrums and crying while you tell him over and over - no- you shouted this morning - so you get no TV.  The child is FOUR - it is time to teach that actions have consequences.  

    NEVER - NEVER - NEVER give into the tantrums - ever.  Not even just to shut him up.  Instead, if a tantrum starts - you place him on his bed and tell him he has to stay there until he stops the tantrum.  Don't let him leave the bed.  (this will eliminate some of the stomping noises too.)

    I will share a very extreme story.  First of all - this happened in the late 70's, so methods for discipline were very different.  My brother had a son that was completely out of control.  When in stores, he would run back and forth from his mom to whatever he seen that drew his attention.  If in a clothing store, he would play under the racks of clothing and "hide" in the clothes.  At home, if he didn't get his way, he would lay down and the floor and kick and scream until someone (usually his mom) would finally give in.  My brother finally had enough - the child was about the same age as you GF's son - right about four years old.  When he started a tantrum, my brother took off his belt - but he just waited - and waited - he let his son continue his tantrum - when the boy finally gave up trying to get what he wanted and the tantrum seemed over - that is when my brother gave him one smack with the belt and told him "you're not done yet".  He did this about three times and when he was done - he said "Are you ever going to do that again" - his son said "no" - and he didn't.  There was never another tantrum - and he also started listening better.

    Basically - without being truly abusive - you need to find that "thing" that will get this child's attention and make him realize that this behavior is NOT going to be tolerated.

  • 2 months ago

    First, four year olds aren't known for their self-control, children that age are much more able to express their feelings through behaviors rather than calmly stating, "Hey, this situation is confusing and I'm feeling out of control." Remember that we have to learn life skills... have someone teach us... we aren't born knowing how to behave and how to verbally communicate our emotions. Sounds like he hasn't had the best parenting or the most stable home in his life and he's only four years old. He's not giving you a hard time, he is having a hard time and he is communicating that the only way he knows how to. 

    7:30 am is a pretty reasonable time for a kid to get up. Maybe you and your girlfriend could take turns getting up with him, give him breakfast, watch cartoons together (this is going to help your relationship). If you just cannot manage to get up with him, then take some time to teach him about what the morning expectations are; you may want to make a sort of poster with pictures on it to remind him: go potty, maybe get a snack like a granola bar, and turn his tv on for himself. Knowing what to expect is important for kids this young, so taking some time to teach him what is expected and what will happen will help. At bedtime, do the same, have pictures, in order, of his bedtime routine: bath, snack, brush teeth, book, bed (just for example). If you can create something that gives him some control to check and then check off each item, even better. At dinner time and other times he needs to be still for a time, try playing a game like I-Spy. When you go out to eat, have something small and appropriate for doing at the table, restaurants are boring for little kids: have a small coloring book and crayons, small quiet toys, etc. For the grocery store, maybe give him his own grocery list and have him help, or ask him to get something from each aisle or section as you go through the store. In the produce section, give him a bag and ask him to pick out five apples (or whatever) for example.

    These are all ways to build your relationship, the stronger his relationships with you and his mother are, the more he will be willing to listen to you both. The more he can trust what happens in a day, the calmer he'll be during those times like dinner, getting ready for bed, etc. His behavior isn't what needs fixed, what needs fixed is the view that you have of him. 

  • 2 months ago

    If you can afford to, take him to a therapist/psychologist. If he is behaving this way, he probably isn't very happy and comfortable either. 

  • 2 months ago

    You both need to ask him how he feels. And spend quality time together.

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