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Parents and Guardians Forum>4 Year Old Defiance In PreK, What Is Normal And What Is Not?
Unregistered 05:58 PM 06-21-2012
I am coming to the realization that my loving precious 4 year old might the the terror

scenario: single mom working 40 hours

so active 4 year old has been in daycare and is used to it. She is active and playful but as her mom have not had much trouble. There are consequence and punishments for un acceptable behaviors, not many tantrums, etc....so when she got kicked out of her last daycare, needless to say it was a shock

and of course, since my daughters behavior that was being described there was NOTHING like sat home, naturally i assumed it was the provider not handling my daughter correctly, maybe just desiring "easy" children

after a paniced doctors visit i was assured my the pediatrician, nurse and receptionist that the daycare was bolonie and that she is a normal active 4 year old and the provider should be able to deal with her ( i am in the process of registering her in her school district for an observation to be on the safe side)

so now 3 weeks into her new school, there have been "general" statements when i have been coming to pick her up about "jenny doesn't listen, she does want she wants to do" i feel like im seeing a pattern and am very very stressed out about this. I do not have a big support group and can not do "half days" at pre school

Behavior: after 4 months in at her last dc, basically with out warning out of no where her last provider began complaining about defiant behavior, not listening, trashing some parts of the room, throwing things ( at teachers only, never kids) yelling etc. NONE of that behavior happens at home, next thing i know, after a 1 day trial of their Beauvoir mod program ( some reward thing they really didnt give a chance) she was out

so new provider is not dramatizing jennys behavior to the point where all of a sudden she can be mistaken for chucky, but i am seeing a pattern of challenging outside authority.

right before she was expelled from her last provider a punishment from me was in place, tv out of room, toys out too and we did not go anywhere for that weekend. her behavior improved at the new place so she got privileges back

I am afraid yo open up to the new provider for fear of judgment and type casting of my daughter ( last place i made myself more than available and that was, i feel, an excuse to "let me handle it" instead of them, ie constant calls to my job asking me to come and get her everyday around 2

iv noticed a lot of "bad behavior" happens around nap time. she wont take naps for her schools and then gets fresh (awont stay quite if not nap, gets up runs around wants to go on the playground, ect). i am in the process of enforcing her to nap at school.

So is challenging authority to this degree normal?
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Michael 08:12 PM 06-21-2012
Here are some earlier threads on defiant: https://www.daycare.com/forum/tags.php?tag=defiant
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SilverSabre25 08:46 PM 06-21-2012
I completely understand your feelings and sympathize with you. I have a g=four year old daughter myself, and while she's good as gold for other people, she's very challenging for me!

What you describe certainly sounds like an active, exuberant, probably very bright little girl. Nothing out of the ordinary, really, except that her behavior sounds kind of extreme. While challenging authority is normal for 4, they usually challenge parental authority more than anything else.

NOT saying that she's a problem or a terror!!! I'm sure she's a wonderful, sweet child--she just needs some assistance figuring things out.

I do think that you are right on track in not taking the peds word 100% at face value. Some things are better handled by developmental specialists, not medical ones.

I don't know how large of groups she's been in; perhaps you need to try and find her a group that's either very small or perhaps very full of boys . Are the problems occurring because she's tired and doesn't want to sleep, or because she doesn't need a nap and doesn't want to be forced into it?

My biggest piece of advice besides keeping that observation appointment is not to punish her at home for things that happen at daycare. That serves no purpose and is just confusing for her. Taking away privileges at home has no bearing on what's going on at school--the environment is completely different. Although...I would lose the TV in her bedroom on principle.

You can't force her to sleep if she doesn't need it. Finding her an in-home child care with a small, active group that does not enforce naps might be your best bet. Please be open about her behavior--you can't find a good fit for you and your daughter if you're hiding that sort of information.

Good luck; and keep checking back here if you need information, advice, or support. Or just to hang out and chat!
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cheerfuldom 08:59 PM 06-21-2012
I would absolutely pursue the evaluation available through the school district. I would not go to the pediatrician for a behavioral issue....the are MEDICAL specialists. It is very easy for them to see a child for a 10 minute appt and say that the behavior seems normal.

I would take what the providers and teachers are saying as a very serious matter. She is repeatedly showing the same behavior with different environments. Your average teacher or daycare provider would have at least some experience with energetic four year olds so the fact that numerous other people are having the same difficulty with her is a huge red flag!

Throwing things, trashing things, yelling at people to me sounds like a big issue. Sure, kids that age do have some tantrums or some times where they are very challenging but destroying things or showing aggressive behavior is worrisome in my opinion.
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Unregistered 09:33 PM 06-21-2012
You sound soooo on top of things. Kudos to you for that.

I have some thoughts but am not really sure how to put them out there without offending you. They mostly revolve around being a single parent. I am not judging at all, or saying any of this is your fault in any capacity, so I hope you don't take things that way.

I was a single mom for several years after having to leave an abusive marriage. Having to step up and take complete control of the lives of my kids (and my own for the first time in a long time!) all on my own definitely changed their perception of the rest of the world and how they responded to others for a time.

I have no clue of the circumstances revolving around your single mom status, but if you'd like to discuss the circumstances further I'd be more than happy to.

I am a regular poster, but am choosing to post as a guest because of the sensitivity of the details I'm disclosing here. If you'd like me to pm you I sure can and we can further discuss what I did to get a grip on changing my kids focus on me as the only authority figure in their lives.

I really do think that could be what's going on here. And there are plenty of things you can do to help her though it if that's the case!
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Blackcat31 10:35 PM 06-21-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
if you'd like to discuss the circumstances further I'd be more than happy to.

I am a regular poster, but am choosing to post as a guest because of the sensitivity of the details I'm disclosing here. If you'd like me to pm you I sure can and we can further discuss what I did to get a grip on changing my kids focus on me as the only authority figure in their lives.
Unless the OP registers and you post under your user name while logged in, neither of you will know "who" to PM. Also unregistered users or users not logged in do not have PM priviledges.

I think it was very kind of you however to offer your support.
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MizzCheryl 03:54 AM 06-22-2012
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
I would absolutely pursue the evaluation available through the school district. I would not go to the pediatrician for a behavioral issue....the are MEDICAL specialists. It is very easy for them to see a child for a 10 minute appt and say that the behavior seems normal.

I would take what the providers and teachers are saying as a very serious matter. She is repeatedly showing the same behavior with different environments. Your average teacher or daycare provider would have at least some experience with energetic four year olds so the fact that numerous other people are having the same difficulty with her is a huge red flag!

Throwing things, trashing things, yelling at people to me sounds like a big issue. Sure, kids that age do have some tantrums or some times where they are very challenging but destroying things or showing aggressive behavior is worrisome in my opinion.

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Unregistered 06:03 AM 06-22-2012
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
Unless the OP registers and you post under your user name while logged in, neither of you will know "who" to PM. Also unregistered users or users not logged in do not have PM priviledges.

I think it was very kind of you however to offer your support.
She can let me know in the thread if she'd like help in that direction and then I can pm her while logged in
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AfterSchoolMom 07:45 AM 06-22-2012
What a tough situation - sorry you're going through this. Yes, defiant behavior in 4 year olds is very common, so you're not alone.

I have three questions - one, how is she sleeping at night at home? What time does she normally go to sleep? Finally, does she watch TV in her room at night? Sorry to harp on the TV thing, but if she's watching it at bedtime she may not be getting quality sleep and that may be affecting her mood at daycare - hence the improvement you saw when you took it out the last time. I'd remove it altogether or only allow her to watch it during the day on the weekends.

Best of luck to you!
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Blackcat31 08:11 AM 06-22-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
She can let me know in the thread if she'd like help in that direction and then I can pm her while logged in
She would still need to register or post an e-mail so that you can contact her.
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youretooloud 10:15 PM 06-25-2012
Originally Posted by AfterSchoolMom:
does she watch TV in her room at night? Sorry to harp on the TV thing, but if she's watching it at bedtime she may not be getting quality sleep and that may be affecting her mood at daycare - hence the improvement you saw when you took it out the last time. I'd remove it altogether or only allow her to watch it during the day on the weekends.

Best of luck to you!

I agree. I would definitely get the tv out of her room forever. In fact, i'd remove all electronics, and lights if possible. You can't sleep properly with lights on.

Also, she may need a sport. Swimming, soccer, basketball...something where she's using her energy. All the Olympic athletes weren't exactly the quiet napping type kids.

I DON'T think it's age appropriate to be getting up from nap and trying to go out to the playground. She should be able to control herself for a while. She would absolutely drive any teacher nuts with that constant nap time battle.

I have never really heard of a daycare center that doesn't have nap time. BUT, there are a few that have shorter naps. We have a program at the high schools where the high school students teach the kids. It's very busy all day, and never any downtime. Plus, only a 45 minute quiet time. (which is unusual) They don't wake sleeping kids, but they don't make the kids rest more than 45 minutes either. It sounds like your daughter needs something like that, AND a sport.

Martial arts is awesome for teaching personal discipline. I've had many friends who's kids have ADHD and they do martial arts, and the parents and the school have seen a large improvement. One mom sends her daughter to run all the way to school every morning, while she drives slowly behind her in the car. She says it's the only way she can control herself once she gets in the classroom...but, she's six and in 1st grade.

I LOVE that you are so on top of this! You almost never, ever see a parent willing to look at the pattern of behavior.... everybody wants to blame the school. This means you are going to find the right setting and the right balance for your daughter. Four years olds are very awesome!
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Kaddidle Care 05:42 AM 06-26-2012
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I am coming to the realization that my loving precious 4 year old might the the terror

scenario: single mom working 40 hours

so active 4 year old has been in daycare and is used to it. She is active and playful but as her mom have not had much trouble. There are consequence and punishments for un acceptable behaviors, not many tantrums, etc....so when she got kicked out of her last daycare, needless to say it was a shock

and of course, since my daughters behavior that was being described there was NOTHING like sat home, naturally i assumed it was the provider not handling my daughter correctly, maybe just desiring "easy" children

after a paniced doctors visit i was assured my the pediatrician, nurse and receptionist that the daycare was bolonie and that she is a normal active 4 year old and the provider should be able to deal with her ( i am in the process of registering her in her school district for an observation to be on the safe side)

so now 3 weeks into her new school, there have been "general" statements when i have been coming to pick her up about "jenny doesn't listen, she does want she wants to do" i feel like im seeing a pattern and am very very stressed out about this. I do not have a big support group and can not do "half days" at pre school

Behavior: after 4 months in at her last dc, basically with out warning out of no where her last provider began complaining about defiant behavior, not listening, trashing some parts of the room, throwing things ( at teachers only, never kids) yelling etc. NONE of that behavior happens at home, next thing i know, after a 1 day trial of their Beauvoir mod program ( some reward thing they really didnt give a chance) she was out

so new provider is not dramatizing jennys behavior to the point where all of a sudden she can be mistaken for chucky, but i am seeing a pattern of challenging outside authority.

right before she was expelled from her last provider a punishment from me was in place, tv out of room, toys out too and we did not go anywhere for that weekend. her behavior improved at the new place so she got privileges back

I am afraid yo open up to the new provider for fear of judgment and type casting of my daughter ( last place i made myself more than available and that was, i feel, an excuse to "let me handle it" instead of them, ie constant calls to my job asking me to come and get her everyday around 2

iv noticed a lot of "bad behavior" happens around nap time. she wont take naps for her schools and then gets fresh (awont stay quite if not nap, gets up runs around wants to go on the playground, ect). i am in the process of enforcing her to nap at school.

So is challenging authority to this degree normal?
It is normal if she knows she can get away with it. You realizing that there may be something wrong is the first step, now you need a plan of action and stick with it.

Some children cannot handle group care. At home they recieve immediate response to their wants and needs. In group care they need to wait in line.

While I applaud you for taking her to the Pediatrician to rule out anything medical, take into consideration how long she is in the Pediatrician's office. Most children can and will behave when all focus is on them for 15 minutes or so.

You are seeing a pattern, now it's time to see what it is that is setting her off. I recommend keeping a food diary. Is there something that you have been giving her at Daycare for lunch that you don't normally feed her at home? Do try to keep the sugar at a minumum. At our Center we eliminated all sugary treats - put them aside until after nap time and saw a huge difference in the children.

TV in a four year old's room - not the best idea. As another provider mentioned, she may not be getting enough sleep - some children get up during the night and watch TV unbeknownst to their parents. She may be needing an earlier nap and once lunch is over, she has gotten her 2nd wind and is overtired.

You mentioned that she has been in childcare and is used to it but also mention that she has been in this provider's care for 3 weeks, the previous provider's care 4 months and what was the pattern prior to this? That's a lot of change in less than 6 months as well.

I hope having her evaluated finds some results to help you. They will also provide you with techniques that may be helpful.

Best wishes.
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SunshineMama 06:30 AM 06-26-2012
I posted last week about my 4 year old who was acting up. The final straw was, after her birthday party, she said that she didnt have fin and wanted all of her presents to go back to the store. I told her if she didnt straighten up asap I was going to take all of her toys, and she said "I dont care."

So I marched up to her room and took everything. Then I sent her to her room and told her she could stay there and learn about what "not fun" really meant.

She was a doll for the rest of the day, and I allowed her to earn her books back. She has to be really good for a while longer to earn her other toys back.

I hope it continues to work. I am giving her lots of love and attention for positive things, but being strict and consistent with what is unacceptable.

Maybe something like this would work for you?
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MizzCheryl 11:19 AM 06-26-2012
You GO sunshine mama!!! That is great! Stick to it. 4 year olds can be a real challenge. Sounds like you got the right idea!
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Tags:4 year old, defiant, disobedient
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