Ask an expert

12 Dec 2012

Defiant 4 year old
Hello Cyber Shrink,

Please can you assist me with ways on how I can change my 4 year olds behaviour towards me. She is completely defiant and either questions everything I ask her to do or she will ignore me completely. If I decline a request she imediately seeks approval from her father which causes tension between my spouse and I. I understand that he feels compelled to indulge her evy request as he works very erratic hours and does not get to spend much time with her.

Could this also be part of sibling revalry as her 2 year old is beginning to display this behaviour.

Both of them don''t display this behaviour when their dad is travelling for work purposes. What is causing this and how can i fix it?
Answer 358 views

01 Jan 0001

One first point - discuss this with your husband and make sure you both remain in agreement on every such occasion - she must never find something to gain by appealing from one of you to the other. A united front is essential for the child's benefit. Maybe he does feel guilty that his work hours limit the time he can spend with her, but he should not damage her by over-indulging her, spoiling her and encouraging bad behaviour, to make up for that.
It is very highly significant that NEITHER of the kids behave like this when DAD is away.
He has to learn that giving in to the child every time is a form of abuse and neglect. Sertting consistent boundaries within which they can enjoy freedom, is a parental responsibility and something every child needs.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
30% - 9645 votes
70% - 22646 votes