My 4 year old son only accepts appreciation, he cannot accept "No,Don't..".

A few neighbor kids came home to play with my son, he slightly tapped a 2 year old friend in his head, a 12 year girl who saw it told me "aunt, your son is beating him". On hearing this my son got angry, went alone to the open terrace.

When he was playing with toys by building a tower, his 2 year-old friend pushed his tower over, then he threw a piece upon his friend. If his friend sits in his chair he pulls him in anger. If I am supporting his friends he shouts. Even in a crowd if any advice is given he shouts or sits down, removes his footwear.

I told him "If you beat or touch your friends, I will not allow them to play with you." He said no, I will not fight. Next time when his friend asks for the toy he has, he pulls him or throws the toy upon him and shouts.

He is a single child and whether that is the problem with sharing.

3 Answers 3


I see two things happening in your story

1) you can't reason with kids. There is no next time. So if you say behave or next time no friends that doesn't work. The only thing you can do is respond to what you are seeing now (punch a kid, get a timeout)

2) kids do anything for attention, even negative attention. So if daughter shouts I'll ignore her. I might say something like "I can't hear you over the shouting" or "if someone wants to whisper for a cookie". But generally i ignore shouting or pick them up and move them to the hall (and ignore them)

Ow and there is no slightly tapping other kids. There is touching and not touching. Especially if he gets your sympathy when someone points it out


4 year-old-child only accepts appreciation he cannot accept "No,Don't.."

Okay, then change how you phrase things. Don't tell kids what you don't want them to do, tell them what you want them to do.

Don't say "Don't hit". Say "Play nice" or "play gentle".

On hearing this my son got angry went alone to open terrace.

Leaving a stressful situation instead of melting down in place? That's actually pretty mature behavior.

If I advice him that if you are beating or touching your friends I will not allow them to play with you.

This isn't really going to work at this age. He can't think ahead to far away consequences like that. He's acting on impulse.


My 4.5 year old has had a few epic tantrums this past year, and they are often around being told 'no', I think that the loss of control over a situation really sets her off.

We've been talking to her about constructive ways to deal when she feels overwhelmed and now when she feels a meltdown coming on - she takes 5 deeps breaths while thinking about her favorite stuffed animal and this usually avoids a complete tantrum. We repeat the breathing as needed until she has the mental / emotional space to explain what she is feeling.

It did take several months of trying to introduce this before it actually caught on, but now it has made a world of difference.

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